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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

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

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

Team orders and tandem racing? What is this, Talladega? Oh wait… You would think that it was an unusual weekend in Talladega the way people are reacting to the racing. On the contrary, it was business as usual at the track known as the crapshoot of the Chase. And whether it’s your cup of tea or not, Sunday’s race may have had a big effect on this year’s championship hunt. Then again, Martinsville could completely reverse any damage done, but I guess that’s the reason we tune in every week. Is it not? Read More »

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

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

Before we begin with the weekly numbers crunching that is “Hot/Not”, like everyone else I would like to extend my condolences to everyone affected by the death of Dan Wheldon. While this is a NASCAR-based column, a death in the racing community affects everyone and I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to one of IndyCar’s greats. So to echo the closing words of Marty Reid as ABC left the air on Sunday, “Goodbye, Dan Wheldon.” However, the show must go on, and NASCAR is currently in the midst of three very tight championship battles. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: Kansas-Charlotte Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In NASCAR: Kansas-Charlotte Edition

Is it just me, or is everyone still as clueless about the Chase as we were back in February? Nearly every pre-Chase prediction has been thrown out the window and stat sheets have been tossed in the bonfire. Jimmie Johnson has gone from Chase favorite, to championship doubtful, back to title contender in the matter of about a month, and that’s not to mention several others who have had similar rollercoaster seasons. However, though we still don’t yet have a clear idea of who the champion will be, we can still give you an idea of who to keep an eye on in the remaining six races of the season. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Dover-Kansas Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Dover-Kansas Edition

In the past few seasons, it didn’t take but a few Chase races to pick at least one driver (cough, Jimmie Johnson, cough) as the championship favorite. Those with the most consistency, speed, and a few numbers in the win column would immediately bring all eyes upon them as the season came to a close. But now that we’re three races into the 2011 Chase, a clear difference has emerged: the championship picture has yet to get any clearer. Teams like the No. 48, who struggled in the first two races did well in Dover, and those who started out the Chase on a hot streak — Tony Stewart, for instance — finished poorly or faced an uphill battle throughout the race. Read More »