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Four Burning Questions

Four Burning Questions: Tweeting, Fire Safety, Prime Time and Flying Under the Radar

Four Burning Questions: Tweeting, Fire Safety, Prime Time and Flying Under the Radar

*Why is Keselowski’s Twitter usage a problem?* Although NASCAR isn’t penalizing Brad Keselowski for tweeting a picture while inside his car during a red flag at Daytona, the fact that anyone considers this a problem blows my mind. When I read comments online from anyone who sees it as an issue, I imagine a crotchety old man with liver spots and false teeth typing up a rant while muttering, “Back in MY day…” What was Brad hurting by having his phone in the car? Without the red flag, it’s likely no one would have ever known he had it with him. Why? Because he doesn’t use it while he’s driving! Instead, the viewers received some much-needed entertainment and interaction with a driver in the middle of a bizarre stop during the biggest race of the year. With all of the recent fines towards athletes because of Twitter comments (including some in NASCAR), it’s nice to know that the sanctioning body is finally recognizing the value of social media and letting the drivers have a voice. Publicly, at least. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Speedweeks Edition

Four Burning Questions: Speedweeks Edition

*Why are the SpeedWeeks activities so confusing?* Whether it’s the yearly changes to the Budweiser Shootout—which, thankfully, are coming to an end next season—or the confounded way the Daytona 500 lineup is decided, it takes a team of scientists and a whole notebook to keep up with all of the rules. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Revealing South Florida “Secrets” – Including Brad’s

Four Burning Questions: Revealing South Florida “Secrets” – Including Brad’s

*1. Who is the championship favorite, Carl Edwards or Tony Stewart?* Just like last week, three points separate the top two drivers in the Sprint Cup Series. The only difference is now it’s time for the season finale. Edwards currently has the points lead, but he has not been able to shake off a hard-charging Tony Stewart. Meanwhile, it’s been obvious that “Smoke” has been the most dominant driver off the fall, with four wins along the way in nine Chase races. He very well could have had a fifth win last Sunday at Texas had his team made the right adjustments to the car down the stretch; Stewart eventually came home a strong third, right behind Edwards. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Another Slap on the Wrist, the Championship Edge, and Red Bull Flip Flops

Four Burning Questions: Another Slap on the Wrist, the Championship Edge, and Red Bull Flip Flops

*1. Who has the championship edge this week, Tony Stewart or Carl Edwards?* With a scant three points separating Carl Edwards and his Office Depot and Mobil 1-sponsored tormentor going into Phoenix, one has to wonder...who truly has the advantage? On one hand, Carl Edwards did run exceptionally well at Phoenix in the spring race at the track until a run-in with Kyle Busch, so surely he has to have the advantage, right? Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Mind Games, Payback, and Who’s Still In It?

Four Burning Questions: Mind Games, Payback, and Who’s Still In It?

*ONE: Will mind games work better for Tony Stewart than they did for Denny Hamlin?* Last year, much was made about how Denny Hamlin, Mike Ford, and the No. 11 FedEx Toyota team tried to play mind-games with Jimmie Johnson, only for the team to self-destruct in the final races of 2010. This year, after Tony Stewart’s comments on how Carl Edwards “better be nervous the last three races of the year,” the big question is can Tony succeed where Denny could not? Read More »

Four Burning Questions: The Cup Nears for Edwards as it Fades Away from Johnson

Four Burning Questions: The Cup Nears for Edwards as it Fades Away from Johnson

*Is Martinsville the only race between Carl Edwards and the Sprint Cup?* Carl Edwards played the wildcard event at Talladega to perfection, finishing eleventh while a number of top Chase contenders fell by the wayside. The result now with just four races remaining is a solid, but not yet comfortable 14-point cushion over teammate Matt Kenseth. Edwards has been considered a favorite to unseat 5-time champion Jimmie Johnson all season, but just now has he been in a position where he can see the finish line. Of course, it won’t be that easy. While the schedule favors Edwards at three of the final four tracks, this weekend’s event at Martinsville could be the speed-bump that brings the competition back to the No. 99 team heading down the final stretch. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: The One to Watch, New Rules, and the Lead Change Bonus

Four Burning Questions: The One to Watch, New Rules, and the Lead Change Bonus

*Who is the one driver to watch on Sunday?* Without a doubt the one driver to keep an eye on this weekend is Jimmie Johnson. The five-time champion suddenly finds himself on the outside looking in after a crash at Charlotte dropped him five spots in the standings (now 35 points out) with five races remaining. Heading to the first of two wildcard races – a re-configured Phoenix being the other – Johnson is now in desperation mode. If it were any other driver in Johnson’s position you may be quick to write him off, but he’s proven doubters wrong time after time throughout his championship run and many are wondering if that will be the case again this season. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: The Secret to the Chase, The SI Jinx, And The Favorite at Charlotte

Four Burning Questions: The Secret to the Chase, The SI Jinx, And The Favorite at Charlotte

*Does Jimmie Johnson’s win show us a potential flaw in the Chase?* Jimmie Johnson’s not-so surprising win at Kansas has certainly flipped the Chase on its head, hasn’t it? Just like that Johnson and the No. 48 team, yeah, that five-time champion No. 48 team, is back in the championship hunt, just four points out of the series lead and heading to a track where Johnson has six career wins. But even when Johnson was tenth in points through the first two Chase races, didn’t we all see this coming? Are we really all that surprised? It’s no secret that this team has the Chase figured out. They know what they have at each of the Chase tracks and they don’t panic when they struggle. The end result is a story we’ve seen play out five times already, and if the first few chapters are any indication, we may see again. And that brings up one potential flaw of the Chase. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: A Close Championship, the New Phoenix and Dillon’s Debut

Four Burning Questions: A Close Championship, the New Phoenix and Dillon’s Debut

*Through three Chase races, is the Cup Series in line for its closest points battle ever?* If last Sunday’s race at Dover did anything to stake its role in this year’s Chase, we may look back at it as the one that set the stage for one of the tightest points battles the sport has ever seen. As the Sprint Cup series heads to Kansas this weekend – a track notoriously strong for the majority of the top Sprint Cup title contenders – the gap between points leaders Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart and ninth place Jeff Gordon is a mere 19 points. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Fuel Mileage, Johnson’s Chances, and Those Other Championship Battles

Four Burning Questions: Fuel Mileage, Johnson’s Chances, and Those Other Championship Battles

*What should NASCAR do about an increasing number of fuel mileage races?* This year’s Chase field is one of the deepest since the start of the playoff format. Going into the final ten races, fans and media members could reel off a list of ten drivers who had just as good of a chance as the next to claim the Sprint Cup. And while through the first two Chase races we’ve seen the parity we’ve all expected, we’ve seen fuel mileage take center stage...and a driver who failed to win a race in the first 26 events take advantage of the situation to claim two wins. Fuel mileage racing has certainly jumbled up the points standings and turned great days into poor ones, and visa versa, but the last lap excitement it provides has divided fans. Read More »