NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Fanning the Flames: Texas Testing, Kyle Petty is Testy & “Creative Arrangements”

Everywhere you look since that accident, this site included, the press has had nothing but praise and applause for the car formerly know as the CoT. Suddenly this new car is the best thing in racing since Brian France, who by the way, is probably sitting around the mahogany bar in his office, telling anyone who will listen for the umpteenth time, about how he personally saved McDowell’s life by dreaming up this whole new car in the first place. Now I know that is an exaggeration, but let face it, if you were to believe everything that’s being said in the media these days, you would think that, up until the CoT arrived, five to 10 racers a year were getting killed. That is not the case.

Did You Notice? Polesitters Falling, Professionalism Rising & Fans Simply Have No Shame?

Did You Notice? Well, you couldn’t have noticed this one. But I was absolutely appalled by an incident I saw in the garage Friday at Texas. Kyle Petty – already coming off a rather traumatic week in his driving career – was talking animatedly on a cell phone while walking down by his trailer. All of a sudden, out of nowhere a fan runs him down from over 50 feet away, with a picture in hand, a marker, and obnoxiously asking for Petty to sign. Now, I understand the urge for athletes to sign something as much as the next guy; but wouldn’t you want your one meeting with your favorite driver to be more of a “special” moment? And don’t you think there’s still some rules of common courtesy that need to be followed — especially when you’re in the middle of a working garage on a Friday?

Voice of Vito: Is Petty Enterprises Circling the Drain?

This moment helped spur some thoughts of my own concerning another crumbling American institution – Petty Enterprises. Once the dominant force in NASCAR competition, it has, for some time now, been a struggling operation. Every two or three years, there is a renewed commitment to getting the team competitive, to once again make it a threat to win on race day; but sadly, these initiatives have never seemed to pan out. And now — after several failed attempts — there are stress cracks showing in the foundation of a team on the verge of possible destruction, especially after the events of the past week.

The Magic of McDowell, “Forgetting” a Blowout & Watching TV Blow the Finish in Texas… Again

From the wild (Michael McDowell’s crash) to the wacky (Kyle Busch spouting off… again), here’s your guide to the past weekend of NASCAR television at its best, its worst, and its most confusing down in the Lone Star State.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Samsung 500 at Texas Edition

It’s been awhile since there’s been a scary accident in any of NASCAR’s three premier series; so, needless to say, Michael McDowell’s qualifying crash raised a few eyebrows when it comes to safety in the sport. It’s a wreck he could have easily not walked away from; but luckily, the improvements have left more than a few people impressed with the sport’s new car, along with McDowell both fully intact and counting his blessings. This week, the “HOTTEST” people on this list are the individuals who developed the particular safety equipment that just may have saved McDowell’s life; none of us can thank you enough.

Side by Side: Is It Fair For Teams To Transfer Owner Points For Past Champions?

Today’s Question: In the wake of several big name teams not making the Top 35 (Jamie McMurray – No. 26, Kyle Petty – No. 45) is it fair to allow owner points to be transferred DURING the season so these drivers get themselves a guaranteed spot — while their teammates are assured entry with a past champion’s provisional?

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Food City 500 at Bristol Edition

As fate would have it, the same driver who raced clean and accepted a second-place finish to Kyle Busch at Bristol one year ago had the race fall into his lap when leader Denny Hamlin fell off the pace with a fuel pickup problem a lap and a half from the finish. Now armed with 20 career wins, Burton has emerged as one of the hottest drivers on the circuit, off to the same solid start that propelled him to a spot in the Chase last year. To see who is left scrounging around for eggs this Easter weekend — as well as which drivers are best positioned to compete with the streaky Burton — check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup.

Bubble Breakdown: Brian Vickers Digs Out of a Hole, While Jamie McMurray Digs Himself 1

Five teams and drivers worked their way into the Top 35 after the first five races of 2008 to displace those struggling organizations. Who were they, and which cars are now on the outside looking in? Let’s take a look as we switch from the 2007 to 2008 owner points while looking back on Bristol.

The Yellow Stripe: Managing Expectations & Fending Off Disappointment

Trying to predict how the 2008 NASCAR season will finish after just three races — and with less than 10% of the full schedule accounted for — is just short of madness. But NASCAR is nothing if not a brutally honest sport. Yes, you can be the victim of bad racing luck; witness Casey Mears at Fontana hitting a weeper and somehow missing absolutely everyone else except his teammate. Yet for the most part, the standings don’t lie; and after three races of this nascent season, we have a large enough sample size to start analyzing trends.

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