Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: NASCAR Chase “Excitement” Nothing but Smoke & Mirrors

I have to laugh. Well, either that or cry, and laughing isn’t as messy. In 2004, NASCAR attempted to become the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball and the NHL all in one. Well, maybe not the NHL. There’s no ice, and fighting is still banned, but NASCAR added a playoff system to make the …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: In David Stremme, Penske Gets Marketability – But What About Driving Ability?

It’d be kind of ironic – given that I wrote a column on driver marketability a few weeks ago – if the topic had been shot to the forefront of the sport, wrapped around what is probably close to the last of the major teams’ driver signings. Yet, that’s exactly what happened when Penske Racing …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: It’s a Mix of Cheers & Boos for NASCAR’s 2009 Schedules

NASCAR released the 2009 schedules for the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and truck series this week, and there were a few changes for each circuit as the sport moves forward. On the truck calendar, NASCAR hit a home run, and the Nationwide circuit was a stand-up double. The Sprint Cup schedule, however, was more of a …

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Kenny Wallace Driver Diary: Road Racing, Drag Racing (Sort of) & Looking Forward to Racing in Iowa

For the first time in my career, we ran back-to back road-course races. They were both very interesting. Being able to race in Montreal in the rain was a feather in my cap. You know, years from now, the stats will show that I was one of the 43 drivers who raced in the first-ever …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: 1st-Year Blues & Fantastic NASCAR Freshmen

Richard Childress Racing is set to set sail with a fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup team in 2009. The sponsor is on board in General Mills, and Childress expects to name a driver in the next week or two. (That driver is likely to be Casey Mears, and may involve a number and sponsor switch with …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: What NASCAR Owners Should Expect From Drivers & What Expectations Go Too Far

A couple of weeks back, I wrote about which drivers I might like to have should I own a race team. That kind of got me thinking about some of the things that teams owners face, and it was about then that I decided that I never, ever want to own a race team. A …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Is There a 48 in Kyle Busch’s Mirror?

Kyle Busch has dominated the Sprint Cup landscape for much of the season. It’s a championship caliber year for Busch, with seven wins, 12 top-five finishes and 13 top 10s in 20 races. He’s on par with great seasons like Jeff Gordon’s 1997 campaign. Busch is certainly on top of the Sprint Cup world. However, …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Patrick Carpentier, Marketability Matters

Last week I started my very own hypothetical race team and picked my short list of the most talented drivers racing in Sprint Cup today. Any of the five would make a strong start for a new team for sure, and talent like that should attract sponsorship to the team as well. But I said …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Casey Mears on His Past, His Future & His Family

No question about it, Casey Mears has racing in his blood. His grandfather Bill began the “Mears Gang” tradition in the 1950s, racing anything with wheels while winning the infamous Pikes Peak hill climb during his heyday. But little did he know then that the accolades would get bigger and better for the following generation. …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Picking Today’s Top NASCAR Talent

There’s always debate about who the “best” driver in the Sprint Cup Series is, and there are certainly many ways to look at it. I was trying to put together my list of the five drivers I think are the most talented, which got me thinking: if I was putting together a team in today’s …

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