Over the final two months of the season, Frontstretch is proud to debut its newest column: NASCAR Confidential. Once every three weeks, we’ll have one of our Cup-driving friends stop by and give us his take on what’s going on in the series today. Don’t ask us who he is… because we won’t be telling you! His anonymity allows him to speak freely on most topics that might otherwise be muzzled by the political correctness of the sport.
Which one of the top three seeds — Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, or Kyle Busch — has Frontstretch voted number one to begin this 10-race stretch? And which three “darkhorse” contenders moved up three spots on the list, positioning themselves for a run at this year’s version of Chase Cinderella? To see who’s ready to rumble and who’s ready to flop in the playoffs — as well as which non-Chasers deserve their spot in the limelight — check out the results of our Top 15 Power Rankings below.
As we’ve seen in the past, it can sometimes be difficult to sort out playoff contenders from the pretenders. But on paper, who’s entering this year’s Chase with an edge over the competition? Read on below to find out Who’s Hot and Who’s Not heading into the final 10-race stretch.
Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
Tony Stewart ran down Jimmie Johnson with 10 laps to go, but Johnson found enough speed in the upper groove to prevail over the No. 20 car in a battle of the home improvement centers.
Will this weekend cause a repeat of the Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs. Kyle Busch confrontation from this spring? Will the Joe Gibbs cars in general be strong at Richmond again? Can Carl Edwards knock another 10 points off Busch’s bonus point lead for the Chase? Can Jimmie Johnson continue his strong push to the postseason? And which of these men will drive a bid into the fantasy racing playoffs of your own? Read on for this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans to see which drivers should be on your roster and which ones should be at Home Depot shopping for generators and plywood.
California is a wide-open track with plenty of room to run. The drivers had to struggle with the sun as it was going down and ultimately struggled with making their cars handle as the track cooled off. The end result was Jimmie Johnson won the race and moved up two spots in the rankings this week as did Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer. To see if your driver was chillin’ in the sun or burnt by the California heat, check out the results of our Top 15 rankings.
Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Pepsi 500 presented at Auto Club Speedway.
1. Thanks For The Memories – Felix Sabates, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, never one to mince words, took a potshot at sponsor of the No. 42 Texaco Dodge driven by Juan Pablo Montoya. Texaco, after 20 years of sponsoring a NASCAR Cup team, has announced that they have made a business decision to allocate their advertising dollars elsewhere and will no longer sponsor a Sprint Cup team. “They (Texaco) have focused on other things. We really didn’t get that much support from them. The money wasn’t all that great, for us, it was a blessing that we can go out and find somebody who can pay us some real money,” said Sabates. Oh Felix… Texaco says thank you, too.
Bristol’s new variable banking has given drivers the option to pass without having to wreck a guy on the racetrack. But as Carl Edwards showed us Saturday night, the bump-and-run can still be the only option if the car in front is just good enough to keep you behind. Ensuring that move remains alive and well, Edwards’s shove of Kyle Busch was enough to move him into the top spot in our Power Rankings this week, displacing Busch for the first time since Richmond in May. This week, we saw two drivers fell out while two more slipped in – with one Chase hopeful working his way back to the top 10 for the first time in weeks. Who is he? You’ll have to read below to find out in this week’s edition of our Power Rankings.