Race Weekend Central

Bubble Breakdown: Despite Early Off-Road Adventure, AJ Allmendinger Posts Top-10 Finish

Had you watched qualifying on Friday, you may have been asking yourself, “why did Scott Speed have to qualify on time while John Andretti had a guaranteed spot? NASCAR’s website has Speed in the 35th spot in points and Andretti in 36th.” The answer is simple; you were looking at the wrong standings. The Top-35 …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Plucking the Sweetest Fantasy Grapes in Infineon

For the first time this season, the stars of the Sprint Cup Series leave the ovals behind for the twisty confines of a road course. The more technical of the two courses tackled by the Cup circuit, Infineon Raceway is full of tight quarters and few passing zones, making track position… and staying on the pavement… the keys to the weekend. Perhaps more than any other form of racing in NASCAR, there are those adept at road racing and those that are not, making it critical for you to take a close look at your fantasy roster. But don’t fear Infineon… embrace it, as the Frontstretch Fantasy Insider will identify the best out there at turning left… and right into victory lane.

Bubble Breakdown: Fuel Mileage Plays Into the Hands of a Trio of Bubble Teams

Fuel mileage was again the name of the game for the second week in a row this past Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. As some of the top-15 teams dried up late and faded, three of our bubble teams were able to surge ahead as they went into conservation mode soon enough to stretch their gas tanks to the checkered flag. Which trio was able to ride it out to the finish? Read on to find out in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Corps or Whores?

I’m getting a little dizzy here. NASCAR normally moves forward with glacial process when it comes to rule changes that at times make evolution look hasty. They’ll hold study groups and meetings, generate a ton of internal memos, send up a few trial balloons in the garage while maintaining plausible deniability, and then finally issue …

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Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip Bounces Back With Strong 17th to Solidify Spot in Top 35

If you make the long and winding drive down Long Pond Drive you’ll come upon the Speedway in the woods known as Pocono Raceway. In 2008, this track was nothing short of disaster for the bubble teams and 2009 wasn’t much kinder to them. It started Friday when qualifying was rained out, meaning that the teams would have to start from the rear of the field. Add in the fact that passing is so difficult in these cars and it’s a long grueling race anyway and you have a long afternoon for the teams hovering around the Top 35. The end result was only Michael Waltrip posting a top-25 finish among our drivers and that included a pair of spins. So to see how badly the bubble teams struggled on Sunday, read on in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Pocono 500

This week the Most Unloved award goes not to a driver, because there were few incidents, and nobody got stupid on pit road. So this week, the award goes to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s pit sign, which is obviously not big enough, bright enough or otherwise visible enough. Perhaps the No. 88 needs to make a pit-sign swap with the No. 5 team, since their sign stopped Mark Martin every time. At the very least, the slacker sign should be fired and replaced with someone who can do the job. Like maybe a billboard. With neon.

Bubble Breakdown: 2-Tire Pit Stop Has Sam Hornish Jr. Driving Away From Top 35

News from the bubble this week primarily dealt with Robby Gordon’s rear end and whether NASCAR’s method of handing out penalties is fair or not. Gordon was docked 50 owner and driver points and crew chief Kirk Almquist was fined $50,000 this week after post-race inspection at Lowe’s found their rear axle housing exceeded the maximum specified toe of plus or minus one degree. Neither the driver nor crew chief was suspended as a result of the inspection, however, while in the previous week, driver Carl Long was given a 12-race suspension, got docked 200 owner/driver points, and his crew chief was fined $200,000 for an engine at a non-points race that exceeded NASCAR’s 358-cubic inch requirement by just .17 inches. Seems to me one guy got off a little easy while another one got bent right over the woodpile…. To see if Robby could make up the penalty at Dover or if the drivers outside the Top 35 would make up some ground on him, read on in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

Jimmie Johnson Comes Back From a Bad Late Pit Stop to Win 2009 Autism Speaks 400 at Dover

In the Sprint Cup Series, you can win races in many different ways. David Reutimann won the Coca-Cola 600 by using a Waltrip-esque pit call to stay out when the leaders pitted, hoping for rain. Others totally dominate and win. Then, there is how Jimmie Johnson won on Sunday. Johnson absolutely dominated the race, leading …

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