Race Weekend Central

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Which Drivers to Turn Loose in Texas

As the Chase winds down, the circus pulls into the last true cookie-cutter track on the schedule. Texas Motor Speedway is putting in a strong bid to be recognized as NASCAR’s fastest track; and recent history shows us it’s true. Dale Earnhardt Jr. sat on the pole in the spring with a lap that was …

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Mirror Driving: Chasing NASCAR’s Chase, Tiring Tires & Flipping the Bird

Welcome to Mirror Driving. Every week, your favorite columnists sit down and give their opinion about the latest NASCAR news and rumors. Love us or hate us, make a comment below and tell us how you feel about what we’ve said! This Week’s Participants: Bryan Davis Keith (Thursdays/Picks ‘N’ Pans & Sundays/Nationwide Series Breakdown) Vito Pugliese (Tuesdays/Voice …

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Thompson in Turn 5: Jack Roush’s Ideas to Revamp Chase Aside, Let’s Give Fans a Break

Whether Jimmie Johnson, with a seemingly insurmountable 183-point lead in the Chase to the Cup, actually closes the deal this season is yet to be decided. However, many fans and others in the NASCAR community are already conceding the championship to him. The Hendrick Motorsports driver’s string of seven top-10 finishes in seven Chase races …

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Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN Atlanta Coverage an Improvement Over Past Weeks

ESPN’s Sprint Cup portion of its broadcast schedule for 2008 has seen its ups and downs. Unfortunately for the network, recurring mistakes have overshadowed some of its other more solid efforts. At Atlanta, however, ESPN minimized its obvious mistakes and broadcast a very consistent race. Besides the championship standings, the big story heading into the …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Edition

Carl Edwards returned to victory lane this weekend at Atlanta and is now one win behind Kyle Busch for the series lead, but Jimmie Johnson utilized late-race pit strategy for an impressive runner-up finish. The second-place run improves the No. 48 team’s stranglehold on the rest of the Chase field to 183 points, increasing the likelihood of what would be a third consecutive championship.

Johnson has garnered the most headlines since the Chase began seven races ago, but it’s one of his teammates who has quietly been one of the most consistent drivers right along with him. To see who that is and who else has been strong as of late, check out this week’s version of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Chase Edition.

10 Points to Ponder… After the 2008 Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta

1. Eating Sushi – Expectations of a takeover of Chrysler by General Motors are gaining credibility, as both company’s fortunes continue to spiral downward as the world economy continues to slump. However, the buzz in the NASCAR garage is that it is doubtful that Chevy, Ford and Toyota will be willing, as a result of …

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Drivers Take Turns Trying to Solve Rained-Out Qualifying at Atlanta

HAMPTON, Ga. – Rain came in droves at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, meaning that on-track activity was at a minimum. This means that qualifying for the truck and Cup teams couldn’t take place, and practice time for the two series was almost non-existent. The clouds parted midday, giving track crews time to dry the …

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Bubble Breakdown: NASCAR Teams Miss Opportunity to Lock Down Top 35 for ’09

There’s an old saying that Hell hath no fury like that of a ‘Dinger scorned; or something to that effect, anyways. For the second straight week, AJ Allmendinger drove like a man on a mission right from the drop of the checkered flag. And “man on a mission” is exactly the mindset Allmendinger needs to …

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Happy Hour: Is Jimmie Johnson’s 3-Year Run as Good as Cale Yarborough’s Was?

In the wake of a seemingly inevitable third straight title for Jimmie Johnson and crew, John Close at CloseFinishes.com recently compared Johnson to the only other driver in the history of the sport to achieve that feat, the mighty Cale Yarborough. It’s a natural comparison to make, but Close was the first I saw to …

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Driven to the Past: The Infamous Fake Accident

OK, I got forced into this one by one of Ren Jonsin’s trivia questions. It was Wednesday’s question about the pro football team’s stadium where Tom Pistone, Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner and Glen Wood won NASCAR races. The answer, of course, was Soldier Field, now home of the Chicago Bears, so technically that is correct. However, …

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Fanning the Flames: Miscellaneous Questions as NASCAR Season Hits Its Stretch Run

This week, we’ll clean out the Fanning the Flames inbox. Just so you all know how it works, and so you don’t get impatient with me, I often reserve inquiries that are not time specific and scatter them around here and there. Well, since this was a slower than usual week from the Flameheads, I …

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