Tag Archives: Dario Franchitti

Did You Notice? Kevin Harvick’s Drought, Dario Franchitti On The Outs, And DEI Losing Its Clout?

Did You Notice? That in expanding my short and sweet column from Monday, Kevin Harvick’s winless streak in Cup racing – as Danny Peters so dutifully pointed out is up to 51 races, with his last points-paying win occurring at the 2007 Daytona 500? Wait a minute… isn’t that the disputed Daytona 500 for the ages, in which Harvick’s opportunity at the win came when NASCAR chose not to throw a caution once cars wrecked off turn 4 in the final lap of the race? Just think of where this man’s career would be right now if he didn’t have that victory in hand; or, if Mark Martin had just enough to hold off his last-lap charge.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Edition

While drivers like Marcos Ambrose and Ron Fellows appeared to have cars capable of top-10 finishes, it was the usual frontrunners near the top of the leaderboard by the time the day was over -- including race winner Kyle Busch. Who else stayed "HOT" this week? And what teams near the bottom of the Top 35 appeared to have a shot this weekend at a road course, but still struggled? Check out this week's edition of Who's Hot/Who's Not in Sprint Cup to find out.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Marcos Ambrose Steals the Show, But McDowell Tops the Rookies at Sonoma

It was a wild weekend for the young Aussie who made his first career Sprint Cup start in the famed Wood Brothers Ford. On Friday, the road course ringer from down under impressed everyone with a top-10 qualifying effort after leading first practice. Saturday was more of the same as Marcos Ambrose once again topped the charts in happy hour despite slapping the wall when he ran out of track. The No. 21 crew made repairs to the car while Ambrose flew to Milwaukee where he recorded a 16th-place finish in his regular Nationwide ride… and all this was all before the main event had even started.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 LifeLock 400 at Michigan Edition

The long-awaited first Hendrick-Earnhardt victory finally came this week at Michigan, but it didn't come without controversy. Winning on fuel mileage, the No. 88 team worked some pit strategy to make it to Victory Lane; however, Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers have criticized Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR for allowing the eventual winner to pass the pace car under caution. And Earnhardt wasn't the only one who enjoyed success at the 2-mile oval; the Red Bull and Roush Fenway teams also had strong runs. Will this hot topic land all three teams on the HOT list this week? Check out this week's edition of Who's Hot/Who's Not in Sprint Cup for the answer.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Sam Hornish Jr. Spins, But Wins Rookie Honors At Home Track

It didn’t take long for the Defiance, Ohio native to make his presence known at the venue he considers his home track on the NASCAR circuit. By the race’s one-quarter mark, Sam Hornish Jr. was running consistently in the top 20 after starting well back in the pack. But as it turns out, the Mobil One team would be the strongest performer out of the Roger Penske stable, running in or near the top 15 for Michigan's middle segment while his teammates floundered with poor handling cars and engine issues. However, things would get even more interesting for Hornish as the race entered its final stages.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Michael McDowell Magically Maneuvers To Top At Pocono

Were you just as surprised as I was to see Michael McDowell listed as the Rookie of the Race? With just under 20 laps to go Regan Smith, who was restarting in fifth, appeared a virtual shoe in to finish his sixth race as the highest finishing rookie. However, we race all the laps for a reason and just 10 laps later, Smith had fallen outside of the top 20 on old tires while McDowell was slowly picking off positions. While a 27th-place finish may not look good on paper, don’t be fooled; McDowell remained focused on making his car better and staying out of trouble, something not every driver (especially every rookie) could say on Sunday. The Arizona native also had his ARCA experience to fall back on and, evidently, it paid off. For that reason, McDowell could really start gaining momentum next week at Michigan, where he has previous experience from other stock car racing series already under his belt.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Sam Hornish Jr. Hopeful Coming Out of Lowe’s

Was this the All-Star Race or the Coca-Cola 600? Chances are that it was hard for Sam Hornish Jr. to tell, as Sunday night was almost a carbon copy of the rookie’s performance in last week’s non-points event. After a top-20 starting position, Hornish scraped the wall on lap 23, similar to his encounter in the opening laps of the All-Star Race. Hornish would continue to struggle from that point on, losing a lap to the leaders; however, he managed to improve enough to stay in position to receive the free pass. His efforts paid off on lap 296, when the former Indy 500 champ received that pass after the eighth caution flag flew for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s blown tire.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Michael McDowell Survives Darlington Duel

Michael McDowell lost a lap early, and would lose three more throughout the evening; which left a frustrated driver fighting the track position battle all night. “I had a couple of bad runs there where I just couldn’t get back in my rhythm, you know, running there a lap down and the leaders are trying to get by. And this place is so tough when somebody tries to get by you, if you don’t give way, you end up slowing the whole pack down and getting ran over.”

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