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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Dave Blaney Knew Son was Special at 14 Years Old

2016 Fontana NXS Ryan Blaney Dave Blaney Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

2017 has been the breakout season for Ryan Blaney, getting the Wood Brothers back on track. He has proved that the sophomore slump does not exist, at least for him. Entering his second full-time seasons in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Blaney has yet to cross the finish-line first at the end of a race. …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega

After the chaos that is Talladega, a pair of shoutouts go out this week. One goes to Dave Blaney, who worked all day with Brad Keselowski, hanging back for much of the race only to close at the end and finish third. The finish was a career best for Blaney, who runs for a small-time team in Tommy Baldwin Racing. Speaking of the smaller teams, two others made some real noise at Talladega as Casey Mears and Landon Cassill raced at the front of the field all day until the late-race mess destroyed their hope for a great finish. These are three drivers fighting for the sponsorship just to race, and they showed this weekend that they can get it done when the playing field is truly level.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega

There were a lot of lead changes in Sunday, and a few surprise leaders as well. One of those surprises came in the form of Dave Blaney, who led 21 laps before all but wrecking in turn 3 after a mis-timed bump from Kurt Busch as the race drew to a close. For Tommy Baldwin’s small operation, it was shaping up to be a huge day. That it was ended through no fault of Blaney’s should cast any pall over it. At a track that is the great equalizer in terms of equipment, it was interesting to see exactly which cream rose to the top. Blaney was all cream on Sunday; too bad he got iced at the end.

Bubble Breakdown: Robby’s Top 15 Bursts Kvapil’s Bubble Inside Top 35

Robby Gordon picked up a well-deserved 14th-place finish in Saturday’s Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix. But was that enough to get him inside the Top 35? Meanwhile, David Stremme’s No. 26 and Mike Bliss’s No. 36 both failed to make the race, meaning their 37th and 38th-ranked teams both lost nearly 40 points on …

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Talking NASCAR TV: Timing Troubles Haunt Bristol FOX, ESPN Coverage

Hello, race fans and welcome to my personal abode, the weekly TV critique. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series were in action at Bristol Motor Speedway. They were also joined by some legends of the sport who came together for the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown, a 35-lap race in USAR ProCup cars. …

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Bubble Breakdown: What Big Teams Are In Top-35 Danger?

For many in the Sprint Cup garage this weekend, 500 laps at Bristol will be a nail-biting experience, with one wreck making the difference between locking them into the 43-car field for Martinsville and beyond… or kicking them out. So while NASCAR’s top divisions enjoy their week off, let’s take a look at 12 other …

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Mirror Driving: Fontana Follies, NASCAR Sends a Message & Danica’s Nationwide Impact… On TV?

The racing at Fontana was somewhat improved over recent races, with the 1.5-second margin of victory in the Cup race, which was .4 seconds under the average. Is this a sign of a turnaround for the track? And what can it be attributed to?

Bubble Breakdown: Blaney Needs a Sponsor, Ambrose & Newman Need a Break

With the second race of the season complete, a rough picture of the 2010 bubble is starting to take shape. Teams have just three more weeks to get their act together, which is why Sunday’s 500-miler at California was such an important step in the process. The cookie-cutter oval has very similar characteristics to the …

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2010 Bubble Preview: Nerve-Wracking 1st 5 Races for the Underdogs

Editors’ Note: Brock Beard takes over the Bubble Breakdown for 2010. Look for Mike Ravesi’s writing in a new, Thursday Fantasy Racing column – right here on Frontstretch! With qualifying out of the way and the Gatorade Duels upon us this week, it’s just a matter of days before the 2010 season officially begins. So …

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The Yellow Stripe: Earnhardt, Kyle Busch Among 10 Drivers Who Can’t Wait for ’10

The setting of the Chase field post-Richmond marks a clear delineation in the season between the haves and the have nots. And judging by the fevered TV coverage of the top-12 drivers, you’d have been forgiven if you wondered if the other 31 were even competing. But as a long list of DNFs and poor-handling …

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