Race Weekend Central

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2009 Atlanta Fall Race Recap

The Key Moment: Kevin Harvick seemed poised to run away with an upset win at Atlanta until a late caution (caused ironically enough by Harvick’s teammate, Clint Bowyer) reshuffled the deck and handed Kasey Kahne the winning hand. In a Nutshell: On Labor Day weekend within a sport where fans have labored to believe that we’d ever …

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Bubble Breakdown: David Stremme, Paul Menard Lead Several Bubble Drivers With Top-20 Finishes

Well pull up a chair kids, we had a major case of musical seats amongst some of our bubble teams that isn’t even over yet and I’m gonna try and explain it all to you. It started when Bobby Labonte who drives for Hall of Fame Racing was taken out of his ride by HoF’s …

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What’s Vexing Vito: Ousting a Veteran Driver at His Best Track for an Unproven Rookie: Par for the Course in NASCAR

It was announced this week that 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte was going to be replaced, in effect, by Roush Fenway Nationwide Series driver Erik Darnell in seven of this year’s final 12 races. It was the latest turn in a saga which saw Labonte start 2009 as the latest wheelman of the …

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Bowles-Eye View: Is Erik Darnell’s Best Chance Bobby Labonte’s Last Hurrah?

We always seem to want athletes to retire on their own terms in this country. Just like what we expect in our own line of work, past achievements and personal respect should combine for a lifetime of immunity, putting someone in position to make their own choice about when to walk away from the sport …

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Thompson in Turn 5: Joey Logano – No One Is Better Than Joe Gibbs at Picking a Winner

If it appears that the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota driven by rookie Joey Logano has become increasingly more visible in recent weeks, it is because he’s begun to emerge from the back of the pack and become more of a weekly contender. Perhaps no driver entered the country’s top stock car series with higher …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 CARFAX 400 at Michigan Edition

What a weekend for Brian Vickers! After winning poles in both the Nationwide and Cup series at Michigan International Speedway, Vickers scored his second career Cup win on Sunday and came close to scoring the sweep Saturday in the NNS race. Now within 12 points of the Chase, Vickers’s place in this week’s column is …

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Thompson in Turn 5: There’s Just Something About Monday Races at Pocono

The only disappointment for race fans this week should be that the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 was rescheduled for Monday (Aug. 3) due to rain, resulting in many NASCAR loyalists to miss the live broadcast of the event. That’s because – wouldn’t you know it – there was finally a good stock car race …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Edition

I’m back from the glorious paradise that is Puerto Rico and arrived just in time to catch the rain that ruined any chance of getting a decent race in on Sunday (Aug. 2). My return may be to your dismay, as Tom Bowles and Mike Lovecchio did a heck of a job sizing up the …

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Bowles-Eye View: Don’t Let Pocono Rain On Your Parade – Some Sunday Highlights From the Track

While Pocono’s 500-miler was pushed back a day, the rain couldn’t do the same to my deadline. So while I’d love to write on the race itself, instead I started this Sunday night (Aug. 2) staring at a blank page after “start your engines” became “stop those weepers!” That left us with hours upon hours …

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What’s Vexing Vito: Unsolicited Opinions on NASCAR You Haven’t Thought About Until Now

In this space each week, I usually wax poetic – or manic – depending on your view, on some topic that has been, by this point in the week, completely beaten to death and rehashed to the point that you probably can’t fire off a letter to me quick enough, asking that habeas corpus be …

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2009 NASCAR Report Cards, Part II: Grading Dale Jr. & the Rest

Editor’s Note: For Part I of our midseason driver report cards, click here. Continuing on from yesterday’s review, it’s time for Professors Danny and Tom to grade those drivers sitting at the back of the class. Whether it’s some bad racing luck, poor chemistry with a crew chief or just plain awful driving, most of …

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