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Danny Peters

Will Hamlin’s Supposed “Bad Luck” Derail A Promising Career?

Will Hamlin’s Supposed “Bad Luck” Derail A Promising Career?

"I think luck is the sense to recognize an opportunity and the ability to take advantage of it. The man who can smile at his breaks and grab his chances gets on." _- Samuel Goldwyn_ There is a tendency in sport, from the highest echelon to the lowest, most grassroots level, to accentuate the short term, focusing on what just happened or what is happening rather than looking at the bigger picture. A driver guiltier of that than most is the wheelman of the No. 11 FedEx Camry -- Denny Hamlin – but after a pair of shocking races, short and term are two words the Virginia native would do well not to let pass his lips in the near future. Read More »

Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day: A Solid Start To Life After Tony Eury for Dale Jr. And Co.

Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day: A Solid Start To Life After Tony Eury for Dale Jr. And Co.

When Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon on July 21, 1969 he uttered the now famous phrase: “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Now, it’s a quote that can easily be applied to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. following Sunday’s Autism Speaks 400 at the Monster Mile. The small step took the form of a 12th place finish, coming after a three-week stretch that saw Junior finish 27th (twice) and then 40th in the Coke 600 in a car so ill-handling not even the great Ricky Bobby, in his prime, could have wrestled it to any sort of decent performance. But the giant leap for Junior comes in his dramatic relationship transition in the form of a crew chief. Read More »

So Near And Yet So Far: The Story Of RCR’s Struggles In 2009

So Near And Yet So Far: The Story Of RCR’s Struggles In 2009

The trouble with great expectations is that when you fall even just a little short, the disappointment is exponentially greater. In the case of Richard Childress Racing, falling short is very much the story of its season so far. And nowhere was that more evident than at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this past weekend where the quartet of RCR drivers had what can best be termed a collective nightmare. Jeff Burton was the (cough) top finisher in 25th-place, while Casey Mears was 33rd, Clint Bowyer 36th and Kevin Harvick a distant 41st. Read More »

Grading The 2009 Sprint Cup Pack: Part Two

Grading The 2009 Sprint Cup Pack: Part Two

*Hendrick Motorsports* (Nos. 5, 24, 25, 48, 88) *Stats:* 4 Wins, 15 Top 5s, 22 Top 10s in 47 starts *Best Driver:* Jeff Gordon (1 Win, 8 Top 10s, Point Leader) Danny: They only get the minus because of Junior. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for Rick Hendrick’s fantastic four. *Grade: A-.* Tom: What they’ve done this season is so impressive, I think Junior doesn’t even matter at this point. Hendrick has formed the model of the satellite team (the way to get around a four-car limit) while drivers Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are the ones to beat for this year’s title. Oh, and there’s a 50-year-old named Mark Martin who’s on track to win six races. What more do you want? OK, OK I hear ya Junior Nation… but if the Tony Eury, Jr. era is truly over, it’s just a matter of time before he picks it up. *Grade: A.* Read More »

Grading The 2009 Sprint Cup Pack: Part One

Grading The 2009 Sprint Cup Pack: Part One

NASCAR’s longest and most grueling race, the Coca-Cola 600, represents a significant milestone in the 2009 season. It’s not quite the halfway point to the Chase (that comes the following week after Dover), but once the checkers fly late Sunday evening, we’re exactly one-third of the way through the 36-race schedule. With that in mind, it’s a good time to take a step back and look at how the Sprint Cup contenders (and pretenders) have performed thus far. Read More »

This Bud’s Not For Kasey: After Killer Start, The Only Way For Kahne To Go Is Up

This Bud’s Not For Kasey: After Killer Start, The Only Way For Kahne To Go Is Up

As the curtain closed on another Southern 500 Saturday night, the Lady In Black shined brightly on three of the four cars at Richard Petty Motorsports. Elliott Sadler, A.J. Allmendinger, and Reed Sorenson persevered to hard-fought top 20 finishes, battling back from miserable starts as they looked to turn their seasons around. As for their teammate Kasey Kahne? He was simply nowhere to be found. The final results listed the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge the first car one lap down in 23rd... nothing to write home about on a night in which the red and white car wound up all but forgotten at the finish. Read More »

Race For The Chase Far From Over For Those On The Outside Looking In

Race For The Chase Far From Over For Those On The Outside Looking In

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics." So reportedly said Benjamin Disraeli, prime minister of Great Britain from 1874 to 1880. It’s a well-known quote that is attributed to other writers as well, including Mark Twain, but regardless of its exact point of origin, it’s a quote the drivers placed outside the top 12 would do well to remember. The stats, you see, show that 80 percent of the final Chase field is set after the first Richmond race. In other words, if you’re the on the outside looking in today, you’ve got the odds stacked high, wide and handsome against you. The data shows, that of the 54 total Chase places, in the five iterations of Big Bri’s NASCAR “playoff” lottery, 43 were ultimately taken by men already in the top 10 (2004-2005) or top 12 (2006-2008) leaving the historic Virginia track. Read More »

Why I Don’t Love Plate Racing Anymore and Up Next: The Best Month of the Season

Why I Don’t Love Plate Racing Anymore and Up Next: The Best Month of the Season

Even by Talladega’s “biggest, baddest” standards, that was quite the race weekend in Alabama, wasn’t it, dear readers? Matt Kenseth’s crash in the Nationwide race was violent and scary looking, but it pales into almost insignificance when compared to the carnage the airborne No. 99 Ford Fusion caused on the final lap -- not to mention the double helping of the "Big One" that bookended the 188 laps of mayhem and general disaster. I wasn’t able to watch the race in normal time, so when I finally got home and fired up the DV-R, it was already quite late in the evening. Read More »

50 Is The New 20 For Mark Martin

50 Is The New 20 For Mark Martin

The NASCAR season is brutally long, and with 36 races across ten months, you know that from time to time you’re going to see an absolute stinker of a race. But from the moment I clicked on the broadcast on Saturday night, I just had a feeling it was going to be a fantastic evening -- and so it proved to be. The weather was great, the invocation by Phoenix International Raceway chaplain, Ken Bowers, was crisp and to the point; the anthem was sung with gusto by Kate and Kacey (whoever they might be, I have no clue, but they sure can sing), and the flyover by four F-16s from the 52nd Fighter Squadron from Luke Air Force base was flawless. Read More »

Can Tony Stewart Win A Sprint Cup Title In His First Year As An Owner?

Can Tony Stewart Win A Sprint Cup Title In His First Year As An Owner?

When Tony Stewart signed on the dotted line in July 2008 to assume 50 percent ownership in what was the struggling Haas CNC Racing outfit, there were plenty of people lining up to tell the irascible Columbus, IN native that he was making a colossal mistake. That it was a great deal financially speaking was the one thing that couldn't be argued; Stewart didn’t have to pay so much as one dollar for a half-stake in the two car outfit. But all numbers aside, the real issue was that Haas CNC Racing had hardly set the racing world alight in its first six years of operating. Indeed, a driver who'd spent the last decade defined by stock car success had purchased a team seemingly destined to fail. Read More »