Race Weekend Central

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Michael McDowell Terrifies at Texas

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Sam Hornish Jr. (17th), Patrick Carpentier (27th), Regan Smith (34th), Michael McDowell (40th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Carpentier (28th), Hornish (32nd), McDowell (33rd), Smith (35th) Rookie of the Race: Carpentier. The No. 10 Dodge qualified for their fourth event in the last five races on Friday, and the momentum did not stop there… …

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Happy Hour: Nationwide Whackers are Hurting NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series

On several occasions during the Martinsville race this past Sunday, the announcers in the FOX booth analyzed “short-term gain” vs. “long-term loss.” The comparison was made whenever a driver skipped a pit or took two tires for track position, meaning that they may gain track position in the short run, but the older tires may …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Goody’s Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Edition

In this short season, Denny Hamlin has asserted himself as one of the stronger drivers on short tracks. After nearly winning at Bristol two weeks ago before a fuel pickup problem relegated him to a sixth-place finish in the closing laps, Hamlin made his way to victory lane at his home track this weekend, earning …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Regan Smith Finally Gains Momentum in Martinsville

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Aric Almirola (third), Sam Hornish Jr. (26th), Regan Smith (33rd), Michael McDowell (34th), Patrick Carpentier (37th), Dario Franchitti (43rd) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Smith (14th), Franchitti (22nd), McDowell (26th), Hornish (28th), Carpentier (29th), Almirola (42nd) Rookie of the Race: Smith. It may be virtually impossible to have an uneventful day at the …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Aric Almirola Breezes Through Bristol

Rookies in the Starting Lineup (Due to inclement weather, the qualifying order was determined by 2007 owner points): Sam Hornish Jr. (seventh), Aric Almirola (16th), Regan Smith (17th), Dario Franchitti (26th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Almirola (eighth), Smith (26th), Hornish (29th), Franchitti (36th) Rookie of the Race: Almirola. Mark Martin was not piloting the No. 8 Chevy …

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Bubble Breakdown: Brian Vickers Digs Out of a Hole, While Jamie McMurray Digs Himself 1

When the checkered flag fell at Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon, it ended more than just the Food City 500. For some, it concluded a short-term “mulligan” they’ve utilized for over a month. For the first five races this season, the Top 35 was based on 2007 owner points; that loophole allowed rookies like Dario …

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Nextel Cup Rookie Report: 2008 NASCAR Preview, Part I

Speedweeks at Daytona starts up this week, which can only mean one thing – a new NASCAR season is finally upon us after some much-needed time off. The 2008 season will once again feature a talented group of rookies who look to hit the pavement for their first full (or almost full) season of competition; …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Michael McDowell Prepares for Rolex 24 Before Beginning His Cup Career

With former open-wheel stars Dario Franchitti, Patrick Carpentier, Sam Hornish Jr. and Jacques Villeneuve leading the 2008 Sprint Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year class, there is one other open wheel and sports car regular who seems to go unnoticed – Michael McDowell. A former Star Mazda Series champion, Rolex Sports Car Series race winner …

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