Race Weekend Central

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Edition

The buzz generated by Sunday’s exciting night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will likely reverberate through the NASCAR masses for a long time. The Pep Boys Auto 500 saw exciting racing for much of the event and saw someone not driving a non-Hendrick-affiliated car go to victory lane (though many were picking Jimmie Johnson to …

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Fantasy Insider: Garnering the Parts to Overhaul Your Pre-Chase Roster

The good news? NASCAR’s Labor Day race weekend has returned to its home… the South. The bad news? We’re racing at Atlanta, not Darlington. That said, buckle your seat belts because the field is going to fly on Sunday night. One of the fastest tracks on the circuit, the gritty asphalt of AMS will be …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Heluva! Good Sour Cream Dips at the Glen Edition

Monday’s race at Watkins Glen did not provide many answers as far as the Chase is concerned. Most contenders finished well enough at Watkins Glen to keep the points race tight, despite many eyes trained on road course ringers like Boris Said, Andy Lally and Ron Fellows to pull off some upsets. However, when push came …

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen

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 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen.

2009 Driver Report Cards, Part II: Grading Dale Jr. & The Rest

Continuing on from yesterday’s review, it’s time for Professors Danny and Tom to grade those drivers sitting at the back of the class. Whether it’s some bad racing luck, poor chemistry with a crew chief, or just plain awful driving, most of these guys from 21st on back have endured a season they’d like to forget. As the upcoming summer stretch heats up, those unlucky enough to be a part of this list won’t be fighting to make the Chase; instead, they’ll be working to save their jobs, explaining to unhappy sponsors and owners how things didn’t go as planned. But in the midst of this group are a handful of diamonds in the rough, wheelmen overachieving with single-car teams overmatched from the start against the multi-car powerhouses. Just which of these underdogs stood out above the rest? Read below to find out as our two-part midseason report card series comes to a close.

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?

Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Cookie-Cuttering, Windy City Style

There are few, if any, tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit as sterile as the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway. The epitome of a cookie-cutter oval, there will likely be few, if any, surprises at the front this Saturday night, so make sure you leave your underdog drivers sitting on the bench. Indeed, the big names of the big teams are likely to dominate in such a convincing manner that the little guys might as well not make the trek from Daytona. Still, there are big names out there who have been unable to get a grasp on the constantly-curved Illinois circuit, so leave it to the Frontstretch Fantasy Insider to ensure you avoid these tricky gusts and wind your team’s way into victory lane in the Windy City.

Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: There’s Magic in This Here Mile

While the configurations between Sonoma’s road course and Loudon’s oval are about as far apart as racetracks come, there are some similarities. The groove at Loudon is narrow, just like Sonoma… and drivers out-braking each other into corners will constitute much of Sunday’s action. Track position will be at a premium on race day, and the Frontstretch Fantasy Insider will provide just that for your roster this weekend.

Did You Notice? NASCAR’s Drug Mistake? (Not Mayfield’s), Keselowski Should Be Cup’s Top Rookie & Johnson Plays Dead

Did You Notice? That despite the rough economy, Darlington was closer than any track not named Daytona or Bristol to a sellout this season? I had a quick conversation with Track President Chris Browning yesterday, and he told me they came within 2,000 seats of that magic number – with daily ticket sales for the last three weeks far outpacing the numbers they had back in 2008. When you add in the large number of fans buying infield admission, the overall attendance for Darlington was about 63,000 in the stands and 9,000 in the infield for a total of 72,000. What an impressive turnout, especially considering the unemployment rate for South Carolina is up to a scary 11.2%.

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