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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon

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 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Hometown Hero Joey Logano Scores a Victory for the Sport’s Good Guys

A steal, the ultimate example of how it’s better to be lucky than good, a cheap win… these are all phrases that may be used to describe Joey Logano’s victory on Sunday afternoon. While yes, it certainly was unconventional and quite a bit of luck was involved, the NASCAR faithful should not take anything away from this rookie’s New Hampshire win. Winning in this sport requires having a solid team effort that positions their driver to win, and that’s exactly what the Home Depot team had this weekend. The pit crew stayed cool under pressure when Logano brought a torn-up racecar to their attention, making the necessary repairs in a timely fashion and keeping their driver on the lead lap. Logano showed patience as he made his way back through the field after the tire incident and followed his veteran crew chief’s instructions perfectly during the final caution laps, even as Jeff Gordon attempted to “intimidate” the teenager into using more fuel than necessary.

Bubble Breakdown: Brad Keselowski Posts Top-10 Run… But It’s John Andretti Who Widens Top-35 Gap

Several bubble teams made a little news this week, most notably Michael Waltrip Racing, who has scheduled a news conference for July 7th – where it is expected that Martin Truex Jr. will be announced as the team’s new driver for 2010. Also in the news was Robby Gordon, who continues to ride precariously close …

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Joey Logano’s Pit Strategy Pays Off Big Time at Loudon, Wins 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301

In NASCAR, anything can happen during races. On lap 180, Joey Logano blew out a left-rear tire in turn 3. He had to make multiple pit stops under the caution (during one stop, the crew had to remove part of the tire that had wrapped itself around the left rear hub) and lost a lap. …

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Scott Speed Driver Diary: A Windy DNQ & Getting Hitched!

I certainly experienced something new in my Sprint Cup career this past weekend when I got way off track during my qualifying run in Sonoma. Basically what happened is that the wind pushed us off the track, which I wasn’t taking into consideration. It was the first time we ever had to deal with something …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Mad Max, Marcos Ambrose Sip the Sonoma Wine While It’s Sour Grapes for Others

I would not have expected the road course in Sonoma to be the site of rookie success, but it nearly was on Sunday. In fact, at one point, all three ROTY candidates – Logano, Papis and Speed – along with almost rookie Ambrose were running in the top 15. The most impressive of those runs in my mind goes to Logano, who is the only one out of the four without extensive road-course experience. Ambrose certainly got his redemption after breaking a transmission while running up front last year at this venue and continues to hang within somewhat reasonable distance from the final chase position, quite a feat for this first full-time season. Logano and Speed meanwhile, can take considerable amount of confidence away from their Sonoma runs for the second road-course event at Watkins Glen, even though their finishes are not reflective of how they ran in the race.

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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Kasey Kahne Wins a Wild 2009 Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

In the Sprint Cup Series, road racing is a rarity. Since 1988, the series has only held two road races a season. Some fans claim that Sprint Cup cars are not designed for road courses, and thus, should not race on them. Sunday’s race might have proved those fans wrong. The new rules brought double-file …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Lifelock 400 at Michigan Edition

“Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire,” may very well have been the lyrics Jimmie Johnson was banging his head to as his dominant No. 48 Chevy sputtered to the finish of Sunday’s LifeLock 400. The three-time champ absolutely dominated at Michigan, only surrendering the lead after the final pit …

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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.

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Freshmen Perform Almost as Bad as the Michigan Economy

If Joey Logano fans can be patient for just a few more weeks, they may start to see the results they expected when their young driver was named as the driver of the No. 20 Camry. The rookie has consistently improved in the second half of each race since the middle of April, enough to safely speculate that adapting to the track in these new cars are his biggest challenge at the moment. Once Independence Day weekend rolls around, Logano will start seeing tracks for the second time this season, and I fully expect him to be much faster at the start of the race – which should translate into consistent top-15 finishes at the end.

Did You Notice? The Real Problem with Kyle Busch, The Murkiness of Meth & Silly Season Revisited

Did You Notice? That in between all the controversy and opinions surrounding Kyle Busch and his guitar smashing, the No. 18 Cup team is in very real danger of not even making the Chase? Before we get to his antics (and don’t worry, I’m not going to comment too much as 1,500 people have already) …

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