Onward, Upward For Allmendinger, JTG Daugherty

Great stories are a part of what makes sports great. You have your stories of competitors rising to greatness from humble beginnings. There's the David vs. Goliath story lines, where a seemingly over-matched challenger topples a heavily favored champion. Let's also not forget the stories of fulfilled potential, of strategic brilliance, and stories of redemption. After making headlines of an unwanted variety, it's heartwarming to see A.J. Allmendinger quietly spark a trend of progress at ...

//more

Aaron’s 499: Win, Lose or Draw

[caption id="attachment_684366" align="aligncenter" width="520"] (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)[/caption]   Well that went as planned. Large packs of driving. Check. Big wrecks that clogged the field. Yup. Sprint at the finish involving more than 20 cars. Trifecta. While Sprint Cup fans had a sense of what would happen, now we know shot the names were behind the headlines. Here's a breakdown of the week's biggest winner and loser. (more...) ...

//more

2014 Aaron’s 499 Odds

  Welcome to NASCAR's biggest crap shoot. Nobody knows how Talladega will play out. Sprint Cup fans know there will be a big wreck, random drafting and lots of lead changes. The people orchestrating that are a total mystery. As a result, the odds for this week's race are some of the strangest Sprint Cup fans will see all year. (more...) ...

//more

SUNDAY THE GIANT KILLERS PREVAILED

A David pushes a David to score a win for one of NASCAR’s “little guys.” How many people here get Front Row mixed up with Furniture Row? You mean David Ragan is still racing? Who’s that’s “Gilligan” guy that’s his teammate? And just who the heck is Bob Jenkins? NASCAR Nation, meet Front Row Motorsports! Ok, they're not quite THAT obscure, but thanks to their thrilling victory at Talladega, this week we have a fresh batch of story lines, and we ...

//more

THE PROS AND CONS OF RESTRICTOR PLATE RACING

“Did you see the end of that race? Wow, what a race!” I heard a lot of that following the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega. My cousin Morgan out in Ohio echoed another sentiment I’ve heard more than once following a NASCAR restrictor plate race: “I don’t love NASCAR, but man, what a finish today.”It’s hard to argue that restrictor plate racing has produced some of the most memorable endings in recent memory. There was Kevin Harvick’s crazy win over M ...

//more

JOHNSON-EARNHARDT TANDEM PUSHES TO WIN

Never wavering from their partnership throughout the day, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove to the bottom lane in the tri-oval to beat the two-car tandems of Jeff Gordon-Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer-Kevin Harvick Sunday in Talladega. The winning margin of 0.002 seconds ties the Ricky Craven-Kurt Busch finish at Darlington in 2003 for the closest finish in NASCAR history since the implementation of electronic scoring.Hanging in the back of the pack for much of the afternoon after starti ...

//more

ANOTHER WILD WEEKEND IN TALLADEGA

TALLADEGA, Ala. _ Whenever NASCAR rolls into Talladega, Ala. it is almost assumed a wild weekend is in store. High speeds, the potential for disaster and the partying that goes on around the facility make the two dates at Talladega Superspeedway among the best on the NASCAR schedule. With dangerous storms rolling through the area on Saturday, NASCAR was forced to run the Nationwide Series race following the Sprint Cup race on Sunday. So, after braving the storm in tents, RVs and cars, fans wiped ...

//more

AARON’S 499 ODDS

Only at Talladega.Only at Talladega can “Field” have better odds than Mark Martin. Only at Talladega can Dale Earnhardt Jr. be a favorite. Only in Talladega do things get so bunched together  that it makes no good sense to bet fake money on the race.I’m down a fake $300 after Denny Hamlin’s ACL and some dopey decisions from otherwise smart drivers hosed me out of a Samsung 500 win. Desperate times call for desperate moves, even if that means putting fake money on the ...

//more

BUSCH-KESELOWSKI COOL-DOWN LAP SHENANIGANS?

OK. Let's be clear. At the end of Sunday's race at Talladega, Kyle Busch did not start his cool-down lap thinking, "I am definitely going to spin out winner Brad Keselowski." But you have to wonder about the series of events that put Busch in a position to do so. First Busch accelerated toward Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. while the two friends celebrated. We know that Busch is not there to fist-bump Junior or his buddy. So why did Busch encroach on their victorious cool-down la ...

//more