Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Edition

Back in February, a number of drivers complained about the abrasive racing surface at Daytona, saying it was triggering unnecessary crashes. I stated that I prefer the aged surface because it gives the track a type of character that you don’t see at a Talladega. After February, I felt I was in the minority with my opinion, but a live poll during the Frontstretch live blog proved me a wrong. A surprising 71% of our viewers said that they do not feel the track should be repaved, and I couldn’t agree more. Save the parade for Talladega and keep Daytona what it is – a demanding track where handling is at a premium.

Questions Again Follow Jeremy Mayfield as Cup Series Returns to Daytona

Note: As the Sprint Cup Series returns to Daytona this week the hottest story in the garage area undoubtedly surrounds Jeremy Mayfield after his indefinite suspension for a failed drug test was lifted by a federal judge Wednesday. Ironically, the last time the series was at the famed 2.5-mile speedway Mayfield was the subject of …

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Jeremy Mayfield Injunction a No-Win Situation for NASCAR Racing, Drug Testing

Guess who’s coming to Daytona? That’d be none other than formerly-suspended Jeremy Mayfield. With high-powered attorney Bill Diehl backing him up, Mayfield was granted a temporary injunction that will allow him to return to competition as early as this weekend’s races in Daytona Beach. And while Diehl was quick to label the court’s finding in …

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Fanning the Flames: The Hall of Fame, The Chase & Jeremy Mayfield’s Big Win

I was just putting the finishing touches on this column when word came to me that Jeremy Mayfield’s indefinite suspension had been lifted by U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen in Charlotte. The injunction, which NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said the sanctioning body would not appeal, would allow Mayfield to participate in this weekend’s Coke …

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Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: NASCAR Notes While Adrift in the Doldrums of June

Wow, no wonder TNT was able to outbid ABC and FOX for this stretch of the Cup schedule. Last week’s Michigan race was perhaps the most tepid and unpalatable event since Jeff Burton led flag-to-flag at NHIS during the restrictor-plate experiment that failed. And it seems unlikely that things are going to get much better with upcoming races at Sonoma, New Hampshire and Joliet. The sport is stuck in the annual early summer doldrums, races which seem to have been inadvertently designed to get fans to flick off their TV and turn to more pleasurable activities outside. Of course, any one of these upcoming events could turn out to be a classic; but, given past history, the odds are against that happening.

Voices from the Heartland: Despite Claims & Regardless of Guilt, NASCAR’s Drug Policy Fails

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this article, I want to apologize to my readers for some headaches that it may induce. You see, I am going to be including quotes from NASCAR CEO Brian France. In case you have not experienced these before, I would advise you read the following far …

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Did You Notice? The Real Problem with Kyle Busch, The Murkiness of Meth & Silly Season Revisited

Did You Notice? That in between all the controversy and opinions surrounding Kyle Busch and his guitar smashing, the No. 18 Cup team is in very real danger of not even making the Chase? Before we get to his antics (and don’t worry, I’m not going to comment too much as 1,500 people have already) …

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Voice of Vito: Desperate Men Doing Desperate Things, NASCAR’s Actions Speak Volumes About the State of the Sport

William Shakespeare is quoted as having said, “Tempt not a desperate man.” During the last few weeks, it has become apparent to me that he must have been a NASCAR fan. We’ve all read similar columns and stories about our sport this year. They all start out the same way: bemoaning the state of the …

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