Race Weekend Central

10 Points to Ponder… After the 2008 Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta

1. Eating Sushi – Expectations of a takeover of Chrysler by General Motors are gaining credibility, as both company’s fortunes continue to spiral downward as the world economy continues to slump. However, the buzz in the NASCAR garage is that it is doubtful that Chevy, Ford and Toyota will be willing, as a result of …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Tragedy Only Fueled Hendrick’s Triumph in Their Darkest Hour

It was the first time Brian Vickers smiled all weekend. That was my first thought one Sunday afternoon, a scant four years ago when the dust had settled after the 2004 Bass Pro Shops 500. The second was that it took extraordinary courage and poise for the winning team to be there at all. Racing …

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Happy Hour: Is Jimmie Johnson’s 3-Year Run as Good as Cale Yarborough’s Was?

In the wake of a seemingly inevitable third straight title for Jimmie Johnson and crew, John Close at CloseFinishes.com recently compared Johnson to the only other driver in the history of the sport to achieve that feat, the mighty Cale Yarborough. It’s a natural comparison to make, but Close was the first I saw to …

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Fanning the Flames: Miscellaneous Questions as NASCAR Season Hits Its Stretch Run

This week, we’ll clean out the Fanning the Flames inbox. Just so you all know how it works, and so you don’t get impatient with me, I often reserve inquiries that are not time specific and scatter them around here and there. Well, since this was a slower than usual week from the Flameheads, I …

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Voices From the Heartland: Reader’s Comment Inadvertently Reveals the Problem with Jimmie Johnson

If you come to this website looking for a bunch of happy, fluffy, feel good articles about NASCAR and some of its more colorful characters, my writings are probably not your first stop. Even if I do write about some happy, fluffy, feel-good subject (albeit rare), it is still done in my usual, opinionated manner. …

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Will Jimmie Johnson’s Chase March Yield Your Team Atlanta Gold?

The intermediate track-heavy run to the finish is underway this week, and the heavy reliance on downforce and the resultant “aero push” that comes from being in traffic will be prominent this weekend. Now that the race for the title is pretty much a three-man battle – with Carl Edwards barely within shouting distance – …

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Did You Notice? Who’s Making Fans Turn Away, Why Martinsville’s Lost & Marc Davis Debuts

Did You Notice? NASCAR’s TV ratings at Martinsville were down significantly this weekend, an overnight 2.9 as compared to a 3.3 in 2007? That low rating isn’t going to do the Virginia track any favors when it comes to whether it keeps a second date beyond the 2009 Cup season. Personally, it’s one of my …

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Mirror Driving: A NASCAR Spending Cap? Fixing Qualifying & Saving the Truck Series

Welcome to Mirror Driving. Every week, your favorite columnists sit down and give their opinion about the latest NASCAR news and rumors. Love us or hate us, make a comment below and tell us how you feel about what we’ve said! This Week’s Participants: Doug Turnbull (Tuesdays/Talking NASCAR TV) Vito Pugliese (Tuesdays/Voice of Vito) Matt Taliaferro (Thursdays/Fanning The …

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Top 10: Comparing Jimmie Johnson to Cale Yarborough is Like Comparing…

10. Kumquats to Apples. 9. Mick Jagger’s lips to Angelina Jolie’s. 8. Store bought tomatoes to homegrown. 7. Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. 6. Hillary Clinton to Nancy Reagan. 5. Mike Tyson to Cassius Clay (Mohammad Ali, for you younger folk). 4. Tony Stewart’s body to Brad Pitt’s. 3. A Big Mac to a Hardee’s …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville

The oldest track on the circuit had its usual beating and banging this weekend; but when the smoke from Martinsville cleared, there was one warrior who stood head and shoulders above everyone else. As a result, the Chase picture appears more focused than ever, as Jimmie Johnson’s dominant performance has most everyone believing he’s got …

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