Race Weekend Central

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Aric Almirola Amazes Again at Bristol!

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Regan Smith (fourth), Aric Almirola (23rd), Sam Hornish Jr. (35th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Almirola (13th), Smith (14th), Hornish (37th) Rookie of the Race: Almirola. For the second time this season, Almirola was behind the wheel of the No. 8 DEI Chevy at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The rookie came into this …

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Bubble Breakdown: Regan Smith Builds Cushion With 14th-Place Run

Once again, the half-mile bullring that is Bristol Motor Speedway proved to be too much for the teams sitting around the bubble. Only one driver ranked between 29th and 37th finished in the top 25; and for that same group of nine drivers, the average starting position was 29th and the finishing position 31st. To …

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Did You Notice? Jeff Gordon’s Sudden Slide, What NASCAR’s Schedule Hides & Hamlin’s Bad Side

A lot of shorter observations than usual, so I’m calling this the Odds ‘N’ Ends edition of Did You Notice this week… Did You Notice? That California Speedway’s date realignment on the 2009 Sprint Cup schedule did nothing to address the quality of racing at that facility? I will say the Labor Day date was always …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Patrick Carpentier Strong but Sam Hornish Jr. Steals the Show at Michigan

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Patrick Carpentier (sixth), Regan Smith (eighth), Sam Hornish Jr. (23rd), Marcos Ambrose (29th), Brad Coleman (43rd) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Hornish (22nd), Smith (29th), Carpentier (30th), Coleman (38th), Ambrose (43rd) Rookie of the Race: Hornish. On lap 2 of Sunday’s event, it certainly didn’t look like Hornish would be taking home rookie …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: 1st-Year Blues & Fantastic NASCAR Freshmen

Richard Childress Racing is set to set sail with a fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup team in 2009. The sponsor is on board in General Mills, and Childress expects to name a driver in the next week or two. (That driver is likely to be Casey Mears, and may involve a number and sponsor switch with …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Marcos Ambrose Gains Positions & Respect at the Glen

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: (Due to rain, the starting lineup was determined by car owner points) Aric Almirola (15th), Ron Fellows (32nd), Sam Hornish Jr. (34th), Michael McDowell (36th), PJ Jones (38th), Patrick Carpentier (39th), Max Papis (42nd), Marcos Ambrose (43rd) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Ambrose (third), Fellows (13th), Carpentier (20th), McDowell (25th), Hornish (32nd), Almirola …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Pocono Shocker – Chad McCumbee Bests Freshmen Field in Pennsylvania

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Sam Hornish Jr. (26th), Chad McCumbee (34th), Michael McDowell (35th), Regan Smith (36th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: McCumbee (17th), McDowell (24th), Smith (25th), Hornish (26th) Rookie of the Race: McCumbee. The 23-year-old Craftsman Truck series veteran managed to qualify for his first Sprint Cup race in 2008 this past weekend, after failing …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Patrick Carpentier’s Momentum Continues at Brickyard

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Patrick Carpentier (15th), Marcos Ambrose (24th), Michael McDowell (30th), Sam Hornish Jr. (38th), Regan Smith (42nd) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Carpentier (18th), Hornish (21st), Ambrose (22nd), Smith (31st), McDowell (34th) Rookie of the Race: Carpentier. Despite graduating from the open-wheel ranks, this year’s running of the Brickyard 400 represents only the second …

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Bubble Breakdown: Hidden Within Indy Madness, Scott Riggs, No. 66 Team Sneak Back Into Top 35

As difficult as Indianapolis Motor Speedway can be for drivers and crew chiefs alike, it proved to be even more difficult for Goodyear engineers on Sunday. With the company’s few racing tires lasting only a handful of laps before showing excessive wear, NASCAR, in the name of safety, was forced to throw competition cautions every …

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