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Five Points To Ponder

Five Points to Ponder: A Debut For One, One Veteran’s Record And One Race Left

Five Points to Ponder: A Debut For One, One Veteran’s Record And One Race Left

ONE: ONE TO GO: RICHMOND And then there was one. Just 300 miles and 400 laps at Richmond International Raceway separate us from the end of the regular season and the start of the newfangled Chase for the Sprint Cup format. Kasey Kahne became the 13th driver to win a race this season at Atlanta grabbing his berth in the playoffs. So, with winless Matt Kenseth locked in based on his position in the points, two spots are still up ... Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: RCR at 45, No Sponsor Mentions & The Xfinity Series?

Five Points to Ponder: RCR at 45, No Sponsor Mentions & The Xfinity Series?

ONE: THREE WEEKS OFF It’s been three weeks since I last penned a Five Points to Ponder column and in NASCAR terms, that feels like an absolute age. The reason for my lack of scribing is that I’ve been on an absolutely epic 15-day cross-country road trip from San Francisco to Boston. In all, we drove for some 5,142 miles starting in Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco with overnight stops in Reno, Wendover, Grand Junction, Albuquerque, Lubbock, Austin, Dallas, ... Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Martin’s Impact, The Glen, and Looking Ahead to ‘15

Five Points to Ponder: Martin’s Impact, The Glen, and Looking Ahead to ‘15

ONE: Will Dale Earnhardt, Jr. remain strong this season? Fresh off the No. 88 team’s sweep of Pocono, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and outgoing crew chief, Steve Letarte seem to be “firing on all eight cylinders” as Junior stated after their victory at the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday. But the question remains, with five races to go until the chase, then the grueling ten-race finish of the new Sprint Cup Chase format, will Dale, Jr. be able to ... Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Rookie Magic Turned Tricky Triangle

Five Points to Ponder: Rookie Magic Turned Tricky Triangle

ONE: What Does a Fifth Brickyard Victory Mean for Jeff Gordon? After winning four NASCAR Sprint Cup championships, 90 career victories (third all-time), 445 top-10 finishes, three Daytona 500 victories and now a fifth career win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (the most all-time on the oval at IMS), what does the win on Sunday really mean for the 42-year-old driver? Gordon has made it clear that time is certainly against him and that retirement is getting closer and closer, even ... Read More »

Five Points To Ponder: 17 Weeks And NASCAR’s Eldora “Take II”

Five Points To Ponder: 17 Weeks And NASCAR’s Eldora “Take II”

ONE: 17 WEEKS IN A ROW After a weekend to rest up and recuperate for the Sprint Cup circus, it’s time for 17 consecutive weeks of top echelon racing until we crown the 2014 champion at Homestead-Miami Raceway on Nov. 16. With the race to the Chase over the next seven weeks – paired with all the drama, entertainment and pressure that will inevitably bring – then the new playoff format, we have plenty to look forward to after a ... Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: A Week Off, the Lost Shepherd and Burton’s (Possibly) Final Run

Five Points to Ponder: A Week Off, the Lost Shepherd and Burton’s (Possibly) Final Run

ONE: A MUCH DESERVED WEEK OFF It’s a temporary respite this weekend for the Sprint Cup circus as NASCAR’s top series goes dark for one final time before the stretch run to the finish in November. For the drivers, crews and teams it’s a chance to catch their collective breath ahead of a grueling 17 straight weeks of racing before we crown a champion at the one-and-a-half-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16. Expect, then, over the next few days a ... Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Race Team Alliance, TNT’s Final Race & the Importance of Points

Five Points to Ponder: Race Team Alliance, TNT’s Final Race & the Importance of Points

ONE: THE RACE TEAM ALLIANCE Across the course of a regular NASCAR seasons, there are approximately a billion stories seemingly every day. Some are humdrum, mundane; some are frivolous; some very worthy of consideration. And then some you don’t really know just how big they are until way after the fact — and I can’t help but feel that yesterday’s announcement of a Race Team Alliance (RTA) might just be in that category. The specifics are these: a group of ... Read More »

Five Points: Halfway Home, Rocket Man & Sliced Bread

Five Points: Halfway Home, Rocket Man & Sliced Bread

ONE: HALFWAY HOME Saturday evening’s race under the lights on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway will mark the 18th race of the season and thus the halfway mark on the 2014 Sprint Cup schedule. Given the sheer length of the season the point at which we have more races in the books than less always comes as something of a surprise. You get so used, I suppose, to the cadence of the calendar that there comes a point ... Read More »

Five Points To Ponder: 10 To Go, 10 Winners And Home Dep-Off

Five Points To Ponder: 10 To Go, 10 Winners And Home Dep-Off

ONE: 10 TIL THE CHASE Just 10 races remain before the 2014 Chase begins and it’s an eclectic mix of tracks that make up the pre-big dance schedule. First up (and more on this one below) is a Saturday night trip to Kentucky Speedway. Then we head down to Daytona for a second straight night event on the high banks of arguably the sport’s most iconic track. Following the fireworks in Florida we head into a stretch of three flat ... Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Wine Country, Kasey Kahne’s Breakthrough & the World Cup

Five Points to Ponder: Wine Country, Kasey Kahne’s Breakthrough & the World Cup

ONE: Wine Country After the Irish Hills of Michigan, next up on the Sprint Cup Series slate is a trip out west to beautiful Sonoma and wine country. One of the two road courses on the schedule — the other being Watkins Glen — the chance to turn left as well as right brings up a whole slew of new challenges. For me, this is an extra special race because this is now my home track as after 13 years ... Read More »