Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: When Will the Jimmie Johnson Show Begin?

2015 Pocono CUP Jimmie Johnson CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

There are certain things in life that are foregone conclusions. Death. Taxes. Jimmie Johnson. Wait, what? It wouldn’t be going out on much of a limb to say that Johnson will likely be contending for the championship this year, even if recent weeks haven’t had the No. 48 car at the top of the leaderboard. After …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: NASCAR Making Baby Steps

Joey Logano comes to pit road during the Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway

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

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series continues a bit of a northern swing this week with a trip to Watkins Glen, a track that has quietly put on quite a show in recent years. And the sport enters the race on a bit of an upswing after a couple of small, but significant shifts within the …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Thank You, Kenny Wallace


(Photo: Jimmy Dearing)

If you watch a sport long enough, people come and go. Racing is no different; in the dozen or so years I’ve covered the NASCAR, drivers have entered this realm and left it – some with fanfare, many with barely a whisper. Some I’ve gotten to know over the years, others not as much. The …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Don’t Call the Brickyard 400 a Racing Tradition

Jeff Gordon does a burnout after winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2014.

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2014)­­

This weekend, NASCAR heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, arguably the most venerated racing venue in America, for a 400-mile race. The event features a high purse and is exciting for the drivers; it’s raced on the same track where the Indianapolis 500 takes place each May. The Indy 500 is the quintessential American race, 100 …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: What Makes a Driver?

2015 Kentucky CUP Jimmie Johnson Dale Earnhardt Jr CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

He squints through his helmet with steely eyes, planning his next move. When he makes it, it will be swift, sure, and final (he hopes). He’s only got one shot at it, and the wrong move will mean defeat at best, screaming brakes and torn sheet metal at worst. He’s ready… That’s the picture most …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Rescheduling NASCAR’s Season

2015 Daytona II CUP pack racing overhead CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

This Wednesday’s edition of The Frontstretch Five explored a few scheduling tweaks I’d like to see NASCAR make for its national touring series. A few fans responded with their ideal schedules, so I’m going to expand on that idea with a revamped schedule that could help the Sprint Cup Series in the long run by …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Wins Don’t Come Cheap, No Matter What

2015 Michigan I CUP Kurt Busch champagne CIA

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Kurt Busch took home his second win of 2015 on Sunday in Michigan with a convincing late-race run to the yellow flag that would prove to be the end of the race, as the deluge that fell from the sky was too much even for the Air Titan. He celebrated in a makeshift, soggy Victory Lane …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Odds & Ends From a Hot Summer Night

2015 Pocono I CUP pack racing CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

As summer starts to heat up, there are a lot of things floating around in the NASCAR world, from penalties to contract talks and performance to personalities. This week’s column attempts to sort out a few of the things that have blown across my desk recently — some of the odds and ends that deserve …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: What’s It All About, Anyway?

2015 Dover I CUP pack racing CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, NASCAR was just about racing, plain and simple. Or at least mostly. Sure, the France family was in it for the money (and at the end of the day, that’s why people start businesses — to make money), but it was, at least for the fans …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Where’s the Hall of Fame Standard?

2015 Talladega I CUP Dale Earnhardt Jr Greg Ives win sticker credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

The NASCAR Hall of Fame announced its 2016 inductees this week in Charlotte, and the list was, perhaps, a touch different than others – one that included three Sprint Cup drivers, a modified driver, a track owner and promoter. Most were not particularly surprising. Bobby Isaac was the winningest champion not yet enshrined. Terry Labonte …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Wheels Turn to Wings at Tommy Baldwin Racing

2015 Tommy Baldwin Racing Go Baby Go credit Amy Henderson

(Photo: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch)

Sometimes there’s more to racing than cars going in circles as fast as they can. That was the case on Wednesday at the Tommy Baldwin Racing shop in Mooresville, N.C., on Tuesday (May 12), where a team, a sponsor and an organization came together to give some children a special gift: freedom. Many factors can …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: It’s All About Winning… Until It Isn’t

2015 Talladega I CUP  green flag credit NASCAR via Getty Images

Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

At the end of the day, you can talk about the Chase, you can talk about strategy. You can talk about luck, or apathy, or conspiracy theories. Talk about what you want, because what most people will remember a month, a year, a decade from now is so much simpler. It’s about the winner. It’s …

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