NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Chasing Down Your Best Bets For Richmond

Will this weekend cause a repeat of the Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs. Kyle Busch confrontation from this spring? Will the Joe Gibbs cars in general be strong at Richmond again? Can Carl Edwards knock another 10 points off Busch’s bonus point lead for the Chase? Can Jimmie Johnson continue his strong push to the postseason? And which of these men will drive a bid into the fantasy racing playoffs of your own? Read on for this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans to see which drivers should be on your roster and which ones should be at Home Depot shopping for generators and plywood.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Sharpie 500 at Bristol

Bristol’s new variable banking has given drivers the option to pass without having to wreck a guy on the racetrack. But as Carl Edwards showed us Saturday night, the bump-and-run can still be the only option if the car in front is just good enough to keep you behind. Ensuring that move remains alive and well, Edwards’s shove of Kyle Busch was enough to move him into the top spot in our Power Rankings this week, displacing Busch for the first time since Richmond in May. This week, we saw two drivers fell out while two more slipped in – with one Chase hopeful working his way back to the top 10 for the first time in weeks. Who is he? You’ll have to read below to find out in this week’s edition of our Power Rankings.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Sharpie 500 at Bristol Edition

Boy. is this shaping to be one heck of a Chase! The media have been trying to generate some sort of rivalry between Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch for weeks, but this week that media-generated rivalry finally came to fruition. Neither driver backed up on post-race opinions of how clean Edwards’s pass of Busch was for the win, and it appears that the feud could carry over to California this week. To see who is on the verge of breaking into the win column and who could simply go for a solid finish, check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Is Someone Else Worth Picking Over Kyle Busch & Carl Edwards at Bristol?

With so many drivers’ success or failure dependent on luck, the Bristol Motor Speedway is bound to offer you more questions than answers heading into the weekend. Will Kyle Busch continue his winning ways? Can Carl Edwards win the night race at Bristol again? Is Tony Stewart finally going to break the winless streak? Can Dale Earnhardt Jr. avoid another pit road issue? Will Jamie McMurray continue his run of strong finishes? Only this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans will tell you which guys you should keep on your roster and which ones should be riding the bench after spending half the night with crumpled sheet metal in the garage.

Did You Notice? Jeff Gordon’s Sudden Slide, What NASCAR’s Schedule Hides, & Hamlin’s Bad Side

Did You Notice? That California Speedway’s date realignment on the 2009 Sprint Cup schedule did nothing to address the quality of racing at that facility? I will say the Labor Day date was always a horrible weekend for them. Not only did people in L.A. have other things to do, but the heat is pretty unbearable that time of year. I worked the race in 2007, and it was agonizingly hot during the entire four days we were out there. With temperatures reaching upwards of 105-110 degrees, there was little if anything air conditioning could do for fans, media, and drivers alike.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 3M Performance 400 at Michigan Edition

There’s been no better time to drive a Blue Oval in the Cup Series this year. Carl Edwards is just one of the five Roush Fenway drivers who make either the HOT or WARM lists this week, and Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland, and even the Wood Brothers have been impressive during at least one of the last two races. But while the Ford camp has found the magic touch, other teams and manufacturers are struggling with just three weeks to go until the playoffs. To see who could really go for a win — and who’s left to challenge Busch and Edwards for the title — check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup.

Mirror Driving: Road Ringers Lose, Casey Mears on the Move & Young Guns Get the Boot

The Watkins Glen race had several road-course ringers in the field but, as usual, a Sprint Cup regular won the race. Is there really any advantage for replacing a team’s full-time driver with a road-course specialist?

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: How to Pick Your Team to Perform at Pocono

What does this weekend in the Poconos hold for the Sprint Cup Series – and for your team? Was Kasey Kahne’s win earlier this year a fluke? Can Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon continue their strength from Indianapolis? Will Carl Edwards regain his past glory on the big triangle? More dependable than a Goodyear tire on a diamond ground race surface, this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans will tell you which ones you should have on your roster – and who needs to stay in the chalet enjoying wine and cheese.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Making Your Team Work in the Windy City

The Sprint Cup Series heads to the Windy City this weekend for another intermediate racetrack. For the first time, the race will be held under that lights at Chicagoland Speedway, leaving many fantasy gamers a little nervous. With recently announced driver changes and NASCAR penalties, who knows what also might be playing with the psyche of combatants this weekend. Read on to see which drivers our experts feel are driving on a full tank of gas with half a pack of cigarettes wearing sunglasses in this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: 2008 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Edition

There were fireworks before and after the finish of Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, as 11 cautions – most of them late – led to a mini-demolition derby of sorts which changed the outcome of the race. Helping some while hurting others, those last-minute wrecks completely changed the placement of several of our Hot/Not drivers this week. Most notable of those was Jeff Burton, whose consecutive top-15 streak ended at Daytona when he was wrecked not once, but twice during the race. Who else suffered mightily after watching their car turn into a piece from the junkyard, you ask? Well, here is this week’s look at the hot, the warm and the cold after a hot and sticky Saturday night in Daytona Beach.

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