Race Weekend Central

Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Bread & NASCAR Circuses

Friends, Romans and countrymen, lend me your ears. It’s time to put an end to this restrictor-plate madness at last, before some other driver pays the ultimate price. It has been nearly two decades since NASCAR implemented the plate rules as a “temporary fix” at Talladega and Daytona. Tuesday would have been Dale Earnhardt’s 57th …

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Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: NASCAR Short Takes on a Short Break

A few random notes after a rare weekend off for the Cup Series. I really think NASCAR needs to take a long, hard look at their schedule. I hope everyone who took this weekend off enjoyed it, because the next time the Cup schedule does something like that is July 20. After that, the series …

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Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Are the Pettys & Woods On Their Last Legs?

“Back in the day,” both the Petty Engineering and Wood Brothers race teams combined to be the top dogs in Cup racing. In the early to mid-1970s, they dominated the sport, staging epic battles which left the fans on their feet and cemented their history as two of the sport’s legendary car owners. In 1973, …

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Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Debunking NASCAR’s Theory of Green-Flag Passes for the Lead

NASCAR is doing a full-court press right now trying to convince fans and even us cynical media types that the racing with the new car is as good, if not better than, ever. I’ll admit that some of the numbers I’ve seen thrown around about the number of passes for the lead in races that …

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Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: 2008 NASCAR Questions & Surprises

Only five races into the 2008 Cup season, it’s still premature to draw too many conclusions as to how various drivers and teams will fare this year. Things could change radically in the next five events and, like those disclaimers concerning mutual funds state, past performance is no guarantee of future success. But what is inarguable at this juncture of the season is that with the Cup Series taking the Easter weekend off, there just isn’t much to write about. So, let’s take a look back at some of the questions we had heading into 2008, and see whether they’ve been answered yet; and while we’re at it, check out what surprises have popped up along the way.