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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in NASCAR: Auto Club/Martinsville Edition

I don't know if it was for you, but the 129 laps run on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway was plenty for me. I'm glad I spent only 1 hour, 36 minutes watching that race. The big winner when the race was called was Tony Stewart of course, but the guy in 14th must have felt like he won too. The race went by so quickly, Kasey Kahne didn't even have time to wreck his car (sorry Kahne fans). And for not doing so for the first time this season, Kahne moved himself out the cold area of Who's Hot/Who's Not. Luckily, there were a number of viable candidates willing to take his place in this week's edition. Read More »

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

Brad Keselowski's win at Bristol not only marked the fourth different winner in four races, but it marked the fourth different organization to visit Victory Lane. In all these events, all four manufacturers have scored wins. There are six different teams represented in the top 10 in points, while Hendrick Motorsports — winners of 10 of the last 17 Sprint Cup titles — has three of its cars currently sitting outside the top 15 in the standings. Nothing in the NASCAR garage is hotter than parity. Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not: Las Vegas/Bristol Edition

It didn't take Tony Stewart long to respond to the win at Phoenix by Denny Hamlin and his old crew chief Darian Grubb. A week ago, Stewart was being questioned for letting go of a guy who helped him to five wins in the last 10 races of 2011 and the Sprint Cup title. Now, after picking up his first victory in the third race of the season — Smoke traditionally turns up the wick much later in the year — he looks like a genius for bringing Steve Addington over as his head wrench. A week ago, he hadn't had a top-5 finish. Now, he has a victory and finds himself in seventh in the standings. Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not: Phoenix-Vegas Edition

It took last year's champion crew chief only two races to take a different driver to Victory Lane in 2012. Darian Grubb is showing why he was such a hot commodity in the off-season. Grubb didn't get the credit he deserved for leading Tony Stewart to the title in 2011, but if Denny Hamlin continues running like he has in the first two races of 2012, the former SHR head wrench may finally get that much deserved credit. Read More »

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

It's fair to say Juan Pablo Montoya and the Turn 3 jet dryer at Daytona got hotter than any of the drivers or teams in NASCAR will this season. But let's take a look at Who's Hot and Who's Not after Sprint Cup race number one... *Hot* *Matt Kenseth* has to top the list. Who else could? After winning his 150 on Thursday, crew chief Jimmy Fennig joked that there must have been an accident for Kenseth to end up in Victory Lane at a superspeedway race. Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not: Budweiser Shootout and Daytona Qualifying 2012

Frontstretch readers, welcome to the 2012 season of Who's Hot/ Who's Not! The Sprint Cup Series hasn't even run a points race yet, but already drivers and teams are separating themselves from the pack. Before we dive in, let's give a call out to NASCAR. Fans went into Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout not knowing what to expect and came out wanting more. The Shootout had everything they've been clamoring for: three-wide pack racing, constant lead changes, exciting wrecks, and an even more thrilling finish. NASCAR implemented a number of rule changes in the off-season aimed at breaking up the two-car tandem to deliver the type of racing we saw on Saturday night. Not only did NASCAR deliver fans a memorable Budweiser Shootout, they increased the hype heading into Sunday's Daytona 500. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Homestead-Offseason Edition

As 2011 comes to a close, it’s only fitting that Tony Stewart was the driver to end Jimmie Johnson’s five year reign, since he was the last driver to win a championship before it started. Also, if you didn’t enjoy that championship battle between Stewart and Carl Edwards, then you should probably quit watching because it won’t ever get any better than that. All three of NASCAR’s title fights were memorable in their own way, from beginning to end, with many new faces finding their way to Victory Lane and several rivalries putting the “Boys, have at it” mantra front and center. Read More »

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

It doesn’t seem possible, but somehow 35 weeks of racing have surpassed us and now it’s time for one final hurrah to end the 2011 season. While the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series championships are all but wrapped up, the Sprint Cup Series title can probably be best predicted by flipping a coin. With that said, we’re still going to crunch the numbers of those championship contenders — and others — as the 2011 season comes to a close. Oh, how time flies… Read More »

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

The season may be winding down, but for a number of NASCAR drivers facing pink slips this offseason, the pressure to perform has never been higher. A win now, even a top-5 finish could mean the difference between collecting that unemployment check or sitting on the grid, attempting to make the 54th Annual Daytona 500 in February. Opportunities with this racing economy, as we've seen this season come few and far between; one extra position, causing a few extra seconds on television in front of Fortune 500 decision-makers could make the difference. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Not in NASCAR: Martinsville-Texas Edition

While most of us are picking candy out of our teeth the day after Halloween, track officials are most likely still picking up debris after two carnage-filled races at Martinsville Speedway last weekend — and most of it is probably from Brian Vickers’ car! Seriously, what was up with that guy? However, as anyone who watched the races over the weekend knows, Vickers wasn’t the only one tearing up every square inch of his vehicle. In fact, not a racecar or truck was seen without a dent, scrape, or perhaps some pieces of sheet metal missing following the conclusion of each race. Read More »