Race Weekend Central

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Patrick Carpentier Captures Top Honors at Daytona

Editor’s Note: Remember that all finishing positions were based on the unofficial results from Saturday night’s race. NASCAR will release the official results sometime around noon ET on Monday, which could cause adjustments based on how they review the final running order of this restrictor-plate event. Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Regan Smith (eighth), Patrick …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Aric Almirola Ascends to the Top at New Hampshire

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Patrick Carpentier (first), Dario Franchitti (seventh), Sam Hornish Jr. (20th), Regan Smith (25th), Michael McDowell (38th), Aric Almirola (39th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Almirola (23rd), Smith (27th), Carpentier (31st), Franchitti (38th), Hornish (39th), McDowell (42nd) Rookie of the Race: Almirola. It was a dismal start to the weekend for Almirola – …

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Bubble Breakdown: Rain Shines Down on Several NASCAR Bubble Teams

The teams on the edges of NASCAR’s Top 35 – or simply forced to qualify on speed – ruled the roost in Friday’s qualifying session. After a rain delay cooled the track, bubble dwellers swept five of the top-10 spots, including rookie Patrick Carpentier taking the pole to become the first top qualifier not born …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Marcos Ambrose Steals the Show, But McDowell Tops the Rookies at Sonoma

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Marcos Ambrose (seventh), Sam Hornish Jr. (17th), Ron Fellows (22nd), Max Papis (28th), Michael McDowell (34th), Patrick Carpentier (37th), Aric Almirola (40th), Brian Simo (43rd) Unofficial Finishing Positions: McDowell (21st), Carpentier (24th), Almirola (28th), Fellows (29th), Hornish Jr. (31st), Papis (35th), Ambrose (42nd), Simo (43rd) Rookie of the Race: Ambrose. It …

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Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip Racing Shines While Road-Course Ringers Struggle at Sonoma

Road-course races can always have a long-term effect on the points standings since teams that ordinarily might not run all that well can get good finishes, either by using substitute drivers or their normal drivers having significant skills on road courses. This set the stage for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. …

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Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip Wrecks, But It’s Haas CNC Crashing Out of Top 35

Rain on Friday afternoon washed out NASCAR qualifying at Michigan International Raceway, meaning the starting grid was set by owner points – leaving the No. 70 Haas Automation Chevrolet and the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Chevy as the odd teams out. But while the teams on the bubble breathed a sigh of relief, their …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Michael McDowell Magically Maneuvers to Top at Pocono

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Regan Smith (fourth), Dario Franchitti (14th), Patrick Carpentier (24th), Michael McDowell (39th), Sam Hornish Jr. (41st) Unofficial Finishing Positions: McDowell (27th), Smith (28th), Carpentier (32nd), Franchitti (41st), Hornish (42nd) Rookie of the Race: McDowell. The young rookie driving for Michael Waltrip Racing was barely heard from all day until it really …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Best Buy 400 at Dover Edition

The notorious Monster Mile jumped out and attacked the competition Sunday when Elliott Sadler came down on the No. 38 of David Gilliland on lap 18, triggering a massive pileup that ended the days for a number of Chase contenders before they could even get into a rhythm. Aside from Sadler’s blunder, though, it was …

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Bubble Breakdown: Penalties Have Crippled Haas CNC… While Saving Michael Waltrip Racing

The big story from the bubble this week has been the heavy penalties handed down by NASCAR to the Haas CNC Racing teams. Both cars were hit with 150-point owner and driver standings deductions, as well as various team fines and six-week suspensions of the car chief and crew chief for each vehicle. As a …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Sam Hornish Jr. Continues Momentum at the Monster Mile

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Sam Hornish Jr. (16th), Regan Smith (29th), Michael McDowell (32nd), Patrick Carpentier (36th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Hornish (18th), Smith (21st), Carpentier (29th), McDowell (30th) Rookie of the Race: Hornish. The Rookie of the Year race remained tight coming out of Dover, as Hornish overcame a lap 68 pit-road speeding penalty to …

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Sprint Cup Report Cards: Grading the NASCAR Pack 1/3 of the Way Through the 2008 Season

In the immortal words of one Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.” The star of the 1980s silver screen was right: life does move fast – and so does NASCAR. With the checkered flag flying on the Coca-Cola 600, we’re …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Edition

In the past, the extra 100 miles that make the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR’s longest event has proved to add an extra dimension to an already grueling race. This year was no different, as it wasn’t how you started but how you finished that made the difference. It seemed that every driver who ran up front …

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