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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not

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

_Good morning race fans, and happy Tuesday to all of you! Hopefully, everyone enjoyed another wild one at Talladega as we gear up for a crucial race at Texas Motor Speedway. It has now become an official three-man competition for the championship. After his second-place finish on Sunday, Kevin Harvick moved to 38 points out of the lead – meaning he controls his own destiny with just three races left. For Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and Jimmie Johnson, winning out gives them the Sprint Cup title in a battle that's bound to go down to the wire. For every other driver, the rest of the season is all about ending on a high note, as for some it is even an audition for a ride for next year. Let’s look at who is turning up the wick and who is not in this week’s edition of Hot/Not._ Read More »

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

_Good morning, race fans and happy Tuesday! We are that much closer to the next race! After Sunday's thriller at Martinsville, I am sure that it has left everyone excited/nervous about Talladega this weekend. Obviously, we have Jimmie Johnson doing his usual thing in the Chase, and while many expected Denny Hamlin to give Johnson a run for his money this year, I don't think anyone actually thought he would be six points out of the lead this late in the game. Then, we have guys such as Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, and Kurt Busch who are all but out of the championship hunt. Will we see them start preparing for next year, or will they go all out in the final four races, influencing the championship outcome while they do it? The last short track event has left many fuming, but let’s see who’s really on fire in this week’s edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not._ Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: New Hampshire-Dover Edition

_One down, nine to go. For better or for worse, NASCAR’s ten-race playoff began with a better-than-expected start, bumper cars and backfiring pit strategies leaving fans entertained after Clint Bowyer nearly made a mockery of it all early in the going. And as expected, the start of the Chase meant the return of Cinderella, granting slippers to not only the winner but several drivers in the 43-car field that need a little magic themselves to get their act together for 2011._ _Who’s sitting pretty for their postseason push, and who’s ready to choose start-and-parking over having to run the rest of the year? My friends, that’s why we have this little table we’ve titled Who’s Hot / Who’s Not. Let’s get started…_ Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: Richmond-New Hampshire Edition

_In the words of Jim Mora: “Playoffs! You want to talk about playoffs? You kidding me?”_ _That’s the reaction of the majority of the NASCAR fan base nowadays, but like it or not, the seventh edition of the postseason format is finally upon us. Has it really been that long since Matt Kenseth lulled us to sleep in 2003, a one-win season causing sheer panic in the offices of Daytona Beach that led us to the current contraption we have now? Once a shiny new Mercedes, the Chase seems sold to us by that shady used car place where they didn’t tell you it had been through an accident, has a faulty transmission, and “new” tires with 50,000 miles already on them._ Read More »

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

_For some, reading this article comes in between fits of crying, temper tantrums, pencil-throwing, or downright hysteria. That’s right, kids; it’s back to school time! (And you shouldn’t be playing hooky by reading right now. Although we’re happy you are). Best of luck in the upcoming year, and if you’re a teacher – particularly a middle school one - best of luck simply surviving between now and the end of your first day managing a bunch of hormone-filled, energy-injected, playing-with-my-smartphone-instead-of-listening-to-you teenage terrors._ _But while summer winds down for millions of Americans, the real heart of the NASCAR schedule is apparently just heating up – or so we’ve been told. The sport’s Brian France version of the playoffs looms just around the corner, the race to the Chase so good someone forgot to tell the drivers 13th on back in the standings to make it interesting._ Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: Off Week Edition

_Oo la la! Ce qu'une race à Montréal le Dimanche, le type où les fans a donné une ovation debout plus de temps que certains sont restés dans les stands à Chicagoland cette année. Que le français baiser de frais l'énergie est tout le monde bourdonnants environ une seconde-tier division dont les notations ont tranquillement augmenté 6 p. 100 pendant une année où NASCAR le ciel est en baisse._ _Le problème, bien sûr, est la même pilotes brille à l'intérieur aussi bien dans tout le pays et le Camping Monde Camions sont certains des mêmes hommes conduire les roues au large de la Coupe voitures le jour suivant. Où sont l'avenir les diamants bruts? Avec un seul final off semaine à capturer notre souffle, voyons si nous pouvons creuser dur pour trouver ces joyaux cachés peinant dans ces deuxième et troisième niveaux divisions, en espérant contre l'espoir leurs rêves ne meurent contre les riches, les fameux, et de manger ces vraiment mauvais français crêpes. Vous voir sur l'autre extrémité Rue Sainte-Catherine's! Ou dans environ 1,500 mots..._ Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR Sprint Cup: Bristol Edition

Kyle Busch- Whether you like the guy or not, there is no denying the amount of talent Busch has. Winning the truck race Wednesday night after starting in last place (at Bristol, of all places) is an unbelievable accomplishment in itself. But, sweeping the weekend heated Kyle's season to the boiling point. Perhaps most impressive is that he did it in three entirely different vehicles with three different crew chiefs. Read More »

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

_The Dog Days of summer are in full force in the Sprint Cup Series. Temperatures are expected near 90 degrees in Bristol, TN this week, part of the hottest year on record down South leading up to Saturday night’s heated 500-lap showdown under the lights. But these ugly temperatures aren’t the only problem turning some NASCAR teams sick of the summer. For the Chasers who have all but clinched a spot - and this year, that means all but one of them - it’s like keeping elementary kids from turning the classroom upside down during the last month of school. For the most part, the tests don’t matter anymore, meaning it’s just three weeks of having to sit in class bored, going through the motions while growing impatient for when the real summer fun starts in just a few short weeks._ Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR Sprint Cup: Watkins Glen-Michigan Edition

_With the checkered flag at Watkins Glen, NASCAR’s two-race road course experiment has been shelved for another season. If only Marcos Ambrose had four more ahead of him, we might see the No. 47 in Victory Lane, after all. Instead, he and Montoya must adjust to the daunting prospect of all left turns at Michigan and beyond, a tougher sell than expected that’s turned their seasons into a long list of wreck-related DNFs. That’s why they’re nowhere near the playoffs, just like there’s not a third road course for the Chase…_ _But enough about NASCAR’s two foreign-born, right-turn stars. They’ve gotten plenty of coverage in the 48 Hours post-Watkins Glen. Let’s not forget about the 40 others who finished behind them, trying to position themselves for the jobs, the playoffs, the garage, or five seconds of TV time that remain this season. Here's who stood out in the latest edition of Who’s Hot / Who’s Not:_ Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR Sprint Cup: Pocono-Watkins Glen Edition

_We’re heading full steam toward the Dog Days of Summer, but there’s several Sprint Cup regulars barking up the wrong tree. As the Race for the Chase turns sharply into focus, there are just seventeen drivers left with a realistic shot at the playoffs. That leaves a number of superstars, from Juan Pablo Montoya to David Reutimann, licking their wounds, watching the season finale of _The Bachelorette_ in mourning while looking back at lost opportunities. Turning toward 2011 three months too soon, their bids long ago wilted in the summer heat through a series of ugly DNFs and CNCs – could not compete. But they’re not alone in holding multiple test sessions; men like Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and even Denny Hamlin can pull some wild experiments along with them, their Chase bids all but assured while pursuing a “win ‘em, wreck ‘em, or ride around and smell the coffee” philosophy all the way until the points really count come September._ Read More »