Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2014 Daytona 500

He didn’t quite have what it took to get by Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the trifecta, but Denny Hamlin was stellar throughout Speedweeks, winning the Sprint Unlimited and his Budweiser Duel before coming home second in the 500. Hamlin, who also finished 2013 with a win at Homestead, is trying to bounce back from a back injury suffered in a crash at Auto Club Speedway last season. Hamlin made the decision not to have surgery on his back after fracturing a vertebra in the incident, and many questioned his decision as he struggled for most of the season following a return to the seat.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2013 Budweiser Duels at Daytona

The Duels aren’t points races, so nobody saw their title hopes go up in flames like you might see at Talladega in October. However, the week’s activities did leave a few drivers behind the eight-ball to start the season. In particular, Carl Edwards has suffered what could be an early season blow, beginning with a hard crash in preseason Daytona testing. Last week, practicing for the Sprint Unlimited, Edwards wrecked his car for that race, forcing him to go to his Daytona 500 backup. His team made preparations to return to Charlotte for a replacement, which was a smart move because they’d need it: Edwards suffered another practice crash before having his primary car turned into sheet metal spaghetti in the first Duel.

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2013 Budweiser Duel 150s at Daytona

Duel One – Kevin Harvick thought it was time to go, prior to the first green-flag pit stop of the race and he went, blowing by Trevor Bayne on Lap 37. That was pretty much all she wrote. The field spent the rest of the day simply trying to lap up Harvick’s beer exhaust, the Bud Chevy in another time zone just like the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night.

Duel Two – Jeff Gordon led. Then he sped… on pit road, so Kyle Busch pretty much took control from there. Kasey Kahne tried, and failed on the last lap to make a charge as teammate Matt Kenseth served as sacrificial lamb for Busch’s second career Duel victory.

Fan’s View: Voting for No Change in NASCAR

NASCAR’s got to change! Isn’t that the platform just about all of NASCAR Nation has been chanting for the past few years? And yet even though we go to the voting booth (um, er, track) or don’t, things haven’t changed. Somehow the cookie-cutter tracks still make up the vast majority of our schedule, the leader …

Read more