Race Weekend Central

Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: All Around NASCAR’s Chosen Ones

Like it or not (and I think I’ve made it pretty clear which side of the fence I stand on over the last five years) NASCAR’s all-singing, all-dancing, usually disappointing Chase for the Championship is now underway. 12 finalists have been anointed possible titlists and, barring the sudden addition of a swimsuit and talent competition, …

Read more

Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: NASCAR 10 Years Down the Road

This long holiday weekend, I was doing some research for a book I’ll probably never write. As this season draws towards its conclusion, I found myself studying the results from the 1999 Atlanta season finale, run on Nov. 21 almost 10 years ago. If you’re in your 20s or even 30s, a decade seems like …

Read more

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2009 Atlanta Fall Race Recap

The Key Moment: Kevin Harvick seemed poised to run away with an upset win at Atlanta until a late caution (caused ironically enough by Harvick’s teammate, Clint Bowyer) reshuffled the deck and handed Kasey Kahne the winning hand. In a Nutshell: On Labor Day weekend within a sport where fans have labored to believe that we’d ever …

Read more

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2009 Bristol Night Race Recap

The Key Moment: Kyle Busch prevailed in a spirited side-by-side duel over the final two laps. In a Nutshell: While there’s side-by-side racing and technically better racing, fans just aren’t warming up to Bristol Lite. Fans don’t seem to like the new track, the new cars and less carnage. Maybe Bristol should modify Miller’s slogan, …

Read more

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2009 Pocono Summer Race Recap

The Key Moment: With 20 laps to go, Denny Hamlin restarted 14th with fresh tires. With 10 to go, he drove past Clint Bowyer to take the lead and was never headed at Pocono. In a Nutshell: Better late than never. In this case very late, but very much better than the last few Pocono races. Dramatic …

Read more

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2009 Brickyard 400 Race Recap

The Key Moment: Jimmie Johnson edged ahead of Mark Martin on the final restart to take the lead for good. A valid argument could be made that the entire complexion of the race changed when Juan Pablo Montoya, who flat out dominated the race, was penalized for speeding on pit road during the last round of …

Read more