Carl Edwards

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

At Long Last, the Son Rises
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<p> Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally ascends to the top of Athlon Sports' Horsepower Rankings after breaking a 143-race winless skid with a victory at Michigan International Speedway.</p>
2012

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
We’ve said all along that Earnhardt’s consistency warranted the top spot, but a lack of any wins kept him from it. Well, the 143-race national nightmare is over, and Junior can now lead the way.

2. Jimmie Johnson
Replace the engine and start in the rear of the field? No problem for Chad Knaus and crew. They just handed the ball to J.J., who drove it to a fifth-place finish with blistered tires and an empty gas tank.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Michigan

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.</p>
2012

From the mountains of Pennsylvania to the rolling hills of Michigan, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400.

Racing on yet another repaved track, teams have two test sessions throughout the day on Thursday as they attempt to get acclimated with the new track surface, the higher speeds and how tires will react.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Dover

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's FedEx 400
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's FedEx 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway.</p>
2012

The two-week homestretch in Charlotte is now in the books and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the Monster Mile in Dover, Del., for Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.

Not only is Dover one of the most demanding tracks on the NASCAR schedule, it also kicks off the seven-week summer stretch that takes the series to the newly-repaved tracks of Pocono and Michigan, the road course in Sonoma, night races at Kentucky and Daytona, then to New Hampshire before another break in the action.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Darlington

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Saturday's race in Darlington
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Saturday's Bojangles' Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway.</p>
2012

In honor of Mother’s Day, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the “Lady In Black” for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. On the schedule for 62 years, Darlington is steeped in NASCAR history and is one of the toughest tracks on the circuit.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Talladega

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's race in Talladega
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.</p>
2012

Nine races in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and each team in approaching Sunday's Aaron's 499 with varying goals in mind. Often viewed as a “wild card” race, teams will be working on different agendas as the field jockeys for position inches away from each other — and the “Big One” — lap after lap.

The entire course of a race, not to mention fantasy weekend, can change in one instant, so choose carefully and look for those drivers that are good at avoiding trouble.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Talladega

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's race in Talladega
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.</p>
2012

Nine races in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and each team in approaching Sunday's Aaron's 499 with varying goals in mind. Often viewed as a “wild card” race, teams will be working on different agendas as the field jockeys for position inches away from each other — and the “Big One” — lap after lap.

The entire course of a race, not to mention fantasy weekend, can change in one instant, so choose carefully and look for those drivers that are good at avoiding trouble.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Talladega

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's race in Talladega
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.</p>
2012

Nine races in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and each team in approaching Sunday's Aaron's 499 with varying goals in mind. Often viewed as a “wild card” race, teams will be working on different agendas as the field jockeys for position inches away from each other — and the “Big One” — lap after lap.

The entire course of a race, not to mention fantasy weekend, can change in one instant, so choose carefully and look for those drivers that are good at avoiding trouble.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Talladega

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's race in Talladega
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.</p>
2012

Nine races in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and each team in approaching Sunday's Aaron's 499 with varying goals in mind. Often viewed as a “wild card” race, teams will be working on different agendas as the field jockeys for position inches away from each other — and the “Big One” — lap after lap.

The entire course of a race, not to mention fantasy weekend, can change in one instant, so choose carefully and look for those drivers that are good at avoiding trouble.

Hendrick Motorsports Still Searching for Elusive 200th Cup Win

The Long and Short of It
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<p> Following Kyle Busch's win at Richmond International Raceway, Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.</p>
2012

The Long and Short of It

What was supposed to be a celebration has become a burden for Hendrick Motorsports. Mired in a 15-race winless drought, its longest since 2002-03, the organization remains at 199 Cup victories as the series heads to Talladega.

Whenever the team scores its 200th victory — a significant number in a sport that reveres Richard Petty’s 200 career victories as a driver — it will be more relief than triumph.

Kyle Busch Wins In Richmond

Busch earns fourth consecutive spring win at RIR
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<p> Kyle Busch won the Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway.</p>
2012

Saturday evening’s Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway was not unlike many of the NASCAR Sprint Cup events over the past month. A dearth of cautions — only five, the second-least at RIR in 14 years — pockmarked the 300-mile event.

However, Richmond provided an exciting, and controversial, finish that produced an all-too-familiar victor in Kyle Busch.

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