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Five Points To Ponder

5 Points to Ponder: Red Bull Departs, Can Rowdy Shape Up & Hold the Paver MIS

5 Points to Ponder: Red Bull Departs, Can Rowdy Shape Up & Hold the Paver MIS

*ONE: Red Bull Leaving Sprint Cup is a Big, Big Deal* Red Bull Racing's Sprint Cup team, a two-car operation that has been around since Toyota's much-maligned entry into Cup racing in 2007, is not returning to NASCAR for 2012. Countless dominoes fall as a result; the full-time pit crew positions offered by each of the two teams are on the chopping block, Brian Vickers needs a new ride, and one of the premier rides available for 2012 in Silly Season is gone. The team has made public that they are seeking outside investors for 2012, with FOX Sports reporting that the team had gone a long way negotiating with Clint Bowyer to take over the No. 4 for Kasey Kahne next year. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Boys Be Good, Peace Summits and Rough Restarts

Five Points to Ponder: Boys Be Good, Peace Summits and Rough Restarts

*ONE: What Happened to "Boys, Have at It"?* Sunday's race at Pocono was not all too bad a show, but the highlight of the race was still seen early in the going as Kevin Harvick took to racing Kyle Busch very very hard, pushing him down the track for almost the entire length of the front straightaway on numerous occasions. It got to the point that NASCAR officials instructed both drivers to tone it down and stay off each other. Kevin Harvick didn't deny it post-race either, noting that Busch “knows he has one coming.” Read More »

5 Points To Ponder: Gauging Keselowski, Earnhardt Momentum Post-Kansas

We’re now exactly half way to the Chase cutoff point and if things continue apace we’re certainly not going to be lacking excitement across the sweltering summer months; as the heat descends upon us, the scrabble for Chase positions and the inherent tension of making the big dance ratchets up notch by notch and week by week. One driver who will be about a billion times happier with that is the driver of the #2 Miller Lite Penske Racing Dodge, Big Bad Brad Keselowski who eked out his second ever victory in two-plus seasons (albeit thanks to fuel mileage) which is where we’ll start this week’s edition of Five Points to Ponder. *ONE: Big Win For The Blue Deuce And Penske Racing* Few drivers have announced themselves on the Cup circuit with quite the clamor that surrounded the third generation racer – Brad Keselowski. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Going the Distance, Danica’s Done Deal, and NASCAR Got It Right?

Five Points to Ponder: Going the Distance, Danica’s Done Deal, and NASCAR Got It Right?

*ONE: Poor Motives Aside, NASCAR Got the Last Lap Call Correct* Yes, it was about as subtle as Larry the Cable Guy flashing his man boobs in the Sprint Cup drivers' meeting earlier in the evening. NASCAR's decision to hold off on throwing the yellow flag with two to go as Jeff Burton and others spun as a result of a ragged restart after Kasey Kahne ran out of gas was both inconsistent with the sanctioning body's practice of throwing the yellow for anything from empty beer cans to long green flag runs...and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s best chance of 2011 to snap his nearly three year losing streak. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: The Junior Rule, Wishing For a Short Track and Stenhouse Jr.’s Future

Five Points to Ponder: The Junior Rule, Wishing For a Short Track and Stenhouse Jr.’s Future

*ONE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Made the All-Star Race…Was It Really That Hard?* There really wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that NASCAR’s most popular driver by miles was not going to race in Saturday night’s All-Star Race. The fan vote this season, with Earnhardt still riding a long winless streak and over a decade removed from his All-Star triumph as a rookie, was decided before it began. That wasn’t the only insurance policy that NASCAR took on the Showdown rules though; a little publicized rule change altered the fan vote, requiring the winner no longer be on the lead lap, but simply to have a car deemed race worthy by the race director (Absent a rule book, there were plenty asking rhetorically, or not so much, does that mean the car the fan vote winner started the race with? Or the other one they’ve got chilling in the hauler?) Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Keselowski Loses Credibility, Dwindling Entry Lists, And Ty’s Targets

