NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not: 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona Edition

Following Saturday’s Bud Shootout and Sunday’s qualifying session, some drivers and teams have already begun to stand out as possible contenders and definite holders of momentum – while others already have chinks in their armor before they can even get a donut on the driver’s side door. Here is this week’s list of Hot, Warm and Cold drivers:

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Bud Shootout at Daytona

Welcome to the first 2009 edition of Running Their Mouth! Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel 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 the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Bud Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2009 Bud Shootout at Daytona Race Recap

Kevin Harvick assumed the lead milliseconds before the caution flag flew, signaling the end of the race. With the convoluted new format and dearth of attendance and excitement Saturday night, is it time to just call this Shootout silliness off?

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona

Paul Menard wound up causing the wreck that took out Bobby Labonte and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Not exactly the best way to start off with your new team. When all was said and done, the No. 98 of Menard ended up 11th in his debut with Yates Racing – and wrecked his car twice in less than 36 hours.

Kevin Harvick Battles Back from Losing the Draft to Win the 2009 Budweiser Shootout

Sometimes, history can, in fact, repeat itself. In a scenario very similar to the one that allowed Kevin Harvick to win the Daytona 500 back in 2007, a lane opened up on the high side at the end of the backstretch on the final lap. Harvick took advantage of the hole, took the lead away from Jamie McMurray on the last lap, and then benefitted from a crash that froze the field to claim victory in Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout. However, it was not that easy. Harvick hit the wall early on in the race and lost the draft, but was saved by the second caution, when David Reutimann and David Stremme crashed.

Mirror Driving: Auctioning Off Daytona, Bud Shootout Blues & Playing Cupid with Crew Chiefs

The Budweiser Shootout this year will feature a new selection format, with the top-six drivers from each auto manufacturer’s stable making the field. Was this really a good formula, or could NASCAR and Budweiser have done better, considering that they can no longer use pole winners sponsored by a rival product?

Mirror Driving: 2008’s Biggest Moment, 2009’s Testing Nightmare & Judging Johnson in 2050

Jimmie Johnson became the second driver ever to win three straight NASCAR Cup championships by clinching the Cup at Homestead. Does that cement Johnson’s place among the best ever in the history books, or is the jury still out?

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Ford 400 at Homestead

After 36 points-paying events, nine months, and 14,493 miles of racing, the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is finally in the books. When the smoke cleared, it was Jimmie Johnson winning his third consecutive championship, tying Cale Yarborough as the only drivers in history to accomplish that feat. Behind him, Carl Edwards finished second but won the most trophies, with a total of nine checkered flags captured throughout the year. In contrast, Jeff Gordon snapped his streak of at least one win per season at 14, while Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick were some of the other notables who got shut out of victory lane. However, none of those drivers mentioned got left out of our final Power Rankings poll of the season. As you might expect, Johnson was unanimously voted number one on our list; but where did the other drivers mentioned wind up? Read on to see if your wheelman shone in the Florida sun or got sand kicked in his face in the final edition of our 2008 Power Rankings.

Running Their Mouth: 2008 Ford 400 at Homestead

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all 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 sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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