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Voice Of Vito

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s Decade of Decline Comes Full Circle

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s Decade of Decline Comes Full Circle

In the wake of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s popular Pocono triumph, there was one stat that resonated this week while reviewing the turnaround the No. 88 team has enjoyed over the course of past few seasons: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is in the midst of his first multiple win season since 2004; i.e., a decade. That 2004 season was a defining one for Junior; he won the Daytona 500, kicking off the year and suddenly was a threat to win virtually every weekend, not ... Read More »

NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On

NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On

Knockout Qualifying Moved from FS2 & FS1 to FOX: For Talladega, at least. While many fans do not have access to FOX Sports 2 (thereby negating the change to the qualifying format), the new knockout qualifying format has been delivering double-digit ratings increases every weekend so far. While FOX has been airing the sessions five to 10 minutes delayed (for reasons that make no sense), it is unclear if the Talladega sessions will be “live” as they occur. Any racing at Talladega is cause for celebration, ... Read More »

Voice of Vito: Win And In? Five Drivers Who Can Call Their Shot

Voice of Vito: Win And In? Five Drivers Who Can Call Their Shot

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article stating there was no way there would be more than 16 winners by the time we got to the Chase, and that points still mattered, along with consistent finishes. With Joey Logano’s win at Texas on Monday (that I predicted three weeks ago over at Athlon Sports), I might be forced to eat a little crow here come September. Okay, a bucket of Extra Crispy Crow, with a side of mac and cheese. Seven ... Read More »

Voice of Vito: Three Drivers That NASCAR Need Not Silence

Voice of Vito: Three Drivers That NASCAR Need Not Silence

NASCAR has long been home to a range of varied personalities. From the quiet to the quarrelsome, the range of emotions and cast of characters has served to establish the fabric of the sport. That said, this past weekend painted a perfect picture of who the Sprint Cup Series should focus their efforts around if the wish is to attract new fans, who will stick around long after a new points system or two is attempted. ATHLON SPORTS – PUGLIESE: Racing’s Most Notable Texans ... Read More »

Voice of Vito: Going For Broke A Recipe For Disaster?

Voice of Vito: Going For Broke A Recipe For Disaster?

Ever since NASCAR made an announcement, changing the new Chase rules for 2014, there has been a common thread to the comments made regarding team performance: Win and you’re in! You can take chances every week! Once you win, the R&D begins, and teams will get more aggressive! To quote General Hummel from The Rock, “Well here and now, the lies stop!” OK, perhaps lies is stretching things a bit – but so is the reality of teams going all ... Read More »

Roush Fenway Racing: Resurgence or Regression?

Roush Fenway Racing: Resurgence or Regression?

A couple of weeks ago during the Las Vegas Race, I noted that the Roush Fenway Racing teams – and any Ford outside of the Team Penske tandem of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano were seemingly out to lunch. Carl Edwards managed a Top 5 atLVMS largely on the strength of some late race pit strategy, while for most of the race there were no other Fords other than the Nos. 2 and 22 in the Top 17. At Bristol however ... Read More »

Voice of Vito: Daytona Dilemma, Flagship Ford, And Points Paradox

Voice of Vito: Daytona Dilemma, Flagship Ford, And Points Paradox

Primetime vs. Sunshine Following the excitement and frenzy of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s Daytona 500 win Sunday, the chorus of cries began to run towards putting NASCAR’s marquee event in primetime. “It’s more exciting! It’s under the lights! It’s just like football!” It’s a horrible idea. We’ve dabbled with late start times before in the Daytona 500; the 2007 and 2008 affairs both ended under the lights, while the 2009 race was halted abruptly due to – you guessed it – ... Read More »

A “Pure” Michigan 400 – Back To Business As Usual At MIS

A “Pure” Michigan 400 – Back To Business As Usual At MIS

Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 was aptly named. The race was Pure Michigan International Speedway, bringing all of what we’ve come to expect at MIS in August -- repave be damned. Yes, the new asphalt did play a role, to some degree. The formerly multi-groove track used to see cars running four different lines, fanning out in all areas around the 2-mile oval. However, following a repave and a re-tire to keep the speeds under 220mph (at one point, quarter-sized chunks of rubber were coming off from blistering) it has become more of a one-and-a-half groove track in 2012. Speeds, once dangerous are still well in excess of 210 MPH down the straightaway. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. The names you normally expect to see up front and factors in the race were there. Mark Martin leads active drivers with five career wins at MIS, the last coming in 2009 when – coincidentally – it was Greg Biffle who ran out of fuel on the last lap, while Martin sped past, only to run out of gas a corner later and coast to the win. Read More »

Less is More: Nationwide Losing Some Dates Not a Bad Idea If They’re the Right Ones

Less is More: Nationwide Losing Some Dates Not a Bad Idea If They’re the Right Ones

As much as I hate tired, trite clichés, one that I do believe in happens to be the simple phrase, “Less is More.” It is an axiom that has proven to be correct in the automotive industry time and time again. The 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner – a stripped out Satellite with a 383 engine and some non-color cartoon stickers -- was expected to sell a little over 2,000 units its first year and sold over 45,000. The Toyota Prius is essentially a battery in a box with little in the way of creature comforts, style, or power – but it has developed a rabid following, establishing itself as the poster child for the cause du jour of guilt-ridden/eco-conscious drivers everywhere. Read More »

Surefire Bets The Next Seven Weeks

Surefire Bets The Next Seven Weeks

Gambling used to have a bit of a negative connotation to it. Now, it is to be celebrated and encouraged, particularly if it is on television and/or if you are wearing a stupid hat and mirrored state cop teardrops while engaging in degenerate behavior. With that said, if you know anybody who’s going to Vegas, they might want to scour the sports books to see if any of these are on tap; and if so, to lay some money down. I firmly believe and fearlessly predict that each of these the next few scenarios are money in the bank and guaranteed to happen. Read More »