Saturday , August 1 2015
Home / Who’s Hot / Who’s Not (page 17)

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Michigan Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Michigan Edition

Pssst… pay attention! Don’t make me blow a vuvuzela in your ear. I know you’re still fast asleep, stuck on the couch after that Michigan snoozer. But guess what? Every race pays the same amount of points, no matter how exciting or boring it is. Plenty of teams ran the emotional gambit of happiness and hell during your nap, working their way up the typical list of Hot / Not categories. It's something we have to sit here and analyze just as much as the three-wide, heart-fluttering Truck Series finish at Michigan the day before. So stop groaning, saddle up, and look back before the official summer stretch begins in the beauty of wine country. Just don’t tell your boss you’re reading; he’s still looking for you after you didn’t show up for work today… Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Post-Pocono Feud Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Post-Pocono Feud Edition

Much has been written about Denny Hamlin’s late-race charge to the front, but Pocono’s action-packed ending only had room for so many to make a comeback. For every Hamlin and Kyle Busch, there were two Kasey Kahnes who saw a top-5 finish blow up in the form of wrong cautions at the wrong time, not enough Sunoco, and an untimely trip through the air on the final lap. OK, so maybe that last one just happened to Kahne; but for several others, that vicious multi-car wreck left the Sprint Cup garage looking more like your local junkyard after the race. Whose season is heading towards the trash heap along with it? Let’s put on our own Who’s Hot / Who’s Not firesuit, not DeLana’s, and sort through the wreckage to find the diamonds and dust in the rough. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Coca-Cola 600 Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Coca-Cola 600 Edition

The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is typically the busiest day of the year for auto racing in America. Memorial Day itself? It’s a time to relax and procrastinate (as well as honor our troops), which is why this column is getting penned while sitting on a couch shortly after midnight. But I’m not the only one needing a break; after a 600-mile NASCAR marathon, several superstars found themselves chewed up and spit out by the “Beast of the Southeast.” From Juan Pablo Montoya to Jimmie Johnson, no one was immune to the trickiness of the 1.5-mile oval. The track combined with a slippery spoiler and a heat wave that made a Mark Martin workout seem tame, eating up contenders the way Dover’s Monster Mile failed to do two weeks prior. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In The Racing World: Charlotte / Indy Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In The Racing World: Charlotte / Indy Edition

Technically, the NASCAR Sprint Cup circus didn’t take last week off. But after a 100-lap, four-segment exhibition where only the last 15 minutes seemed worth watching, it’s hard to add to those regular season trends which typically define this Hot / Not column. So just like everyone else is about to do this Memorial Day Weekend, let’s take a break and celebrate the start of BBQ season by going on vacation. Between Nationwide, Trucks, and IndyCar, there’s plenty of places looking for some summer lovin’, and we’ll do our best here on Who’s Hot / Who’s Not. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Dover Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Dover Edition

Typically, the Monster Mile is notorious for chewing up seasons and spitting them out into the crushing cement of its outside wall. But on a day marked by empty seats and single-file competition, the giant of one-mile ovals chose to go all 21st century on us instead, using the laser gun accuracy of pit road timing loops to destroy its closest competition. The biggest victim was its two-time defending winner, as Jimmie Johnson proved in defeat that sometimes, even a robot can malfunction in carrying a little too much speed out of the pits. The day’s half-human, half-hate victor, Kyle Busch used the win to throw another punch into Johnson’s seemingly infallible record. But as the Joe Gibbs Racing teams heat up, is the heart of Hendrick Motorsports really cooling off? We’ll take a brief look, then remind you there are other teams competing on the grid each weekend in the latest edition of Who’s Hot / Who’s Not. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Darlington Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Darlington Edition

_As the month of May pushes racing sharply into focus, who’s on top of the Sprint Cup world is more blurry than ever. You’ve got a point leader, Kevin Harvick, that’s leading by 110 but is driving for a team that has neither a 2011 sponsor nor a contract ready for him to sign. There’s the curious case of Jimmie Johnson, whose hot start with three wins in the first five races has been replaced by some startling inconsistency (two DNFs in the last six) and the percolating profanity of one Chad Knaus on the radio. Charging up behind them both are the Joe Gibbs Racing duo of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, armed with four wins total in the last six races and hungrier than John Daly at a Hooters, but armed with more distractions and enough emotional volatility to leave Dr. Phil on standby._ _Add that all up, and it’s enough to make your calculator give you that dreaded “E” for an answer. The truth is, we just don't know who's a clear favorite, so with a Monster of a challenge looming, building the most momentum is the name of the game right now as everyone jostles for position on the Chase scale._ Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup : Richmond Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup : Richmond Edition

Here’s the $5 million dollar question: What’s the track with the fewest lead changes so far this season? Fontana? Nope. That’s actually sixth on the list (although you may not have been awake to see it). Atlanta? Nope. That’s number three (although the next version of this race may be run somewhere in Kentucky.) Hmmm … Las Vegas? Texas? Phoenix? Wrong. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Talladega / Richmond Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Talladega / Richmond Edition

Perhaps it’s appropriate a weekend of wild weather accompanied 500-plus miles of racing at Talladega. For by the time the checkered flag dropped, the point standings looked like they just got hit with a thunderstorm all their own. That’s the blessing and curse of restrictor plate racing all in one; points get dealt not by who has the fastest car but by who can pin the tail on the donkey blindfolded. Apparently, Ryan Newman’s not very good at that game, because he doesn’t want ‘Dega to count in the points anymore (and if I wrecked in three straight races there, heck, I probably wouldn’t want to even show up). Considering he’s the lone NASCAR driver with a bachelor’s degree, there’s probably some semblance of intelligence behind that theory. But whoever said the Chase was concocted by somebody smart? Read More »

Who’s Hot / Not In Sprint Cup: Pre-Talladega

Who’s Hot / Not In Sprint Cup: Pre-Talladega

As we prepare for racing’s semi-annual version of Russian Roulette (Talladega), it’s always nice to take a quick look back before we see whose lives are going to be battered by the Big One. Don’t believe me? Just remember last year. Jeff Gordon came to ‘Dega 98 points in front of Jimmie Johnson and seemingly on another planet compared to everyone else. But an untimely tap by Matt Kenseth on Lap 7 started a multi-car wreck that eliminated a quarter of the field. When the smoke cleared, Gordon’s Chevy was headed to the junkyard, his season never quite the same the rest of the way. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Phoenix Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Phoenix Edition

This year’s Spring race at Phoenix was hampered by three things: faulty pit strategy, bugs, and a race that was 100 kilometers more than it actually should be. Seriously, why in the world would organizers add laps to an event - on a Saturday night, no less - when the number one complaint amongst the fan base is the races are _already too long?_ I know I’m preaching to the choir with that one … so let’s move on to the concert, shall we? The inside story from our time in the desert is not everyone has broken free from those darned gnats. Sure, a handful of drivers used the shock of a green-white-checkered finish to pull a top 5 finish out of what had been a dreadful day. But for many others, the bugs within their season continue to multiply as they’re already 100, 150, in some cases 250 points outside the vaunted “top 12” everyone labels as the pass/fail moment of their season. Read More »