NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Five Points to Ponder: A Week Off, the Lost Shepherd and Burton’s (Possibly) Final Run

2014 Loudon I CUP Brad Keselowski Roger Penske CIA

(Credit: CIA)

ONE: A MUCH DESERVED WEEK OFF It’s a temporary respite this weekend for the Sprint Cup circus as NASCAR’s top series goes dark for one final time before the stretch run to the finish in November. For the drivers, crews and teams it’s a chance to catch their collective breath ahead of a grueling 17 …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2014 Camping World RV Sales 301 at Loudon

Pack racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2014)­­

Looking for the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How behind Sunday’s race? Amy Henderson has you covered each week with the answers to six race-day questions, covering all five Ws and even the H… the Big Six. Who… gets my shoutout of the race? He may not have had a top finish, but he …

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Fantasy Insider: Laying it On The Line in Loudon

2014 Sonoma CUP Brian Vickers car CIA

For some NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, these are now desperate times. With a win needed to be guaranteed a spot in the Chase for the Championship, and 11 winners so far after 18 races, that means points don’t mean much at all to some drivers. Part of the issue is that of the 11 winners, …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2012 AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix

Jeff Gordon intentionally wrecked Clint Bowyer, collecting Joey Logano and Aric Almirola as the field was coming to the white flag. The result was a green-white-checkered finish, one that saw Danica Patrick wreck on the first of two laps, lay down a large amount of oil on the track, then cause a complete melee on the front straight as the cars came to the checkered flag. The final wreck tore up over half-a-dozen race cars while the incident between Gordon and Bowyer set off a rumble in the garage, one reminiscent of the Tide team vs. the Kodiak crew at the 1989 Winston.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2012 Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR

For the first time in 2012, the man who started on the pole was able to seal the deal and take the car to victory lane. Joey Logano ended the day right where he started. His car was fast during the early going; then as pit strategy and many miles began to change things, the No. 20 faded just a bit as Dale Earnhardt Jr. dominated much of the middle of the event. But when it counted, Logano was able to stay out on a late caution while Earnhardt and others were forced to pit for fuel. Martin looked like he might have a shot, taking the lead on the final restart, but Logano, with a faster car, was able to loosen Martin up just enough to slip by and that was all she wrote as the No. 20 opened a commanding lead en route to the checkers.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2012 Sprint Showdown and All-Star Race at Charlotte

If there was a prize for tenacity, Kurt Busch would have been in Victory Lane to receive it. Busch, running for one of the most underfunded teams in the elite field, bounced off the wall early and finished near the back of the early segments. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Even with a damaged car, Busch raced like it was for the win, running three-wide and never backing down from anyone’s challenge. And Busch’s perseverance paid off: he finished seventh in the final 20-lap segment and eighth overall. A week after showing the worst of Kurt Busch, Busch showed the best in Charlotte.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville

Talk about a gamble. When the caution flew with 41 to go, Chad Knaus left leader Johnson on the racetrack… while almost every car on the lead lap pitted. Four tires had proven to be the key to gaining and keeping track position, so the call was a roll of the dice at best… and in the end, it cost Johnson the win by a car length. Did the poor pit work by the No. 48 crew for much of the year cause a lack of trust that they could keep Johnson in the lead if they pitted? Whatever the reasoning is, it’s the second time in two weeks that Knaus’s decisions have cost Johnson, coming on the heels of a decision to keep Johnson at the back of the field at Talladega. That choice, which some have forgotten in light of his comments on the radio ultimately cost the No. 48 team any chance they had at a sixth straight title.

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