Race Weekend Central

Five Points: Halfway Home, Rocket Man & Sliced Bread

2014 Dover I Cup Ryan Newman Car Cia

ONE: HALFWAY HOME Saturday evening’s race under the lights on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway will mark the 18th race of the season and thus the halfway mark on the 2014 Sprint Cup schedule. Given the sheer length of the season the point at which we have more races in the books than …

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Five Points to Ponder: Wine Country, Kasey Kahne’s Breakthrough & the World Cup

ONE: Wine Country After the Irish Hills of Michigan, next up on the Sprint Cup Series slate is a trip out west to beautiful Sonoma and wine country. One of the two road courses on the schedule — the other being Watkins Glen — the chance to turn left as well as right brings up …

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Five Points to Ponder: Tick Tock, Comes NASCAR’s Final Four And… Trash?

2014 Pocono I Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr Woohoo Cia

ONE: The Final Four Following Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s second win of the season at Pocono Raceway, we now have four drivers properly and officially locked into the Chase. Earnhardt, as mentioned, is one, with Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson the other three drivers with a pair of victories to date. Now, I know …

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Five Points to Ponder: Saturday Night Lights, New Arrivals and Triple Centuries

ONE: Triple Century for Hamlin Denny Hamlin joined an exclusive club of drivers this past Sunday, not just for his first win on the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway but also by becoming only the fifth driver to win his 300th start at the Cup level – his 24th overall victory. The previous four were …

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Five Points to Ponder: Surprising Names Off To Solid NASCAR Starts

ONE: What a Season So Far In the seven years I’ve been a weekly NASCAR columnist it is fair to say that there have been many more reasons to be critical than to be effusive. Sinking TV ratings, the car of sorrow, empty stands, mind-numbing races, Jimmie Johnson winning everything — you name it, and folks, to …

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Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment

Time For a Breather: After a frenetic first eight weeks of the mammoth ten-month NASCAR season we get our first moment to breathe this weekend as the engines go silent in honor of Easter. And so far, even the strongest and most vociferous of critics would have trouble denying it’s been anything other than a fantastic start …

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Five Points To Ponder: Keselowski Rivalries, Titans, And Short Track Success

ONE: WE’RE OFF TO A GOOD START Six races down, 30 to go and it’s fair to say we’re off to an excellent start in 2014. Three of the races have been classics — the Daytona 500, last Sunday’s race at Martinsville and the previous week at Auto Club Speedway — while Las Vegas and Bristol were both very …

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Five Points to Ponder: Five Winners, Fontana In The Chase And The Real Deal

ONE: Five Winners in Five Weeks So that’s five winners in five weeks, with Kyle Busch joining Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards among those locked into the Chase — or so goes the conventional wisdom. But there’s a bit of trouble brewing with that philosophy. History had shown us that …

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Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR Gambles, And So Do Teams With Vegas Looming

Nascar Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400

Steve Letarte, with his No. 88 car all but locked into the Chase will have no problem taking risks on strategy this season.

ONE: NASCAR Teams Gambling Already No, I’m not talking about Las Vegas. It’s clear the new Chase format, rewarding race winners, is going to have a significant impact on the pre-playoff portion this season. We saw it take effect already this past Sunday, when Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s team was comfortable with making, had they needed to, a …

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Five Points to Ponder: Pole Conspiracies, Smoke Rising and the Great American Race

ONE: And We’re Back The NASCAR offseason is just about the shortest in all of professional sports. So why does it always feel like ages between the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the start of Daytona Speedweeks? I’ll leave that answer to those more qualified in the study of neurosciences in the human brain, …

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