Tony Stewart cut down a tire with three laps to go, allowing Kasey Kahne to streak by him for the win.
Though he failed to overwhelm the CARQUEST 300 field as he has in so many other races this season, Kyle Busch was the class of the field again at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Pitting for fuel on lap 129, Busch stayed out for the duration of the race, conserving fuel under caution and taking advantage of clean air to stay in front of the field. Though Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski all mounted furious charges on Busch’s Camry, none were able to deny him his fourth Nationwide Series win of the season. Hamlin finished second in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20, breaking a four race win streak for the team.
Though he’s a bit more polished than the rough around the edges kid he once was, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still struggling to get this politically correct thing down. Occasionally, he’ll still drop an unanticipated bombshell that will send NASCAR officials scrambling to their shelters — and this week in Charlotte, Earnhardt delivered another one of those off-the-cuff set of remarks that ought to cause a lot of concern.
The Sprint All-Star Race lacked the excitement of previous years. Why was that, and what can be done to revitalize the race in the future?
The All-Star Race is all about the money, with a cool $1 million on the line, no one holds back and mayhem typically ensues. Or, as this year’s event showed, it can turn into a parade around the track where track position dominates the event and there is almost no passing for the lead. Read on to see if our picks are all-star or all washed up.
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 Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
Forget the Indy 500 rumors; Sam Hornish Jr. is finally starting to make some noise in the Sprint Cup Series. In Saturday night’s “Sprint Showdown” event that featured three rookies, Hornish proved the lone bright spot after Patrick Carpentier wrecked his Charter Communications Dodge early while Regan Smith faded to the back of the pack. Left alone as the sole rookie contender, the No. 77 Mobil One Dodge made sure to shine; he was the fastest car on the track at the end of the event, overtaking David Ragan in the final laps to snag the second and final transfer spot for the All-Star Race.
Dear Dale Earnhardt Jr. I’m writing to congratulate you on your terrific season so far. Smile, dude… Jeff Gordon would love to be in your position right now. Still, I’m sure you grow weary of the press harping on that zero in the win column. Just this week alone, Pete Pistone of Racing One wrote a piece entitled “Still in Search of Victory Lane.” Buddy Shacklette’s column “Jr. Nation Appears Alive And Well” mentions the streak is now 72 races. Even our own Tom Bowles pointed out the Richmond incident that’s kept you winless in 2008. If you listen to much of the racing press, your season so far has been a failure.
How a fan responds to various stories, occurrences, and personalities has a lot to do with how long they’ve been a fan and the mindset they bring to the sport. From the enthusiastic — if still learning — newbies, to the hardcore longtime fans (the guys who’ve been around since Richard Petty was a rookie), to the growing number of alienated ex or soon-to-be ex fans, everyone has their own take on things. It sort of reminds me of that old proverb about the seven blind men that encountered an elephant; each based their perception of what an elephant was depending on what part of it they touched. Not sure what I’m talking about? That’s OK; a lot of the time I’m not sure what I’m talking about, either. Let me clarify with a few examples.
Darlington Raceway may have had a facelift, but no matter what you do to the old girl, she’s still the track too tough to tame. A ton of grip and a hard tire meant that the cars went faster than ever before, but they also hit the wall harder and more often than ever before. The track claimed several victims during the night, and had some surprise top-10 finishers. Read on to see if you agree or disagree with the latest choices by the Frontstretch writers.