Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis

Racing at the Brickyard is not always the most exciting, but the history and tradition of the place always seem to shine through when people start to have doubts. Most of our Power Rankings leaders used the big stage of Indianapolis to come up with strong finishes; but for those who fell short, their problems …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Brickyard 400 Edition

With Doug Turnbull off this week, it’s time for the editing 1-2 punch of our own Tom Bowles and Mike Lovecchio to give you the latest trends in the Cup Series after the Brickyard. We might not have Doug’s usual commentary, but what we do know is which drivers are speeding back to Pocono on the fuel of a red-hot July… and which ones have invited winter into their lives about five months too soon. Read on to see who’s in position to nab a playoff spot or a pink slip heading towards the Dog Days of August in our latest edition of Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in Sprint Cup.

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.

Mirror Driving: Double-File Disaster?, Ford’s Floundering Season & Gibbs Dominance… In Nationwide

After several late incidents at Chicagoland Speedway, several drivers blamed the double-file restarts for the problem. Was it the rule or the drivers themselves at the root of the problems on Saturday night?

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.

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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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

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 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

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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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon

Watching his old car win. Still, Tony Stewart had plenty to smile about after taking his backup car to a fifth-place finish. The No. 14 Chevrolet was off the pace early, but once again Stewart teamed up with crew chief Darian Grubb to make the right changes capable of bringing the Old Spice Chevy back to the front; and just before the final round of pit stops on lap 235, Stewart had put himself both in the lead and in position to win. In the end, the two-time champ lost a handful of points to Jeff Gordon in the standings, but easily retained his lead over Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

The twists and turns of the west coast resulted in several twists to our rankings. One twist that got even tighter once again was Tony Stewart’s death grip on the top spot in our Power Rankings. This week’s winner was one of the three big movers up this week in the rankings, actually moving into the top 10 from outside the top 15. Running off of the asphalt not only hurt the fortunes of several competitors this week, but they also stubbed their splitters in our rankings. Check out our Power Rankings to see if your driver scored a vintage bottle full of points or a jug of vinegar during his trip to Wine Country in California. 

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