EARNHARDT JR. NOT READY TO CELEBRATE

RICHMOND, Va._ The Junior Nation finally has some relief. After years of struggles, disappointments and winless seasons, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is third in points, 19 marks out of the lead and heading to a track he has three wins on. The NASCAR world seems to be on the brink of salvation. Just don’t ask Dale Earnhardt Jr. if he is back at the top of his game. Despite having a better season than he had in all of 2009, Earnhardt Jr. knows he has made strides but is not ready to say he is back&nb ...

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DALE JR’S 2011 PROGRESS IS CAUSE FOR ‘NATION’S’ OPTIMISM

 Amid the reports of high gas prices, high unemployment and high deficits, the nation can use some good news. It doesn’t matter if you live in this great nation we call the U.S. of A., “NASCAR Nation” or “Junior Nation,” we can all use a feel good story, and a return to contending form by one Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. could fill the bill quite well, thank you very much.The facts won’t be ignored: it’s a poorly kept secret Junebug hasn’t seen Vi ...

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MARTIN INSISTS HE WILL DRIVE NO. 5 IN 2011

NASCAR’s silly season is always full of twists and turns, but this year is more complicated than most. Earlier in the year, it was announced Kasey Kahne would leave Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of 2010 and would be driving the No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. The current driver of the No. 5, Mark Martin is slated to drive the car for the 2011 season, while Kahne will have to find a ride for one year before climbing behind the wheel of the No. 5. Once the announceme ...

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TONY STEWART SLUMPING RIGHT ALONG WITH OTHER HENDRICK DRIVERS

 Distractions abound as Smoke looks to regain his stride (SI.com) ...

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JEFF GORDON TIRED OF ‘NO CIGAR’

Jeff Gordon. The name is iconic to auto racing. His wins and championships have reserved his future seat in NASCAR’s Hall of Fame. Gordon’s celebrity status has drawn millions of new fans to stock car racing in the past 20 years.  So why can’t he win a race? Since 2007 he has only visited victory lane one time. That being an initial Texas win in 2009. But also during that time frame he has had a series of near misses.Last year the four-time champion finished third in to ...

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KAHNE GOES FROM THE KING TO THE EMPEROR

On a day in which Kelly Bires’ release from JR Motorsports dominated the morning Twitter feeds of those in the NASCAR circle, the tone of the conversation took a dramatic turn with the news that Kasey Kahne had signed a multi-year deal with Hendrick Motorsports. The most lucrative free agent on the NASCAR market, it was no surprise Kahne would be leaving Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of the 2010 season. What surprised almost everyone in NASCAR was that the 30-year-old signed the dea ...

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KAHNE TO HENDRICK

ESPN is reporting that Kasey Kahne will drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2011. According to Marty Smith, the details are still being worked out and it is unknown which car Kahne will drive. Either he or Mark Martin could be shuffled to the Stewart-Haas team, which is a Hendrick satellite. Kahne is in his final year with Richard Petty Motorsports, whose business operations currently resemble those of Greece. Update: AP reports Kahne will move to Hendrick in 2012 and details for next season ar ...

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A GREAT START IS KEY TO EARNHARDT’S YEAR

For Dale Earnhardt Jr., the 2009 season was one of the most frustrating and trying times of his ten-year career. With only two top 5s and five top 10s, the third generation racer was forced to face harsh criticism from the media, fellow competitors and even his loyal fans. The downward spiral seemed to begin right from the start of the season during the Daytona 500.One of the stronger cars in Daytona, Earnhardt was penalized for pitting outside his box and was held one lap by NASCAR. With rains ...

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HENDRICK INSPECTIONS DIFFERENT THAN OTHER TEAMS’ VIOLATIONS

Hendrick cars have been under the microscope the first few weeks of the Chase. They have come up clean, but that has not stopped fans from crying foul. What's really going on here? Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin’s cars were taken to NASCAR’s research and development center in Concord, N.C., following the Sprint Cup race in Dover. An additional inspection was performed on the cars after the routine check following the race in Kansas. A variance was found with both machines.Internet ...

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WHY YOUR DRIVER WILL LOSE THE CHASE: THE HENDRICK BOYS

Hendrick Motorsports has three drivers in the Chase. It probably has the best gear in the business. It certainly has the best funding. It's so good, I can’t come up with three reasons why each of its drivers will lose the Chase. But nobody is winning the 2009 Chase, even the Hendrick boys. Here’s why: Jeff Gordon has a bad backNo, he didn’t get it carrying Dale Jr. this season. (ZINGER!) But, I’ve felt sore driving four hours to a family reunion. Imagine three times th ...

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