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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not: NASCAR Stars Of The Past And Future

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not: NASCAR Stars Of The Past And Future

Basketball Cinderellas may dance onto our radar screen this week in the form of the NCAA Tournament … but they’ve been visible in the NASCAR world all along. Nationwide and Truck drivers look for some small scraps of attention every week, trying to establish (or maintain) their careers in the face of Danica-Mania, Cupwhackers, and an economy that’s made unemployment the rule and not the exception. Yet through it all, they’ve maintained a smile and a sense of quiet determination that puts a select few in position to reach the pinnacle of their division – and if they’re lucky, get another chance to race at NASCAR’s top level. How have some of these “other” stars performed as Spring approaches? Well, my friends, that’s why we have a little column called Who’s Hot … and Who’s Not, taking a look this week at drivers you might not be paying attention to. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Atlanta Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Atlanta Edition

Welcome back to the South, NASCAR! After two mediocre races in California and Las Vegas, Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway quickly reminded fans of the show that NASCAR drivers can produce at some of the circuits more senior tracks – like they did in Daytona last month. As often happens at the 50 year-old track, the old pavement took its toll on tires and contenders, allowing some different faces to have a look at the lead pack. While several drivers with surprising runs held their momentum, Brad Keselowski was less than two laps away from his first top 10 with Penske Racing, before new nemesis Carl Edwards took him for a mid-air ride. How did these drivers and others fair on the *HOT*, *WARM*, *COOL* and *COLD* charts – let’s find out… Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Las Vegas Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Las Vegas Edition

With cars, casinos, and caution lights run amok, Vegas had a little something for everyone this weekend (or in the case of Kim Kardashian, no one). But as you’d expect with most trips to Sin City, only a handful of drivers came out a winner in a race that was dominated by one of the sport’s multi-car powerhouses. In case you were off watching hockey, I’ll give you a clue: Starts with “H” and ends with “Endrick.” Trust me, it was less exciting than overtime… But while the rest of the us watched Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon play with house money, there were a few lucky souls who still left the 1.5-mile oval with their heads held high and their optimism intact for Atlanta. Who’s still in the same time zone as the No. 24 and No. 48? Come take a stroll down the Vegas strip one last time in the latest edition of Who’s Hot / Who’s Not. Read More »

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

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

I’ve done this column twice so far in 2010, and both have been when I’m physically less than 100 percent. At this rate, it seems like my body is mimicking the attendance at virtually every race ever run at Fontana (Zing!) But seriously, folks, the second race of the season gave us a solid look at who’s going to be running up front in 2010. With intermediate tracks making up the bulk of the 36-race schedule, cars and drivers that run well here can rest easy knowing they’ll make it through the next few weeks at Las Vegas and Atlanta without pulling their hair out. On the flip side, the drivers whose cars handled like junk this past weekend have far more cause for concern. As we’ve seen in the past, a poor start to the first four races can take you a good three to four months to dig out of, turning a possible bid for the Chase berth into a chase for a new ride in 2011. See which side of the list your driver fits on below – all in the latest, strep throat edition of Who’s Hot / Who’s Not. Read More »

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

With the Great American Race in the books, it’s time to get down to business and begin the 2010 season in earnest. While the beauty of NASCAR’s new rules led to a record-breaking 21 leaders at Daytona, it’s hard to gauge right now if the sport’s momentum from plate racing can carry over to the cookie-cutters like Fontana, Las Vegas, or Atlanta up ahead. Well, that same type of uncertainty transfers over into the driver’s seat, as everyone wonders whether one strong run can turn into a season’s worth of success rather than a one-hit wonder. Recent history shows that’s easier said than done. Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Budweiser Shootout Edition

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Budweiser Shootout Edition

This year's Bud Shootout might just be a 75-lap exhibition race, but it did illustrate a number of things to understand for what's ahead this season in Sprint Cup. One thing is for sure: NASCAR is going to do all they can to let the drivers police themselves out on the track and I couldn't agree with that more. Fans pay good money to see drivers bump-drafting and it's a part of the sport that shouldn't be tampered with. I'd also like to request that NASCAR return to a Bud Shootout heat race. Have a 10-lap race where drivers that aren't in the Shootout get a shot at racing their way in. You win the heat race, you're in the Shootout. Fans would love it. With that said, here's a look at my first foray into Frontstretch's Who's Hot/Who's Not in Sprint Cup. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

Very rarely do you see a former champion show so much admiration for another. But when Kurt Busch finished runner-up to points leader Jimmie Johnson this weekend at Phoenix, he admitted that the No. 48 team was "something special," and told fans to tune in or come to watch NASCAR's next big dynasty. It's true that nobody has been able to touch Johnson, Chad Knaus, and Co. in the Chase, and this week's race was no different. Carl Edwards finished in the Top 5 yet again, but lost points to the two-time defending champion, who won his seventh race of the year and increased his point lead to a nearly-insurmountable 141. Johnson and Edwards have certainly been in a league of their own these last few weeks, but who else has been *HOT* as the season winds down? Check out this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not in Sprint Cup: Chase Edition to find out. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: TUMS QuikPak 500

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: TUMS QuikPak 500

It was the same track, same story for Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team, who extended their Top 10 streak at Martinsville to 13 races with a win this weekend. Not only did Johnson extend his Top 10 streak at the paper clip half-mile, but he also extended his Top 10 streak overall to eight races on the season. With Jeff Burton struggling this weekend, Johnson is now the lone driver on this week's *HOT* list. While Johnson is clearly the series' hottest driver and appears to be headed toward a third consecutive championship, a handful of drivers make the *WARM* list this week. To see if your favorite driver makes the cut, or if they need nothing more than a solid run at Atlanta, check out the latest edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not in Sprint Cup: Chase Edition. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Amp Energy 500 Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Amp Energy 500 Edition

*Talladega.* It was the Chase wildcard; everybody knew it. *The Big One.* Who would be in it? Everybody tried to avoid it ... but you knew not everyone could. In the end, after a number of Chasers raced conservatively for three quarters of the race in anticipation of the big wreck, it was ironically one Chaser tangling with another that triggered a multi-car pileup that included several of those in the Top 12. No. 2 in points, Carl Edwards, ran over teammate and No. 3 man Greg Biffle to start a chain reaction that claimed 11 cars. One of the few Chasers surviving the race was point leader Jimmie Johnson, who opened up a sizable 72-point lead in the standings as a result. Johnson remains on the *HOT* list this week, but a surprising driver joins him, becoming a surprise player in this year's championship battle. To see who it is, and whose Chase hopes went up in smoke, check out this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not in Sprint Cup: Chase Edition. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Camping World 400 Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: Camping World 400 Edition

It was another week, another mechanical problem for Kyle Busch this weekend at Kansas. Busch is going through one of the most surprising slumps in recent history, dropping from the points lead to 12th in a manner of three weeks. But while Busch continues to struggle, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, and Greg Biffle continue to fight for the title. The Big 3 all finished in the Top 3 this weekend, but it was a Johnson win that gave the No. 48 team the point lead heading to Talladega next weekend. To see who has the best chance of catching the two-time defending champ, check out this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not in Sprint Cup. Read More »