Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: No Need for Headache Powder at Martinsville

As NASCAR’s first short-track leg of the season continues, the Cup circuit heads from a drastically altered Bristol Motor Speedway to a track that, well, hasn’t changed much at all since the 1950s. Martinsville Speedway is still a flat-banked, claustrophobic paperclip that provides the most old-school racing still seen today in big-time stock car competition. …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Food City 500 at Bristol Edition

A weekend in noisy Thunder Valley following a quiet week of rest provides a jarring wakeup call to drivers, crews and fans alike. But while Sunday’s Bristol race itself did not spark the normal beating and banging fest people are used to seeing, it did help bring to light what this season’s short-track races may …

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Despite Recent Struggles, Optimism Runs High in Richard Petty Motorsports Camp

HAMPTON, Ga. – Matt Kenseth may have won the Daytona 500, but Richard Petty Motorsports left the Great American Race as the talk of the town. With three cars in the top 10 – including a stellar third-place run by AJ Allmendinger – the newly-merged team appeared ready to set the sport on its ear. …

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5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Edition

Busch-whacked Kyle may be the Busch making headlines early – with wins across NASCAR’s three national series in the first month – but it was big brother Kurt Busch who made a statement Sunday afternoon in Atlanta. Kurt led more laps Sunday (234) than he did in all of 2007 (164) and made it back-to-back …

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Bubble Breakdown: TRG Making Miracles with David Gilliland While Mark Martin Just Hanging On

The Kobalt Tools 500 marked the fourth race in the 2009 season, meaning there is just one more event to get into the Top 35 in owner points before NASCAR shifts to this year’s standings to determine who is or isn’t locked into the starting grid each week. This made the race at Atlanta critical …

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The Yellow Stripe: Catch 21 – NASCAR Thoughts, Questions & Observations 3 Races Into 2009

21, as many of you will know, is a lucky number in Las Vegas. So, here are exactly that many questions, observations and thoughts – in no particular order – on the season so far as the series leaves Sin City to head back east: Nothing changes for Casey Mears New team, new number, new …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Auto Club 500 at Fontana

While many people argued that Matt Kenseth stole or lucked into his Daytona 500 win, no one can deny he was truly worthy of winning the Auto Club 500 at Fontana this past weekend. That victory solidified Kenseth’s position at the top of the rankings, as he’s the first person since Jeff Gordon in 1997 …

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The Yellow Stripe: The Track Too Tough to Watch – How to Change the Boredom at California with 1 Simple Fix

As you’ve likely read plenty of places over the past 48 hours, the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. is a much-maligned venue – arguably the least popular of the 22 tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit. Interest is sparse, attendance is – to put it politely – “not the best,” and in general fans …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Surviving (& Staying Awake) at Fontana

With the glitz and glamour of Daytona now behind us, the focus of the Sprint Cup Series turns west to Fontana and the 2-mile oval that marks the real beginning of the 2009 season. Though unique thanks to its empty grandstands and exceptionally boring races, the Auto Club Speedway is the first of many intermediate …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Daytona 500

Like it or not, after just 380 miles the first race of the 2009 Sprint Cup season is officially in the books. Matt Kenseth was crowned the winner of just the fourth rain-shortened Daytona 500 in history, taking the lead one lap before the weather with a generous push from runner-up Kevin Harvick. But was that last-lap pass enough to leave Kenseth number one in the eyes of our staff this week? After all, Kyle Busch dominated the race, only to become an innocent victim of the day’s big wreck on lap 125. And where did AJ Allmendinger land after starting the year with a career-best third – driving for a team that doesn’t even know if it’ll exist two months from now? Find these answers, and more, by examining our first Top-15 Power Rankings poll of the year.