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Tag Archives: Greg Biffle

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2008 All-Star Challenge at Charlotte Edition

*The Key Moment:* Kasey Kahne blew past Denny Hamlin’s ailing Toyota on lap nine of the final segment and drove off into the distance. *In a Nutshell:* Forget checkers or wreckers; this one was laps and naps. *Dramatic Moment:* The first ten laps of the final segment featured the only real competitive action of a long evening. *What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week* *You need any more evidence this Ugly Dog new car is ruining racing?* Time after time at Charlotte, the lead car in clean air simply drove off into the distance. Single file racing was the norm all night, and once-dominant cars couldn’t go anywhere once they got caught back in traffic. Somewhere tonight, they’re talking Humpy Wheeler down off a ledge. If there’s going to be 600 miles of this type of racing next weekend, it’s going to be a real long night.

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Ten Points To Ponder… After The 2008 All-Star Challenge at Charlotte

*1. No Problem, Ron* – Sprint Cup Series point leader Kyle Busch ended his six weekend streak of winning a race – somewhere and in some type of car or truck. The Las Vegas native won the pole positions at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for both the Craftsman Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 and the Sprint Cup All-Star Race, but did not visit Victory Lane in either contest. In the All-Star Race, Busch appeared to be the driver to beat as he dominated the early going, but encountered engine problems before the end of segment two, relegating him to the 24th and final position in the running order. Busch also dominated the CTS event, leading 86 of the first 105 laps on the night; however, with just 29 laps remaining in the contest, reigning series champ Ron Hornaday and Busch made contact, requiring NASCAR’s hottest driver to pit twice for repairs and dash his hopes for a victory. Said Hornaday, a three-time CTS Champion; “I got loose and got into him. He got the short end of the stick.” No doubt Hornaday’s explanation is more than good enough for many Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fans!

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Mirror Driving: Judging The Lady In Black, Throwing Your Crew Under The Bus, And Yaw. Yes, Yaw

*Darlington's new paving job produced speeds never touched before at the track, and tires held up longer than ever. Darlington stripes came back into fashion, too. Was this the best race at the track held in years, and what does it mean for the future of NASCAR's original superspeedway?* Vito: Not the best race ever... but acceptable. I think the new car is almost too resilient. You can bounce it off the wall all night and still win. Mike: I don't think it was the best it’s been in years. Passing was rather difficult. At least the durability of the tire added a little pit strategy. But give it two more years on the track for this pavement to settle, and the racing will be awesome.

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Ten Points To Ponder… After 2008 Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington

*1. No Popularity Contest* - Joe Gibbs Racing “hot shoe” Kyle Busch, winner of Saturday night's Dodge Challenger 500 won honors as the First Quarter Driver of the Year for 2008. The voting panel, made up of individuals knowledgeable in the numerous disciplines of U.S. motor racing, picked the 23-year old Las Vegas, NV. native for his winning performances in not just his Sprint Cup gig, but his impressive results in NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series and Nationwide Series as well. Busch trounced his nearest rivals, totaling 142 points to runner-up and fellow NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, who garnered 72 points. IndyCar driver Danica Patrick, the first female in history to score a win in that series, placed third with 51 points. The voting period ended after the Talladega race and well before Busch was involved in a controversial late race accident while battling fan favorite Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at Richmond. Busch went on to finish second to Clint Bowyer, while Earnhardt, Jr., though also finishing in the Top 10, lost any chance he may have had to end a two-year winless streak due to what many believed to be overly aggressive driving on the part of Busch. Earnhardt Nation will not be allowed to cast votes in the Second Quarter Driver of the Year for 2008 balloting, either!

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2008 Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Edition

Last weekend’s race at Richmond proved to be a roller coaster for many fantasy owners. If you had Denny Hamlin on your team, you were riding high for the vast majority of the race; but then, a flat tire brought you crashing back down to earth. And if you were anticipating a big payday with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. his late race run-in with Kyle Busch left you with pocket change instead of the jackpot. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for fantasy owners. Jeff Gordon looked pitiful in the early stages of the race before regrouping and scoring a Top 10 at the end of the night. And if you had Clint Bowyer on your team… well, you certainly lead a charmed life. This weekend in the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington, you can expect more of the same. They don’t call this place "The Track too Tough to Tame" for nothing! But the Lady in Black got a new face lift since the series visited there last May, making this weekend even more of a challenge. The faster speeds combined with the usual Darlington Stripes will keep fantasy owners on the edge of their seats for 500 miles Saturday night. With that in mind, which drivers will make that ride a bit smoother, and which ones will make you a bit queasy? Read this week’s Fantasy Picks 'N' Pans to find out.

