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Keep Your Hands to Yourself! NASCAR Struggling to Let Championship Weekend Unfold in Homestead

Keep Your Hands to Yourself! NASCAR Struggling to Let Championship Weekend Unfold in Homestead

NASCAR, or any professional sport for that matter, couldn't ask for better storylines to close their season with. With the ultimate race of the season less than 48 hours away, three drivers stand within striking distance of the Cup championship in one of the closest points battles seen at any level of racing in recent memory. Coupled with a Chase that has seen events at Martinsville and Texas go down as two of the best races seen anywhere in 2010, the season on paper seems to have the momentum of a freight train running away from Denzel Washington. Still, no one seems to care. TV ratings are down a double digit average for all nine Chase races run this far. Attendance has down, reaching even woeful levels at Dover and Phoenix. And it's clear from this writer's dealings, both in and out of the sport, that non-Chase features have easily outstripped the readership of the 500 million Hamlin vs. Harvick vs. Johnson features bogging down the airwaves the last week. Accurate or not, whatever side one takes on the Chase, this year's points race is being perceived as contrived, turning race fans off to this title hunt, no matter how close it may be. Read More »

Fantasy Insider: Can A Trio Of Chase Contenders Tip The Scales In Your Title Race?

Fantasy Insider: Can A Trio Of Chase Contenders Tip The Scales In Your Title Race?

Well, with Talladega out of the way, some sort of order in predicting NASCAR finishes has been restored as the traveling circus we all follow on a weekly basis moves to Texas this weekend. So for all you Dallas/Fort Worth area fans who obviously aren’t going to get to see any playoff football, I give you... playoff racing. With just three weeks left in your fantasy season, the pressure is on to make the right picks down the stretch with a potential championship of your own on the line. Good thing we have plenty of past history to go on; at the latest stop down in the Lone Star State, we get to look back on several similarly configured tracks, namely Atlanta and Charlotte, to see which drivers have the mile-and-a-half "D"-shaped ovals down and which ones have yet to find the handle on them. So let’s crunch some numbers, shall we, and see who we want and who we don’t this Sunday afternoon. Read More »

Who’ll Win It? 2010 Fearless Chase Predictions

The seventh edition of NASCAR's Chase is upon us, and the vibe amongst garage insiders is that this year's version won't disappoint. With six, seven, maybe eight drivers with a realistic chance at taking home the hardware, more people than ever have stepped up and dared to say Jimmie Johnson's historic reign of dominance is over. Or is it? Our experts have pored over all the data and have their yearly picks in order, hoping their crystal ball will help you find some answers on J.J. and the rest of the Chasers. Read below for the inside scoop from the writer _you_ trust on who's finishing where! Read More »

Four Burning Questions: Richmond

Four Burning Questions: Richmond

*1) Is there any way Clint Bowyer or Greg Biffle doesn't make the Chase?* Mike Lovecchio: Clint Bowyer did exactly what he needed to do last week in Atlanta, holding serve and forcing an all-important all-or-nothing Saturday night showdown for the final Chase spot. For Bowyer, the gameplan going to Richmond is simple: stay out of trouble and take care of the car. Expect him to do just that and finish the 28th or better he needs to make the exclusive cutoff before the final ten races. History is on Bowyer’s side, with nine top 20s in his nine career Richmond starts, including a win in 2008. Not only does he run well at the short track, he finishes, completing every lap in those nine races. While I expect Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman to both do whatever it takes for a win, even a victory won’t be enough if Bowyer handles his business - and there is no evidence to support the notion that he won’t. Read More »

Top 10 Reasons Dale Jr. Didn’t Make The Chase

Top 10 Reasons Dale Jr. Didn’t Make The Chase

*10.* Dale thought the scheme of the Chase hats clashed with his Adidas stripes. *9.* The No. 88 team honestly thought the top 20 made the Chase, failing to realize the newest Dale Jr. rule doesn't go into effect until 2011. *8.* Jimmie wouldn't let him touch his horseshoe. Read More »

How NASCAR’s “Mouthpieces” Miss the Point … And They’re Not The Only Ones

How NASCAR’s “Mouthpieces” Miss the Point … And They’re Not The Only Ones

When NASCAR released it was forming a new Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Dept. this past Monday, I instantly added it to my list of "possible column ideas." Unfortunately, the more I read, the more confused I became. While I thought I got the gist of it, the release was written in such corporate gibberish that for a moment, I thought it was penned by Brian France himself. Read More »

Fact or Fiction: Finding Answers For Ford’s Top Team Going Forward

Fact or Fiction: Finding Answers For Ford’s Top Team Going Forward

*With his win Sunday, Greg Biffle will make the Chase* *_FACT_* Greg Biffle had won fifty career races across NASCAR’s three national touring series, a Truck Series championship, and a Nationwide championship; but for all of his career successes, win No. 51 ranks near the top. In the record books, it may go down as just another midsummer victory, his first at Pocono, but with his Chase hopes on the line, Ford winless on the season, and longtime car owner Jack Roush in the hospital with serious injuries after a plane crash, Sunday’s win meant much, much more. Biffle has been with Roush for over a decade now, and if there were ever a time for Ford to pick up its first win this season, and ever a driver to win a race in honor of the injured car owner, Biffle and this weekend proved to be the perfect scenario. Read More »

Secret Star Pocono 08-01-10

Secret Star of the Race: The Best Run You Never Saw Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards were the star of the Roush Fenway show on Sunday, but they weren’t the only Ford drivers to leave Pocono happy. *Paul Menard and David Ragan put together 13th and 14th-place finishes*, respectively, leaving them smiling on a day where circumstances and solid pit strategy left everything going the Fusion way. And just like Biffle, their days revolved around a similar theme: two tires. ... Read More »

Brian And Bruton Tell Us … What, Exactly?

Brian And Bruton Tell Us … What, Exactly?

This weekend, Brian France was in Indianapolis to meet with Bruton Smith and Ron Dennis of McLaren on various topics facing the sport. After the meetings, he took the time to address the media on multiple topics. Bruton Smith was also stopped outside of the NASCAR hauler to answer a couple of questions as well. France spoke first about Dennis’ presence and the fact that he would like to provide quite a bit of advanced technology to the Cup series. “I met with him this weekend," France explained. "Look, we’ve been real clear. We’re on a steady march to more technology in the cars, which is historically unlike us in some respects, provided that it doesn’t burden the teams with additional costs that don’t translate to our fan base, and obviously that we can enforce whatever new technologies. The final thing is to make sure that it makes racing better.” Read More »

Carl Edwards Just Doesn’t Get It

Carl Edwards Just Doesn’t Get It

Carl Edwards just doesn’t get it. We’ve heard all about Saturday night’s dustup between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski and read all of the stories, so we won’t rehash it at this point in time. Now that the drivers are back at the track and in front of the media, though, we’re getting to hear a lot of the opinions from the drivers on the incident. And to me, the most interesting comments came from Edwards himself as he faced the assembled media and fans during the top 12 driver availability. Read More »