Race Weekend Central

Bubble Breakdown: Underdog Bubbles Burst While John Andretti Beats Scott Speed on Fuel Mileage

The last few weeks, John Andretti’s radio has been a little livelier than normal. Instead of just lap times and car positioning, John has been requesting to know where the No. 82 car is on the track. That’s because Red Bull Toyota has beaten Andretti’s No. 34 Chevrolet the last three races, slowly closing the …

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Fanning the Flames: Penalties & Robby Gordon… A NASCAR Tradition Since 1991!

Q: Matt, I noticed something during the Pocono race [last] Monday. While the two bad boys [Gordon and Stremme] were having their little five-lap timeout in the naughty chair, they were working on their cars. I know you can’t work on them during a red-flag condition, but I was unaware it was OK to turn a wrench when you’re in the penalty box. Has that always been the case?

Did You Notice? Harvick’s Plea to NASCAR, Martin’s Right Turn Gone Wrong & “Toasty” Bread

Did You Notice? Something during the rain-delayed ESPN broadcast that caught my attention? Kevin Harvick was being interviewed in the studio, and while the group was chatting the topic changed to driver development. All of a sudden, Harvick took a serious tone and started talking about defunct series like NASCAR’s Winter Heat, offseason racing televised …

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Bubble Breakdown: Scott Speed Slowly Chipping Away at John Andretti’s Lead

I am gonna start this week’s column with a bit of advice, as I know many of you attend races and even camp at the track like I do. So if you are camping at the race, and they come over the PA system and warn of impending severe thunderstorms, go take down your 30-foot …

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen

Marcos Ambrose’s aggression, especially on the road courses, is no secret. Still, it was apparently news to Kyle Busch. Busch, who was leading with less than 20 laps to go, was chugging along the backstretch towards the “bus stop” chicane, only to have Ambrose divebomb the entry to the turn. Ambrose’s perfectly executed move left …

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Voices from the Heartland: Veto the Bill to Change the Rules

Yesterday on this very front page, my esteemed colleague, Vito Pugliese (and I hope I spelled that right, ‘cuz I’m pretty sure he has some pretty heavy “family” ties) seemed to have “a problem with three rules in particular” that defined the outcome of recent races. They were (in order): NASCAR’s pit-road speed limit, the …

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Fanning the Flames: No to the Camaro, Stremme v. Gordon & ESPN’s Twittergate

Q: I read about the Nationwide Series needing an “identity” every week. It’s a common theme on this site and others. My question is how can that series do so if guys like Mike Bliss, a Nationwide-only driver, gets canned in favor of Cup regulars? And how can the cars on track have their own identity if they are the same as the Cup cars? At least we thought we would get different models with the Nationwide CoT, but now Chevy doesn’t even want to use the Camaro. How can this series survive with decisions like these?

Fantasy Insider: A Heluva Good Chance to Make Up Ground at Watkins Glen

From the roval to a real road course, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Watkins Glen, N.Y. for another dose of turning left and right. Though a completely different animal from the highly technical racetrack out in Sonoma, the Glen is still a difficult road course, one that will show a high level of stratification between those who can and those who can’t handle one of stock car racing’s more under-appreciated disciplines. It’s also a difficult weekend for fantasy owners, faced with the choice of adding specialized experts or going with weekly contenders who haven’t exactly learned the best way of maneuvering around things like an “S” curve or an inner loop. But while their battle to make the Chase is heating up faster than the summer itself, feel free to be the one kicking back with chips and dip on Sunday, as the Frontstretch Fantasy Insider will have all your teams running cool.

Did You Notice? Vickers Vexed By Pit Road, The 5-Lap Farce & Nationwide’s Double Standard?

Did You Notice? How much pit-road mistakes have played into the momentum of teams this season? It started in Daytona, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed his pit en route to what’s been a disastrous season. Between Juan Pablo Montoya’s speeding penalty causing controversy at Indy, failed gas gambles like Michigan’s 1-2 stumble by both Jimmie …

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