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Five Points To Ponder

Five Points To Ponder: 18.6, Second Chances And Five Alive

Five Points To Ponder: 18.6, Second Chances And Five Alive

ONE: SECOND CHANCES Prior to Sunday’s 400-mile race at the Monster Mile there was a fair bit of talk about what a dramatic race the first elimination contest was going to be. As it turned out, the race was extremely light on drama with our very own race recapper Mike Neff rating it (on his one to six scale) as follows: The result is a single, solitary, rancid can of Falls City that was pulled out of Miles the Monster’s ... Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Monster Sunday at the Mile, Penske Power & Poor Overnight Ratings

Five Points to Ponder: Monster Sunday at the Mile, Penske Power & Poor Overnight Ratings

ONE: MONSTER SUNDAY AT THE MILE What a race we have ahead of us at Dover International Speedway this weekend, with as many as nine drivers in contention for the final transfer spots into round two – the Contender Round – of the Chase. Given the propensity of the Monster Mile to chew up cars in the blink of an eye, trouble for the Chase drivers looking for the final spots could prove catastrophic. And if what we saw at ... Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Echoes of 2012, Logano’s Luck & Loudon Pt. 2

Five Points to Ponder: Echoes of 2012, Logano’s Luck & Loudon Pt. 2

ONE: ECHOES OF 2012 What a win that was for Brad Keselowski with a pass – if not quite for the ages, then certainly for highlight reels for 2014 — to take what ultimately proved to be a decisive lead albeit with one more restart at the MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Keselowski, it should be noted, also won the first race of the Chase at Chicagoland in 2012, when he held off Jimmie Johnson to take what proved to ... Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: The Playoffs, Final Four Predictions & Format Explanations

Five Points to Ponder: The Playoffs, Final Four Predictions & Format Explanations

ONE: LET THE PLAYOFFS COMMENCE There’s part of me that is still very uncomfortable in referring to the next 10 weeks of racing as the NASCAR playoffs. By the same dint, using the term regular season for the first 24 weeks is equally disquieting. Not least, I suppose, because it’s still the entire field that races, unlike in other major American sports where the winners progress and the losers pack up and head home. But the playoffs they are, I ... Read More »

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 »