Race Weekend Central

The Yellow Stripe: 50 is the New 20 for Mark Martin

The NASCAR season is brutally long, and with 36 races across 10 months, you know that from time to time you’re going to see an absolute stinker of a race. But from the moment I clicked on the broadcast on Saturday night, I just had a feeling it was going to be a fantastic evening …

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Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2009 Phoenix Spring Race Recap

The Key Moment: Mark Martin was able to quickly dispatch Ryan Newman on the race’s final restart, and Tony Stewart never generated the steam to catch him. In a Nutshell: Martin’s victory is a feel good story, but it doesn’t hide the fact Phoenix wasn’t much of a race. Dramatic Moment: With passing so hard …

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Bowles-Eye View: Mark Martin’s Rise Leaves Dale Earnhardt Jr. Flat on His Face

This is a story about two men’s historic rise and fall from grace. As Mark Martin took the checkered flag Saturday night, the desert night lit up with thousands of smiling faces. Sentimentality was in the air again at Phoenix International Raceway, a mere two minutes after a 50-year-old won his first race since ‘05 …

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Mark Martin Breaks His Winless Streak, Wins 2009 Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix

Starting on the front row this season had been a mixed bag for Mark Martin. At Bristol, he ran up front for most of the race and finished sixth. At Daytona, he got caught back in traffic and the rains prohibited him from moving up higher than 16th before the rains came and ended the …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? It might have been the most unnoticed top-10 finish of the night, but Sam Hornish Jr. grabbed his career-best finish at Phoenix with his unheralded ninth-place result. It was Hornish’s first top-10 finish in Sprint Cup competition and the second top 10 in this race for owner Roger …

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Mirror Driving: NASCAR Safety Gone Overboard, Catching Hendrick & Steve Wallace… Cup Driver?

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: Tom Bowles (Editor-In-Chief; Mondays/Bowles-Eye View & Wednesdays/Did You Notice?) Beth Lunkenheimer (Tuesdays/Running Your …

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Voice of Vito: Taking 1 for the Team, Earnhardt Jr. & Martin Getting Gordon & Johnson’s Leftovers?

With the Sprint Cup Series off this week, you might expect some of the senior writers of this staff or other publications would be absent as well. But that is not the case with me. Although I was sidetracked by a brief hiatus, the reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I’m back…. Having …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Samsung 500 at Texas

Things at Texas happen fast these days, leaving the margin of error slim to none on what’s become the sport’s speediest track. From Kyle Busch cutting a tire to Carl Edwards having trouble on pit road, too many of the sport’s biggest superstars discovered that answer too little, too late. The end result was a …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: How 5 Are Faring After 6 – Looking at NASCAR’s 2009 Favorites So Far

The 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season rolls into April, and while nothing is carved in the sand, let alone stone, things are starting to become a little clearer for several teams. While some are living up to preseason expectations, others are struggling to live up to them. I’m going to take a closer look at …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville

With their bumping and banging for the lead on Sunday, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson were able to make big gains up the Power Rankings ladder. But were they enough to push Jeff Gordon off the top spot? Meanwhile, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton were among those who took it on the chin at this …

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