Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono

Joey Logano was so close to victory he could smell it, and it smelled a lot like rain on a humid summer day. Unfortunately for Logano, who had grabbed his third career pole on Saturday, the rains let up, the race ran its complete distance, and the third-year driver faded to a disappointing 26th. For Logano, who is breathing a sigh of relief now that Edwards is no longer a threat for his ride, Silly Season isn’t quite over until other potential replacements like Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers and Mark Martin have contracts somewhere else. Good finishes still have extra importance for the No. 20 right now.

4 Burning Questions: Carl Edwards, Edwards & Jeff Gordon the Favorite

*Did Carl Edwards make the right decision in re-signing with Roush Fenway?*

After months of rampant speculation about where Carl Edwards would be driving in 2012, the 2011 Sprint Cup Series points leader opted this week to stay loyal to Roush Fenway Racing and remain with the organization, spurning Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards and a potential Home Depot sponsorship at JGR may have certainly been appealing, but when it comes to winning races, this was a no-brainer. In seven full seasons with Roush Fenway, Edwards has amassed 19 wins, 79 top 5s and 126 top 10s while becoming the face of the organization and one of the most appealing drivers for fans and sponsors alike.

Holding a Pretty Wheel: You Can’t Mandate Class – Where’s the Sportsmanship in Today’s NASCAR?

Racing is a sport of emotion. Passion runs deep, emotion often runs deeper, feelings get hurt, egos get bruised. That’s as old as the sport, and hopefully it will never change.

However, there is a fine line between racing passionately and racing without scruples. It’s a line that drivers will sometimes cross unintentionally in the heat of battle, and when they apologize and move on, can occasionally be forgiven for. But it seems like that line is being crossed quite often lately, without remorse or consequence. And NASCAR not only allows it, it seems that at times, when it suits their purposes, they condone it.

The line has a name. It’s called sportsmanship.

Voices From the Heartland: The Writing on the Wall at Nashville… & the Art of Writing Pure BS

“We’re moving forward like normal,” Camp said, when I asked him to address many fans’ fears of the speedway closing down. “We’re planning for events in 2012 and trying to do anything we can to get butts in the seats and get more fans to come and see races here at Nashville Superspeedway. We are not alone in this softness in attendance, it has affected all NASCAR tracks, so we are just working hard to get people out here and are optimistic that 2012 will be an improvement on 2011 and we’ll get this ship turned around and headed in the right direction.”

Liar! OK, maybe that is a little harsh. I ‘spose they are planning for _some kind_ of events at Nashville, but Camp damn sure knew it wasn’t going to be NASCAR, as yesterday’s announcement of (essentially) Nashville’s closing clearly demonstrates.

Potts’s Shots: The Future of Lucas Oil Raceway

Really can’t attribute a question to anyone specific this week. I’ve gotten a LOT of phone calls, e-mails, etc. from people wanting to know how I feel about NASCAR’s decision to move the Nationwide race from Lucas Oil Raceway to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

I’ve touched lightly on this subject once, but just for a sentence or two, and I think the topic deserves its own column. All of those who contacted me assumed, correctly, that I did not look favorably on this decision. That’s putting it mildly. I have to believe a very good friend of mine who covers motorsports for The Indianapolis Star was correct in his question-and-answer blog this week. He said he believes everyone involved in making this decision will come to regret it.