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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KAHNE & FRANCIS: NASCAR’S MOST UNDERRATED DUO?

 I can imagine the response now. “Really?” “Isn’t that like picking a dark horsein fantasy football? Doesn’t he have to be some kind of unknown?” Somepeople may consider Kahne overrated, given all the popularity, all thesponsorships, all the demand- given what he has (or hasn’t) accomplished. The point is well taken. There’s hauler full of NASCAR drivers who have bigtime talent, but languish in relative anonymity because of the quality of thei ...

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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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5 DRIVERS I’M WATCHING IN 2012

What an offseason! There hasn't been this much movement since lightning hit the revival tent. With all the postseason silliness and some of the goings on out on the track, there’s plenty of suspense going into 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. With great interest, here's what this observer is watching….   1. Jimmie Johnson-  The 5-time champion has blazed many new trails, but now finds himself in uncharted territory: starting a season among the masses after an historic ...

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