Kyle Busch

The Best NASCAR has to Offer

Richmond, Talladega, Darlington and Charlotte stretch unequalled on schedule
<p> Athlon Sports contributor Vito Pugliese notes that NASCAR's month of May — with races at Richmond, Talladega, Darlington and Charlotte — is the best of the season.</p>
2012

Richmond, Talladega, Darlington and Charlotte stretch unequalled on Cup schedule

Much was made of the first five races of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule being run on diametrically diverse tracks. From the season opening restrictor plate Daytona 500, to the bumper-car bonanza that made up the closing laps at Martinsville, and the intermediate downforce contests in Las Vegas and Fontana.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Richmond

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Saturday's race in Richmond
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.</p>
2012

This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Richmond International Raceway for some good ol’ fashioned short track racing in the hopes of putting on an exciting race — something many fans are clamoring for after a dull month. Typically one of the more action-packed tracks on the schedule, Richmond has averaged 10.8 cautions since 2007 and last year's September race saw a total of 15 yellow flag periods.

Denny's Win, Bruton's Bristol Plan and Junior's Genealogy

The Long and Short of It
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Following Denny Hamlin's win at Kansas Speedway, Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.</p>
2012

If Denny Hamlin can win races now, it makes one wonder what he’ll do later this season as the communication with new crew chief Darian Grubb improves and Grubb puts more of his stamp on the team’s cars being built.

Hamlin is one of only two drivers with multiple wins this season after eight races (Tony Stewart is the other) and Hamlin could be the first driver to win three races this season with the series heading to Richmond this weekend. He has won two of the last five races at his hometown track.

Waiting on Bruton's Bristol Plan and a Return to "The Rock"

The Long and Short of It
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Following a rare off week, Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.</p>
2012

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT

by Dustin Long

Everybody is waiting.

NASCAR's Comers and Go'ers

Taking stock of the 2012 Sprint Cup Series at the Easter break
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell reviews the first six NASCAR Sprint Cup races of the 2012 season as the series takes its first off-weekend.</p>
2012

Taking Stock of the 2012 Sprint Cup at the Easter Break

Six weeks into the 2012 NASCAR season, the Sprint Cup Series heads into the first of only two off-weekends of the year. With no race this weekend, and thus no fantasy picks to make, let’s take a look at some of the biggest surprises thus far, which drivers and teams are on track for a solid season and which need to turn their season around before it is too late.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Martinsville

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's race at Martinsville
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.</p>
2012

by Jay Pennell

Few sports crisscross the United States quite like NASCAR, and with that, the Sprint Cup Series returns to the East Coast this weekend for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Stewart tops the list ... because, after all, wins count
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> A red hot Tony Stewart tops Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>

by Matt Taliaferro

1. Tony Stewart  Stewart and crew chief Steve Addington already have scored two wins this season — and in only five races. Hey, wins count above all else here.

2. Greg Biffle  The points leader’s only misstep — and it was a only a small hiccup at that — was a 13th at Bristol. He’s been sixth or better in the other four events.

The New King of the Mountains

Brad Keselowski outlasts Matt Kenseth for second straight Bristol win

by Matt Taliaferro

There’s something about the half-mile Bristol bullring in East Tennessee that lends itself to certain drivers.

NASCAR Hall of Famers Cale Yarborough (nine wins), Darrell Waltrip (12) and Dale Earnhardt (nine) each went on dominant runs at Bristol in the 1970s and ’80s. Rusty Wallace won nine of his own from 1986-2000. Jeff Gordon won five events from 1995-2002, while the Busch brothers, Kurt and Kyle, also have five wins each.

Exclude From Games: 
0
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Brad Keselowski wins the Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway.</p>
0
2012
1

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Bristol

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's race in Bristol

by Jay Pennell

It's Bristol, baby!

This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the hills of East Tennessee for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR’s modern day Colosseum has been home to some of the most dramatic moments in the sport’s history, and always produces great racing.

Exclude From Games: 
0
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Fantasy NASCAR predictions for the Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway.</p>

This week’s darkhorse pick goes to Martin Truex Jr. out of the Michael Waltrip Racing stable.

The driver of the No. 56 NAPA Toyota is in a “put up or shut up” season, with contract negotiations on the books for later in the year. To say the New Jersey native has underperformed over the past few seasons is a bit of an understatement. Many expected big things from the two-time Nationwide Series champion, but with only one Sprint Cup Series victory in 228 starts, time is running out.

Yet, Truex entered the season optimistic about the newly remodeled and upgraded MWR. The addition of teammates Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin and competition director Scott Miller has Truex pleased with fast race cars and the opportunity to run up front.

And run up front is exactly what Truex did in this race last season. Leading a total of 63 laps, it looked as if the No. 56 was set for a solid day until the handling went away and Truex faded late in the race. Learning from their mistakes, the team showed up prepared to finish the job in August, scoring a second-place finish behind race winner Brad Keselowski.

With Truex looking to quell the contract talk and get back to Victory Lane, Bristol might just be the place to make a statement. If he and crew chief Chad Johnston can avoid trouble and keep up with the changing racetrack throughout, I expect a solid day out of him.

Three Darkhorse Picks: Martin Truex Jr., Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray

Best of luck to all the fantasy NASCAR participants out there, and most importantly, don't forget to set your lineups!

Average Bristol Finish, Last Six Races (Wins)
1. Kyle Busch — 4.5 (4)
2. Ryan Newman — 8.8 (0)
3. Jimmie Johnson — 9.0 (1)
4. Kurt Busch — 9.0 (0)
5. Carl Edwards — 10.0 (0)
6. Matt Kenseth — 11.3 (0)
7. Jeff Gordon — 11.5 (0)
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. — 11.7 (0)
9. Brad Keselowski — 12.8 (1)*
10. Jamie McMurray — 14.2 (0)
* Four starts

Follow Jay on Twitter: @JayWPennell
 

0
2012
1

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Greg Biffle rides consistency to top

by Matt Taliaferro

1. Greg Biffle  Biffle’s team was the one under the Roush Fenway banner that laid low during the offseason. The result has been third-place finishes across the board. Bristol is usually good to them, too.

Exclude From Games: 
0
Two Right Sidebar Images
<p> Greg Biffle tops Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.  The dominating run in the first half of the Vegas race was encouraging, but fading to 10th was all-too-familiar. Bristol should be another top-10 performance, though.

10. Kyle Busch  “Rowdy” is ranked here more on 2012 potential than 2012 accomplishment. Bristol may change that.

11. Joey Logano  So far, so good for the new Logano/Jason Ratcliff pairing. Wonder if he’ll be looking for the 24 this weekend?

12. Brad Keselowski  A fifth is sandwiched between two 32nd-place finishes. Again, potential/accomplishment. And again, that could change this weekend.

13. Paul Menard  Has quietly enjoyed two top-7 runs at Daytona and Vegas. He was fifth in last year’s spring Bristol race.

14. Martin Truex Jr.  If this team ever learns how to finish a race, it’ll be dangerous.

15. Marcos Ambrose  An excellent Bristol darkhorse, Ambrose has three top 10s in six Cup Series starts.

Just off the lead pack: Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman

Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattTaliaferro
 

0
2012
1

Pages