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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not

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 »

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

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

If you rewind three weeks with me, you'll notice the Chase for the Sprint Cup title had a discernably different look to it. After Richmond, Kyle Busch led the point standings heading into the Chase, holding a 30-point lead after flat out dominating the first 26 races. Far down the list, Greg Biffle sat ninth, 80 points back, along with four other drivers who failed to earn a win in the regular season. Now, just two races later -- and thanks to reversed fortunes -- Biffle is 2-for-2, with wins in each of the first two Chase events. That's jumped him up to third in points, while Busch sits 12th, 210 points back from Carl Edwards, after mechanical problems in the first two races. Biffle is the hottest driver in the Chase so far, Busch is the coldest, and Edwards continues to lead the points. But how about the other nine drivers? Who still has a chance to contend for the title, and who, like Busch, is all but eliminated from the championship picture? Check out this week's 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 : Pre-Chase Edition

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

After seven months, 26 races, and a rollercoaster of ups and downs, the 2008 Chase for the Championship field is now set. This year’s twelve participants will go at it in the fifth edition of NASCAR’s new format, battling through a ten-week playoff push that will culminate with a 400-mile shootout at Homestead in November. On that fateful Sunday, the sport will reach a new milestone, awarding the 60th championship trophy in the history of what’s now known as NASCAR’s Sprint Cup division. As we’ve seen in the past, it can sometimes be difficult to sort out playoff contenders from the pretenders. But on paper, who’s entering this year’s Chase with an edge over the competition? Read on to find out Who’s Hot and Who’s Not heading into the final ten-race stretch... Read More »

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

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

One race is all that remains between now and this year's much anticipated Chase. While half of the Top 12 head to Richmond with a win-or-lose mentality after locking in their place in the Chase, a number of teams must run smart and post a solid finish to simply make the playoffs. Clint Bowyer holds a 17 point lead over David Ragan for the final Chase spot and both are on this week's WARM list meaning something has to give this weekend. With his win Sunday night, Jimmie Johnson proved he belongs in the same breath as Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch as championship contenders, but if you want a sleeper for the title, look no further than another driver from Johnson's home state of California. To find out who, check out this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not in Sprint Cup. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 3M Performance 400 Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 3M Performance 400 Edition

With the Chase fast approaching, the number of races left for contenders to reel in points leader Kyle Busch are quickly coming and going. Busch's 80 bonus points -- as of now -- guarantees the No. 18 team the number one spot once the Chase begins. However, Carl Edwards narrowed that deficit to 40 with his win this weekend at Michigan -- although he'll need to watch his back. As many as five other drivers can tie Carl for the number two seed with three races remaining. There's also been no better time to drive a Blue Oval in the Cup Series this year. Edwards is just one of the five Roush Fenway drivers who make either the *HOT* or *WARM* lists this week, and *Travis Kvapil*, *David Gilliland,* and even the *Wood Brothers* have been impressive during at least one of the last two races. But while the Ford camp has found the magic touch, other teams and manufacturers are struggling with just three weeks to go until the playoffs. To see who could really go for a win -- and who's left to challenge Busch and Edwards for the title -- check out this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not in Sprint Cup. Read More »