Five Points to Ponder: Keselowski Loses Credibility, Dwindling Entry Lists, And Ty’s Targets

*ONE: Entries Dropping Like Flies Heading Into Summer* As Spring turns to Summer on the NASCAR circuit, dwindling sponsorship is making car count in each of its top three series an emerging issue. Scott Wimmer's home in the No. 40 Nationwide Series car for Key Motorsports has become a start-and-park ride, and whether the team will even continue to show up at the track remains to be seen (the driver for Iowa is listed as TBA, while radio communications by the team this past weekend at Dover suggest they might not even show up). On that same Nationwide Series circuit, the No. 79 of Tim Andrews and the 2nd Chance Race Parts team is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, over on the Cup side, Robby Gordon's No. 7 car joined the start-and-park brigade at Dover, with no sign of any new backing to add to the SPEED Energy Drink money that's kept the team afloat this long. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Smaller Crowds, Bigger Fights, Ugly Words Left For NASCAR To Chew On

Five Points to Ponder: Smaller Crowds, Bigger Fights, Ugly Words Left For NASCAR To Chew On

*ONE: Was Attention Towards Regan Smith Hurt More by Harvick / Busch... or Trevor Bayne?* Turns out Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick spoiled the fun for more than just themselves Saturday night. With throngs of media waiting outside the NASCAR hauler for word on what was going on between Rowdy and Happy, Regan Smith's dramatic upset win at Darlington stunningly took a back seat. Harvick himself told reporters outside NASCAR's “oval office” that it was a shame they were covering his latest dustup instead of talking to Smith about his accomplishment. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Frustration vs. Venom, Start-And-Park vs. Start-And-Back

*ONE: The Fine Line Between Frustration and Venom on Display* Outside of Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya’s latest excuse for a dustup, the three hottest drivers under the collar at Richmond this past weekend, at least on the radio, were Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. Johnson’s angst was evident early; with the No. 48 team mired nearly outside the top 30 and the car handling like junk, the usually methodical pairing of Johnson and Chad Knaus was sounding strained, with the two trading exasperated remarks about adjustments and pit strategy. But for all the exasperation, all the frustration, never once did the two go for each other’s throats. The frustration stayed on their combined performance and never disintegrated into attack…and low and behold, when the night was said and done, the No. 48 team came from nowhere to score a top 10 finish. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Damaging Debris, Double Duty Disasters, And Hendrick’s New Connection

Five Points to Ponder: Damaging Debris, Double Duty Disasters, And Hendrick’s New Connection

*ONE: Turner Motorsports' New Prospect Is...a Hendrick Retread?* Filling out Turner Motorsports' No. 32 truck this year is going to be... Blake Feese? Fans should be forgiven if they've forgotten that name; Feese drove one race for Billy Ballew's Truck team in 2009, but he's better known for being part of a tandem of drivers, along with Boston Reid that took over Kyle Busch's No. 5 Nationwide ride in 2005 for Hendrick Motorsports. By springtime of that year, he was ousted after two months of wrecks and mediocre results. So how in the world did Feese, who between ARCA and the Truck Series has run only five races in the last five years, somehow get the call to fill a driver development seat with a team that's far from slouch? Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: Multiple Yellow Issues, Fan Woes, And ARCA Goes Old School

Five Points to Ponder: Multiple Yellow Issues, Fan Woes, And ARCA Goes Old School

*ONE: NASCAR Threw Saturday's Yellow Way Too Early* There's no denying that Mike Wallace's flip to end Saturday's Aaron's 312 was both a crushing disappointment for Nationwide Series regular fans and a scary moment all wrapped into one. But for NASCAR to end that race nearly half a lap short of the finish as a result, with the field having already passed the wreck in turn 3 was both a disservice to the fans and competitors... and completely unnecessary. Read More »