Race Weekend Central

Did You Notice?… You Can’t Teach New Dogs Old Tricks?, NASCAR’s Consolation Prize And Quick Hits

Did You Notice?… New drivers are not learning old tricks? That’s the sense I get four days after the hoopla surrounding Danica Patrick’s seventh-place finish. Patrick, who earned her career-best result at the 1.5-miler, did so in her second full season on the circuit, where she’s yet to score a top 5 and has made limited, …

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Did You Notice? … Teams In Trouble, Drivers Moving On, And Talladega’s Fear Factor

2014 Dover I Cup Clint Bowyer Car Cia

Toyota and Sonoma Raceway are continuing

Did You Notice?… Some clarity in NASCAR’s Silly Season picture? Clint Bowyer’s re-signing with Michael Waltrip Racing, despite a disappointing season came paired with a long-term extension for financial backer 5-Hour Energy. Now, it was unlikely Bowyer would move elsewhere, considering he was second in the championship standings with the No. 15 team just a year-and-a-half …

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Did You Notice? … A Return To Richmond, Post-Spingate And Quick Hits


Martin Truex, Jr. was the obvious victim in the Richmond scandal of 2013, and has struggled to get back on his feet ever since.

Did You Notice?… This weekend marks the first Cup race at Richmond since last Fall’s Chase “cheating” controversy? It’s a perfect time for a “Where Are They Now?” addressing all sides of a scandal whose aftershocks still occasionally shake the sport. The Spinner: Clint Bowyer Bowyer, who has never fully admitted to wrecking intentionally, seems to have …

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Did You Notice? … Drivers Still Make A Difference… But Silly Cautions Don’t

Did You Notice?… In an era where so much has been pinned on equipment, or lack thereof, who you have behind the wheel can still make a difference? 2014 has reminded us of that, with two prominent examples sticking out through seven races. The first is Kyle Larson, replacing Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wheel of the No. 42 Target car after …

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Did You Notice? … NASCAR’s Free Agent Lynchpin, Uncomfortable Reality And Gambling

Before this sarcastic-laden column begins, I’d like to start by offering my deepest sympathies to the Petty family. Matriarch Lynda Petty was, by all accounts, the glue that held them together, her warmth and southern charm defining NASCAR’s first family for multiple generations. One of the sport’s good people, she will be sorely missed. Thoughts …

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Did You Notice? … Toyota Trouble, Limping Into Action And Testing The Waters

Did You Notice?… We’re four races in and Toyota hasn’t made it to Victory Lane? Their 0-for-4 performances, thus far highlight some weaknesses at both Joe Gibbs and Michael Waltrip Racing. Combined, Toyotas have just one top-5 finish out of 20 recorded thus far in 2014; only two drivers (Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth) sit inside …

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Did You Notice? … The Details Behind Busch Double-Duty And NASCAR Teams/Series Needing A Boost

2014 Dover I Cup Kurt Busch Car Cia

Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Did You Notice?… Kurt Busch could be the fourth person in history to do theNASCAR/Indy “double,” running 1,100 miles in the same day? OK, you probably do because Busch was everywhere with a camera, a microphone, and a satellite signal Tuesday. Between the national rounds, from ESPN to NBC along with aKurtBuschDouble.com website rollout it’s clear this Memorial Day Weekend decision …

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Did You Notice? … NASCAR’s Daunting Reality Ahead, Precedents And Race Dates

Did You Notice?… Most people, be it fans, drivers, Twitterbots, whomever seem to agree Sunday’s 500 was one of the best in years. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is on cloud nine, running on no sleep, acting 20 years old again and willing to talk to anyone within earshot – even your dog. NASCAR executives couldn’t have …

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Did You Notice? … A Daytona Darkhorse, Power Split And NASCAR Quick Hits

Did You Notice?… One of the more underreported stories of Speedweeks, thus far is not who’s sitting in the front row but who just missed out. Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, third and fourth-best in Sunday’s qualifying for the 56th Daytona 500 look to have the speed to contend for Victory Lane. Quietly, Roush Fenway …

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Did You Notice?… Penske’s Appeal Resolution Still Comes With Unanswered Questions

It turns out that, in the end maybe there was a bit more playing around with the “rear skew,” trying to innovate in a way where the cars will handle better than NASCAR liked. Perhaps one of the most notable comments, Tuesday came from Penske himself who admitted that, had the suspensions been reduced in the initial appeals process he would not have taken the matter further up the chain. To me, that’s an admission of guilt, considering the 25 points lost by Joey Logano may very well keep that car out of the Chase. It’s a potential loss of millions of dollars in marketing, angering your primary sponsor in the process and you’re not going to “keep going” to restore his points? Sounds like a team that knew they were using a gray crayon.

Did You Notice? … Silly Season Checkup And NASCAR’s Youth Problem

*Did You Notice?…* How already, nine races in, we can make some judgments on NASCAR’s Silly Season moves? In an unusual 2012, there were only three deals in which drivers moved into different major rides: Matt Kenseth, to the No. 20 of Joe Gibbs Racing; Joey Logano, to the No. 22 of Penske Racing; and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. to the No. 17 of Roush Fenway Racing.

Let’s tackle each one at a time. Kenseth’s move to Joe Gibbs Racing was dictated, for him, by sponsorship security: Home Depot and Dollar General will provide the funding for the No. 20 to race for years to come. In contrast, he was dealing with piecemeal backing at his longtime ride, the No. 17, and had changed crew chiefs several times since Robbie Reiser was promoted at the end of 2007. The loyalty, despite a strong relationship with the last of those replacements (Jimmy Fennig) just wasn’t the same.

Did You Notice? … “Cheating” Equals Credibility Crisis, Who NASCAR’s Chasing And Dodging Brands

*Did You Notice?…* One of the biggest statements from Kansas has been swept under the radar… until now? Richard Petty, when interviewed matter-of-factly Friday suggested that someone had to snitch on Penske Racing in order for them to be facing the 500-foot pool of water they’re drowning in now. It was more than a coincidence, said the King for NASCAR to pick apart their cars, pre-race inspection all of a sudden and then throw the hammer down in terms of suspending everyone but the waterboy in that organization for six weeks.

“They passed two or three inspections and hadn’t been caught,” he said of the Texas incident, going on to say that based on past experience, it’s clear as day someone “must” have alerted authorities about suspect rear end housings.