Tag Archives: Dario Franchitti

Side by Side: Is The Risk Of Injury Enough To Keep Cup Drivers Out Of The Nationwide Series?

Today's Question: Dario Franchitti's Talladega injury reminded us of the dangers of Cup drivers competing in a lower series. Is it worth it for Cup drivers to run races in that lower series -- especially at a track like Talladega -- considering the additional injury risk involved?

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Did You Notice? Ganassi’s Trial By Fire(d), The Trials And Tribulations Of The Woods, And… Morgan Shepherd?

Did You Notice? That at Talladega, the No. 21 Ford driven by Jon Wood had to pull in the garage after just one lap in order to fix radical adjustments made in qualifying to get the car in the show. Now, I know it looks like I pick on the Wood Brothers every week, but it’s hard to ignore them when they continue to make major mistakes. There were seven other cars who qualified on time for this race, and none of them had to spend nine laps in the garage area to fix their cars within the first five laps.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Regan Smith Wrecks… But Still Finishes Strong

Regan Smith had the precarious task of starting in the eye of the storm when he rolled off the grid 29th for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499. However, the first three-quarters of the race were fairly uneventful as far as wrecks were concerned, and that proved to be a good thing for DEI’s rookie driver. While Smith bided his time in the pack, both he and crew chief Doug Richert were able to adjust the No. 01 Chevy to the point where Smith would have a machine capable of heading to the front when it counted. The improvements stuck, the No. 01 remained solidly in contention, and the team's plan was working... it just came up one lap short.

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Aaron’s 312 at Talladega

Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 team continued its utter dominance of the Nationwide Series in 2008; this time, it was with Tony Stewart behind the wheel. The marquee driver in the JGR stable stayed out of trouble and held off good friend Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Saturday afternoon. The win was Stewart’s third of the season and the fourth for the No. 20 team, both of which lead the series in 2008.

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Bubble Breakdown: Top-35 Surprises, Disappointments, And Concerns In 2008

Welcome one and all to this week's edition of the Bubble Breakdown. With no Sprint Cup Series race last weekend to speak of, we're going to take advantage of the break to look back at the first eight races of the season and analyze the biggest surprises and disappointments so far. So without further ado, here's a recap of this year's bubble drivers.

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Did You Notice? Jimmie Johnson’s Special Photo, Messing With Montoya, And… David Gilliland?

Did You Notice? That the Sprint Cup Series can go to a fast, sleek intermediate track and have no mechanical failures in a 500-mile event - as was the case in Fontana this February - but then they go to a short track and have nearly half a dozen engines go south in one of the shortest races all year? In a 312-mile race, there were two engine failures and a handful of other cars that lost a cylinder at Phoenix; shockingly enough, that ties the record for most blown engines in any race so far in 2008.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Sam Hornish Jr. Carries Banner for Penske Racing

Hornish's day did not start well at all at Phoenix. After being openly disappointed with his 31st-place qualifying run, the open-wheel convert slipped to as far back as 40th in the open portions of the race, and became a moving roadblock on the inside line for more than one restart. However, Hornish and his team worked hard on adjusting to the track's transition from day to night, preventing the car from becoming too tight as the track cooled off.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Michael McDowell Terrifies at Texas

The No. 10 Dodge qualified for their fourth event in the last five races on Friday, and the momentum did not stop there... although it could have. The Valvoline Charger started Sunday afternoon in the 27th position, but did not progress through the field immediately. In fact, Patrick Carpentier and crew chief Mike Shiplett were faced with finding a cure for a particularly "moody" car throughout the race. "We started out loose-in tight in the middle, and then we fixed the loose-in... then, we went after the tight in the middle and he was pretty happy there at the end," remarked Shiplett. However, as many drivers have observed this season, the success or failure of a team lies more in the hands of the driver now with the new car than ever before, and the Canadian is learning how to step up to that challenge:

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Happy Hour: Nationwide Whackers Are Hurting The Sprint Cup Series

On several occasions during the Martinsville race this past Sunday, the announcers in the FOX booth analyzed "short term gain" vs. "long term loss." The comparison was made whenever a driver skipped a pit or took two tires for track position, meaning that they may gain track position in the short run, but the older tires may mean a net loss in the long run. The short-term gain vs. long-term loss is a debate that could, and should, be taking place regarding Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series, and nowhere was this more evident than at Martinsville last Sunday.

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