NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: In David Stremme, Penske Gets Marketability – But What About Driving Ability?

It’d be kind of ironic — given that I wrote a column on driver marketability a few weeks ago — if the topic had been shot to the forefront of the sport, wrapped around what is probably close to the last of the major teams’ driver signings. Yet, that’s exactly what happened when Penske Racing South made David Stremme the official driver of the No. 12 Dodge for 2009 and beyond, a move that might at least score them the award for Worst Kept Secret of the Year. And, despite being long rumored, the move still surprises me — because Penske could have done better.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Robb Brent to Make His Debut

After taking a weekend off, the Craftsman Truck Series heads to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend for the Toyota Tundra 200. When the green flag flies, Brad Keselowksi Racing will make their Truck Series debut with Robb Brent behind the wheel of the No. 19 Chevrolet. Brent just started racing four years ago, at age 16, at Kart2Kart, an indoor carting track.

Mirror Driving: The Busch-Montoya Scuffle, A Silly Season Shuffle & Saving the Truck Series With… the IRL?

Juan Pablo Montoya received a two-lap penalty during the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire for rough driving after intentionally spinning Kyle Busch under caution. Montoya said it was because Busch ran into him several times before that incident. Was the penalty fair, or was Montoya in the right?

Mirror Driving: Mark Martin’s Big Move, Kevin Harvick’s Big Mistake & NASCAR’s Big Attendance Problem

Kevin Harvick’s bonzai move at the end of the race at Infineon could be the difference between both he and Tony Stewart making the Chase three months from now. Was that move over the line, and does it paint the No. 29 team in the most trouble of all 17 Chase contenders?

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Camping World RV Rental 250 at Milwaukee

Brad Keselowski had the field at Milwaukee covered on Saturday night, leading 145 of the first 171 laps run. That all changed, however, when young phenom Joey Logano slammed into Keselowski in a turn while battling for the lead, caving in the left-front fender on Keselowski’s No. 88 Chevrolet.

Did You Notice? Nice Guys Finish Last, NASCAR’s Diversity Nightmare & Chase Vulnerability

Did You Notice? That one of the compelling themes in NASCAR as of late is proof of the phrase, “Nice guys finish last?” David Reutimann is the latest example; known as a man who won’t bump anyone out of the way in order to get to the front, Reutimann got loose with Clint Bowyer oh-so-close behind him in the final laps of the Nashville race on Saturday night. While Brad Keselowski went on to win, Reutimann – who had been in position to take the checkers before a late-race caution bunched up the field — fell back to a fourth-place finish on older tires.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville

Brad Keselowski was able to celebrate the Federated Auto Parts 300 win in victory lane with much of his family, as brother Brian Keselowski was also in town after attempting to qualify for Saturday’s event (he spun on his qualifying lap and DNQ’d).

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Heluva Good! 200 at Dover

I might as well write a template for the Nationwide Series Breakdown. Saturday, Joe Gibbs Racing dominated the NASCAR Nationwide Series X (Heluva Good! 200). Driver X (Denny Hamlin) smoked the field, leading X (131) of X laps (200). Joe Gibbs Racing has now won X (nine) of X (14) races in the Nationwide Series this season.

Did You Notice? Carl Edwards Underpaid? NASCAR Youth is Undervalued & Mears Gets a Wakeup Call

Did You Notice? That Bob Osborne’s return gives Robbie Reiser a chance to focus on some other sinking ships? While the No. 99 was held very much afloat during Osborne’s six weeks away (one win, three top-10 finishes) the same couldn’t be said for the rest of Roush Fenway’s programs. In the last four races of Osborne’s suspension, the other four Roush programs combined for one top five and four top-10 finishes; in particular, Matt Kenseth has looked out to lunch with new crew chief Chip Bolin after a strong start. Was Reiser providing more of a steady hand to that No. 17 then we think once he began his GM role at Roush? We’ll find out in the next few weeks, as that program is desperately in need of a boost.

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