DAVID RAGAN SCORES FIRST CAREER VICTORY IN COKE ZERO 400

Roush Fenway Racing’s David Ragan nearly went to Victory Lane in the season-opening Daytona 500, but an ill-timed lane change led to a black flag and a disappointing 14th place finish. Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, Ragan was able to make up for his costly mistake and score his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. Partnering with teammate Matt Kenseth for the entirety of the Coke Zero 400, Ragan was able to survive three late-race wrecks and two attempts a ...

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THERE’S ROOM AT THE TOP FOR A MATT KENSETH

Some drivers are fiery, like a Tony Stewart or Kevin Harvick. Other drivers are a bit more like politicians a la Jeff Burton or even Dale Jr. in his own way. Others are comedians, in the Michael Waltrip mode.Matt Kenseth is none of these. The 2003 NASCAR Cup champion just goes out and quietly does his job, somewhat like one of his mentors, Mark Martin. All you need to know about Kenseth’s understated approach can be summed up in the Nextel commercial where they call out a replacement ...

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MATT KENSETH WINS DOVER ON TWO TIRE CALL

Sunday afternoon in Dover, Jimmie Johnson led 207 laps, Carl Edwards led 117 laps and Matt Kenseth led only 33, but it was Kenseth that led the last one. Always a threat on the Monster Mile, Kenseth used pit strategy late in the race to score his second victory of the year and Roush Fenway Racing’s ninth win at Dover. Although it appeared as if the race would come down to a battle between Johnson, Edwards and Clint Bowyer, the final round of pit stops changed the entire complexion of the r ...

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MATT KENSETH IS MR. PERSONALITY

Last week's trip to victory lane pushed Matt Kenseth back into the spotlight after a 76 race winless streak. The 2003 champion and Daytona 500 winner is considered one of the best drivers of the decade, but is often criticized for his lack of spunk and spontaneity at the track. While Flatline is unlikely to perform a choke hold on Kevin Harvick or make reference to the uncomfortable place that Jimmie Johnson keeps his lucky horseshoe, Kenseth has more pep than folks give him credit for.Here is a ...

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TEXAS TOP 10 REVEALS 2011′S MOST IMPROVED

Variety is the spice of life. 2011 is offering NASCAR fans variety as the season’s seven races have given us six different winners, and none of them named Johnson or Hamlin.Check out the top ten from Saturday night, and you have something of a snapshot of who’s making noise this side of Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Trevor Bayne. It may be safe to say many of those top ten drivers at Texas Motor Speedway fit in either the dark horse, or the comeback cat ...

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PIT STRATEGIES BACKFIRE IN TEXAS FOR STEWART AND BUSCH

With a fast car and a hunger to end a 76-race winless streak, few in the field had anything for Roush Fenway Racing’s Matt Kenseth Saturday night in Texas. Leading more laps than he had in all of 2010, Kenseth scored his first victory since sweeping the opening weekends in 2009. “It's been a long time,” Kenseth said. “You talk about the second place finishes here, and I got beaten at the end of a lot of these races.  It's great to finish second if you can't win. But ...

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GORDON ENDS DROUGHT AFTER MOVING BUSCH

It had been 66 races since four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon stood in Victory Lane. Yet, that all changed on Sunday after Gordon used his bumper to move past Kyle Busch with less than ten laps to go at the Phoenix International Raceway. Looking just as happy as rookie Trevor Bayne did last weekend in Daytona, Gordon relished the victory after nearly two years without a win. Sunday’s victory was the 83rd of Gordon’s career, tying him with Cale Yarborough for fifth on the all-t ...

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NASCAR’S CHANGES BREAK WHAT NEEDS BREAKING

One man’s resolve is another man’s stubbornness. One company’s “Mustang” could become another company’s “Edsel.” There's no guaranteeing an idea will work, but if there’s at least some rationale behind a change, why NOT try it? Like the businessman says in 12 Angry Men, “Let’s run it up the flagpole, and see who salutes it.”  Concerning NASCAR's points system, there’s no sense in getting a ...

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HARVICK WINS, LOCKS CHASE BERTH

Coming into the day the leader in the standings, Kevin Harvick had the opportunity to become the first driver locked into the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Starting from the eighth spot, it did not take the No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet long to find the front of the field. Racing the majority of the day in the top-four, Harvick stayed out late and was able to move around Denny Hamlin to score his third win of the season and lock himself into the Chase. When the caution flew for debris on Lap ...

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WHO ARE 2010′S MOST UNDERRATED DRIVERS?

David Reutimann's win last weekend in Chicago shed the light on one of NASCAR's underdogs, but this season has seen a number of top-level drivers take a back seat to those racing at the front. SI.com's Cory McCartney takes a look at some of the bigger names in the sport that find themselves underdogs in 2010. Plus, some discussion about the No. 3 and this weekend's pick to win the Nationwide Series race at Gateway. Who are NASCAR's most underrated drivers in 2010? (SI.com) ...

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