Race Weekend Central

Bubble Breakdown: Jeremy Mayfield Dealt Death Blow While Non-Top 35 Teams Struggle

Just like Jeremy Mayfield’s test results, the Lady In Black wasn’t kind to everyone to tried to conquer her this weekend. While there were some great days for teams on the right side of the bubble, many of the cars outside it saw their bubble burst with wrecks or poor qualifying runs that hampered overall performance. As a result, while no one new moved into the Top 35 this week, some teams had a chance to put distance between themselves and the rest of the pack. To see which ones had the most success – and who’s still in danger – read on to see this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all of our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint 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 car owners themselves. This week, here’s a special Nationwide Series peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Fanning the Flames: Race Fans Throwing More TLC at TRG

Q: Can you please clear up something for me? Since the No. 8 team is shut down, I wonder why NASCAR would not have asked or told Teresa [Earnhardt] to let the number follow Dale Jr. If NASCAR owns the numbers, what’s to stop them from making that call. Now there is another great car number that won’t be on the track, and a lot of us feel that it should still be with Dale Earnhardt Jr. That number will always be identified with him.

Fanning the Flames: Victory Lane’s Ultimate “D’Oh!” Moment

Q: Matt, do you think it would have been a better career move for David Gilliland to have signed with RCR for a full-time Busch ride the year after he won his first Busch race at Kentucky in June of 2006 instead of signing with Yates Racing for a Cup ride? I guess that is assuming the RCR full-time Busch ride wasn’t just a rumor.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Edition

What a race Sunday! The Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway gave fans the tight racing action they have been yearning for since before the season began. The close racing amongst competitors individually made the race well worth watching, as did the fact that some unexpected drivers had good runs on the tricky half-mile track. While several surprise drivers slid into the top 15 or 20, other expected contenders found themselves in holes early in the event, with little or no chance of digging out. Here are the HOT, WARM and COLD drivers this week, before the Cup Series breaks its short-track excursion and travels to Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday.

Mirror Driving: Final Thoughts on the New Bristol & Digesting the New Top 35

It’s clear that 18 months after repaving, this isn’t the same old Bristol. That’s led to some mixed reviews from fans – but is the new Bristol a classic or a total flop?

Bubble Breakdown: David Gilliland Drives TRG’s No. 71 Right Into Top 35

If you remember back to 2008, Jamie McMurray – a good driver on one of the super teams, Roush Fenway Racing – was not only sitting on the bubble heading to Bristol, but on the wrong side of it when he left there. It was proof even the best organizations could fall victim to having to qualify on speed. One year later, Ryan Newman and Mark Martin felt that same pressure, needing strong performances from their top-tier organizations to avoid what happened to McMurray last year. So, did Martin and Newman avoid being the big-name drivers on the outside looking in? And what underdog defied the odds to sneak into the Top 35? Read on to find out as we break down the bubble for the Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway.

Bubble Breakdown: TRG Making Miracles with David Gilliland While Mark Martin Just Hanging On

The Kobalt Tools 500 marked the fourth race in the 2009 season, meaning there is just one more event to get into the Top 35 in owner points before NASCAR shifts to this year’s standings to determine who is or isn’t locked into the starting grid each week. This made the race at Atlanta critical for many, as no one wants to have to go to Bristol under pressure to post a stellar finish – the race in Thunder Valley is one of the more unpredictable races on the circuit. To see which big name teams fell short at AMS and will head to Tennessee a nervous wreck – as well as which smaller teams have surprised everyone by driving safely into the Top 35 – read on in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

The Yellow Stripe: Catch 21 – Thoughts, Questions & Observations 3 Races Into 2009

21, as many of you will know, is a lucky number in Las Vegas. So, here are exactly that many questions, observations, and thoughts – in no particular order – on the season so far as the series leaves Sin City to head back east.

10 Points to Ponder: 2009 Shelby 427 at Las Vegas

Daytona was just a minor hiccup: the No. 18 team is back with a vengeance in 2009. Las Vegas native Kyle Busch won the pole this weekend, only to have to start at the back after an engine change. Nonetheless, Busch methodically made his way back to the front to score his first career win at his hometown track, a win that he likened to being as big to him as the Daytona 500.

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