NASCAR

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Hamlin in hunt with statement win
<p> Denny Hamlin is riding a wave of momentum in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup, but it's Jimmie Johnson that slips into the top spot in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson
Johnson, Chad Kanus and the boys have methodically clicked off consecutive second-place finishes to begin the Chase. Next up is Dover, where the 48 dominated in June. Last week: 2

2. Brad Keselowski
Much of the talk since Sunday’s New Hampshire event has centered on Denny Hamlin being Johnson’s biggest threat. Oh, how quickly we forget about Keselowski’s big win in Chicago. Last week: 1

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Earnhardt Jr. Looks to Pick Up Chase Performance

Communication key to turnaround at Dover
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<p> Dale Earnhardt Jr. tells Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long that improved communication within his Hendrick Motorsports team is important if he is to battle for NASCAR's Sprint Cup championship.</p>
2012

Dale Earnhardt Jr. wants to be more forceful with his Hendrick Motorsports team at times but he worries about upsetting his crew.

Earnhardt knows he must do something after two pedestrian finishes in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup have him seventh in the standings, 26 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson heading into this weekend’s race at Dover.

The time is now for Earnhardt to exert his leadership.

Denny Hamlin Wins in New Hampshire

Hamlin decimates field, scores fifth win of NASCAR season
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<p> Denny Hamlin decimated the field at New Hampshire, leading 193 laps en route to the win in NASCAR's Sylvania 300.</p>
2012

It appeared Denny Hamlin had a good idea that he would win the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Or at least run well. Maybe.

Actually, it’s hard to know exactly what he was thinking leading up to the second race of NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.

10 Great NASCAR Moments at New Hampshire

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Hamlin's bold statement, split-screen commercials and rating Chicago
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<p> Dustin Long and the Backseat Drivers Fan Council discuss Denny Hamlin's bold New Hampshire prediction, ESPN's split-screen commercial coverage, NASCAR start times and the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.</p>
2012

Round one is over in the Chase but it already has produced many changes on and off the track for fans. Races are starting later, fans are seeing more of it and there’s a new points leader with the former points leader saying he’ll win this weekend. Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council examine these and other issues this week.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Keselowski mind-games his way to the top
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<p> Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson slug it at the top of Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Brad Keselowski   What has kept Keselowski and his team near the top of the Horsepower Rankings all season is the ability to win on most any style of track. To come out connecting in the Chase is big.

2. Jimmie Johnson   Certainly, an argument could be made for Johnson to be No. 1. However, he got beat in a race he seemed to have in hand. Don’t worry about this bunch, though — they’ll get theirs in the coming weeks.

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

Allmendinger, Stewart, Blaney highlight week's stories
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit with AJ Allmendinger's reinstatement, Tony Stewart's mind games, Sam Hornish Jr.'s improved results and Ryan Blaney's record-setting win.</p>
2012

Days after Brad Keselowski employed some gamesmanship — and subsequent mind games — at Chicagoland Speedway, Tony Stewart detailed his use of mental deviousness, claiming that he knew even before last year’s NASCAR season finale at Homestead ended that he would beat Carl Edwards for the Sprint Cup championship.

He could see it in Edwards’ reaction that weekend.

Brad Keselowski beats Jimmie Johnson in slugfest at Chicagoland Speedway

Round One to Keselowski
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<p> Brad Keselowski beat Jimmie Johnson in NASCAR's GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.</p>
2012

If Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team are the Muhammad Ali of NASCAR — the heavyweight that wins with both sheer power and poise — Brad Keselowski and his No. 2 Penske Racing bunch are the sport’s Sugar Ray Leonard. Not necessarily graced with the resources enjoyed by Johnson, Keselowski wins with smarts and guile — and a sweeping uppercut that comes, seemingly, from nowhere.

Looking Back: Waltrip's Passion for NASCAR Pays Off

Michael Waltrip Racing a long way from troubled Cup debut in 2007
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<p> Athlon Sports racing editor Matt Taliaferro looks back on the Oct. 2007, race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, when the fortunes of Michael Waltrip Racing were changed forever.</p>
2012

The following article was published on Oct. 12, 2007, during NASCAR’s Charlotte race weekend shortly after a press conference introducing Rob Kauffman as the newest investor in Michael Waltrip Racing was held.

NASCAR Chase for the Championship Preview

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