Race Weekend Central

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2014 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega

Key Moment – On lap 137, Brad Keselowski, who was already six laps down thanks to an incident with Danica Patrick on lap 14 while going for the lead, spun in front of the field while trying to get his lap back the old fashioned way. At the time he and Jamie McMurray were the only two cars not on the …

Read more

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2014 Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond

Kyle Larson continued to show that he’s not only a threat for Rookie of the Year honors, but also for winning. Larson got the top starting spot by virtue of his practice speed after qualifying was rained out, part of showing speed and prowess all weekend long. Unfortunately for Larson, he got tagged by Bowyer on the first lap of the race which dropped him to the rear of the field. Larson was able to recover somewhat to finish 16th, still good for Rookie of the Race honors, but clearly lacked the confidence and speed to get back to the front after that moment.

Professor of Speed: An Executive Order on NASCAR Drivers

President Obama’s statement last week declaring Jimmie Johnson to be “the Michael Jordan of NASCAR” got me to wondering: are there no other stock car drivers who could be associated with professional athletes? Comparing the six-time Sprint Cup champion to perhaps the most accomplished and recognized personality in recent NBA history seems a tad presumptuous, …

Read more

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2014 Duck Commander 500 at Texas

Key Moment – As Joey Logano came out of turn 4, heading to the flagstand for the white flag, Kurt Busch’s car that had lost a left rear tire began spreading debris on the track and race control called for a caution. The ensuing pit stops saw Jeff Gordon take two tires, along with Brian Vickers. …

Read more

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2014 Duck Commander 500 at Texas

On a weekend when, once again, rain changed the game, in the end, the real game changer was Kurt Busch’s blown tire just before the white flag. At first, many questioned the caution as it appeared that Busch had gotten his slowing car onto the apron, but television replays showed that the left rear tire on the No. 41 came apart, shredding the car’s quarterpanel. Debris quickly spewed all over the asphalt, and some made its way onto the racing surface. The caution was a good call, and it set up a green-white-checkered run that a year or two ago would have been much different.

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2014 The Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix

2014 Dover I Cup Kevin Harvick Helmet Cia

Key Moment – Kevin Harvick missed the final 12 in “knockout” qualifying by .001 seconds and started the race 13th based on that result. While Harvick won practices and the race, his stumble in qualifying was the only thing that added any excitement to the weekend. In a Nutshell – Harvick won everything but qualifying at Phoenix …

Read more

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2014 The Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix

2014 Darlington Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr Credit Yvonne Leonard

(Credit: Yvonne Leonard)

Looking for the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How behind Sunday’s race? Amy Henderson has you covered with each week with the answers to six race-day questions, covering all five Ws and even the H… the Big Six. Who… gets my shoutout of the race? It shouldn’t have been unexpected. Anyone who didn’t think Dale …

Read more

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2014 Daytona 500

Key Moment – On the final restart of the race, Dale Earnhardt Jr. chose to start in front of teammate Jeff Gordon. When the green flag flew, Gordon stayed tight to Earnhardt’s bumper while Kyle Busch was several feet off of the bumper of Brad Keselowski. The resultant push put Earnhardt solidly in the lead …

Read more

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 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona

The good news is that nobody had to worry about points on Saturday night. The bad news is that many teams come to Daytona with three cars: their Sprint Unlimited car, Daytona 500 car and Daytona 500 backup. After a practice wreck, some teams could be left scrambling. Carl Edwards’s team already loaded his Unlimited car on a hauler bound for Charlotte after his practice wreck; they’ll fix it, hang new sheetmetal, and bring it back to serve as the Daytona 500 backup as Edwards was forced to pull his original second car out for Saturday’s race.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2012 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead

For possibly the first time ever, Dale Earnhardt Jr. snuck up for a good finish. Usually, it’s impossible for Earnhardt to fly under the radar in a race. But this week, with the spotlight on his teammate and his former employee running for the Cup, Earnhardt did just that, finishing 10th after running mid-pack for most of the day.

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2012 Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville

During the pit stops for a lap 476 caution, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. stayed out while Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and the rest of the lead lap cars came in for two tires. Johnson restarted behind Keselowski and worked him over for four laps before taking the lead for good. In the end, Keselowski ended up about where he would have finished with tires, while some of the other top contenders on the day ended up falling back to unsatisfying results.