NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Thompson in Turn 5: The 2008 Sprint All-Star Challenge a Dud!

You would think that after 23 previous All-Star Races under NASCAR’s belt they would pretty much have a formula in place that guaranteed an exciting and fun evening of racing entertainment. But last Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Challenge demonstrated just how little it is possible to learn in almost a quarter century. The truth is, with the exception of the Kasey Kahne storyline of winning after being voted into the event by fans… the race has left little in the way of NASCAR journalists to expound on.

Driven to the Past: Darrell Waltrip

I first met Darrell Waltrip when he was still in his teens, racing on Sunday evenings at Kentucky Motor Speedway near Whitesville. A bunch from Louisville used to go down there every weekend, and, when I didn’t have to be somewhere else with ARCA, I went with them. It was pretty obvious even then that the kid had a lot of talent, along with a ton of ambition. One night when he crashed his own car–the result of a blown engine, if I recall correctly, he ended up in the backup car of a guy named PB Crowell from Franklin, Tenn.

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Convenient Crashes – Karma or Coincidence?

How many times did your mother tell you to treat people the way you want to be treated? You probably laughed and stuffed your little brother in the laundry chute anyway. Maybe you went outside to play in the yard a few days later, and stepped right where the same brother walked the family dog after a particularly large dinner. Ever see something like this happen to our favorite driver? He gets a little rough with some guy and runs over debris a few laps later, popping a tire and losing a lap fixing it. Maybe he gets caught with some “creative engineering” and spins out in qualifying two weeks later. You sometimes have to wonder if greater forces are at work.

Side by Side: Is It Fair For Teams To Transfer Owner Points For Past Champions?

Today’s Question: In the wake of several big name teams not making the Top 35 (Jamie McMurray – No. 26, Kyle Petty – No. 45) is it fair to allow owner points to be transferred DURING the season so these drivers get themselves a guaranteed spot — while their teammates are assured entry with a past champion’s provisional?

Driven to the Past: When Darrell Waltrip was the 1 Missing a Part

Had one of those moments on Friday when you suddenly remember something that happened 20 or 30 years ago, and connect it with what was just said. Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, and Larry McReynolds were talking about the fact that chrome wheels aren’t allowed in NASCAR competition, with DW explaining that his brother’s wheels had a powder coating and weren’t really chrome. He added the next day that Michael planned to use gold wheels for the 50th anniversary Daytona 500.

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.

Voice of Vito: Where’s The Beef? Chase for the Championship a Far Cry From Past Battles

With only one race remaining before the start of the 2007 Chase for the Nextel Cup, the race for 12th place has all been but decided, with Kevin Harvick needing to only finish 32nd or better to solidify his place in the Championship dash. While the Daytona 500 winner will start the race a whopping 670 points out of first place, he will end it no more than 50 points out of the top spot, courtesy of NASCAR’s new seeding system, awarding 10 bonus points for a win to each driver in the top 12. Which raises a legitimate question: What exactly does a 700-point deficit convey anything remotely related to the term “champion?” Is this what it has come to? “The race for 12th?”

That’s History Profile: Coo Coo Marlin

Clifton Marlin’s career began almost by accident. His brother Jack campaigned a car at Hohenwald Speedway in Tennessee, but didn’t show up one night for one reason or another. Coo Coo volunteered to drive and finished third in his first race on dirt. While he credited a lot of it to beginners’ luck, a good car, and the competition giving him plenty of room; he had another colorful explanation for it. He figured that being a farmer and having an intimate relationship with the earth helped him get around on it faster in a racecar as well.

That’s History Profile: Darrell Waltrip

Waltrip won his first race in 1975 at Nashville, Tenn. and he won again later that year at the Richmond Fairgrounds. This was back during the “big car” era. With all the aerodynamics of a sofa on tap and no power steering, the control truly was in the driver’s hands. During this time when he started racing, he would tally 27 wins. Some of those wins came as an owner AND a driver. All of them came against four of the top seven drivers in the all-time wins column.

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