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SPEED to honor the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s death with one hour special

February 18, 2001 is a day that will live in infamy for millions of NASCAR fans. On that day a true legend of the sport, Dale Earnhardt, lost his life in turn four on the final lap of the Daytona 500. In honor of that tragic event SPEED is going to air a one hour special that examines the day from sunrise to sunset, focusing on the events and emotions of everyone involved and how that horrific moment changed the sport forever. The special is entitled “The Day: Remembering Dale Earnhardt”. Read More »

NASCAR Media Tour – Crew chief thoughts

Heading into the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season there are several aspects of the racing that are going to be different for the teams. One of the big changes facing crews and especially crew chiefs is the loss of an over-the-wall crew member. With the addition of the self venting dump can there will no longer be a catch can man servicing the cars so the teams will be limited to six crew members over the wall. Since the catch can man was generally used to make the chassis adjustments during the pit stops in years past the teams are faced with the dilemma of who will now perform those functions and it appears as though that strategy is going to be a very fluid situation, at least as the season begins in Daytona. Read More »

New Cars, New Asphalt: Testing Comes Back To Daytona

New Cars, New Asphalt: Testing Comes Back To Daytona

Sprint Cup drivers got a first (for some second) taste of Daytona’s new pavement Thursday that not only showcased the speedway’s new look, but also the new, improved car. Though this isn’t the first time the new pavement has been tested (there was a tire test done last month), this week's test session, also known as Preseason Thunder, are already providing a clearer picture of what to expect for next month's Daytona 500. A total of 36 teams showed up for the test, which consisted of single car mock qualifying runs in the morning and an afternoon drafting session. In years past, preseason testing for the season’s biggest race was more about the fans getting to see cars back on the track and for everyone to get an early idea who the favorite would be to win the pole. This year, it's more than that. Read More »

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 »