Kyle Busch

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Who comprises NASCAR's Dream Team?
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> In the spirit of the Olympics, Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council discuss NASCAR's Dream Team, grade Pocono and talk about Jeff Gordon's Chase chances.</p>
2012

Throughout the Olympics one often hears about a “Dream Team’’ in one sport or another. So what about NASCAR?

Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council were asked if they were an owner with four teams and could pick any Cup driver in any era, who would be the four for their Dream Team? Their picks proved quite interesting.

They also debated Jeff Gordon’s chances of making the Chase and Sunday’s Pocono race. Here’s what Fan Council members had to say:

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Four-Time making a move
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Jeff Gordon is making a move, but Jimmie Johnson still sits atop Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson   Although a flat tire foiled Johnson’s hopes for a second straight victory, it’s pretty obvious who the best team on the circuit is these days. Last week: 1

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.   See: Johnson, Jimmie, then substitute “second best” for “best” and “transmission” for “flat tire.” The Pocono troubles won’t derail this bunch much, if at all. Last week: 2

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Haven't we seen this movie before ... like in 2006, '08 and '09?
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Jimmie Johnson tightens his grip of the top spot in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings after his win at the Brickyard.</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson (—)  Johnson has had two crashes in 2012, resulting in 42nd- and 36th-place finishes and one engine failure, leading to a 35th-place run. Otherwise, he’s been 12th or better every week.

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (—)  Junior has been nearly as good as his Hendrick teammate through 20 races, with 17th- and 23rd-place runs the only blemishes outside of the top 15.

Johnson Wins at the Brickyard

Jimmie Johnson dominates, scores fourth victory at Indianapolis
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Jimmie Johnson dominated NASCAR's Brickyard 400, scoring his fourth career Sprint Cup win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.</p>
2012

It took Jimmie Johnson only 29 laps to steer his No. 48 Chevrolet to the front of the field in Sunday’s Brickyard 400. Once there, he rarely looked back, leading 99 of the final 131 laps to score his fourth Sprint Cup Series win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Johnson, who qualified sixth, also gave Chevrolet its 10th straight win at the famed auto racing venue, while team owner Rick Hendrick scored his eighth win at IMS in NASCAR’s 19 visits.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Jimmie Johnson leads the pack (but don't tell Chad Norris)
Two Right Sidebar Images
<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.

Kasey Kahne Wins in New Hampshire

Kahne Making a "Kase" for the Chase
Two Right Sidebar Images
<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.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Smoke rising through the carnage of Daytona
Two Right Sidebar Images
<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.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

From the Bluegrass to the Beach
Two Right Sidebar Images
<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.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Kentucky

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses in Saturday's Quaker State 400
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Saturday's Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway.</p>
2012

Over the past three weeks the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has run on new surfaces twice at Pocono and Michigan. While Kentucky Speedway is not a new surface, Saturday night's Quaker State 400 is only the second Cup Series race on the 1.5-mile tri-oval. So while teams will have a slightly better idea of what to expect with the notes built from last year’s event, Kentucky Speedway still presents some unknowns.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Kenseth's departure, Roush's title chances and the next driver to score a win
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> The Backseat Drivers Fan Council wieghs in on Matt Kenseth's departure from Roush Fenway Racing, his team's title hopes, the road race at Sonoma and on which winless driver in 2012 will break through first.</p>
2012

The announcement that Matt Kenseth will leave Roush Fenway Racing after this season has been the talk of NASCAR. Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council didn’t hold back on what they thought about the move on if it was good or bad for Roush and how this might impact Kenseth’s title hopes.

The Backseat Drivers Fan Council also weighed in on Sunday’s race at Sonoma, who between 11th and 20th in the points will make the Chase and more. Here’s what they had to say.

Pages