Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: The Absence of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. from Chase Doesn’t Change Anything

2014 Talladega Ii Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr Crash Cia

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s failure to move onto the next round in the Chase Grid might perhaps be the best thing to happen to the Chase detractors who want to see the end of it all. I mean, Earnhardt was doing so well and was poised to potentially win his first career Sprint Cup Series championship, …

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega

2014 Talladega Ii Cup Brad Keselowski Flag Credit Nascar Via Getty Images

Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

As predicted, it took until the checkered flag before we knew who would be moving on to the eight-driver Eliminator Round. Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Matt Kenseth all knew what they had to do to continue their bid for a championship: win. Johnson led the most laps, Earnhardt, Jr. led the …

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Racing to the Point: Despite Chaos, This Season’s Main Characters Still Alive

2014 Richmond Ii Cup Jeff Gordon Cia

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

This season’s Chase for the Sprint Cup is like watching the final season of a really good, violent drama. You’ve come to terms with the fact that characters are going to be killed off, but you’re hoping it’s done the right way. In other words, don’t kill off Walter White and Rick Grimes in the …

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Five Points to Ponder: Honoring Both Texas Terry And Underdog Efforts

2014 Talladega Ii Cup Kyle Larson Joey Logano Landon Cassill Racing Cia

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

One: Bracket Busters Hands up for anyone who still has a completely accurate 2014 Chase bracket. Silence? Crickets? Tumbleweed? Yep, thought so. Don’t even vaguely try to convince me that you had a final eight that didn’t include six-time champion Jimmie Johnson or the sport’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., not to mention either Kasey …

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Couch Potato Tuesday: ESPN Erases “Everyone” At ‘Dega For Chasers

2014 Talladega Ii Cup Terry Labonte Brad Keselowski Cia

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Race weekends at Talladega Superspeedway make my stomach churn. I’m nervous the whole weekend, just hoping that nothing terrible happens. The sad truth is, terrible things have been happening at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega with an increasing frequency in recent years. It’s truly sad, and since almost all of the bad things happen in …

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not: Talladega – Martinsville Edition

2014 Michigan Ii Cup Ricky Stenhouse Jr Cia

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Some of NASCAR’s best drivers from the regular season were left out of the Eliminator Round after falling flat at Talladega Superspeedway. Three former champions entered Talladega weekend on the outside of the bubble looking in, and one of them didn’t advance. Only three remain along with five drivers who have never lifted the Sprint …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: GEICO 500 – Brad Keselowski Lives to Fight Another Day

2014 Talladega Ii Cup Brad Keselowski Flag Credit Nascar Via Getty Images

Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

Key Moment – The caution flag flew with four laps to go for a piece of metal on the race track. The No. 22 of Joey Logano had it on his grill under caution and rubbed it off when the yellow flag was in the air. The end result was a green-white-checkered finish that brought …

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Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve for Hendrick Motorsports

2014 Indianapolis Cup Jeff Gordon Kasey Kahne Racing Cia

Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Four cars. Each one of them being fully funded by multi-million dollar companies. But something went very wrong and it wasn’t the new playoff format. A nightmare is probably an understatement for what happened to Hendrick Motorsports during the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Three of their four drivers were eliminated from the Chase after …

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Four Burning Questions in Talladega: Starting Grid SNAFUs and Sordid Strategies

2014 Kansas Ii Cup Ricky Stenhouse Jr Car Cia

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

The race that everyone in the NASCAR world has had circled on their calendars since the Chase began has arrived. It’s big, it’s bad, it’s fast. It’s Talladega. After a race at Charlotte last week that saw fireworks erupt between Chasers Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth in the garage area, NASCAR has been …

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Friday Faceoff: Penalties, Fireworks, and Momentum

2014 Charlotte Ii Kurt Busch Brad Keselowski Racing Credit Yvonne Leonard

Credit: Yvonne Leonard

Welcome to Friday Faceoff! What do you get when you take some hot-button NASCAR topics and hand them over to our dedicated and… er, opinionated staff? A little disagreement and a whole lot of thought-provoking insight! Check out this week’s edition to see what everyone is arguing… um, we mean, discussing this week! 1. The …

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Fantasy Insider: Taking The Talladega Gamble

2014 Chicago Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr Car Cia

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

It’s a race that real NASCAR teams and fantasy NASCAR owners as well have been anticipating and dreading at the same time. The restrictor plate race at Talladega Sunday could likely be the best of times and worst of times for teams. With such significant drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski …

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Temper, Temper

2014 Charlotte Ii Kurt Busch Brad Keselowski Racing Credit Yvonne Leonard

Credit: Yvonne Leonard

Talladega, five days from now was supposed to be the Chase’s wildest race, where panic over advancing in the playoffs combined with the chaos of plate racing produced either a 43-driver Demolition Derby or an eight-wide finish at the line. But as the week in NASCAR continues, it’s clear the panic that happened at Charlotte, …

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