Race Weekend Central

Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN on ABC… Sort Of? Why the Plug Was Pulled on a Playoff Race

For the third consecutive race, ESPN turned in a solid performance at Phoenix International Raceway. The broadcast team performed well in all areas, displaying only a few weaknesses throughout during what turned into a long, strenuous day. Unfortunately, an error far beyond the control of ESPN’s NASCAR broadcasting team overshadowed at least some of Sunday’s …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix

Very rarely do you see a former champion show so much admiration for another. But when Kurt Busch finished runner-up to points leader Jimmie Johnson this weekend at Phoenix, he admitted that the No. 48 team was “something special,” and told fans to tune in or come to watch NASCAR’s next big dynasty. It’s true …

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Fan’s View: “3”

“3” Face it, the number makes you smile. You’re driving down the road and the truck you’re passing has it plastered on his rear doors in a shameless homage to a past hero. Maybe you honk. Even if you don’t, just seeing it puts a grin on your face. NASCAR Nation lives! Thusly, I have …

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10 Points to Ponder… After the 2008 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix

1. Monkey See… Monkey Do – The nip and tuck championship battle between Ron Hornaday and Johnny Benson Jr. continues after the two squared off at Phoenix Friday night in the Lucas Oil 150. The fact the two Craftsman Truck Series drivers continued their points fight was made more remarkable after Hornaday incurred significant damage …

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Happy Hour: More Excitement? NASCAR’s Chase Hasn’t Even Done That

The Chase for the Sprint Cup has been called “controversial” and “unpopular with some fans”, which are PC phrases for “a lot of people hate it.” In its fifth year, with ratings declining yet again as we close in on another likely lackluster finish to the season, we have reached the point where the Chase …

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Driven to the Past: The Best Way to Slow a Racecar Down

Once again, one thing leads to another. In trying to explain how easy it is to misjudge a slower speed after you’ve been traveling really fast, I mentioned that I first heard the phrase “You lose your reference to zero” from Dick Trickle. He said that after the first ASA race at Milwaukee, on May 7, 1978. We had never run on anything bigger than a 5/8-mile track, so it stands to reason that most of our guys had never seen the kind of speeds they were experiencing on that big ol’ mile. Neither had I from the flagstand, actually. When the first car went out to qualify, I threw the green flag and then told the tower to wake me up when he got to turn 3.

Fanning the Flames: An Act of Charity, a NASCAR Chase Take & a Crazy Rumor

Good questions this week and I’m feeling a bit long winded, so let’s get to it. Q: Hey Matt! For the Texas race results, I noticed that Joey Logano was not awarded points. Instead, in that column it reads “PE” even though he finished 40th. What the heck does that mean? – Confused in Iowa A: Funny, …

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Voices From the Heartland: Almost on Cue, Bruton Dangles a Carrot & Other NASCAR Tidbits

Last week, this space was solely devoted to what needs to happen for NASCAR, as a sport, to keep from fading into oblivion. At the top of that list was the total removal of Brian France as the head man in Daytona. France’s removal, in my opinion, would be the single most ray of hope …

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Thompson in Turn 5: Blame Slumping NASCAR Attendance on the Economy & Oh, Yeah… Jimmie Johnson

It is difficult to determine where the blame lies for race enthusiasts turning away from the final weeks of the Chase, but there’s no denying that they are. Seeing is believing, and all those empty seats, most recently at Atlanta and Texas, are all the seeing anyone needs to believe that interest in the season-ending …

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