Race Weekend Central

2009 NASCAR Report Cards, Part I: Grading the Chase Contenders

We’re one race past the statistical halfway point of the 2009 NASCAR season and as we gear up for the stretch run of 17 Sprint Cup races in 18 weeks, the much maligned (and in equal parts ballyhooed) “Chase for the Sprint Cup” is just seven races away. So before we get down to the …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland

Total chaos on the double-file restarts. Jeff Burton visibly mad. And Mark Martin actually experiencing good luck! Chicago had more than its share of strange moments late in the race, ones that resulted in quite a shakeup in the rankings. Despite finishing fourth, Tony Stewart’s impenetrable hold on the top spot actually slipped; but who …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Brian Vickers on Luck, Teammates & Jumping Out of a Perfectly Good Airplane

Brian Vickers has seemed constantly on the verge of breaking a two-and-a-half year winless streak for much of the last few months. His five poles lead all Cup Series drivers, and he has become a top 10 threat nearly every week as the No. 83 Team Red Bull Toyota crew looks to put him in …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 LifeLock 400 at Chicagoland

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? It’s a tough week to have to choose this one, but I’m going with a driver who, a year ago, was labeled as just another open-wheel convert who couldn’t figure out stock cars. Fast forward to the present, though, and Juan Pablo Montoya seems to have it figured …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Life Is a Team Sport, But Is NASCAR?

We’ve all heard it: the winning driver in victory lane thanking his teammates, without whom he surely could not have prevailed. Well, OK, maybe not in those exact words, because he’d sound like a dork, but you know the drill. Thank those teammates! So, how important are those teammates, really? In a perfect world, of …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Cookie-Cuttering, Chicagoland Style

There are few, if any, tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit as sterile as the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway. The epitome of a cookie-cutter oval, there will likely be few, if any, surprises at the front this Saturday night, so make sure you leave your underdog drivers sitting on the bench. Indeed, the big names of …

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Fan’s View: Kyle Busch Wrecking the Field… Or Was It Junior?

LOUDON, N.H. – Martin Truex Jr. knew who hit him. He knew he wasn’t the one at fault. He knew that Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun his tires when the green flag waved. He knew his bright green TomTom No. 1 wouldn’t be taking off any time soon and right now, with his helmet in hand, …

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 Camping World RV Sales 200 at Loudon

Sometimes, going faster and winning all comes down to going a bit slower. Whether or not that was Kyle Busch’s strategy doesn’t matter… because it worked. In a performance far departed from his stretch of eight consecutive Nationwide races leading the most laps, Busch started ninth on Saturday (June 27)… and stayed there for a …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Running on a smaller budget is usually not indicative of a great finish, but someone forgot to give Marcos Ambrose that memo. Ambrose once again showed his considerable road-racing skill as he was alternately patient and aggressive in his march from the back of the field (where he …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 LifeLock 400 at Michigan

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? I’ve never had a problem with fuel-mileage racing; it’s certainly exciting in its own way. Who would have thought the lead would change twice on the last lap because two different leaders ran out of gas? The mileage issue proved the old adage about better lucky than good, …

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