Race Weekend Central

Top News: Hamlin hoping for slightly better luck with Sports Clips in Atlanta

Sports Clips returns to sponsor Hamlin in Atlanta Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will once again feature Sports Clips as the primary sponsor. Earlier this year, Hamlin posted a runner-up finish at Darlington with the company’s colors on his car in retro scheme honoring Cale Yarborough’s NASCAR Hall of Fame induction. Hamlin …

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Potts’ Shots: Agreeing To Disagree – To A Degree

First off, a comment from *Steven Sturm* says I goofed on SCCA flag procedures last week, saying,

One mistake: with yellow flags, there is no passing until you pass the
incident, not the next flag station.

OK, Steven, I guess you’re speaking from experience and have some knowledge of the subject. However, I wasn’t sure about that when I wrote it, and I got my information from a video on one of the SCCA regions’ website. Maybe it differs by region. I ended that column with the note that we had a lot of fun in those days.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Bristol-2

Was that “Old Bristol”? Or “New Old” Bristol? Or Old New…?

Does it matter? It was awesome! Helmet throws, finger wags, and everything in between were the staples of the night, and somehow Denny Hamlin found his way through all of it into Victory Lane. Saturday night short track racing at its finest.

How did Hamlin fair in our rankings? And did Tony Stewart’s helmet throw earn him any brownie points with our writers? Continue reading to find out…

Couch Potato Tuesday: ESPN Fails to Carry Excitement to Cup Telecast

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecast critiquing is the name of the game. This past weekend, the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series were all in action back at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Also of note, we’ve breached the 250 critique mark here at Frontstretch (combined between the regular Tuesday critiques and the ones in the Annex). I thank my readers for hanging in there over the past three plus seasons.

Some of the old Bristol returns to produce a new winner

By Jeff Wolfe The new Bristol is now the old Bristol. And with it came some of the same antics Saturday night that made the .533-mile track one of the most entertaining on the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Track owner Bruton Smith had the famed-oval put back to its old style after the Spring race by …

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Regan Smith Driver Diary: Unhappy with Ambrose and the Berrier Impact

As drivers, there is always something to do in between races and this week was no different. On Tuesday, we were at Pikes Peak for testing. Overall, I thought things went pretty well. Some stuff worked, some didn’t. Any time we get to test, it serves as a good opportunity to gather information that we can apply anywhere. If I had to pick a specific track where I expect what we learned to especially benefit us, I would say Richmond more than anywhere else; Pikes Peak is just a little bit rougher. We’re also hoping some of the things we found could work at Bristol.

We used to get to Pikes Peak a lot but this is actually the first time since the end of last year that we were able to test there. I enjoy going there and if they got rid of some of the bumps, I think you would see a lot more teams crossing the country to test there. From a short track perspective, I think it’s one of the best venues in the nation to collect data and knowledge at. I think it’s a great facility and I have a lot of fond memories from when we used to race there.

RPM makes crew switches for Ambrose, Almirola

RPM Makes Pit Crew Switches for Ambrose, Almirola According a report from FoxSports.com’s Lee Spencer (http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/Richard-Petty-Motorsports-shifts-parts-of-NASCAR-Sprint-Cup-pit-crews-082212), Richard Petty Motorsports announced they’re changing up the pit crews for Marcos Ambrose’s No. 9 team and Aric Almirola’s No. 43 in hopes of helping performance for both drivers. “We’re trying to move things around to improve the performance …

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Potts’ Shots: How To Flag On A Road Course

An old friend from the Indianapolis area, Carl Jackson, wants to know why NASCAR seems reluctant to use “local” yellow flags on road courses.

There have been many people commenting on the issue, post-Montreal so I figured maybe I’d toss in my two cents.

Working with SCCA and other road racing bodies in my fifteen years at Indianapolis Raceway Park, I got fairly familiar with their procedures. I made an effort to learn as much as I could about it, especially because we had open test dates prior to their road race weekends. I served as either race control or chief starter on those dates, and felt I should know what the participants were expecting. I found out it was usually quite different from an oval racing outlook.

Beyond the Cockpit: Patrick Long On NASCAR, Road America Testing & More

_Recently, Patrick Long made his Sprint Cup debut in the No. 30 Toyota for Inception Motorsports at Watkins Glen. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long — the team was out of commission well before the halfway point — but that was just one more series in a long list that he has competed in over the last decade or so._

_In addition to Sprint Cup, Long has competed in the Nationwide Series, ARCA and the K&N Pro Series. That speaks nothing of his volumes of experience in sports cars, having served as a Porsche factory driver since 2004. Long recently took a break from his very busy testing schedule in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin to talk to our own Phil Allaway._

NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Michigan-2

Heartbreak may not even begin to describe what Jimmie Johnson felt after losing just one lap to go thanks to a blown engine. One man’s loss was another man’s gain, however, and Greg Biffle returned to Victory Lane for the second time this year. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski’s strong run also brought him to the forefront of everyone’s minds as we head to the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

How did these three fair in our rankings? Did Biffle’s win vault him to the top? Keep reading to find out:

SPEED’s Action is Tops, While ESPN Needs to Expand Coverage

Hello, race fans. Welcome back to Couch Potato Tuesday, where race telecast criticism is the main topic of discussion. I’m back from a one-week hiatus imposed because I was in Watkins Glen for the Sprint Cup weekend there, representing Frontstretch. While I was there, I had originally planned to gather information in order to completely update/replace the article I wrote back in 2009 that goes behind the scenes of ESPN’s telecasts. The idea was that since technology modernizes at a substantial rate these days, ESPN would have had to modernize their own setup as well. However, ESPN refused to allow me access to the TV Compound, or to interview anyone associated with the network’s NASCAR telecasts.

Johnson’s bad luck leaves Biffle with Michigan win

By Jeff Wolfe Greg Biffle thinks he would have had something for Jimmie Johnson. But in the end, he didn’t need anything for the five-time NASCAR champion on the way to winning Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan. Johnson, who was looking for his first victory at the track, appeared to be in prime …

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