Monday , September 15 2014
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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup:  Fontana-Martinsville Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Fontana-Martinsville Edition

Fontana? Boring? Say it ain’t so! Alright, so Sunday’s race was about as exciting as watching dandelions grow until about 50 laps to go. However, Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race was a bit more competitive since Kyle Busch wasn’t near as dominant as he was in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event (when was the last time you heard THAT?!), and Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick were slicing and dicing for the lead for a majority of the race. Plus, who didn’t love seeing Ricky Stenhouse Jr. running with and _beating_ the Cup Series regulars? Eventually, Busch won the Nationwide Series race thanks to a brilliant two tire call by crew chief Jason Ratcliff on the final pitstop. Busch looked to be well on his way to his second weekend sweep in a row after leading 151 of 200 laps in the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, but a late race caution brought Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson right to his back bumper and he would finish third. Meanwhile, Harvick used a last lap shove down the backstretch to show five-time champion Johnson how it’s done. Harvick won his first race at his home track, while Johnson had to settle for second. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: Bristol-Fontana Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: Bristol-Fontana Edition

If Bristol held a racing weekly series, Kyle Busch would probably be the five-time champion rather than Jimmie Johnson. Busch has won five straight races at Bristol Motor Speedway across all three of NASCAR’s national series, leaving countless Busch haters pounding their head against the wall repeatedly and flushing their M&M’s down the toilet. No question, Busch is obviously the "hottest" driver in the sport right now. But with so much written about him, let’s go ahead and take a look at a few of the drivers who have flown under the radar a little bit in 2011. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: “Off Week” Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: “Off Week” Edition

Both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series were off this weekend, but there was no shortage of action as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series headed to Darlington Raceway for the Too Tough To Tame 200. Kasey Kahne dominated the event, winning the race by 1.116 sec. over second-place Ron Hornaday, Jr. Todd Bodine finished third, Matt Crafton was fourth, and James Buescher rounded out the top 5. Crafton’s top 5 run allowed him to retain the points lead, leading by six points over second-place Cole Whitt. Timothy Peters moved up two spots in the standings after finishing sixth and is now seven points out of the lead. Clay Rogers dropped two positions to fourth while Johnny Sauter rounds out the top 5. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Las Vegas Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Las Vegas Edition

While the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series enjoyed a week off, both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series were back in action again this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the Sam’s Town 300 and the Kobalt Tools 400, respectively. Mark Martin used fuel strategy to his advantage to pull off the Nationwide Series win, beating out Justin Allgaier by a margin of victory of 1.221 seconds. 2010 Nationwide Series champion Brad Keselowski finished third, while Danica Patrick recorded the highest finishing position for a female driver in the history of NASCAR in the fourth position. 2011 Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne rounded out the top 5. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Phoenix Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Phoenix Edition

For the first time this year, the winner of the race was actually eligible for points … in the Sprint Cup Series at least. Jeff Gordon broke a 66-race winless streak, whilst keeping Kyle Busch from sweeping another weekend (he became the first driver to sweep an entire weekend across all three national series last August at Bristol Motor Speedway). Busch finished second and holds a three-point advantage over brother Kurt heading into their hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. Reed Sorenson gained control of the Nationwide Series standings after finishing fifth in the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 since Landon Cassill was without a ride this weekend. He has a five point advantage over second place Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Not in NASCAR: Daytona 500 Edition

Who’s Hot / Not in NASCAR: Daytona 500 Edition

_Unpredictable. That one word sums up the entire Daytona weekend, from the photo finishes in the Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series races to Trevor Bayne scoring his first NASCAR victory—in any of NASCAR's top three series—to win the Daytona 500 at just 20 years old, the youngest 500 winner in the race's 53-year history._ _But while Bayne will most definitely be taking the spotlight this week—and he should!—other drivers had runs worth mentioning (or worrying about) that you may not have noticed in all the excitement. So, without further ado ... here's this week's edition of Who's Hot and Who's Not around the NASCAR circuit._ Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Budweiser Shootout Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Budweiser Shootout Edition

Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway marked the unofficial start to the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and already we have some controversy. After a record-breaking 28 lead changes (the previous record was 24 in 2009), this race's final lap came down to a four-car shootout between Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, and Denny Hamlin. Busch, Hamlin, and Newman crossed the start/finish line three-wide, with Hamlin crossing first but Busch being awarded the victory after NASCAR determined Hamlin made an illegal pass below the yellow line. Daytona 500 qualifying was also held over the weekend, and while starting positions don’t typically mean much to the race, cars were back on track and after the offseason that’s all fans want, right?! Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR : Homestead-2011 Edition

_Sad But true: the 2010 racing season, for all intents and purposes, is over. Sure, we'll see ten drivers polish off their skills in public speaking, reading off a script this December before trying to gamble millions' worth of salary away in Las Vegas. But for all intents and purposes, the NASCAR circus has ended its Ringling Brothers Tour, a three-month hiatus hopefully building towards the excitement of a new-age, newly-repaved Daytona 500 in February._ _Certainly, the hottest drivers concluding the season are easy to figure out: Carl Edwards (two straight wins), Jimmie Johnson (five straight titles), and other series champs Brad Keselowski (Nationwide) and Todd Bodine (Trucks). But before we close the book on the season, it's time to recognize several others who have made an under-the-radar impact, one they hope can carry over into the limelight of center stage come 2011. It's the runs you might not have noticed - buried underneath "points as of now" - that now have my attention for a moment before a long winter's hibernation. Oh, and we'll talk about some pink slips too, an ugly necessity for a column always titled Who's Hot ... and Who's Not._ Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: Everyone BUT The Big Three

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: Everyone BUT The Big Three

_Thanksgiving may be next up on the Holiday Hit List, but don’t be fooled; I just heard Christmas music on the radio today for the first time (God help us all). That scary pop Holiday cover did get me to thinking, though … with you poor millions of fans about to be bombarded with 5,000,000 columns on the Big Three and who’s got the edge heading to Homestead, me included, it’s high time you got an early holiday present of one column in which the *”Oh My God! Best Chase in history ever let’s all bow down to the magic of the championship unfolding before us season finale!”* wasn’t mentioned at all. So guess what? Here’s my Hot / Not gift from me to you, a guided tour away from all things Chase, Fed Ex, Lowe’s and Pennzoil into the world of other drivers whose seasons – and coverage – in the minds of many ended weeks ago. So sit back, enjoy, and take in some long overdue updates in the latest edition of Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR._ Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: Texas – Phoenix Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: Texas – Phoenix Edition

_Three drivers. Two races. One championship. However, they're far from the only major storylines as the Sprint Cup season heads to a whirlwind close over the next two weeks. Let's not waste any time after an action-packed Texas; instead, it's time to figure out who's in the best position to capitalize on their late-season success -- or run from their failures -- with Who's Hot / Who's Not in NASCAR._ *GUARDEDLY OPTIMISTIC* *Denny Hamlin* - Here we are, 13 days before the end of the Sprint Cup season and Jimmie Johnson’s ironclad grip on the Sprint Cup title has finally been hospitalized in critical condition. That’s courtesy one priority overnight Fed Ex knockout punch, Denny Hamlin packing a Texas tornado in the form of a season sweep that left Johnson 33 points behind and suddenly the underdog in a Chase that was on the verge of being named in his honor. Read More »