HAIL TO THE CREW CHIEF, DARIAN GRUBB

Could you imagine continuing to work in a place where you were told you wouldn’t be coming back? Imagine learning this right in the middle of trying to attain the pinnacle. Could you keep soldiering on, or would you tell the boss to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine? To do the latter is understandable; to do the former is noble.Championship crew chief Darian Grubb is a prince of a man for his professionalism at Stewart Haas Racing. Getting word at Charlotte that he would not be re ...

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STEWART’S SURGE IS GOOD FOR NASCAR

Going into 2011, NASCAR needed more than just a shot in the arm to reverse, or at least halt its move in the wrong direction. NASCAR needed a shakeup. NASCAR needed a good start with a good story coming out of Daytona. Enter Trevor Bayne, delivering the feel good win while driving for the legendary Wood Brothers- a team winless since the days of Elliott Sadler.NASCAR needed someone other than the usual suspects in Victory Lane. This season, fans have been treated wins by guys like Bayn ...

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WINNERS KEEP THEIR COOL

“Sports do not build character.They reveal it.” Sportswriter Haywood Hale Broun may have been on to something, though he had passed from the scene long before Sunday’s NASCAR race at Martinsville. Much of the focus will no doubt be on some of the bad behavior during race, but what of the drivers who did it right? Their respect for others and self-restraint will be celebrated here.Jimmie Johnson admits there was a temptation to bang doors withTony Stewart on the final re-start t ...

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WHO HOLDS POCKET ACES AT KANSAS?

How fitting that this week’s race at Kansas bears the name of a casino. The 2011 Chase, so far, has resembled a high speed game of chance with a reshuffling of the leaderboard each week. First, it was Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch at the top, then Tony Stewart, and now, Harvick and Carl Edwards lead the way. That’s to say nothing of the comings and goings in the other 11 spots. Going into the the Hollywood Casino 400, there’s one certainty ...

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A SMOLDERING STEWART IS A SUCCESSFUL STEWART

Some athletes practice something akin to Norman Vincent Peale’s “Power of Positive Thinking.” They dream with anticipation, visualizing themselves on the trophy stand. When the going gets tough, the competitor utters positive self-talk and reassuring words as a mantra to push on through. With an unflappability reminiscent of Drew Brees, this athlete lets adversity roll off of him like a bead of sweat. Nothing gets in this guy’s way.Apparently, two-time NASCAR champio ...

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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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BAD BRAD FRONTS A CAST OF UNUSUAL SUSPECTS

You may not always like the racing you see week in and week out, but you can’t deny the flavors of the week have been changing as the 2011 Sprint Cup season unfolds.If the Chase started today, Brad Keselowski would be in it. No longer can it be said of him that his lone victory came in one of those flukey plate races. With victories at tracks as diverse as the mile-and-a-half at Kansas, and the Tricky Triangle at Pocono, Bad Brad has demonstrated the chops of a wheel man. How about Paul ...

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RYAN NEWMAN LEADS 1-2 FINISH FOR STEWART-HAAS RACING AT NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart started Sunday’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway first and second, and that is how they ran when the checkered flag flew. Surviving a fuel mileage race, the Stewart-Haas Racing teammates were able to give the team its first victory of the 2011 season and its first one-two finish as an organization. “It was a perfect day for the organization for sure,” Stewart said. “This is a perfect way to go into an off weekend, f ...

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KURT BUSCH WINS AT INFINEON AS TEMPERS FLARE

Although he had no previous road course wins, Penske Racing’s Kurt Busch looked like a road course ace Sunday at Infineon Speedway. Using a two pit stop strategy and leading 75 of the 110 laps in the Toyota/Save Mart 350, Busch dominated the event while the others fought it out behind him.“It was one of those unbelievable days where having a game plan going in, we weren't questioning it, it was just old school on how we were going to make it on two stops,” Busch said. Follow ...

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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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