NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Happy Hour: The Best Ad Campaign in NASCAR History

It all started when UPS signed the deal to sponsor Dale Jarrett in Robert Yates’ No. 88 car before the start of the 2001 season. In one of their first commercials, UPS immediately begins to try to persuade Jarrett to race in a standard UPS delivery truck, assuring him, “If you cross the finish line in the big brown truck, there won’t be a dry eye in the place!” Dale refuses, and keeps refusing, despite the pressure from UPS people, kids in the mall, Jackie Stewart, and apparently, everyone else in the known universe.

Bubble Breakdown: On Groundbreaking Weekend, Teams on Top-35 Bubble Attempt Breaking Away From the Pack

The Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta may have made history at the front of the field — with Toyota claiming the first victory for a foreign-born manufacturer since 1954 — but it also featured a number of drivers trying to prevent history of a different sort at the rear. With just one race remaining before 2008 owner points are used to “lock in” provisional spots, those on the dreaded bubble were trying hard to avoid any sort of Atlanta pitfall which would leave them on the wrong side of the cutline. With Bristol up ahead, the unpredictability of a half-mile short track makes it the highest-stress event on the circuit for a team that has to snag a good finish; so for most teams Sunday, the goal was to put the bubble out of reach of even the worst Bristol disaster.

Mirror Driving: A Slap on the Wrist for Stewart & Busch? Junior Go Whoosh & Waltrip’s 2008 Push

Friday night’s Budweiser Shootout final practice was filled with torn-up cars and aggressive moves. For the second time in a year, Kurt Busch took his frustration with Tony Stewart out on pit road. Busch was penalized with a point deduction and fine last year; but this time, NASCAR went for probation. Was this enough?

Running Their Mouth: 2007 Ford 400 at Homestead

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel 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 Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Bowles-Eye View: Scraping Up Respect For a NASCAR Champion & Other Atlanta Odds ‘N’ Ends

Truth be told, this weekend was the closest Jarrett’s been to the front since sliding behind the wheel of Michael Waltrip’s Toyota team; and while it wasn’t the finish the driver may have wanted, it brought the satisfaction that his fans were looking for. It was a top-20 finish, on the lead lap, with the car coming home in one piece; that’s a scenario producing the type of dignified emotion seen far too little this season when it comes to discussing this veteran. It’s called respectability.

Voices from the Heartland: The Loss of Dale Jarrett – My Own NASCAR Hero – To Retirement

During my lengthy tenure as a writer for Frontstretch, the editors have often reminded us (the writers) that no matter what our past experience is with NASCAR, we should always strive to appear as journalists first… fans second. While I have usually succeeded in following that directive, longtime readers know that, being the rebel that I am, I have never hidden the fact that Dale Jarrett is my favorite NASCAR driver. So tday, I have been given special permission to ignore that directive and wear my heart on my sleeve (of my fancy UPS jacket, of course!)

Ryan Newman Wins Pole Again at Lowe’s; Frontstretch Tidbits from the Track

Ryan Newman outdueled Chasers Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Kurt Busch among others to win the right to start up front for the Bank of America 500 Saturday night. Johnson proved the biggest nemesis for Newman; but while the No. 48 car has made Victory Lane his second home at the track, Newman is the king of Nextel Cup qualifying among active drivers at the 1.5-mile oval in Concord, N.C.

Mirror Driving: Dale Jarrett’s Road to TV Geek, Jason Keller’s Record-Breaking Streak, & Did Villeneuve Get the Respect He Seeks?

After observing one restrictor-plate race with the Car of Tomorrow package, should there be changes made for future events at Talladega? Also, which type of restrictor-plate racing was better – the old car or the new car?

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