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NASCAR Mailbox: The Absence of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. from Chase Doesn’t Change Anything

NASCAR Mailbox: The Absence of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. from Chase Doesn’t Change Anything

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s failure to move onto the next round in the Chase Grid might perhaps be the best thing to happen to the Chase detractors who want to see the end of it all. I mean, Earnhardt was doing so well and was poised to potentially win his first career Sprint Cup Series championship, a huge storyline for a sport trying to pull in and maintain a mainstream audience. Now that Earnhardt is out of the running for the ... Read More »

The Frontstretch Five: Areas NASCAR Needs to Address

The Frontstretch Five: Areas NASCAR Needs to Address

Welcome to the Frontstretch Five, a brand-new column for 2014! Each week, Amy Henderson takes a look at the racing, the drivers, and the storylines that drive NASCAR and produces a list of five people, places, things, and ideas that define the current state of our sport. This week, Amy says there are a few things NASCAR needs to take a long, hard look at in order to move ahead. 1. The Chase This one is pretty obvious because it’s ... Read More »

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega

As predicted, it took until the checkered flag before we knew who would be moving on to the eight-driver Eliminator Round. Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Matt Kenseth all knew what they had to do to continue their bid for a championship: win. Johnson led the most laps, Earnhardt, Jr. led the second most laps, but in the end, Brad Keselowski (coincidentally pushed by Matt Kenseth) won the race, finalizing Keselowski’s advancement to the next round. Sunday’s win ... Read More »

Racing to the Point: Despite Chaos, This Season’s Main Characters Still Alive

Racing to the Point: Despite Chaos, This Season’s Main Characters Still Alive

This season’s Chase for the Sprint Cup is like watching the final season of a really good, violent drama. You’ve come to terms with the fact that characters are going to be killed off, but you’re hoping it’s done the right way. In other words, don’t kill off Walter White and Rick Grimes in the season’s first episode. They’re the reason people watch. They’ve carried the show this far. As a fan, you’re just hoping the writers and producers don’t ... Read More »

Voices from the Cheap Seats: How Can There NOT Be An Asterisk?

Voices from the Cheap Seats: How Can There NOT Be An Asterisk?

The more I soaked in the shower and thought about it – yes, I do some of my best thinking when I’m all wet – the more I became convinced that this new format virtually invalidates all the previous Chase championships before it. Notice I said, “Chase championships.” I’m not even going to go down the road of NASCAR’s playoff versus the classic points system. No, this new format is so screwed up it makes me yearn for the days ... Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Honoring Both Texas Terry And Underdog Efforts

Five Points to Ponder: Honoring Both Texas Terry And Underdog Efforts

One: Bracket Busters Hands up for anyone who still has a completely accurate 2014 Chase bracket. Silence? Crickets? Tumbleweed? Yep, thought so. Don’t even vaguely try to convince me that you had a final eight that didn’t include six-time champion Jimmie Johnson or the sport’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., not to mention either Kasey Kahne or Kyle Busch. Now, maybe there are one or two Hendrick Motorsports haters out there who had three of the four HMS drivers exiting ... Read More »

Couch Potato Tuesday: ESPN Erases “Everyone” At ‘Dega For Chasers

Couch Potato Tuesday: ESPN Erases “Everyone” At ‘Dega For Chasers

Race weekends at Talladega Superspeedway make my stomach churn. I’m nervous the whole weekend, just hoping that nothing terrible happens. The sad truth is, terrible things have been happening at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega with an increasing frequency in recent years. It’s truly sad, and since almost all of the bad things happen in or around the very end of the races, there’s next to nothing that anyone can do about it. Thankfully, we didn’t have that last weekend. ... Read More »

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not: Talladega – Martinsville Edition

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not: Talladega – Martinsville Edition

Some of NASCAR’s best drivers from the regular season were left out of the Eliminator Round after falling flat at Talladega Superspeedway. Three former champions entered Talladega weekend on the outside of the bubble looking in, and one of them didn’t advance. Only three remain along with five drivers who have never lifted the Sprint Cup trophy. NASCAR’s most popular driver was also in need of a victory that didn’t materialize. Needless to say, this edition of Who’s Hot and ... Read More »

Thinkin’ Out Loud: GEICO 500 – Brad Keselowski Lives to Fight Another Day

Thinkin’ Out Loud: GEICO 500 – Brad Keselowski Lives to Fight Another Day

Key Moment – The caution flag flew with four laps to go for a piece of metal on the race track. The No. 22 of Joey Logano had it on his grill under caution and rubbed it off when the yellow flag was in the air. The end result was a green-white-checkered finish that brought on the dramatic moment of the race. In a Nutshell – Coming into Talladega, there was no consensus on how the race would unfold. For ... Read More »

Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve for Hendrick Motorsports

Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve for Hendrick Motorsports

Four cars. Each one of them being fully funded by multi-million dollar companies. But something went very wrong and it wasn’t the new playoff format. A nightmare is probably an understatement for what happened to Hendrick Motorsports during the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Three of their four drivers were eliminated from the Chase after having a realistic shot to have all four of them contend for the championship. Brad Keselowski walked off into the Talladega sunset after his victory, leaving ... Read More »