NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol

It’s kind of weird to give a shoutout to the same guy who wound up this race’s villain, but you can’t really vote against Paul Menard here. Menard raced near the top of the pack all day long, leading early and finishing a respectable fifth, the best in the Richard Childress stable. Whether the success he’s had early this year will be long-term remains to be seen; Menard has shown flashes of brilliance before but not a lot of staying power in the long-term talent department. Still, other than tangling with one of NASCAR’s most respected veterans, he ran a great race at Bristol.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2010 Aaron’s 312 at Talladega

One year ago, Brad Keselowski shocked the stock car world, winning the Sprint Cup race at Talladega as a Nationwide Series regular. This year was a case of role reversal; but when all was said and done, he was back in victory lane, scoring his first NASCAR win since making the move to Penske Racing. …

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Tracking the Trucks: 2009 225 at Chicagoland

Kyle Busch took the checkered flag 0.580 seconds ahead of Todd Bodine to win the 225 Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway. Busch took the lead for the final time with 19 laps remaining on the way to scoring his fourth win in 10 starts this season. Colin Braun, Rick Crawford and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top five.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Let’s Go Racing Boys!

As is the case with most NASCAR winter breaks, this one was filled with news of rule changes, teams closing their doors and driver shuffling. In an effort to help teams save money, NASCAR changed the number of crew members allowed over the wall during a pit stop. Only five crew members will be allowed over the wall, and teams are not permitted to get fuel and tires on the same stop. In addition, the crew chief must choose only 12 active crew members to travel with the team. Defending series champion Johnny Benson is one of the many drivers that find themselves with new teams. Prior to being crowned the 2008 champion, Benson announced he would be leaving Bill Davis Racing and might possibly retire from racing full time following the final race of the season. As it turned out, Benson got out at just the right time.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: New Faces in the Field at Martinsville

As the Craftsman Truck Series rolls into Martinsville Speedway for the final short-track race of the season, there are some new faces on the entry list. Mike Skinner’s son Dustin Skinner is just one of those drivers; he’ll follow in the footsteps of his father and his older brother, Jamie Skinner, who also made their debuts at the Virginia short track.

Tracking the Trucks: 2008 Camping World 200 presented by Honda Power Equipment at Gateway

Ron Hornaday Jr. took the checkered flag 0.646 seconds ahead of Dennis Setzer to win the Camping World 200 presented by Honda Power Equipment Saturday afternoon at Gateway International Raceway. The driver of the No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet took the lead for the final time on lap 130 and led the final 30 laps to score his fourth win this season. Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine and Jack Sprague rounded out the top five.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: NASCAR Announces an Engine Change & More

Over the Labor Day break, Bobby Hamilton Racing-VA has closed the doors on the No. 4 Dodge until further notice, so all team efforts can be focused on the No. 18 truck driven by Dennis Setzer. Since the announcement, Stacy Compton’s No. 4 Dodge has withdrawn from this weekend’s entry list.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Truck Series Makes a Perfect Training Ground For Young Drivers

Once NASCAR declined to raise the minimum age to race from 18 to 21, a debate popped up on the Frontstretch forums this week about age versus experience. And while there was some disagreement on when it’s appropriate to move into one of NASCAR’s top three series, the general consensus was that experience makes a difference regardless of a driver’s age; and unfortunately, so many young drivers today just aren’t getting enough of it. Well, for those owners looking to develop young talent, I know where the best opportunity exists — and it’s not in Sprint Cup. Right now, there’s no better place for youth to gain that experience than the Craftsman Truck Series.

Tracking the Trucks: 2008 Kroger 250 at Martinsville

Dennis Setzer took the checkered flag ahead of Matt Crafton to win the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway Saturday afternoon. Setzer held onto the lead during a green/white/checkered finish that ended under caution as Kyle Busch and Johnny Benson wrecked in turn 3. Rick Crawford, Ken Schrader and Erik Darnell rounded out the top five finishers.

Full Throttle: Bailey’s 300 the Daytona for Late Models

There are thousands of racecar drivers all over the United States that pour their heart and soul into Saturday nights. Running at their local track, they compete to take home their own special trophy, as well as some pocket change most put right back into their car to help it succeed. Well, the top level of these racecar drivers are the late model racers. They drive cars that have similar dimensions and specifications to the cars that are run in the upper levels of NASCAR, and they generally have the most technology involved in putting them on the track and making them go fast. For the men who drive these machines, the biggest race of the year is the Bailey’s 300 held every September at Martinsville Speedway. The race pays $25,000 to win… and it draws racers from all over the country.

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