Vito Pugliese · Thursday April 10, 2014
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 Monday (that I predicted three weeks ago over at Athlon Sports), I might be forced to eat a little crow here come September.
OK, a bucket of Extra Crispy Crow, with a side of mac and cheese.
Seven races in – seven different winners. This trend is actually setting the stage for a breakneck last few weeks heading into Richmond, which in the past really only affected those on the outside looking in. (And what was more nail-biting than watching cars typically racing for 15th or 20th, going for 12th to 10th? Note my sarcasm here.)
Vito Pugliese · Thursday April 3, 2014
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.
Much was made of Kurt vs. Kes after their pit road collision and a little fender rubbing on the backstretch (at Martinsville?! The dickens you say…), however it was little more than typical short track short sightedness. That said, what got NASCAR noticed on SportsCenter and in social media Friday afternoon through Sunday night? Soundbites, quips, and call outs from three drivers below that summed up short track racing and what made NASCAR great 15-20 years ago, and can once again be used to help regain what the sport has lost a little of in recent years.
Jeff Wolfe · Thursday April 3, 2014
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series goes from a short track to a fast track when as it heads to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s 3 PM race on FOX.
Now now that we are six weeks into the season with six different winners, if you are off to a slow start, your fantasy team may need to get on the fast track too. If you are on pick limits like in the Yahoo! leagues where you get a driver just nine times during the season, you may be in a bit of a dilemma. Do you save guys like Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and others for later in the season, or do you use them now to try and get a boost in the standings so you’re not buried by the time the final 10 races come around?
I’m not going to tell you which direction you should go here. But that’s something to definitely keep in mind when making the picks for this week’s race.
Vito Pugliese · Thursday March 27, 2014
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!
Voice Of Vito
Vito Pugliese · Thursday March 20, 2014
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 at LVMS 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 that all changed with four Fords from three different operations in the Top 5, and Carl Edwards sticking a backflip on a slippery when wet finish line. >
Vito Pugliese · Thursday March 13, 2014
There are sound bites heard on television that not only make one take notice when hearing them, but have also stood the test of time.
“Read my lips… No. New. Taxes.”
“I did not have sex with that woman… Miss Lewinsky… not a single time…”
“We were just… unprepared.”
Vito Pugliese · Thursday March 6, 2014
Doing the Double – In Reverse
With Tuesday’s announcement that Kurt Busch would be attempting the Memorial Day Double by competing in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 this year. Might some of the open wheel drivers of today consider taking the ride to Charlotte with Busch or any of his other NASCAR brethren should they opt to follow in his footsteps in the future? When this first became en vogue in the late 1990s, it was during a time when the open wheeled series was not exactly as competitive as it was during the speedway’s heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s. NASCAR drivers trying to turn the double was seen as a boon for the Cup Series, which had always taken a back seat to the IndyCar crowd.
Vito Pugliese · Thursday February 27, 2014
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.
Vito Pugliese · Thursday February 20, 2014
There has been much ado regarding the return of the number 3 to Sprint Cup Series the past few weeks, particularly since Austin Dillon put the black and white Chevy on the pole for Sunday’s Daytona 500. From radio shows, to racing forums, Facebook, and Twitter, there’s been much hand-wringing and regret surrounding the move.
I don’t like it….
He was my favorite driver…
It isn’t right to me…
Vito Pugliese · Thursday November 21, 2013
One of the most storied careers in motorsports came to an end Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After 882 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Mark Martin has (presumably) competed in his final race – and done so on his terms. Ready to move onto the next chapter of his career, the owner of 40 Cup Series wins, 5 IROC Championships, 4 ASA titles, and the fastest 500 mile NASCAR race in history will not be seen regularly in competition going forward, following over 25 years of service in North America’s premier racing series.
Vito Pugliese · Thursday October 3, 2013
Well, looks like my big mouth got absolutely nothing accomplished with regards to the 2014 Sprint Cup Schedule. No-go for Road America, and Bruton Smith seemed to shoot down any notion of The Southern 500 moving back to Labor Day weekend, trading with Atlanta. I mean why would you want to do that, anyway? Next thing you know we’ll be telling surviving WWII Veterans they cannot attend their own memorial, in the autumn of their years. Might still end up with a road course Chase race – I just fear it will be the wrong one.
I’m the biggest road racing honk for NASCAR you’ll find in print (or radio – they won’t let me on TV yet), but I’m just going to throw it out there – if you don’t like it, send it right back: Sonoma sucks in its current configuration.
Vito Pugliese · Thursday September 26, 2013
A few topics have been making the rounds the last few weeks, and have otherwise dominated the discussion of NASCAR’s not too distant future, instead of the 2013 Chase — which we’re now already 20% through.
First of which, is the notion of Cup drivers competing in the Nationwide Series. Yes, NASCAR needs a feeder Series. The Nationwide Series was traditionally seen as that venue, where aspiring drivers would be able to learn how to handle NASCAR-style cars, speeds, tracks, rules, and learn from the few veterans who would be sprinkled throughout the field in companion events. That changed around the 2004-2005 seasons, when suddenly it was all Cup, all the time, with drivers flying cross-country to make it in time for what was once something to watch before Happy Hour practice.