Race Weekend Central

Voice of Vito: Johnny Benson Jr. the Best Thing to Happen to NASCAR Championship Weekend

“I’m the best thing to ever happen to this high school!” So were the words of my friend Ryan Volovlek. Were you to find a copy of Forest Hills Northern High School’s yearbook from 1995 titled Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights… clever, eh?), one would find those words forever immortalized under his picture as his senior …

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Voice of Vito: You Were Always On My Mind – Johnny Benson Ponders His Future in NASCAR

A lot of things must have been going through Johnny Benson’s mind Friday night at Phoenix. Chief among them was probably, “…why did I just do that…” midway through a race while preparing to absorb the impact of a blast into the wall between turns 1 and 2 – with innocent bystander TJ Bell in …

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Voice of Vito: Haven’t I Seen This Show Before? NASCAR Deja Vu All Over Again in the Lone Star State

Have you ever got the feeling while watching a movie, that you may have seen it once or twice before? You’ll notice it when viewing virtually any action movie made over the last 20 years that it is essentially a slightly disguised ripoff of Die Hard – with the exception of Ironman – which by …

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Voice of Vito: A Dying Man’s 5 NASCAR Wishes… If I Were Dying, That Is

With the 2008 NASCAR season winding down, we are in the middle of one of the more anti-climactic points races of the last decade, regardless of format. There is one outstanding title fight in the Truck Series, and another brewing in the Nationwide Series. Predictably, most of the media have avoided covering these two series …

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Voice of Vito: Jimmie Johnson – Modern-Day Legend? 3rd Consecutive Title Would Put Him in Rare Company

To hear many pundits in the media lately, the sky is falling; it is quite possibly the end of the world as foretold in the Book of Revelations or Nostradamus. There is no pulling back from the precipice, and everyone is doomed to accept the fate that becomes them. No, I am not talking about …

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Voice of Vito: Talladega Blights – Regan Smith Disenfranchised, Jimmie Johnson 1 Step Closer

I am going to forego the normal flowery introduction to this week’s column with a decidedly blunt statement: Regan Smith got screwed out of a win Sunday at Talladega. As I see it, the rules are pretty clear, even if the interpretation is not. You can’t go below the yellow line unless you are forced …

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Voice of Vito: Nepotism in Reverse – Kyle Petty’s Days Coming to a Close at Petty Enterprises?

There was a stunning admission made by Patti Petty, wife of NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, reported Sept. 29 in the Winston-Salem Journal. With a few choice words, she changed the landscape of racing’s royal family, giving us pause to reconsider what, to this point, we’d assumed was a fully functioning unit. But perhaps functional is …

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Voice of Vito: Food for Thought – What’s Broken & What Works in NASCAR

The popular saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” applies to many things in life — especially in racing. As we’ve seen the last few years, sometimes NASCAR tends to tinker with things that don’t need to be messed with, while ignoring problems that badly need to be solved. So, on the heels of …

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Voice of Vito: 2008 NASCAR Chase for the Championship Raises Interesting Questions at the Mystery Mile

NASCAR’s 2008 Championship Chase began in earnest this past Sunday with the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Greg Biffle’s lights out performance (pun obviously intended) in passing race leader Jimmie Johnson with 11 laps to go served notice that there are more title contenders in this fight than just The Three Amigos of …

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Voice of Vito: Nationwide Series Hails Return of American Muscle With New Car of Tomorrow

If there is one thing that the Nationwide Series has desperately needed, it is an identity. Once viewed as the stepping stone to NASCAR’s premiere division, the Nationwide Series had degenerated in recent years into little more than an extra practice session for Sprint Cup regulars who were pulling double duty that weekend. Today, it …

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Voice of Vito: Are We There Yet? 2008 NASCAR Season Plods Into Richmond With Chase Set to Begin – Is Anyone Really Paying Attention?

Mercifully, the Pepsi 500 at California’s Auto Club Speedway has come to a close. A race that has supplanted the beloved Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway over Labor Day weekend was the highlight of yet another exercise in futility at a track that has been criticized in recent years for poor attendance, poor racing and …

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