Race Weekend Central

Did You Notice? Mayfield Burned at the Stake, Sadler’s Recurring Nightmare & A Champ Cashing In

Did You Notice? That in light of everything that’s happened over the past week, there’s a large army of media, fans, garage members, etc. looking to tar and feather Jeremy Mayfield before all the evidence has even been collected? I had a hard-nosed debate with Dennis Michelsen of RaceTalkRadio.com Monday night about this issue, one …

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Mirror Driving: Gauging the Importance of Indy While Sorting Out Title Contenders in Cup, Nationwide & Trucks

With the season just past the halfway point, who looks to be the favorite to win the Sprint Cup championship? Also, who’s your darkhorse… and who is the biggest disappointment to date?

2009 Driver Report Cards, Part I: Grading the Chase Contenders

We’re one race past the statistical halfway point of the 2009 season and as we gear up for the stretch run of 17 Sprint Cup races in 18 weeks, the much maligned (and in equal parts ballyhooed) “Chase for the Sprint Cup” is just seven races away. So before we get down to the serious business of the sharp end of the season, we’ve graded each of the top 40 drivers – based on the points standings as we run headed to the Brickyard. We’ve divided our review into two halves; today, we focus on the top 20 drivers while tomorrow we’ll look at the wheelmen running in positions 21 through 40. Some of these grades will seem just right to you, others a country mile off. But no matter what you think, let us know what you agree with, what you don’t, and why below…

Leading off, it’s “owner/driver” Tony Stewart, a moniker he’s taken well to, it seems.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland

Despite finishing fourth, Tony Stewart’s impenetrable hold on the top spot actually slipped; but who is it that made a dent in his armor? Meanwhile, Martin’s assault on the AARP recordbook in NASCAR gave him a boost in this week’s poll… but just how high did he rise? Check this week’s rankings from our experts to find out which drivers escaped the melees to gain ground, along with which ones were blown right out of the Power Rankings by their struggles in the Windy City.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Edition

The twosome of NASCAR races at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend seemed to be shaping up in the same, slow way that we have come to grow used to at Joliet, Illinois’s cookie-cutter track. On Friday, the Nationwide Series race was nothing more than a parade of small floats attempting to give chase to the behemoth balloon that is the Joe Gibbs Racing’s Toyota-powered team. Saturday’s Cup race wasn’t much better, as the nose of Mark Martin’s Kellogg’s Chevy inhaled clean air and simply dominated, surrendering the point only to Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson at times. Then, all of a sudden, came those last 50 laps….

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 LifeLock 400 at Chicagoland

Does anyone understand the penalty handed down to Reed Sorenson after Sorenson passed another car entering pit road? Sorenson failed to comply with the pass-through penalty, and NASCAR put out the black flag, as is standard procedure. When Sorenson still failed to comply, he got the black with white cross-meaning NASCAR would pull his scorecard if he did not comply immediately-which they did. For one lap. I thought it was standard procedure to pull the card until the driver complied, not just as a one-lap penalty. Sorenson did eventually comply, but why the inconsistency with scoring?

What’s Vexing Vito: Daytona Destruction Slices & Dices Chase Field – Who Will Be In & Who Will Be Out Come September?

Last Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona could very well prove to be lynch pin in the 2009 Sprint Cup season for several drivers. For all of the talk about how Bristol is a wildcard leading up to the Chase, or how Talladega is unpredictable and could single handedly determine the champion, Daytona did all …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

The tight packs and unpredictable nuances of Daytona’s draft moved several competitors around our rankings this weekend. While one driver took a large hit thanks to an early wreck, another actually moved up in the standings… even though he was caught in a late-race melee and finished outside the top 10. That, in a nutshell, …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Daytona Summer Speedweeks Edition

The July 4th bash at Daytona International Speedway literally ended with a bang, as Kyle Busch’s attempt at blocking Tony Stewart from taking the race win sent him bouncing off the frontstretch wall. While the finish stole the headlines, the plights of Chase-contending drivers permeated other post-race storylines. Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Kasey Kahne, Mark …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon

Mother Nature interfered in yet another race this season, causing some drivers who don’t normally run in the top 15 to come home with quality finishes at New Hampshire. Joey Logano was perhaps the happiest of all to see the raindrops, becoming the youngest driver ever to win a Cup race at just 19 years …

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