NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Tag Archives: Paul Menard

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Sprint Showdown at Charlotte

If there had been a few more laps, Brad Keselowski might have watched the All-Star Race on TV, because Marcos Ambrose was driving it like he stole it in the closing laps, gaining like a freight train overtaking a tortoise. He ran out of time, finishing third, but Ambrose showed that once again, his Richard Petty Motorsports team could indeed be there at the end. Teammate AJ Allmendinger finished fourth to cap off a great night for the organization.

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol

It’s kind of weird to give a shoutout to the same guy who wound up this race’s villain, but you can’t really vote against Paul Menard here. Menard raced near the top of the pack all day long, leading early and finishing a respectable fifth, the best in the Richard Childress stable. Whether the success he’s had early this year will be long-term remains to be seen; Menard has shown flashes of brilliance before but not a lot of staying power in the long-term talent department. Still, other than tangling with one of NASCAR’s most respected veterans, he ran a great race at Bristol.

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Bubble Breakdown: Clock Ticking For Team Red Bull While The Monster Mangles Several Others

As the NASCAR season begins winding down, time is running out for Scott Speed, the only real threat to John Andretti, to catch and pass Andretti and get himself into a guaranteed spot for the first five races in 2010. Not only is time now working against Speed and his Red Bull Racing Toyota team, but with up to six start and park teams in the race, as was the case last Sunday, John Andretti has just to make laps early and is guaranteed a finish of no worse than 37th as opposed to a 43rd. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it's 18 points a race which adds up over a season. So to see if Scott was able to chisel away at Andretti’s lead, read on in this week’s edition of the bubble breakdown.

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Bubble Breakdown: Andretti, Labonte’s Solid Showing Leaves Speed Searching For Answers

Well if you were to ask John Andretti, he'd tell you that New Hampshire is just beautiful this time of year; but ask Scott Speed, and you may get a totally different answer. While driving to a solid 26th-place finish, Andretti and the No. 34 team extended their lead over Speed and the No. 82 car for the final "locked in" spot in the field each week. So to see just how badly Front Row Motorsports beat their rivals, as well as how your other bubble dwellers did, read on in this week's edition of the Breakdown.

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Fanning the Flames: The King In Victory Lane… And One Helluva Show Down South

*I don’t care if he doesn’t outright own the team anymore, it’s good to see The King in Victory Lane. Seeing him with a shot at a championship will be even better, whether the 9 wins it or not (and whether it’s a legit championship method or not). NASCAR is better with Richard Petty as a focal point. Congrats to the 9 team!* _— BudBoy09_ *A:* I don’t think anyone reading this column disagrees with a word you said, buddy.

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David Stremme, Paul Menard Lead Several Bubble Drivers With Top 20 Finishes

Well pull up a chair kids, we had a major case of musical seats amongst some of our bubble teams that isn’t even over yet and I’m gonna try and explain it all to you. It started when Bobby Labonte who drives for Hall of Fame Racing was taken out of his ride by HOF’s “partner” Robert Yates Racing and replaced with young Erik Darnell for seven of the last 11 races. Needless to say Labonte was none too happy. When this news broke, TRG Racing offered their seat to Labonte for the seven races he’d be available starting at Atlanta Sunday night. This meant their regular driver David Gilliland was out for those seven races, including Atlanta until Bill Elliott cracked some ribs in a dirt bike accident. The Wood Brothers then tabbed Gilliland to drive their car for the weekend. Gilliland then also landed a ride next weekend driving the No. 7 Toyota for Robby Gordon Motorsports while Robby is away at an off road event. This opens up the No. 71 ride next weekend and it will be filled by Mike Bliss, who drove the No. 09 Dodge this weekend, which next weekend will be the No. 09 Chevy driven by Brad Keselowski. If this wasn’t confusing enough, Joe Gibbs Racing has a contractual obligation to Farm Bureau to put the No. 02 Toyota on the track with Farm Bureau as a primary sponsor. And who is gonna drive it? David Gilliland. This puts David in an odd position as he’s scheduled to drive both the No. 71 and the No. 02 at Charlotte. Oh and by the way Bobby Labonte is still gonna drive his old No. 96 in four races. So there it is, clear as mud. With all this you must be asking yourself how all of the drivers did in their new rides. Well to find out read on in this week’s edition of the bubble breakdown.

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Top 15 Finish Has Scott Speed in Striking Distance of Top 35

Well bubble fans it looks like we’re losing one of our bubble dwellers, again. During the week it has been reported that David Stremme will be replaced in the No. 12 Team Penske Dodge by rising star Brad Keselowski in 2010 if not sooner. David was just not getting the job done for team Penske, sitting in 31st in the owner’s standings while driving for an organization that has seen the resurgence of Kurt Busch and a huge improvement with Sam Hornish Jr. With Keselowski, Roger Penske gets a driver that has equaled the number of top ten finishes posted by Stremme and has done it in just eight races this year compared to 98 career starts for David. And while Stremme has yet to win a race at NASCAR’S top level, Mr. Keselowski has the dramatic win at Talladega back a few months ago on his resume. So with news of his impending departure, would Stremme get up on the wheel and go out with a bang or just fizzle out? Read on to see how David and the rest of the bubble teams did at Bristol Motor Speedway in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

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