The trouble with great expectations is that when you fall even just a little short, the disappointment is exponentially greater. In the case of Richard Childress Racing, falling short is very much the story of its season so far. And nowhere was that more evident than at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this past weekend where the …
While racing was supposed to be the focus at Charlotte, rain wound up being the headline. Since the 600-miler was called short due to weather, the final standings were a jumbled mess of drivers who took a risk on the final pit stop to steal a good finish – leaving the fastest cars in the field scrambling for what little they could get. With such a haphazard end to a Memorial Day race plagued by Mother Nature’s wrath, our voters seemed to be left unaffected by these random results. That left the Power Rankings mostly intact, although there were a few exceptions to the rule – in particular two drivers from mid-level teams who made some serious strides up the list. Who are they? Look below to find out, seeing if your driver stayed high and dry or wound up fighting a torrential downpour down the Power Rankings following Monday’s Coca-Cola 600.
NASCAR’s longest and most grueling race, the Coca-Cola 600, represents a significant milestone in the 2009 season. It’s not quite the halfway point to the Chase (that comes the following week after Dover), but once the checkers fly late Sunday evening, we’re exactly one-third of the way through the 36-race schedule.
With that in mind, it’s a good time to take a step back and look at how the Sprint Cup contenders (and pretenders) have performed thus far. As you might expect here at Frontstretch, we’re going to conduct a proper two-part analysis of the season to date. Yesterday’s installment gave out some superlative awards; today, Tom Bowles and I team up to grade each team on their overall performance through the first three months of ’09. Feel free to not only read, but comment below and let us know how you feel your favorite teams and drivers have done!
The All-Star Race is supposed to feature the cream of the crop, a chance for Sprint Cup’s top tier to go head-to-head in a battle royale with nothing but money and pride on the line. And after a tame beginning, this race featuring a Who’s Who of stock car stardom refused to disappoint, with drivers continuing to beat and bang throughout the last 10 laps of the 25th annual shootout. When the Smoke cleared, it was Smoke himself taking his first trophy as an owner/driver in the series, a move which easily solidified his hold atop our weekly list.
But while Tony Stewart leads the pack, how did the rest of your favorite stars fare heading into the Coca-Cola 600? Read on to see if your driver made the most of his All-Star appearance Saturday night to move up our Power Rankings ladder.
The Track Too Tough to Tame may have a new surface, but she’s that same old fickle girl. The rankings may not have taken a DNF at Darlington, but they certainly earned their stripe with the list all scrambled after 500 miles there Saturday night. Former champions are hogging the top of the charts, but as you’ll see this week, our experts didn’t ignore a promising rookie who survived the Lady in Black. Read on to see if your driver stayed off of the wall or ended up in the minnow pond this weekend during the Southern 500.
Some retro short-track racing in Virginia provided a lot of high-powered action Saturday night, with the end result a record 15 caution flags and a late-race pit strategy that left the standings jumbled all the way up until the checkered flag. That unpredictability factored right into our own Power Rankings this week, as 14 out …
Watching the running order during Saturday’s Richmond race was similar to watching a yoyo go up and down. Pit strategy, brake wear, copious amounts of cautions, timely adjustments, and good ol’ fashioned hard-nosed racing worked in harmony to jostle both the running positions and the points standings all throughout Saturday night’s event. In comparison to the race a week and a half ago at Talladega, there may not have been an underdog winner or a series of spectacular crashes, but the numerous swaps for the lead and the constant side-by-side racing back through the pack kept its flame of excitement alive.
Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all of 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 peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Russ Friedman 400 presented by Crown Royal at Richmond International Raceway.
The wild card that is restrictor-plate racing at Talladega certainly mixed up our rankings as much as it mixed up the standings. The Big Ones led to big changes for our experts, as multiple drivers received first-place votes and just two of 15 stayed in the same position that they occupied last week. The race ended with a first-time winner in victory lane this weekend… and when the dust settled on this week’s poll, there was a first-time member on our list, too. Read on to see if your driver survived Sunday’s roller coaster ride, landing firmly in this week’s edition of the Frontstretch Power Rankings.
Phoenix’s Saturday night showdown may have been Mark Martin’s time to shine… but it didn’t mean much for the rest of the Sprint Cup competition. Most of the racing behind him was tame at best, with few top drivers encountering problems that left them dropping off our Power Rankings list. Just how far did Martin’s win make him rise? Read on to find out in this week’s edition of our Power Rankings.