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Daytona Brought To You By The Letter “L:” Lame Duck, Lucky Lady, Lots To Prove

Kevin Harvick spent Saturday night “Happy” in Victory Lane, and why not? He’d won the first Cup race of 2013, established himself as a contender to win a second Daytona 500 and injected a much-needed boost of energy into struggling Richard Childress Racing. But the second he stepped out of that zone, into his media presser that merriness got entangled with a different type of off-track mission – one that involved holding up the middle finger. “I missed all you guys,” said the winner, a sarcastic joke tinged with reality after walking in. “Because you were all busy being TMZ the other day. So now you all have to talk to me and I can be a complete prick.”

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Pace Laps: Sandbagging Central?, The NASCAR Week Ahead And Beach Battles

*Sprint Cup: Sandbag Central At The Beach?* No, I'm not talking about the soft stuff your NASCAR favorites will be tanning on the next two days, enjoying a well-deserved break at Daytona before practice starts up midweek. I'm looking at strategy, in particular during Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited that could cause a different look to Sunday's Daytona 500. During this weekend's race, while Kevin Harvick led the most laps it was clear Matt Kenseth had the fastest car. For most of the first segment, his No. 20 Toyota remained in command up front, blocking any challenges while the field struggled to simply stay attached. But as rivals realized Kenseth was a favorite, they also recognized he suffered from a paralyzing disadvantage: both his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates were sitting in the garage, out of the race and unable to help. That left Harvick and company choosing to railroad past during the third and final segment, booting Kenseth from first place on Lap 62 to the outskirts of the top 10.

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Wild Card No More: Why NASCAR Will Never Win at Restrictor Plate Races

“If you ain’t first, you’re last.” We hear it several times a weekend, a statement most drivers believe to its core. Winning is everything, simple as that, and you will never hear drivers, fans, or media say otherwise. It’s what these teams live for. But NASCAR? Well … they can’t seem to win for losing, especially when it comes to these restrictor plate races. Just think back to last season, when Tony Stewart flipped over during the green-white-checkered finish in last Fall's wild Talladega ending. Even though Stewart walked away from the wreck completely unharmed thanks, in part, to NASCAR’s safety innovations, there were still fans screaming for the heads of those who thought this type of format was a good idea. It’s unsafe, they said, and we shouldn’t be risking the lives of drivers for entertainment.

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Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real

John Wes Townley has been the brunt of many a joke in racing during his career. However, the joke on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway was on the rest of the competitors in the Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona presented by MavTV American Real. Townley sat on the pole, had …

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The Stars Of NASCAR, 2013: Staff Championship & Chase Predictions

With a new Gen-6 car, different rules and a whole new set of manufacturer, driver, and crew chief combinations NASCAR is hoping for a bounceback year in 2013. Will it happen, and will the ever-elusive parity of more than just Hendrick, Roush Fenway, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Penske come along …

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2013 NASCAR Season Preview

A nail-biting finish at this year’s Daytona 500? That’s what NASCAR hopes for with the introduction of its new Gen-6 race car. *NASCAR: 2013* *Your one-stop shopping for all the NASCAR news, commentary, and info leading up to the season!* *SPRINT CUP: STAFF SEASON PREVIEW* “PART I: IS THE GEN-6 …

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Michael Waltrip, NASCAR, Swan Racing Come Together For Sandy Hook

An exciting partnership will have a fund designed to help Sandy Hook Elementary School front and center for this year’s Daytona 500. It’s not often these days that a two-time Daytona 500 winner, a NASCAR CEO, an underdog team looking to stake its place in the sport and a small …

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From Tragedy To Triumph? Everyone Wins With A Moving NASCAR Newtown Tribute

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I’m conflicted. Like many typical males, there’s a part of me that thinks the whole holiday is silly. If it’s the only day you ever feel compelled to get your lover flowers, should you really be with them? Shouldn’t the ways in which we all come together, for one moment in time to remind people how much we care, be something we do consistently, all 365 days a year? Believe it or not, I have many of the same feelings when it comes to something so mundane as NASCAR Media Day. In the past four weeks, we’ve had Daytona testing, the Media Tour, Acceleration Weekend and countless press conferences and public announcements. The diehard fan has been following every move; the casual one won’t pay attention to anything until Saturday night. Why, in this day and age of 24/7 social media do we need this over-the-top event down in Daytona to remind ourselves of stories that, by and large, have not changed since the last time they were reported?

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Four Burning Questions: Will the Gen-6 Cars Live Up To The Hype In The Unlimited?

It seems like just yesterday Brad Keselowski was hoisting the Sprint Cup championship trophy in honor of his grand performance in the 2012 Chase. But alas, it’s been almost three months now since NASCAR last took to the track, and this Saturday night the stars of the sport will make their glorious return to start 2013, competing in the newly rebranded Sprint Unlimited race (formerly known as the Bud Shootout). There will be a mind-boggling array of changes on display in this event, such as (another) new style of drafting, new rules, new jet dryers, and of course the much-ballyhooed Gen-6 race cars. It goes without saying that we have lots to cover this week, so let's get started, shall we?

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Voices From the Cheap Seats: NASCAR Thoughts Of Optimism and Pessimism

As I start my 10th year of writing about NASCAR for Frontstretch.com, I find it even harder than in years past to get “really excited” about it just yet. Once the last race is run in November, I tend to totally shut out, or try to, anyway. That's hard to do when your significant other is a racing nut! But I do, avoiding all things that have anything to do with NASCAR until I actually see the pretty-colored cars going around in circles again the week before the Daytona 500. Unfortunately for me, my editors seem to think I should get excited a whole week earlier than that so in order to keep them happy, here goes… I recently read about a child who, having been told to drink his milk, said something to the effect that an “optimist saw the glass as half empty.” When his father corrected him that it was actually a pessimist, the kid replied… "Not when the glass is full of something you don’t like!”

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