Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Charlotte Speedway
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Charlotte Motor
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Charlotte County
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Charlotte Motor
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Lowe's Speedway
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Charlotte Speedway
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Charlotte Speedway.
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Lowe's Speedway
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Speedway in
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SMI's Kentucky
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Speedway in
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Charlotte Motor
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Charlotte Motor
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Charlotte: The Hub
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Charlotte Motor
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Lowe's Motor
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Charlotte Motor
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Charlotte Business
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Lowe's Motor
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Kurt Busch Says 'Bonus' Points Are 'Necessity' In NASCAR Title Run

PaddockTalk - ‎1 hour ago‎
Statistics certainly back Busch's labeling the bonus points being a necessity in a successful bid in the Chase to the Sprint Cup title. ...
NASCAR centerpiece: Stuck in limbo Freeport Journal-Standard

Jeff Burton to Make 850th Career NASCAR Start at Charlotte

PaddockTalk - ‎2 hours ago‎
Since his NASCAR debut at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on March 13, 1988, Burton has made 541 Sprint Cup Series starts, 304 Nationwide Series starts and four ...

NASCAR - Nationwide - Dollar General 300 Preview

San Luis Obispo Tribune - ‎1 hour ago‎
By The Sports Network Lap leaders: J. Logano 1-2; K. Busch 3-38; J. Logano 39-49; G. Biffle 50-60;J. Logano 1-2; K. Busch 3-38; J. Logano 39-49; ...

NASCAR Hall of Fame to name first class Wednesday

SportingNews.com - Reid Spencer, Bill Marx - ‎3 hours ago‎
The first class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be announced at 4 pm ET Wednesday in Charlotte. Among the 25 nominees are ...

Kahne puts NASCAR in spotlight over caution call

The Associated Press - Jenna Fryer - ‎Oct 12, 2009‎
CHARLOTTE, NC — It was just a little over two years ago when two-time series champion Tony Stewart accused NASCAR officials of "playing God" by manipulating ...

For Danica, NASCAR doesn't make sense

Yahoo! Sports - Dan Wetzel - ‎4 hours ago‎
It's considered the prime reason why Danica Patrick is considering making a full or at least part-time move to NASCAR. She brushed off questions about her ...
Danica Mania lives Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

October 14, 2009 -- a red letter day in NASCAR history

FOXSports.com - Darrell Waltrip - ‎41 minutes ago‎
Legendary stock car driver Darrell Waltrip, winner of 84 career NASCAR Cup Series races and three-time champion, serves as lead analyst ...

2010 Ford Mustang NASCAR Race Car - Car News

Car and Driver - Jared Gall - ‎1 hour ago‎

Jesse McCartney Forgets Verse of the National Anthem at NASCAR Performance

Zimbio - ‎32 minutes ago‎
... just took a whopping step back when he sang the National Anthem at NASCAR's Pepsi 500 Sunday and forgot not just a word, but a whole verse of the song. ...
Oh Say, Can Jesse McCartney Sing? The Daily Blabber from iVillage

California (Fontana): JTG NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recap

PaddockTalk - ‎2 hours ago‎
This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes on Lowe's Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the NASCAR Banking 500 on Saturday, October 17th begins at 7 pm ET ...
PaddockTalk - PaddockTalk
1+1Jimmie Johnson5728Leader302512196,074,780
2-1Mark Martin5716-12307512184,598,680
3--Juan Montoya5670-5830206164,560,080
4--Tony Stewart5644-84300415216,184,680
5+2Jeff Gordon5623-105300114215,628,030
6-1Kurt Busch5607-12130018173,993,030
7+1Greg Biffle5540-18830009144,151,310
8+2Carl Edwards5536-19230007134,814,820
9-3Denny Hamlin5509-219301211164,239,890
10-1Ryan Newman5505-22330105144,320,030
11--Kasey Kahne5422-30630025124,864,470
12--Brian Vickers5377-35130614134,084,730
Race Schedule

No. Date Race Time (ET) Links

31 October 17 Charlotte
Sat 7 p.m.

32 October 25 Martinsville
Sun 1 p.m.

33 November 1 Talladega
Sun 12 p.m.

34 November 8 Texas
Sun 2:30 p.m.

35 November 15 Phoenix
Sun 2:30 p.m.

36 November 22 Homestead
Sun 2:30 p.m.
Saturday's night race at Lowe's Motor Speedway marks the halfway point in the Chase and to the surprise of very few, three-time champion Jimmie Johnson leads the way.

While the leader might not be a shock, there are plenty of eye-openers as you look up and down the standings. Some drivers like Mark Martin and Juan Montoya continue to be contenders while others like Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Denny Hamlin haven't lived up to expectations.

Who's the biggest surprise after four races? Bill Kimm and Jason Schoellen have theirs. Read what they have to say and then weigh in with your thoughts in the Comments section below. And don't forget to vote for who you agree with most in the poll at the right.

Who's the biggest surprise in the Chase heading to the halfway point?


Am I alone in amazement that Carl Edwards is struggling the way he is? I thought once the Chase started things would turn around, but here we are four races in and I am astonished he continues to fall short each week.

Edwards still is winless and, in fact, isn't even a threat. This is the same driver and team that won a series-leading nine races in 2008. Nothing has changed on the No. 99 team, except it can't seem to find the magic it was blessed with last year.

Not only is Edwards not winning, he's not even performing up to his standards. He's either barely finished at or below his average finish at the first four tracks.

• New Hampshire -- Average finish: 13.8; 2009 finish: 17
• Dover -- Average finish: 7.9; 2009 finish: 11
• Kansas -- Average finish: 13.3; 2009 finish: 10
• Fontana -- Average finish: 6.6; 2009 finish: 6

The way Edwards started the Chase last year, I really thought he would turn things around. A third at New Hampshire, a third at Dover and a second at Kansas led me to believe, despite Edwards' struggles, he could find that spark again. But it just hasn't happened.

And that's what is so surprising. We saw Juan Montoya excel before the Chase started, so his success isn't surprising. Mark Martin predicted it before the Chase even started. But Edwards as a non-factor after his amazing '08, well, that is something I never thought I would see.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

This isn't a veiled shot at Mark Martin's age, but the guy must be Nostradamus. The Joey Logano prediction? Yawn. Foreseeing Juan Montoya's success in the Chase? Pure prophet.

Montoya has posted as many top-fives (four) in the four Chase races as in his previous 68 starts. I figured he'd be good, but not consistently stellar. He's the only driver to finish fourth or better beginning at Loudon, and led laps in three of the Chase events, including the most at Loudon and 78 at Fontana. That's impressive for someone who was driving cars without fenders three years ago.

Montoya has had a career year in 2009, so top-15 finishes wouldn't have been a huge surprise ... but firing off third- and fourth-place finishes like rounds out of a Tommy gun is something few could have imagined. His performance is especially impressive considering this is his first time facing the heat of the Chase that leaves many drivers -- even veterans -- wilting under the pressure.

What makes Montoya's finishes even more mind-boggling is how aggressively he drives. He was welded together in a four-wheel drift with Jeff Burton at Loudon. He was door-to-door with Brad Keselowski in the turns at Kansas. He waited just two laps to pound Greg Biffle's bumper at Fontana and didn't lift a hair when Denny Hamlin cut across his nose. He has had so many doughnuts, he should be sponsored by Krispy Kreme. How he has kept the fenders on it and run like a true title contender is beyond me.

Jason Schoellen, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

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