Sunday , September 21 2014
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Bowles-Eye View

Petty’s Rough Ride

Petty’s Rough Ride

Aric Almirola is driving like a man with nothing to lose. King Richard Petty, in a year filled with sadness sees light at the end of the tunnel, in the best position to win with his cars since handing the keys to investors several years back. Crew chief Trent Owens, in his first year on the Sprint Cup level, is quietly becoming a mechanical mastermind. The pieces, if put together right were there for David to rise up and challenge ... Read More »

No Contact Zone

No Contact Zone

Let me set the stage for you. It’s NASCAR’s final regular season race, the eve of its much-hyped Chase format and for several drivers, the mission is simple: “Win or you miss the playoffs, along with the millions in endorsements and exposure that comes with it.” The pressure to perform, in theory should be immense, like an NFL team with a “do or die” playoff bid on the line. Among those needing a Herculean effort to make the field included ... Read More »

Kasey At The Bat

Kasey At The Bat

Kasey Kahne has built his Sprint Cup career on intermediates. While Richmond sits just a week away, the site of his first career win, it’s also the only track where he has won less than a mile in length. That made Sunday night’s mission clear, the second Kahne worked his way into contention in Atlanta: win or go home. Take control, in the backyard of young Chase Elliott’s hometown no less – a driver who one day may be replacing Kahne in ... Read More »

NASCAR’s Cream “Thunders” to the Top

NASCAR’s Cream “Thunders” to the Top

Sweat pouring down his brow, fresh off of 500 laps at Bristol runner-up finisher Brad Keselowski was careful with his words. After all, just two years ago Penske’s now-championship driver came out of nowhere to snag a title right from under Jimmie Johnson’s nose. “I wouldn’t say it’s Hendrick and Penske yet,” he said, being asked if Saturdays 1-2 finish between he and teammate Joey Logano was a counterpunch to NASCAR’s most dominant team this season. “To date in the ... Read More »

Tony Stewart: Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Tony Stewart: Waiting Is The Hardest Part

It’s unfortunate that as NASCAR heads to Thunder Valley this weekend, site of races marked by Demolition Derby-type fireworks, tempers, and verbal jabs the one sound haunting the sport these days is marked by exactly the opposite. That’s the modus operandi for Tony Stewart, missing in action since a brief official statement Sunday, August 9th expressing remorse for the death of Kevin Ward, Jr. It was a tragedy caused officially by blunt force trauma, coming straight from the right rear ... Read More »

The Hendrick Hierarchy Reestablished

The Hendrick Hierarchy Reestablished

Time flies, doesn’t it? Seems like just yesterday, Jeff Gordon was the upstart 24-year-old, turning heads while holding the torch for NASCAR’s next generation. Longtime fans remember that battle, a changing of the guard where Dale Earnhardt, Sr. fought hard but ultimately lost a War with Father Time, inevitably handing the mantle of multiple championships to the man with the pink car labeled “Rainbow Warrior.” Gordon, by age 30, already owned four titles and had reached the top of his ... Read More »

Tony Stewart And NASCAR’s Tragic Monday Morning Reality

Tony Stewart And NASCAR’s Tragic Monday Morning Reality

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. It’s an ugly truth, one often buried in a modern reality where political correctness takes center stage. Every mistake can’t be fixed by sensitivity training or an on-screen apology. Sure, people forgive your past but they also never, ever forget when it comes back to haunt you. It’s a damning truth, one Tony Stewart grapples with Monday morning as he spends the next weeks, months, maybe years of his ... Read More »

Earnhardt Conquering Old Demons – And Closing the Deal

Earnhardt Conquering Old Demons – And Closing the Deal

Last year alone, during a winless campaign Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished second five times. If Kevin Harvick is NASCAR’s “Closer,” then Earnhardt knew how to close the door in 2013 with a museum full of missed opportunities that lingered during his climb back to respectability at Hendrick Motorsports. A driver with a career spanning more than a decade, and aligning himself with the sport’s most successful team, had skipped class on racing’s most basic philosophy: How to Win. But in the ... Read More »

Edwards Couldn’t Say “No” Twice

Edwards Couldn’t Say “No” Twice

Second chances are rare with major life decisions. Sorry, Cinderella, but if you say “no” to the guy who brings that glass slipper, he won’t be around with a ring three months later. Life is far from fairy tale perfect, unlike a constant stream of Choose Your Own Adventures where few choices ever get a “redo” button. Carl Edwards, one of the smartest men in the NASCAR garage surely understands that. It was just three years ago the athlete was ... Read More »

The Calm Before The Storm

The Calm Before The Storm

If nothing else, NASCAR enters this particular Monday morning well rested. Fresh off its last Sprint Cup off weekend, the news cycle slowed to a crawl last week as most participants were busy enjoying life elsewhere, away from the cameras on some Caribbean island. Even those who stayed at home would rather relax, mowing their yards in private during this small “vacation” stretch rather than keep hyping up a sport with a schedule that features 17 straight race weekends, zigzagging participants ... Read More »