Race Weekend Central

Bowles-Eye View: Jimmie Johnson’s NASCAR History In The Making

Jimmie Johnso sits in the garage during qualifying for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)­

No one was surprised at Monday’s announcement Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and sponsor Lowe’s Home Improvement had signed extensions with Hendrick Motorsports. Perhaps the only surprise was Lowe’s insistence to keep running the full schedule with the team; its biggest rivals in the home improvement industry, Home Depot, have exited the sport altogether and focused …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: Jeff Gordon’s NASCAR Retirement – Planning It Right

2015 Pocono Cup Jeff Gordon Autograph Cia

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

It’s hard to believe the rainbow scheme Jeff Gordon will run at Bristol Saturday night is officially 22 years old. It’s the age Gordon was himself when running as a Cup Series rookie, taking the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet to 14th in the series standings en route to Rookie of the Year. Since then, Gordon …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: Michael Waltrip’s Troubling NASCAR Transformation

Nascar Sprint Media Tour Day 4

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Popularity, fame and goodwill from the general public in this country can change in an instant. Today’s favorite athlete can be tomorrow’s public enemy number one; we revel in building people up only to claw like vicious cats while helping them roll down the mountain. In some cases, like cycling’s Lance Armstrong, the presence of new, …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: Owning Your Problems – NASCAR’s Rising Cost Of Competition

2015 Indianapolis Cup Kevin Harvick Car Cia

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

NASCAR’s high-downforce, high-drag package was the centerpiece of conversation at the sport’s Brickyard 400 this weekend. The race has the second-largest purse out of all 36 events on the schedule but that was small consolation when looking at the balance sheets of Sprint Cup owners. The sport’s move to different rules, requiring adjustments from a …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: Tony Stewart’s Tough Decision

2015 Loudon I Cup Tony Stewart Vertical Cia

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Beating up on NASCAR these days is all too easy. Beating up on Tony Stewart? He does that to himself every week. The most serious slump in the Cup Series shows no signs of slowing, with Smoke a whopping 132 points outside the Chase heading to Indianapolis this weekend. 26th in the standings, earning just …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: The Perils of Playing It Safe

2015 Michigan I Cup Kyle Busch Car Cia

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Kyle Busch‘s Sprint Cup quest for the Chase got a major boost Sunday with his Sonoma victory. The series’ 11th different winner this season, Busch’s injury exemption now gives the No. 18 team a realistic chance to make the playoffs. With ten races left, Busch must now find a way to claw inside the top …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: Right-Turn Regret – Missing NASCAR’s Crossover Appeal

2013 Wgi Cup Boris Said Cia 430

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Scott Pruett. Tommy Kendall. Ron Fellows. The names slip through the tongue like alphabet soup, and for NASCAR fans their presence was deliciously devoured for decades. Each year, when the Cup Series stopped at their two road courses, these names would appear out of the woodwork, special guest stars bent on beating stock car racing’s …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: Investigating A Historic NASCAR Season… Wasted?

2014 Richmond Ii Cup Kevin Harvick Crew Cia

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2014)

Kevin Harvick, NASCAR’s reigning champ, is enjoying an even better season on paper so far in 2015. He’s recorded 10 top-two finishes in the first 15 races; that’s keeping pace with Hall of Famer Bobby Allison (1972) for the modern-era record. With 1,225 laps led thus far, he’s on pace for 2,940, a number 37.5% …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: NASCAR’s Danica Domino

2015 Charlotte I Cup Danica Patrick Thinking Cia

(Photo: CIA Stock Photography, Inc. ©2015)

Every year, the stack of dominoes known as NASCAR’s Silly Season needs a major talent to come tip the scales. In order for there to be movement among teams, especially in an era where new owners and opportunities are going the way of the dinosaur there needs to be a spark in the form of …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: Bubba Wallace’s Big Miss – Will NASCAR Teammates Be Allowed To Hate?

2015 Dover I Nxs Pack Racing Cia

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Chris Buescher versus Darrell Wallace Jr. It was the intra-team rivalry that left everyone buzzing after the closing laps at Dover, contact killing Wallace’s chance at a win while propelling Buescher and his No. 60 Ford straight into Victory Lane. Finally, at the end of a race NASCAR produced the series of fan-hooking events it …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: The New NASCAR, From Shaky To Saved In Just 1 Day

Carl Edwards Charlotte Motor Speedway Coca Cola 600 2015 Yvonne Leonard 010

(Credit: Yvonne Leonard, Frontstretch)

Carl Edwards entered Charlotte buried under the weight of high expectations. Adding mental pounds of his own pressure simply left him digging a deeper hole through Sunday’s first 500 miles. A Sprint Cup veteran and former championship contender found himself struggling at Charlotte, like most weeks this season just hoping to escape with a top-10 …

Read more

Bowles-Eye View: Rediscovering NASCAR’s Missing Piece, Passion

2015 Kansas I Cup Green Flag Credit Nascar Via Getty Images

Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

For a sportswriter, even in this age of social media, I find myself a pretty private person. As I see it, you’re here for me to write about why Tony Stewart’s a little off this year, not about what I did on my off weekend. You want pictures of Kyle Larson’s Target car, not me …

Read more