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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not

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 »

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

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

For the first time since the August 21st race at Michigan International Speedway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finally ran and completed a race on a Sunday afternoon. Between the Saturday night extravaganzas at Bristol and Richmond, plus the rainouts at Atlanta and Chicago, it’s been a long time since the series actually ran a race in its traditional timeslot. The Sunday date was the only return to normalcy, though, as everything else was topsy-turvy. Between Jimmie Johnson’s mediocre performance, Tony Stewart’s back-to-back race wins, and Kurt Busch’s pre-race troubles, even the sometimes slow pace of the Sylvania 300 wasn’t enough to deter race fans. Is this perhaps the most exciting Chase since the format was implemented? Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Chicago-Loudon Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Chicago-Loudon Edition

Another point for Mother Nature! Once again, the crabby ol’ witch decided that it’s just not right for NASCAR to be run on Sundays and postponed the race to another Monday morning extravaganza. I must give it to the fans who showed up, though, with 42,000 listed as the official attendance number for the day. In a related story, a record number of people called out of work with the “24-hour flu” on Monday, an epidemic that has scientists baffled. Anyways, back to business. With all three series racing last weekend, one of which was the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the word “momentum” was thrown around quite a bit. Once again, Hot / Not is here to show you who has it heading into Loudon, and who could use some of their own. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Richmond-Chicago Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Richmond-Chicago Edition

Bristol WHO?! Following the race at Richmond, there is a new sheriff in town when it comes to beating and banging on the NASCAR circuit, and in front of a packed house no less. All week long, Richmond was hyped up as the end-of-the-line, exciting, down to the wire, Dale Jr. might be in the Chase extravaganza and for a while I thought it might not live up to expectations. It did. While I had originally predicted that the 12 Chase drivers heading into Richmond would be the same 12 once the checkered flag flew—a prediction that would up being correct in the end—there were a few instances during the race where I held my breath and wondered if there may indeed be a tremendous upset. After all, the competitors who simply had to finish the race were spending extensive time in the pits, while those who had no choice but to win in order to be a contender were running in the top 5. Read More »

Cup Drivers To Watch At Atlanta … And Who’s Hot & Who’s Not In NASCAR, Too

Cup Drivers To Watch At Atlanta … And Who’s Hot & Who’s Not In NASCAR, Too

For some reason, Mother Nature doesn’t seem to be a very big NASCAR fan these days. Whether it was the 2+ hour rain delay at Pocono or the Monday race at Watkins Glen, the weather seems intent on making sure as few fans stick around to see the finish of the race as possible. This time, though, she really has her panties in a wad. Though the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races were able to go the full distance, come Sunday the skies opened right around the time the Sprint Cup Series race was supposed to start and carried on just long enough for NASCAR to postpone it … until Tuesday. A forecast which called for a 100% chance of rain from tropical storm Lee was enough to convince NASCAR that putting thousands of fans, officials, drivers, etc. at risk on Monday would not be the right decision. This ended up being the right call as tornadoes, thunderstorms, and rain all pounded the area surrounding the racetrack. Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Bristol-Atlanta Edition

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in NASCAR: Bristol-Atlanta Edition

Who knew a fractured ankle could be such a motivator for Brad Keselowski? I feel like this injury could possibly start a new trend. A horrible, painful trend... With that in mind, I have made the decision that, in an effort to improve my writing, I’m going to jam my foot in the cogs of some heavy machinery and see if I improve at all. Hey, if not, at least I’ll have a good story to tell while I’m talking to my fellow inmates in a straitjacket! But before they drag me off, into the asylum let’s quickly get back to the business at hand. It's time to take a look at a few more drivers who, like Keselowski, are on hot streaks of their own — though with fewer broken bones to go along with them. Read More »