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Bowles-Eye View

For NASCAR’s Underdogs, Car of Tomorrow Not The Right Decision Today

Nationwide Series veteran Jason Keller has a record 498 career starts under his belt. That’s the type of resume that gives you a lifetime of respect. It also creates a world of attention the moment you speak with fear. And make no mistake, Mr. Keller spoke like a man freaked over his future Friday – a future that includes new cars his race team can ill afford. For with NASCAR just two months away from debuting its new Car of Tomorrow, the clock is also ticking for some teams who might just be priced out of the business both on and off the track. Read More »

Mears Has Tough Task Ahead Replacing Hamlin

Denny Hamlin’s ACL surgery could make-or-break his chance at the Chase. But for his handpicked sub, that same stretch of races could make-or-break his career. Casey Mears was selected Saturday to sub for Denny Hamlin while he recovers from ACL surgery. It’s a deal that came together in just a few days, but one Mears knows could relaunch a fledgling Cup career after going 1-for-6 in making races with underfunded Keyed-Up Motorsports – a deal that ended with a DNQ Friday. “It’s just an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” he said. “It’s one of those deals where I could just be sitting on the pit box if Denny feels pretty good, but if he doesn’t it’s just a great opportunity to possibly get in a good car.” Read More »

The Next Five NASCAR Drivers To Get “Taught A Lesson”

As we put the Carl – Brad fiasco in the rear-view mirror, there’s plenty of debate about where we go from here. But fans, insiders, and drivers alike can agree on one thing, no matter which side of the coin they fall: this week’s race at Bristol is the most-anticipated short track slugfest in years. With drivers clearly sent a message that payback’s not only acceptable, it’s encouraged, everyone’s looking to see how many will loosen the reins and play bumper tag – especially at a track where patience ends the second the green flag drops. With that in mind, it’s time to have a little fun on this off-week and see who’s the next Brad Keselowski: you know, the guy some drivers and fans feel need to be "taught a lesson" on the track. Just know before we go any further we're embarking on a feel-good, laid-back journey that’s a little tongue-in-cheek: don’t read if you don’t have a sense of humor. Read More »

No Suspension For Carl: Fear Can’t Stop NASCAR From Letting Boys Be Boys

Brad Keselowski’s car was still sliding on its roof when the first email screaming at Carl Edwards landed in my inbox. Like a bounty of fireworks, fans exploded with all sorts of colorful wording, and I’m sure if you searched my Yahoo! account this morning typing in swears would send you more results than any other words in the English language. Before we get going, let’s do a little housecleaning. Read More »

NASCAR Lessons Learned From Harry

On Sunday, 19-year-old Marc Davis finished third in the Freestate 500 in South Africa. That put him on the podium behind John Mickel and Toni McCray, standing proudly amongst the top 3 in a race dedicated to his late father. Monday, he’ll fly back to bury him. Read More »

A Quick List Of NASCAR Changes For 2010

Back in the '90s, Sheryl Crow used to have this catchy song when I was a teenager called "A Change Would Do You Good." Apparently, someone up in the NASCAR tower's been listening. Coming off a Media Tour where the focus was on righting some wrongs and fixing every conceivable problem in sight, the 2010 season is already chock full of news two weeks before heading to Speedweeks. But in this era of Twitter, Facebook, and instant gratification, we'd all be remiss to assume every NASCAR fan has been rabidly following the offseason tidbits like paparazzi trying to sniff out Lindsay Lohan. Read More »

Appreciating History Rewritten

He may not be the most popular driver and he may seem a bit ‘vanilla’ to some, but Jimmie Johnson is without argument one of the best to ever strap into a race car. Earning his fourth straight NASCAR title Sunday night, Johnson separated himself from some of the greatest in the 61 year history of the sport. Johnson is now one of only four drivers to win four championship titles (the others being Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon), but among those NASCAR greats, Johnson is the only driver to win the title four years in a row. Last year’s hoopla was Johnson’s chance to tie Cale Yarborough by winning three straight titles, this year the attention is all on Johnson. Read More »

Want To Stop Hendrick? Here’s Five Ways To Do It

In his 25th year in Sprint Cup, Rick Hendrick hasn’t just reached the peak of his sport … he’s carving a new mountain upon which all others must climb. With just one week left in 2009, his driver Jimmie Johnson stands poised to win a fourth straight title, with team cars Mark Martin second and Jeff Gordon third in points in what’s poised to be the first 1-2-3 finish by a car owner in NASCAR history. It’s a run of dominance the likes of which the sport hasn’t seen in the modern era, perhaps ever. And here's the scary part (or thrilling, depending on which side of the fence you’re on) -- it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Read More »

Fuel Mileage Finishes Adding Fuel To Fan’s Fire?

While younger brother Kyle flashed some speed, it was older brother Kurt who showed his smarts Sunday at Texas. Leading 232 of the first 332 laps, the younger brother was in position to pull off the first ever “triple sweep” – winning Truck, Nationwide, and Cup shows at the same track in the same weekend – with a car that looked capable of lapping the field at times during the race. But in the end, speed was no match for strategy at Texas during a final 122-lap stint run under green flag conditions. For no matter how fast Kyle went, raw speed was no match for … more fuel. Sound a little weird? It’s meant to. Read More »

Chase Overload Cuts NASCAR Storylines To Pieces

The thought hung over Denny Hamlin like the Balloon Boy story over America before the hoax made us all want the darned thing to fly away on its own. Fresh off his third career victory – setting a new career high – at one of his two hometown tracks, Hamlin’s post-race celebration Sunday should have left him floating on cloud nine, a well-deserved center of attention for a job well done. But in the matter of a moment, his newsworthy balloon got popped with a reality check as to why anyone should care, a reporter sending a tough reminder that a certain second place finisher still has a very big leg up on the No. 11 where it “really” counts. Read More »