Race Weekend Central

2008 NASCAR Driver Review: Sam Hornish Jr.

After a dismal partial schedule in 2007 that saw Sam Hornish Jr. qualify for only two Cup races in eight attempts, the IRL transplant shocked the NASCAR community with a top 15 in the Daytona 500. That brief glimmer of hope was short-lived, though, as the next week at Fontana Hornish completed only 20 laps before slamming into Casey Mears.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 NASCAR Season Breakdown

The checkered flag has flown over the field at Homestead marking the end of a historic 2008 NASCAR season. We saw controversial and exciting finishes, scary crashes and a historic third consecutive championship for the dynasty that is Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team. The season also featured three consistently …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Scott Speed Provides 2009 Preview as 2008 Freshman Candidates Fizzle

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Scott Speed (second), Regan Smith (26th), Chad McCumbee (28th), Brad Keselowski (31st), Aric Almirola (40th), Marcos Ambrose (41st) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Speed (16th), Keselowski (23rd), Smith (34th), Almirola (35th), McCumbee (39th), Ambrose (42nd) Rookie of the Race: Speed. In an attempt to secure a starting position for Speed in the first …

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Bubble Breakdown: Heavy-Duty Wreck Leaves High Drama for Top 35 Heading to Homestead

Editor’s Note: We’re happy to report Mike Ravesi was unable to do this column for the best possible reason – he and his wife are having their first child! All of us at Frontstretch couldn’t be happier for the Ravesis and their new addition to the family. While Mike is out, Managing Editor Tom Bowles …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Marcos Ambrose Angling for Solid Finish to 2008

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Marcos Ambrose (18th), Regan Smith (21st), Sam Hornish Jr. (33rd), Scott Speed (38th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Ambrose (18th), Smith (23rd), Hornish (33rd), Speed (40th) Rookie of the Race: Ambrose: Choosing to forego official Rookie status for 2009 to get the Aussie more track time in a Cup car is a decision …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Brad Keselowski Has Impressive Debut While Joey Logano Struggles

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Sam Hornish Jr. (21st), Marcos Ambrose (24th), Regan Smith (25th), Scott Speed (33rd), Brad Keselowski (37th), Joey Logano (43rd) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Keselowski (19th), Ambrose (21st), Hornish (23rd), Speed (33rd), Smith (34th), Logano (40th) Rookie of the Race: Keselowski. The 24-year-old rookie finally got to make his Sprint Cup debut this …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Sam Hornish Jr. Bounces Back from Crash to Widen Lead at Atlanta

Rookies in the Starting Lineup (Due to rain, qualifying was canceled and the field was set by owner points): Regan Smith (32nd), Scott Speed (34th), Sam Hornish Jr. (36th), Marcos Ambrose (38th), Chad McCumbee (41st) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Hornish (24th), Ambrose (29th), Smith (30th), Speed (34th), McCumbee (36th) Rookie of the Race: Hornish. From the drop …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Scott Speed’s Debut Overshadowed by Aric Almirola’s Short-Track Success

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: (Due to rain, qualifying was canceled the field was set by owner points): Aric Almirola (15th), Regan Smith (30th), Scott Speed (35th), Sam Hornish Jr. (36th), Chad McCumbee (41st) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Almirola (20th), McCumbee (25th), Speed (30th), Hornish (34th), Smith (42nd) Rookie of the Race: Almirola. The rain on Friday …

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Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip & Scott Riggs Continue Push Into Top 35

Martinsville, Va. played host to NASCAR’s field of 43 this past Sunday for the running of the TUMS QuikPak 500. The half-mile paperclip-shaped oval makes for some exciting beating and banging throughout the event. If you ever questioned how tough this track was, NASCAR veteran Kurt Busch came on his radio three-quarters of the way …

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Tracking the Trucks: 2008 Kroger 200 at Martinsville

In a Nutshell: Johnny Benson took the checkered flag 0.785 seconds ahead of Dennis Setzer to win the Kroger 200 Saturday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway. The driver of the No. 23 Toyota took the lead with 44 laps to go and never gave up the top spot on his way to his first career Martinsville …

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The Yellow Stripe: Sizing Up the Standings, What’s Left to Decide in 2008 for NASCAR’s Top-3 Series

And then there were five. There are just 33 days left (and 14 races across all three series) in the 2008 NASCAR season, and we’re getting inexorably closer to the time of year the prizes are handed out. So, with a little over a month left in the season, let’s take a look at where …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Where Have All NASCAR’s Rookies Gone? Sent Home by Idealistic Owners

The true rookie story of this race is about those drivers who were not here. Yes, some anticipated debuts were ruined by the weather, but it is not Brad Keselowski, Bryan Clauson or even Scott Speed that I am talking about. No, it is the dismissal of Patrick Carpentier and the continued sabbatical for Michael McDowell that disturbs me. I would really like to know what goes on inside the head of a Sprint Cup owner when they set expectations for a rookie driver with little to no experience at racing’s top level. I’m beginning to think that some team executives expect a driver to jump into the seat of a stock car for the first time and immediately race his way into the Chase.

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