NASCAR

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Jimmie Johnson leads the pack (but don't tell Chad Norris)
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<p> Jimmie Johnson leads Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes a weekend off.</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson  A Daytona crash is the only blemish on Johnson’s stat sheet since mid-May. Indianapolis is typically the event that Johnson, Chad Knaus & crew use as a jumping off point for the Chase.

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.  According to Junior's buddy Mike Davis, Earnhardt has completed the first 5,488 laps this season, a record in NASCAR’s Modern Era. He also has 20 consecutive lead lap finishes, dating back to 2011.

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

Edwards, Allmendinger, Gordon and Ryan Blaney highlight storylines
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with Carl Edwards' new crew chief, AJ Allmendinger's test date, Martin Truex Jr.'s contract situation and Jeff Gordon's trip to Rwanda.</p>
2012

Carl Edwards, winless in his last 52 races and fighting to make NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship, has a new crew chief, Roush Fenway Racing announced Tuesday.

Chad Norris will replace Bob Osborne as Edwards’ crew chief immediately. Osborne was with Edwards when Edwards made his Cup debut in 2004 and ran the final 13 races that year. The following season, their first full season together, Edwards won four races and finished third in the points. 

Kasey Kahne Wins in New Hampshire

Kahne Making a "Kase" for the Chase
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<p> Kasey Kahne took advantage of a Denny Hamlin miscue to win the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.</p>
2012

NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship wild card hunt took a definitive turn at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Denny Hamlin and his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team dominated the LENOX Industrial Tools 301, leading 150 laps. However, miscommunication during the final round of pit stops on lap 235 of 301 between Kahne and crew chief Darian Grubb dropped their Toyota from first to 14th.

More Questions than Answers in NASCAR drug policy, penalties

NASCAR's handling of drug issues leave more questions than answers.
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Tom Bowles says NASCAR's handling of drug issues and technical violations leave more questions than answers.</p>
2012

We live in an instant gratification society. Fair or not, Facebook and Twitter breaks the news of the world long before Brian Williams clears his throat and gets ready to report it on NBC. Groupon provides us with deal-a-day discounts, making cheap choices so we don’t have to search for them. Direct Deposit removes the need to go to the bank; YouTube keeps you at home instead of the movies. Technological advances are made with the concept that 21st-Century humans have run out of patience.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Smoke rising through the carnage of Daytona
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<p> Matt Kenseth leads Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads north to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.</p>
2012

1. Matt Kenseth   Kenseth was the man to beat at Daytona for a second straight trip, although the fortunes of plate racing found him third by night’s end. Still, RFR is the team to beat on the plate tracks.

2. Jimmie Johnson   Johnson’s 2012 plate racing results: 42nd, 35th and 36th. In fact, his plate stats over the last few years — outside of a Talladega win — aren’t that impressive. Speaks more to the style of racing than the driver.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Packs vs. tandems, tradition vs. change, shortened races and 2012 surprises
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<p> The&nbsp;Backseat Drivers Fan Council discuss tradition vs. change, tandem rdafting vs. pack racing, shortening races, 2012 surprises and the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.</p>
2012

Tradition vs. Change. Shorten races vs. keeping them the same. Tandem drafting vs. pack racing. Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council faced many choices with this week’s NASCAR survey.

There was more, including what has been the biggest surprise of the season to how they graded last weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Daytona. The opinions vary — and in some cases are quite strong. Here’s what the Backseat Drivers Fan Council had to say about these issues.

Recapping a Busy Week in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

The Long and Short of It
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around a busy NASCR Sprint Cup circuit. AJ Allmendinger's failed drug test, Denny Hamlin's contract extension, the US Army's bailing out of the sport and plenty of baby news is on the docket.</p>
2012

AJ Allmendinger issued his first public comments Tuesday since NASCAR temporarily suspended the Penske Racing driver before last weekend’s race at Daytona for a failed drug test.

“I have informed NASCAR that I have requested that the ‘B’ sample be tested, following the steps according to NASCAR’s 2012 rule book regarding this situation,” Allmendinger said in a statement.

10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Contenders and Pretenders

Drivers and teams to watch as the circuit hits its mid-summer classic in Daytona
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Vito Pugliese runs through the contenders and the pretenders for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.</p>
2012

Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (please don’t call it the Pepsi 400 — Firecracker 400, however, will be accepted) marks the halfway point in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Racing, traffic and TNT coverage at Kentucky Speedway
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<p> The&nbsp;Backseat Drivers Fan Council discuss racing at Kentucky Speedway, traffic issues around the track and TNT's coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup races.</p>
2012

TV coverage, traffic and the racing at Kentucky were on the minds of members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council this week. With the recent complaints about commercials, especially during the Kentucky race, members were asked if Pay-Per-View should be an option. Members also discussed if they were satisfied with the fixes to the traffic situation to go to Kentucky Speedway and what they thought of the racing there last weekend. This is what members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council had to say:

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

From the Bluegrass to the Beach
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<p> Jimmie Johnson leads Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Daytona.</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson  Lost a shot at the win during the final restart in Kentucky when he picked up trash on his tires. Managed to rebound to sixth after a quick backslide, his 13th top 10 of the season.

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Was never a factor for the win at Kentucky, but ran consistently in the top 10 most of the evening before climbing to fourth at race’s end.

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