BRAD & JIMMIE: THE HUNTER AND THE HUNTED

 It’s funny how a few short years changes things. The phenom becomes the cagey veteran, and the hunter becomes the hunted. Welcome to 2012’s two-horse race: the veteran Jimmie Johnson, in search of his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup championship- and Brad Keselowski- coming on strong in pursuit of his first title at the top level. It wasn’t all that long ago that Johnsn was the kid, chasing down his boss and mentor, Jeff Gordon. Though Keselowski gave up the points lead, it& ...

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THERE’S A POWER TRIO IN CONTROL OF THE CHASE

Jeff Gordon may have it right. Not matter how well he’s run in the last two races, getting up front and really contending for a championship may be nigh upon impossible considering what is happening at the front of the pack; especially the top three. Kevin Harvick? I don’t think it’s his fault, but Richard Childress Racing is way off its game this year. The Jack Roush boys? You talk to some ardent Kenseth fans, and not only do they think their driver is getting thrown unde ...

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ADVERTISING FINE DINING, BUT SERVING UP FAST FOOD

Can I make a confession? I watched about 40 laps of the race, and packed it in for a nap and the NFL. I know this is journalistic sacrilege, but remember, in this role, I am a commentator and not a reporter. If you ask me, what I learned from that mid-race stretch told me all I needed to know about Sunday’s race at New Hampshire anyway. You’d think a fierce battle featuring a five-time champion and a couple of young upstarts would be enough to keep a person glued to the screen, ...

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TEN WEEKS OF INTRIGUE

 A lot can happen in ten weeks. Does the name Tony Stewart ring a bell? With no clear front runner the 2012 run to the championship is ripe for another Stewart to come along and seize the day. Think about it, a wild card could win this season’s championship. Look at Jeff Gordon; the idea of him reeling off a run during the Chase isn’t as far fetched as you might think. Climb a mountain? Wonder Boy had to scale Mt. Everest just to make the top 12. Sure, he enters with a 12 p ...

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BRIAN VICKERS IS MAKING A CASE FOR A FULLTIME CUP RIDE

Six races. Three Top Tens. Three Tops Fives. Put another way, the story of Brian Vickers’ 2012 season may be entitled “Making The Most of Limited Opportunities.” He almost pulled it off at Bristol. It would do a great deal to ease the pain of the past couple of seasons. Can you imagine being in his shoes? After scratching and clawing to help get Red Bull Racing on the map, there seemed to be a payoff for “The Sheriff” when he pulled into victory lane for the ...

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ONE CONTENDER HAS THE TOTAL PACKAGE

 It’s shaping up to be a handicapper’s headache: 2012 is one of those wide open years where no one driver dominates. It sets the stage for a driver to catch fire a la Tony Stewart in 2011 and sweep in for the vaunted Cup from amidst the cast of seeming thousands. In reality, there seems to be three kinds of contenders running at the front of the pack. First of all, you have the drivers who have the wins. Stewart shocked the NASCAR Nation by reeling off some early seasons. B ...

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NASCAR MYTHBUSTING: DRIVERS AREN’T ATHLETES

 An oft-heard definition of NASCAR? “Non-Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks.” If you’ve followed the sport more than two months, you’ve heard it as your non-NASCAR friends bellow like this is some new shtick. Seriously, get some new material! The truth of the matter is the joke is on them. They’re not bad people, most of them, they’re just ignorant, attempting to perpetuate an aging myth. These are the same people who, because they watched Tallad ...

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FOR A 5 TIME CHAMP, NO HORSESHOE IS REQUIRED

Domination. It is in part defined as the exercise of control or power. Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus and the 48 displayed a powerful visual demonstration of domination Sunday at Dover, with the five-time champion picking up his 57th career win, leading 289 out of 400 laps, sailing away on every restart. In the annals of NASCAR history, others have dominated, whether it be Buck Baker, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt or Jeff Gordon. While legendary, no one quite sustained a run like the one Joh ...

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WHY JEFF GORDON WILL MAKE THE CHASE

 Don’t like “points racing?” This season, Jeff Gordon is your guy. I could go on about how fans who accuse drivers of playing it conservative know nothing about the competitive spirit, but that would be a digression. Besides, no one need look further than old Super G to find a racer driving with purpose over the next 16 events. A lot of “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” are writing off the four-time champion as if he is NASCAR’s Mariano Rivera. I wouldn& ...

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LUCK IS WHERE PREPARATION MEETS OPPORTUNITY

 NASCAR has its own answers to the Chicago Cubs. As a fan, it’s hard not to feel for drivers like Martin Truex Jr., A.J. Allmendinger and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Week after week, there are glimmers of hope and moments of brilliance. In Truex’s case, he dominated the race, and yet it was Denny Hamlin wrestling away the spoils at Kansas. That lucky son of a gun, how does he do it? A lot of people were thinking it. How many races do the above mentioned drivers go out and set sail f ...

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