The Monster Mile wasn’t as much of a monster as it’s been in the past — that is, after an early race melee involved six of the top 12 drivers in the point standings. But while the rest of the day may have put you to sleep, it did allow for some decisive moves in the rankings this week. The Roush Fenway brigade all climbed up in the order except for David Ragan, while Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, and Clint Bowyer were among those who took big hits in the poll this week. Behind them, what underdog driver received enough love to move back into the top 15 — kicking out someone who’s spent nearly all year cruising along in the top 12 in points? Read on to find out, and see if you agree or disagree with the latest choices by our Frontstretch writers.
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 Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway.
Kyle Busch emerged from the pits with the lead after a green flag sequence of stops and drove off into the sunset.
Let me get this off my chest: the NASCAR universe doesn’t revolve around Junior. That’s not a knock on the most popular driver. It’s merely an observation about two factions of fans that I’ve encountered in recent years–those that love Junior, and those that hate him. Love him, and he’s all that and a bag of chips–the greatest driver on the circuit who can do no wrong and is continually shafted by the media and the officials when he should obviously be winning every week. Hate him, and he’s overrated with an inflated ego and NASCAR bends over backwards to accommodate his obviously mediocre talent, and, on top of all that, the fans who love him are obnoxious.
With the adoption of the 36-race Cup schedule some years back, the World 600 now ends the first of three 12-race segments that make up the season. And while it may be an even split, each portion comes ripe with its own agenda. At the start of segment one, teams arrive full of optimism at Daytona each February, confident they’re going to win races and compete for titles. But those first 12 races of the year help separate the contenders from the pretenders, turning dreams into nightmares for teams who struggle to simply keep up. The next 12 — stretching from Dover to the Bristol night race — make up what I call the Summer Season (even though by calendar, the official start of summer is still a month off).
There is no end in sight to the comparisons between the racing careers of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch, the driver he replaced this season at what has been NASCAR’s premier racing organization: Hendrick Motorsports. And replace Kyle Busch at HMS, Junior absolutely did. Make no mistake about it; had Rick Hendrick not had an opportunity to sign NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, there really would not have been any “room at the inn” for anyone else. But as a result of Dale Jr.’s free agency, Busch was forced out of HMS, and eventually signed on with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2008 season and beyond.
The Coca-Cola 600 produced long green-flag runs, tire and fuel strategy, and 17 on-track green-flag passes for the lead. Why was it so much better then the rest of the races on the cookie-cutter tracks this year?
The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race on the NASCAR schedule, and the twists and turns that take place over those four-and-a-half hours of racing led to plenty of opportunities for writers to change their votes in the rankings. As you might expect, Kasey Kahne made a leap from unranked to well inside the top 15, while Denny Hamlin’s blown tire cost him more than a few positions at the end of Sunday’s race; he tumbled from third to well down the bottom half of our list. Where did Hamlin, Kahne, and the rest of your favorite drivers wind up? Read on below to find out, and be sure to comment and let us know if you agree or disagree with the latest rankings by our Frontstretch experts.
In the immortal words of one Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it.” The star of the 1980s silver screen was right: life does move fast – and so does NASCAR. With the checkered flag flying on the Coca-Cola 600, we’re exactly a third of the way through the 2008 season, just 14 races away from the start of the Chase. So it’s as good a time as any to take a look at the hits and misses of the season so far. Who has driven it like they stole it? Who has run ho-hum, and who has flat out sucked? Find out the answers below, as I hand out awards for the first four months of the season to date.
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 Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.