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Amy Henderson

TIREd…Of Goodyear’s Excuses

TIREd…Of Goodyear’s Excuses

There’s procrastinating, and then there’s procrastinating. Your average everyday procrastinating is generally no big deal. So you take out the trash tomorrow and wash the car next week (don’t do that if you run over a possum, by the way; it’s hard to get the blood off. Yes, I did learn that the hard way.). Most of the time, unless there’s an angry boss involved, a little procrastinating never really hurts anyone. But this is nuts. When NASCAR developed the new car, it was designed to handle differently-to be harder to drive, and to be able to pass. It was designed to race on a big, wide tire so that it would grip the track better in the turns, which would provide more exciting racing by allowing cars to race side-by-side in those turns. NASCAR even upped the timetable for the new car by a few months. The car is here. The problem is, the tire isn’t. In fact, it’s not even close. Read More »

Beyond the Cockpit: Johnny Sauter On Tackling The Truck Series, The Economy, And … Video Games?

Beyond the Cockpit: Johnny Sauter On Tackling The Truck Series, The Economy, And … Video Games?

Amy Henderson, Frontstretch: You are with a new team, ThorSport Racing, for 2009. How is it going so far, and what are your goals and expectations this year? Johnny Sauter: So far, so good. It’s been good. I couldn’t be happier with the way we ran at Daytona. We got to lead laps and we were running good. Obviously, we didn’t get the finish we wanted. The biggest thing that a driver looks for is potential, and the potential is there to have the kind of season that you think about, a great season. Read More »

‘Shine, Bruton, and All That Hype: Five Observations So Far

‘Shine, Bruton, and All That Hype: Five Observations So Far

I got the flu this week, and let me tell you, this particular version was nasty. One particular effect was the complete and utter inability to focus on anything for more than ten seconds, which made writing a racing column…_challenging_, to say the least. I had a lot of good random thoughts, but nothing that would make a column, except-for some good random thoughts on the first three weeks of the season that is 2009. So here are five of them, from me to you. Read More »

Many Drivers Looking For a Breakout Year-But My Money’s On Vickers

Many Drivers Looking For a Breakout Year-But My Money’s On Vickers

With Speedweeks in the rearview mirror, there are 35 races ahead, and almost anything can happen. Probably at some point, just about all of it will happen-the good, the bad, and the ugly. The eye of the media is on a pair of young drivers; 18-year-old phenom Joey Logano, known as “Sliced Bread-” as in “the best thing since” and his Rookie of the Year rival, 26-year-old Scott Speed, the toenail polish-wearing Formula 1 defector. There are others under the microscope as well. Three-time defending Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson is trying to win a fourth straight title-something no other driver has done. The pressure is on Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch as the favorites to knock Johnson off the top spot. As always, fans are wondering if Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will ever live up to the over-the-top expectations they have put on him. Who will toss the nay-sayers aside and shine this year? Probably several drivers at one time or another. But there is one driver in particular who I think will have a breakout year. His name isn’t Logano or Speed, or even Busch or Earnhardt. His name is Brian Vickers. Read More »

This Is NASCAR, Not a Bazaar

This Is NASCAR, Not a Bazaar

With Daytona’s convoluted qualifying procedures, it’s easy to overlook things while just trying to figure out how the heck they set the field this year. What is with setting the Duels by owner points and then qualifying speed, anyway? Was it actually necessary? But there is one insidious little thing that has been happening in NASCAR that has become such an elephant in the room that it’s impossible to ignore, even with all of the Daytona hype. One reason that it’s so hard to figure out who’s locked into the race is that these guys are swapping owner points faster than they swap underwear. Read More »

Big Six: Budweiser Shootout

*Who… gets my shout out of the race?* New readers, don't expect to see the race winner here - he already gets a trophy and a check for his effort! Instead, this weekly shoutout goes to a driver who didn't win, but impresses me all the way. This week, only a small bobble and a hard charging Kevin Harvick kept *Jamie McMurray* out of victory lane. McMurray was the strongest of the Roush-Fenway Fords for most of the night, and almost grabbed the win as the field was wrecking in his rearview mirror. McMurray looks to make it as hard as possible for Roush-Fenway to part with him at season's end when the four-team limit takes effect. Read More »