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Four Burning Questions

Four Burning Questions: Last Chances, Bogus Records and Musical Numbers

Four Burning Questions: Last Chances, Bogus Records and Musical Numbers

*Who is this latest addition to Turner Motorsports?* Turner Motorsports has burst onto the NASCAR scene this season, mainly utilizing the inability of Cup Series regulars to earn points in the Nationwide Series to gain national recognition. After seven races the team has three drivers in the top 5 in points and Jason Leffler and Justin Allgaier currently sit 1-2. Over on the Truck Series side, while the results may not be quite as impressive, drivers Ricky Carmichael and James Buescher have a combined four top 10 finishes in seven starts. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: First Time Winners and Two Car Tango

Four Burning Questions: First Time Winners and Two Car Tango

*Will the two-car draft be as prominent at Talladega as Daytona?* This year’s Daytona 500 may have been the coming out party for the two-car draft, but the evolution of restrictor plate racing began after Talladega was repaved in 2006. The Alabama superspeedway may not be as smooth as it was five years ago, or as smooth as Daytona in February, but with the perfect alignment of the front and rear bumpers, the two-car draft has been perfected and will be necessary to win on Sunday. Whether or not you like the new incarnation of plate racing, there’s no denying it’s here to stay unless NASCAR does more to affect engine cooling, something they’ve tried but seem to have backed off on lately. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: What’s Happened to Denny Hamlin and Who Is the Real Closer?

Four Burning Questions: What’s Happened to Denny Hamlin and Who Is the Real Closer?

*ONE: Can Denny Hamlin get back to his winning ways at Texas?* To say the season so far has been a nightmare for Denny Hamlin is a huge understatement. Last year, Hamlin was the most dominant driver on the circuit, winning eight races, only to come up short in the championship hunt to Jimmie Johnson. But toward the end of the season, there was trouble brewing in the world of Joe Gibbs Racing. After the team’s win at Texas, Mike Ford foolishly tried to play head games with Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Home Improvement crew, while poor fuel mileage cost Hamlin a huge points swing at Phoenix that, instead of possibly clinching a championship, would end up being the harbinger of sorrow and despair for Hamlin at Homestead. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Kimi’s Risky Venture and Chinks in Johnson’s Armor?

Four Burning Questions: Kimi’s Risky Venture and Chinks in Johnson’s Armor?

*Is Kimi Raikkonen making a mistake by coming to NASCAR?* Former Formula 1 champion and current rally driver Kimi Raikkonen has expressed his desire to make a transition to NASCAR, and will do just that this spring, running in a Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Foster Gillett. Gillett as you may remember is the son of George Gillett of the infamous Richard Petty Motorsports fiasco one year ago and was the team principal during the events that led ultimately to selling the remaining assets of the team to an investor group led by Richard Petty. Now, while you can’t blame Raikkonen for getting his feet in NASCAR (a natural curiosity it appears for current and former open-wheelers) you can certainly fault his selection of who he will be doing so with. So much so that former partner of Gillett, Ray Evernham, has already voiced his concerns. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: The End of Print, The Future of Bayne, And JJ In Victory Lane?

Four Burning Questions: The End of Print, The Future of Bayne, And JJ In Victory Lane?

*What’s the deal with National Speed Sport News?* In a wonderful press release sent out yesterday, the motorsports leader in journalism for as long as most fans have been alive has printed its last edition. National Speed Sport News has long been one of the most respected publications across the board and is considered by many, including myself, to be the pinnacle of motorsports journalism. But this is a sign of the times. Print publications have struggled to survive in the age of the Internet, and it seems as if NSSN is the most recent casualty. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Kyle the Favorite, Menard the Contender, and Burton the Go-Or-Go-Homer?

Four Burning Questions: Kyle the Favorite, Menard the Contender, and Burton the Go-Or-Go-Homer?

*Which Chase driver of 2010 has the best chance of getting his first win of the season this weekend?* It’s been an exciting start to the season thus far, with Trevor Bayne earning his first win in the season-opening Daytona 500, Jeff Gordon snapping a career-long winless drought at Phoenix and Carl Edwards showing why he just may be the man to beat this year with a surprise win at Las Vegas. On cue of course is another wildcard this weekend, when the Cup Series heads to Bristol for what should be an entertaining race on the high-banked half mile. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Off Week 1

Four Burning Questions: Off Week 1

*Will poor racing at the intermediate tracks plague the sport again this year?* Remember when the COT was supposed to cure the dreaded aeropush? Those fantasies have long passed. We had some pretty exciting races capped off with some compelling race winners at Daytona and Phoenix to start the season, but as soon as the Cup Series hit Las Vegas we were reminded of just how hit and (most often) miss racing at these intermediate tracks is. So should there be cause for concern? Well, the problem is that there is no solution around the corner to the aero problem. And the majority of the schedule is made up of the types of intermediate tracks that produce it. Read More »

Four Burning Questions:  Kobalt Tools 400

Four Burning Questions: Kobalt Tools 400

*Q1: Which Busch brother is poised to benefit the most from this weekend's home cooking?* Looking at overall past performances, it's looking like Kyle might get the upper hand over his older brother. However, do not count out the No. 22. In seven career starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kyle has one victory (2009, from the pole), three top 5 and four top 10 finishes. His average finish is 11.7, making it one of his best tracks. That average also includes a 41st-place finish in 2004, due to a crash just 11 laps into his Cup debut, driving a part-time fifth Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Subtract that race, and Kyle has finished every lap he's run at his home track. The average finish would then decrease to a 6.83. That's a very strong pick. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Blue Oval Brigade’s On a Roll While Daytona Underdogs Head West

Four Burning Questions: Blue Oval Brigade’s On a Roll While Daytona Underdogs Head West

*What can we expect from Trevor Bayne in Phoenix?* The media circus that has been the Trevor Bayne story officially comes to an end this weekend. The great accomplishment of the Knoxville, TN native overnight star was one heck of a jumpstart to the 2011 season, and has helped attract an audience of new, curious fans who will watch Saturday and Sunday’s Phoenix races hoping to see the 20-year-old kid recapture the magic that made him the youngest Daytona 500 winner ever. Bayne has become somewhat of a darling who has captured the attention of even the least interested of NASCAR, but that fanfare won’t last if he can’t keep running up front. So will he? Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Daytona 500

What a wild, crazy month of February it's been. I don't know if I can remember a Speedweeks with more rules changes... and it's only Saturday. NASCAR is doing everything they feel necessary to make this Daytona 500 one of the greatest ever, but so far the racing has been average at best. Never has there been a weekend more unpredictable, but one thing that is for sure is that we should see some good finishes. Off to the questions... Read More »