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Four Burning Questions

Four Burning Questions: Stewart-Haas Dominance and Easter Plans

Four Burning Questions: Stewart-Haas Dominance and Easter Plans

*Was the anger against David Reutimann justified?* As the designated “Tweet ‘n’ Greet” writer of the site, I sort through all of the post-race tweets after every checkered flag falls. As such, last week I read all of the angry tweets aimed at an unlikely NASCAR villain, David Reutimann. As much as I understood the frustration from those involved in the final caution, even competitors from teams who had nothing to do with it were calling him out. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Probation, Penalties and the New Old Bristol

Four Burning Questions: Probation, Penalties and the New Old Bristol

*What was the point of the penalty in the first place?* I’m not going to spend too much time on this because, (1) I’ve already spent too much time on it in the last two columns and (2) the topic has been covered by several on the site already. However, the overturning of almost all of the penalties issued against the No. 48 team is a big story, and one that deserves at least one more mention. After all, if Johnson wins the championship by 20 points at the end of the season, you know exactly what everyone is going to be thinking back to. Anyway, if you’ve been reading this column, you know I believed wholeheartedly that the penalties would stand. If anything were reduced, it would be the suspension or the fines and not the points. Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong, as Chad Knaus’s penalty was the only thing that _did_ stand and the rest was overturned. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Appeals, Predictions, and Nationwide Identity

Four Burning Questions: Appeals, Predictions, and Nationwide Identity

*What is the point in appealing?* The numbers were against Hendrick Motorsports when they appealed to NASCAR on Tuesday for the penalties assessed to the No. 48 team after Daytona for unapproved C-posts. NASCAR upheld the penalties (shocker!), but the team has decided to appeal one last time to NASCAR’s chief appellate officer John Middlebrook. As I said last week, NASCAR likely won’t take back the penalties. Why am I so confident of this? Of the 145 appeals NASCAR has heard since 1999, only _31 have been reduced_, let alone overturned. That number would be a miniscule 11. Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Learning EFI, NASCAR Justice, and Second Chances

Four Burning Questions: Learning EFI, NASCAR Justice, and Second Chances

*How big of an issue is this EFI confusion?* I think we have already established that not enough research and test sessions were conducted before implementing the new fuel injection system, but no one denied it would be a learning process either. For many, Tony Stewart was the inevitable guinea pig who show everyone what they could and couldn’t do with the new system, and you could almost see every crew and car chief watching the every move of the No. 14 team as they worked on pit road. Read More »

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 »