Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? A fraction of a mph cost Juan Pablo Montoya the chance to become the only driver to win both the Indianapolis 500 (a feat which he accomplished in 2000) and the Allstate 400. Montoya, who is Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s only real Chase hope, had a dominant car all …

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Mark Martin Wins 2009 Brickyard 400 Pole

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – After a long, soggy morning, the Sprint Cup Series finally took to the track for qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 2 p.m. Sam Hornish Jr. was the first car on track after heavy rain overnight and occasional showers during the morning cleaned off the rubber that had been laid down …

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Mark Martin Tops 2nd 2009 Brickyard 400 Practice

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Carl Edwards was the first car on the track for the second practice session. The majority of the teams queried stated they were going to work on qualifying runs during this session. Greg Biffle did admit that his last run during the first session was a qualifying run and that was reflected by …

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Thompson in Turn 5: So Far, Mark Martin’s Season Is Not Mark Martin-like

It has been more than 10 years since the newest addition to the Hendrick Motorsports stable, Mark Martin, has scored four wins this early in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. That was in 1998, when Martin would go on to win a total of seven events but nonetheless finish second to a young upstart …

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Mirror Driving: Gauging the Importance of Indy While Sorting Out Title Contenders in Cup, Nationwide & Trucks

Indy is a race that any driver would love on his resume, but does the Brickyard 400 live up to the hype?

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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Happy Hour: Another Speedway Race, Another Chink in NASCAR’s Armor

Never in my years of being a follower of the sport have I witnessed the state of near-panic that NASCAR is in right now. They’re changing rules that had been in place for half a century, opening the press doors to people they once considered irrelevant, installing suggestion boxes for drivers and practically begging fans …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Too Steep a Learning Curve Makes Too Wild a NASCAR Ride

There has been discussion lately about rushing young drivers too quickly to the top in NASCAR, because at one time in the not-too-distant past it was considered out of the ordinary for drivers younger than their mid- to late-20s to join the elite class of race drivers that is now NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. It …

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Voice of Vito: Déjà Vu to You, Too – Hendrick Teams Virtually Guaranteed 2009 Sprint Cup Title

With a much-needed off week prior to the 16th running of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis next Sunday, the Sprint Cup teams fighting for a spot in the Chase are gearing up for what will be a slugfest in the final seven races to determine who gets a shot at the championship following Richmond in …

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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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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Edition

Writer’s Note: I want to offer special thanks to several readers for pointing out some obvious statistical errors in last week’s column. While the errors did not change my determination of who belonged in each category, there was no excuse for them being there. Next time I wait until the 11th hour to finish this …

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