CHICAGO SHAKE UP ADDS INTRIGUE

“So this is one of ten.  So there's a lot that can happen...” The words of Monday’s Geico 400 winner Tony Stewart ring true. It may actually be more understatement than anything else, because a lot has happened already, with front runners dropping off and mid-packers surging ahead.While most of the race produced the kind of racing typical of a mile-and-a-half track, the ending produced the kind of shake up that a number of fans were looking for. With his win ...

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JEFF GORDON’S DRIVE FOR FIVE IS ALIVE

When he turned 40, someone must have given Jeff Gordon a bottle of water from the Fountain of Youth. In the 6 races he’s run since his August 4 birthday, Wonder Boy has picked up career victory number 85, finished top ten in all but one race, and he is well poised to pick up that that elusive fifth NASCAR Cup championship.He may have come up just a wee bit short in his bid to win the final race before the Chase Saturday night (third), but make no mistake that no one has been ...

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QUIET, COOL KENSETH IS THE STEALTH CANDIDATE

It’s really not rocket science, in spite of how the talking heads want to spin it: to win a championship you must be consistent, and you must be a winner. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. Kyle Busch leads the way with four wins, but finds himself in a tie with Jimmie Johnson, who this year has been remarkably consistent, but has just the singular win at Talladega.Among the serious contenders are other drivers in similar circumstances. Kevin Harvick got hot early but has tai ...

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FORGET HISTORY, KYLE’S IN CHAMPIONSHIP FORM

With his win at Michigan, Kyle Busch is heating up in a fashion similar to his brilliant summer of 2008. Since winning at Kentucky on July 9th, he’s had one bobble (a 36th at Dover), a 10th place run at Indy, and thee top fives, capped off by Sunday’s run to the checkered flag in the Irish Hills.Critics may say they’ve seen this before. True enough, after snapping up wins right and left in his first season at Joe Gibbs, Shrub collapsed in the Chase, prompting him to s ...

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THE WILD, WILD CARD RACE

Potential. If you do a lookup for a definition of the word, one of the definitions you’ll find is “the inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being.” Potential is also word that’s been commonly used in connection with the careers of David Ragan and Paul Menard. Yet others would say potential is a word that is code for “hasn’t done it yet.”With his victory in Sunday’s Brickyard 400, Paul Menard joins Trevor Bayne, ...

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JEFF GORDON’S CRUISE CONTROL

Jeff Gordon is in the catbird seat once again. He's currently seventh in points, he's a lock to make the Chase with two wins, he gets more airtime than most drivers and this weekend he'll be racing at a track where he has three wins and 14 top-five finishes. For the next eight races Jeff Gordon's in cruise control, taking it easy, enjoying the ride and planning his August birthday.Here are five changes people can expect to see in the new, more relaxed Jeff Gordon.1. Not worried about "makin ...

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KYLE BUSCH WINS INAUGURAL RACE AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY AS TRAFFIC ISSUES STEAL THE HEADLINES

After nearly a decade of wait, Kentucky Speedway hosted its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event Saturday night. Leading 125 of the 267 laps, Kyle Busch scored the inaugural win in dominant fashion, but had to survive a late-race restart to hold on to the victory. The win propelled Busch into the points lead and gave him is 99th NASCAR victory.  “Couldn't be happier to be here in Victory Lane,” Busch said. “This one ranks right up there with the best of them. I hav ...

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IS JIMMIE JOHNSON A BAD TEAMMATE?

Well, look what we have here! Mr. Clean, Jimmie Johnson, finds himself embroiled in a little controversy. Seems his team’s decision to pit and leave dancing partner Dale Earnhardt Jr. out on the track has caused him enough grief on the “Twittersphere” to elicit a response from Ol’ “Five Time”….“I didn't leave Jr hanging, you people are crazy. When my crew tells me to pit, I pit. Steve and Chad sort out the detailsAnd if you think either of us coul ...

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THERE’S A LOT RIDING ON DAYTONA

Between some of the hijinks at Sonoma, and given the way the standings are shaping up in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, there may be as many fireworks during the race (or at least the end of it) as there is after it. Look closely at the standings, and you can see why. For some, there’s a golden opportunity to fortify their position at the front. For others, a Daytona victory may be their last best shot.For 2010 winner Kevin Harvick, this could become “Separation Saturday.&rdqu ...

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HOW TO TAILGATE FOR A RACE, SONOMA STYLE

NASCAR will be headed west to the wine country of Sonoma, Calif., for the June 26th race. As fans attending the race look forward to watching Jeff Gordon make enemies by spinning out the competition, talk turns to pre-race cookouts. Tailgating in the hills north of San Francisco has some very specific unwritten rules. Many out-of-towners rub locals the wrong way by grilling burgers, hosting tailgating sports and generally acting like they're tailgating at Bristol or Richmond... Sonoma is a total ...

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