Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Edition

Mr. Martinsville Nobody can accuse Jimmie Johnson of being too boring or too perfect anymore. The man dubbed “Mr. Martinsville” by teammate Jeff Gordon drove deep into turn 1 with 16 laps to go and body-slammed Denny Hamlin for the lead and eventual win Sunday. The pass was not perfect, a little daring, and showed …

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Bubble Breakdown: Toyota Bubble Teams Struggle Mightily at Martinsville While Menard Sneaks In

The last remnants of the 2008 season have finally been cast by the wayside, as NASCAR now uses this year’s owner points in determining who has a guaranteed starting spot and who has to qualify on time. But as the drivers now outside of the Top 35 readied themselves to give it all they had …

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Happy Hour: Travis Kvapil’s Situation is Sad – But It’s Reality

It’s a bummer to watch Travis Kvapil be out of a ride because of the harsh realities of motorsports. As I write this, and as Tom Bowles explained so lucidly on Monday, a freak combination of owner points transfers and bad luck has resulted in Yates suspending operations of its famed No. 28 shop indefinitely. …

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Thompson in Turn 5: Clint Bowyer Still Flying Under the Radar

Clint Bowyer, the pride of Emporia, Kan., was on virtually nobody’s preseason list of “drivers most likely to win the 2009 Sprint Cup championship.” But five weeks into the season, the top-performing driver with RCR – on its newest team, no less – finds himself as one of the top contenders in this year’s points …

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Voices From the Heartland: Pushing Through NASCAR’s Press Conference Daze About Nothing

Last week I reported, in part, about the press conference held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway that announced another press conference would be forthcoming in a couple of weeks. Oh, that’s right! They also named Ric Flair as the Honorary All-Star Race Director for 2009, but that was just a sideshow. Instead, at the time LMS …

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Fanning the Flames: Yeah, I’ll Admit It; I Miss the Old Bristol Stomp

Ah, Bristol; you gotta love it. Even when we have a race that isn’t considered to be one of the all-time classics (Sunday’s was at best a 5.0 on the excitement scale) the fervor generated amongst the fanbase reaches a fever pitch. Old Bristol or new? Bump ‘n’ Run or hit the high groove? Frustration, …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: No Need for Headache Powder at Martinsville

As NASCAR’s first short-track leg of the season continues, the Cup circuit heads from a drastically altered Bristol Motor Speedway to a track that, well, hasn’t changed much at all since the 1950s. Martinsville Speedway is still a flat-banked, claustrophobic paperclip that provides the most old-school racing still seen today in big-time stock car competition. …

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Mirror Driving: Final Thoughts on the New Bristol & Digesting the New Top 35

It’s clear 18 months after repaving this isn’t the same old Bristol. That’s led to mixed reviews from fans – but is the new Bristol a classic or a total flop?