NASCAR Race Weekend Central

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?

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2008 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

Robby Gordon’s spin into Kurt Busch that not only left contenders, like Carl Edwards, trapped on the track, while Kyle Busch, David Gilliland and others pitted, but also caused Gordon to run out of fuel and never regain position.

Bowles-Eye View: Kevin Harvick Victimizes Chase Chances While Creating Innocent Victims of McMurray, Stewart

The last time the Cup Series visited a road course, the enduring image was of Kevin Harvick getting in Juan Pablo Montoya’s face. It was a comical confrontation, a fit of frustration after Harvick thought Montoya wrecked him out of the race. While the conduct was hardly professional, Harvick did have the perfect excuse for being a hothead; he’d just been made an innocent victim of a wreck not of his making. Oh, the irony; for this time, Harvick made an innocent victim out of someone else, and because of it, his Chase chances are suddenly on life support.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 LifeLock 400 at Michigan Edition

The long-awaited first Hendrick-Earnhardt victory finally came this week at Michigan, but it didn’t come without controversy. Winning on fuel mileage, the No. 88 team worked some pit strategy to make it to Victory Lane; however, Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers have criticized Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR for allowing the eventual winner to pass the pace car under caution. And Earnhardt wasn’t the only one who enjoyed success at the 2-mile oval; the Red Bull and Roush Fenway teams also had strong runs. Will this hot topic land all three teams on the HOT list this week? Check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup for the answer.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: How to Get Maximum Fuel Mileage From Your Team at Michigan

Michigan is a wide open 2-mile track that offers drivers plenty of options and room to make moves which, hopefully, will lead to on-track passes and its fair share of racing action. But for fantasy players that worry about their drivers being caught up in someone else’s problems, they can rest assured that it generally will not happen at Michigan. You have all of the racing room of a multi-groove track to thank for it. Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally break his losing streak, and what driver should you avoid at all costs? Only this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans will tell… read below to find out.

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

Pit strategy, pit strategy, and more pit strategy; in what became a 500-mile parade with little passing, Pocono’s race became won or lost by the men behind the wall. Through it all, Kasey Kahne stayed above the fray. Building a lead of almost 10 seconds over its nearest competitors, the Budweiser Dodge cruised home to victory over Brian Vickers, scoring its second win in the last three races as Kahne solidified his hold on a spot in the Chase. Who else is on track to follow in his footsteps — and which guys find any chance at the playoffs slipping from their grasp? Read this week’s version of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not to find out.

Fanning the Flames: Silly Season Contracts, Old-School Drivers & The “Blow Up” Crowd

Q: How about my boy Kyle Busch? Not only is he dominating on the track, but he’s become NASCAR’s bad boy. Am I wrong to think that his driving style and persona are more like Dale Earnhardt’s than even the Intimidator’s son and fellow 2007 free agent Dale Earnhardt Jr.?

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Can Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin Repeat Past Pocono Success?

There truly is no track like Pocono Raceway. The longest straightaway in Sprint Cup, three distinct turns, and a triangular shape distinguish the Pennsylvania facility as one of the most unique in all of motorsports. The track’s wildly different characteristics require drivers to compromise handling in one turn for the sake of the other two, and require an inordinate amount of focus in navigating the track. But fear not, fantasy gamers. Pocono success tends to be sustained for a driver rather than sporadic, making picks for this weekend a science rather than a crapshoot.

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