Race Weekend Central

Pace Laps: NASCAR’s Rivalry Week, Nationwide Vacation And A “Favorite” Triumph

*NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Will Rivalries Ignite This Week?* The 2012 Sprint Cup Season has been downright tame so far in 2012. Sure, there were crashes at Daytona and an early dustup at Bristol; but really, drivers have been on their best behavior so far. But as the series heads to Martinsville, the flat little paperclip-shaped short track in the Virginia foothills, will the good manners last?

That’s a good question. There hasn’t been much action that would spark a full-blown wildfire this year, but there are a few festering wounds from 2011: Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch aren’t suddenly feeling the love. Matt Kenseth has a bone to pick with Brian Vickers. So does Kasey Kahne. So does Jamie McMurray. So do the other guys who got caught in the crossfire last year. Jeff Gordon says he’s forgiven Dale Earnhardt, Jr. after a Bristol get-together compounded his points woes; but will he remember that if he gets frustrated with his teammate again this week?

Pace Laps: Kahne Un-Able, Wheldon’s Lasting Legacy And Casey On The Bench

*NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Can Kahne Turn it Around?* It’s not a likely scenario, perhaps, but it bears watching in the next few races: Kasey Kahne, in a Hendrick Motorsports car, is closer to having to qualify on speed than he is to the top 10 four races in. Kahne’s luck in 2012 has been terrible; if not for bad luck, he really would have none at all. In four races, Kahne has finishes of 29th, 34th, 19th, and 37th in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports car. This week at Bristol, Kahne triggered a multi-car wreck after he was cleared by his spotter before he was clear on the track and moved up across the nose of Regan Smith. Whoops.

Pace Laps Week 4: Bayne’s Bad Break, Sin City Sins And From Mobile To Morris

*NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Johnson, Knaus Will Get Verdict Tuesday* Two weeks after receiving fines, points deductions for driver Jimmie Johnson and owner of record Jeff Gordon, and suspensions for crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec, the No. 48 team will have their case heard by an appeals board at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center in Concord, NC. The team is appealing penalties for the C-posts of the Daytona 500 car, alleging that the car was never actually inspected and the penalty was therefore based on nothing more than a visual once-over by officials. NASCAR has since said that the posts were measured with its gauges, but has not released exactly what the issue with the pillars was or how they were measured. NASCAR also didn’t indicate whether the measurements were made before or after the C-posts were cut off the Lowe’s Chevrolet.

Pace Laps – Short Track – Morris out of a ride

Pace Laps – Short Track – Morris out of a ride The Late Model racing season kicked off at South Boston Speedway with the NASCAR Whelen Late Model 300 presented by Danville Toyota. C. E. Falk took the win, giving himself a leg up on the rest of the Late Model crowd toward the Virginia …

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Pace Laps Week 3: Dodging A Future In Phoenix, Barrichello To IndyCar & More

*NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Dodge’s Future in NASCAR Suddenly Unclear* After the announcement that Penske Racing will switch manufacturers next year in favor of Ford, Dodge said that they are committed to remaining in NASCAR. However, selling themselves to a team could prove difficult for one big reason: engines. Because no other teams currently run the Dodge package, any team that switches will have to have an in-house engine program. While a large engine program could switch over, those teams already receive enough manufacturer support that the switch simply wouldn’t be worthwhile.

Pace Laps: From Daytona Rain To Staying “SAFE” At Myrtle Beach

_Did you see all of the race action this weekend? Or, like lots of busy fans, did you miss a late-night adventure, a Friday controversy, or a juicy piece of news? If you did, you’ve come to the right place! Each week, The Frontstretch will break down the racing, series by series, to bring you the biggest stories that you need to watch during the week ahead. Let our experts help you get up to speed for the coming week no matter what series you might have missed, all in this week’s edition of Pace Laps!_

*NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: When Will You See the Daytona 500?* For the first time in its history, the Daytona 500 was postponed from its usual Sunday afternoon start to today at noon Eastern.

Pace Laps: Johnson Penalty, Gerhart Luck, Larson Rise Highlight Speedweeks, Part I

*NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Violations Found on No. 48 and 15 – What Will the Consequences Be?* Just two days after NASCAR announced a possible penalty for the No. 48 team of Jimmie Johnson, for a C-post that officials didn’t like the look of (the car did reportedly fit the common template), the No. 15 of Clint Bowyer was also tagged for a height violation found in post-qualifying inspection. Because the No. 48 was found out of tolerance before the car ever took to the track, penalties will be assessed after the Daytona 500, and may be the biggest ever seen for a template violation, according to NASCAR President Mike Helton.

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