NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Did You Notice? Pruett’s Bumper, A Tale of 2 Juan Pablos & The Cup/Nationwide Connection

Did You Notice? That in the closing laps of the race in Mexico City, with Scott Pruett’s bumper hanging by a thread, NASCAR refused to throw the black flag on the No. 40? Is it just me, or wasn’t that pretty dangerous? Sure, it’s not Pruett’s fault the bumper got loose; it was because someone else laid the chrome horn. But in virtually any other situation – say, at Bristol – that car would have been on pit road within five laps. As far as I’m concerned, that thing could have fallen off, someone else could have run it over, and that person’s day would have been ruined through no fault of their own. It sucked for Pruett, but he should have been forced to pit.

Bubble Breakdown: Top-35 Surprises, Disappointments & Concerns In 2008

Welcome one and all to this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown. With no Sprint Cup Series race last weekend to speak of, we’re going to take advantage of the break to look back at the first eight races of the season and analyze the biggest surprises and disappointments so far. So without further ado, here’s a recap of this year’s bubble drivers.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2008 Samsung 500 at Texas Edition

After two weeks of short-track racing, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the wide open spaces of Texas Motor Speedway for this weekend’s Samsung 500. They say things are often bigger and better in Texas; but that does that equate for success for your fantasy team? Read what our fantasy experts have to say in this week’s edition of Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Joey Clanton Replaced at Roush Fenway Racing

At Daytona, Joey Clanton took his No. 09 three-wide with Mike Bliss and Terry Cook. Bliss and Clanton got together and managed to take Cook and Clanton’s teammate, Colin Braun, with them. The wreck took all four drivers out of contention for the win and left four trucks mangled. As a result, Clanton was pulled out of the No. 09 and replaced by Travis Kvapil for the following week’s race at California in an attempt to “re-evaluate [their] plans for the rest of the season.”

Bubble Breakdown: Brian Vickers Shines While Digging Out of Top-35 Hole… Wood Brothers Dig Themselves in Deeper

Early results are in, and there are some “locked-in” teams that will find themselves digging out of a hole in the next four races to work on keeping their status. Not only that, but teams outside the Top 35 started working hard to change that disadvantage for race six of this season — when the current owner points for 2008 will be used and allow them to sneak back into the race lineup. So, without further ado let’s check out our Top 35 results for this week — we’ll start with some of those cars “locked-in” but a little nervous about how it’s going to go this next month or two.

Bubble Breakdown: Previewing the 2008 Battle for the Top 35, Part II

Last week in this column, I talked about the teams on the outside of the Top 35 looking in. This week, I’m going to touch on some of the teams that wound up just inside the Top 35 last year. If past performance is any indication, they’re the ones most in jeopardy of being on the bubble this season; and with the competition closer than ever, I’ll rate the chances I think they’ll have at still being locked in by race six — or if they’re headed towards some frantic Friday afternoons instead.

Bowles-Eye View: NASCAR’s Roots Disappear; Its Future Busy Awaiting Where They Land

The lesson I’m sending this message is simple: there’s a reason we’re often told to respect our elders. And as the sunset dawned on the 2007 season Sunday night at Homestead, to me that’s the story of the sport right now; far beyond that of Jimmie Johnson’s respected yet expected second straight title. It’s a tale of abandoned tradition, of people, places, and things aging to the point they’re no longer a part of the fabric of a sport they love; an older generation of racing fans and personnel faced with a number of changes that they simply don’t agree with.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: New Faces at Martinsville

When the Craftsman Truck Series takes the green flag Saturday afternoon for the Kroger 200 at Martinsville, there will be a few new faces. Travis Dassow, Chris Jones, Colin Braun (pronounced “Brown”) will be making their Truck Series debuts. With an entry list of 40, the largest since the spring race at Martinsville when there were 41 entrants, each driver is guaranteed a starting position based on owner’s points.

Did You Notice? The 2007 Lifelock 400 at Kansas… And Beyond

Did You Notice? How quickly Greg Biffle was ready with a story when he exited his car in Kansas’ Victory Lane? Whether you believe NASCAR made the right call or not, listening to the way in which the No. 16 driver handled the scenario certainly made it hard to believe that car would have lasted another three laps. I’d put $10,000 on the line to see that car started in the current condition it was on Sunday after hearing Biffle speak.

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