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2008 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega

The Cup stars head to Northern Alabama this weekend to the longest and fastest track on the schedule, the Talladega Superspeedway. It's the first time that the series comes back to a plate track, having run at Talladega last Fall in the new CoT configuration. That car, along with a newly paved track, resulted in a very long, single file run last year; but expect to see a more competitive race this time around now that the drivers have a better idea of how the car will react in the packs that result from plate racing. Aerodynamics become the most paramount factor this weekend; handling has almost no bearing at all in this weekend's race, as it all comes down to making the car move efficiently through the air and developing as much horsepower as possible with the restricted engines. Of course, that leads to close quarters, big pack racing, and the threat of the big wreck -- a crapshoot that could lead to disaster for your fantasy team. Read on to see what the experts have to say in order for you to navigate the waters of tricky Talladega ...

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Did You Notice? Greg Biffle’s Bump, Penske In The Dumps, And Multi-Car Expansion Trumps All

*Did You Notice?* … In the wake of the RCR sponsorship announcement on their long-awaited fourth car, the widening gap in NASCAR between the haves and the have nots? Let's assume for a second that Joey Logano does so well in the Nationwide Series this year, Joe Gibbs Racing chooses to start up their fourth team for the 2009 season. That means you would have no fewer than five organizations at the four-car limit: Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Roush Fenway Racing (five teams), Gibbs, and Childress. Behind them, you'd have another four programs with three cars, at least two of which are also looking to expand in 2009: Penske Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, and Gillett Evernham Motorsports. That's a total of 37 cars fielded by ten teams; the other ten teams racing full-time in Sprint Cup would be fielding a total of 13 cars, and none of them are more than a two-car team. How in the world are they going to compete? The multi-car resources are draining all the money, all the sponsorship, and all the top-level help away from the bottom tier of the racing circuit.

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Mirror Driving: Roush’s Posturing, Lapped Cars Jostling, And Big Name Pending Free Agents

*Jack Roush announced he would not seek legal action against Michael Waltrip Racing after MWR admitted it was the team that had been in possession of a "proprietary part" — which happened to be a sway bar — belonging to Roush Fenway Racing. Was there ever merit to his claims, or was it just Roush taking another jab at his new nemesis, Toyota?* Matt T.: I'm sure there was merit, but Roush played this one all wrong. Amy: I have a hard time taking it seriously, personally. Roush has a long history of accusing teams who are beating him of stuff.

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2008 Food City 500 at Bristol

After four weeks of high speed racing, this week beating and banging will be the name of the game as the Sprint Cup series heads to Bristol for the Food City 500. At a track where people are often taken out through no fault of their own, this is definitely a wild card weekend for fantasy owners. But just like at any track, there are drivers who are among the favorites and ones that are among the forgetable. So which drivers will help your fantasy team survive at week at the fastest half mile in racing? Read on to see what the Frontstretch experts have to say in this week's edition of Picks ‘n' Pans.

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Running Their Mouth: 2008 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta

"That is amazing. First off, before I lose all of my thoughts, I have to thank Snickers, M&M's, Interstate Batteries, Toyota, [crew chief] Steve Addington, and all of these boys who have been on the No. 18 car from the beginning. The No. 18 has always been the car to beat here at Atlanta for many, many years when this place was redone and with Bobby Labonte. This means so much to come back here and do this. Overall, it's great for Joe Gibbs Racing." _Kyle Busch_ "That was the most pathetic racing tire that I've ever been on in my professional career. They exited out of Formula One. They exited out of IRL. They exited out of CART. They exited out of World of Outlaws, and there is a reason for that. Goodyear can't build a tire that is worth a crap." _Tony Stewart, finished 2nd_

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