Race Weekend Central

Did You Notice? Unpredictable Plates, Flagging & Quick Hits

Sprint Unlimited 2015 Daytona (3) Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

Did You Notice? There’s rarely any rhyme or reason to plate racing? Only three top-10 finishers from last July’s Coke Zero 400 went back-to-back in February’s Daytona 500: Denny Hamlin, Casey Mears and Clint Bowyer. Of those three, only Hamlin has had a successful season, clinching a Chase bid early in the year at Martinsville. Mears …

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The Frontstretch 5: Tracks That Could Offer New 2015 Winners

2015 Daytona I Unlimited pack racing Credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Welcome to the Frontstretch Five! Each week, Amy Henderson takes a look at the racing, the drivers and the storylines that drive NASCAR and produces a list of five people, places, things and ideas that define the current state of our sport. With Amy busy this week, Frontstretch Assistant Editor Aaron Bearden looks ahead to …

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Sam Hornish Jr. Looking to Renew Chase Hopes with Richard Petty Motorsports

2015 Charlotte I CUP Sam Hornish Jr CIA

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Walking around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, it is pretty difficult to miss seeing an Indianapolis 500 champion. With long sideburns and a new fire suit, this former Team Penske driver has finally landed back in NASCAR’s premier division. Prior to this season, Sam Hornish Jr. had not raced in the Daytona 500 since …

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in NASCAR: 2015 Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan Edition

2015 Pocono I CUP Danica Patrick pack racing CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Burnouts (Hot) 97, 131, 131, 95. Those are the numbers of laps led in each of the last four Sprint Cup points races by Martin Truex Jr. But the only number Truex needed and now has is the No. 1, as in the number of wins he has so far this season. The win by …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 FedEx 400 at Dover

2015 Dover I CUP Jimmie Johnson woohoo CIA

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Breaking News: Jimmie Johnson wins at Dover. OK, maybe not a surprise headline but Johnson did lead just 23 laps and held off a green-white-checkered charge from teammate Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick. The victory marks his 10th at Dover, making him only the fifth driver to reach that milestone. The Monster had no mercy, …

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in NASCAR: 2015 Axalta We Paint Winners 400 at Pocono Edition

2015 Dover I CUP Aric Almirola SAm Hornish Jr racing CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Burnouts (Hot) It’s one thing to be fast for most of the race, but it’s quite another to be the fastest at the end of a race. Figuring out just how to work the end game of a race can be pretty tricky. But that’s what championship teams do, and the No. 48 team got …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

Charlotte Coca-Cola 600 Carl Edwards Flip Highlighted 2015 Mike Neff

Photo Credit: Mike Neff, Frontstretch

Carl Edwards took advantage of fuel strategy to win his first race of 2015 and first driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards led only 25 laps but put himself in the lead by pitting with 62 laps to go and conserving fuel to the end, while the dominant cars were forced to pit. Meanwhile, Martin …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the All-Star Race

2015 Charlotte All Star Denny Hamlin confetti credit NASCAR vis Getty Images

Photo Credit: NASCAR vis Getty Images

It’s hard to believe that Joe Gibbs Racing had never been to victory lane in the All-Star Race. Well, that stat came to an end Saturday night as Denny Hamlin held off Kevin Harvick to win the million-dollar payout and gave JGR its first non-points win at Charlotte. Many would have probably put their money …

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NASCAR Driver Report Cards: Part I

Clint Bowyer Martin Truex Jr Kyle Larson Cup Sprint Showdown 2015 Charlotte Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

Since I’ve been away for a while, there’s a whole lot of writing to do on how each Sprint Cup driver has been performing in 2015. In this day and age of the “new” Chase, looking at the point standings to gauge a driver’s performance is often an optical illusion; once someone wins, scoring points …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2015 Spongebob 400 at Kansas

2015 Kansas I CUP Jimmie Johnson trophy credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Another rain delay and another late finish. This time Jimmie Johnson took advantage of a late-race caution and chose track position over tires/fuel to claim his season-leading third victory. Kevin Harvick led the second-most laps (53), but after pitting and taking two tires, was unable to catch Johnson in the few laps remaining. He managed another …

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in NASCAR: 2015 Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Edition

2015 Kansas I CUP Jimmie Johnson wins credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Burnouts (Hot) You know how to tell when a NASCAR team is suddenly hot? Here’s the formula: Drop to the back of the pack due to an early-race incident. Then gradually work your way toward the front. Then, when what turns out to be the final caution comes out, instead of pitting with the other …

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Did You Notice? Consistency, Hello Underdogs & Quick Hits

2015 Talladega I CUP fans credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Did You Notice? That Richard Petty Motorsports had both drivers – Sam Hornish Jr. and Aric Almirola – finish in the top 15 in Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega? For Almirola, the consistent top-20 finish is nothing new. Through 10 races in 2015, the No. 43 Ford has only one finish worse than 20th (26th at …

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