Tony Stewart

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

Biffle, Earnhardt, Stewart and Truex making Cup Series news
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this week with Greg Biffle, Dale Earnahrdt Jr., Tony Stewart and Martin Truex Jr.</p>
2012

Greg Biffle credits an aggressive approach with his team’s return to the points lead and says once NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup starts, there won’t be any backing down.

Biffle regained the points lead after his victory at Michigan and held it despite finishing 19th last weekend at Bristol. That finish was good enough to clinch a Chase spot and return him to NASCAR’s playoffs after missing it last year.

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Denny Hamlin Wins Bristol

Fireworks fly in a wild Bristol Night Race
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<p> Denny Hamlin won a wild NASCAR event on Saturday, taking checkers in the Bristol Night Race.</p>
2012

Few topics in NASCAR have been as polarizing as track owner Bruton Smith’s decision to “narrow up” the historic half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway.

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

The "New" Bristol, the 2013 Cup Schedule and Danica Back to Cup
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a lap around the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. The "new" Bristol, 2013 schedule and Danica in the Cup Series highlights the news of the week.</p>
2012

One theme is consistent among competitors as NASCAR returns to Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time since track changes intended to create tighter racing.

“I just hope that they didn’t screw it up,” points leader Greg Biffle says.

“I just hope they didn’t screw up the race track,” Ryan Newman says.

“Nobody really knows what is going to happen,” Jimmie Johnson says.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Johnson, Keselowski in frenzied battle for supremacy
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<p> Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski are in a frenzied battle for supremacy of Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings. Could this be a preview of the NASCAR Sprint Cup title battle?&nbsp;</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson  Loses a second one in three weeks in heartbreaking fashion. That may derail some teams, but with the 48, you get the feeling it only makes them more determined.

2. Brad Keselowski  Keselowski and the boys are rounding into form nicely, with seven consecutive runs of ninth or better. They’re going to be a handful at Bristol this weekend.

Greg Biffle Wins Michigan

Jimmie Johnson blows engine late, hands win to Biffle in Michigan
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<p> Greg Biffle took advantage of Jimmie Johnson's blown engine in the waning laps of the Pure Michigan 400 to notch his second win of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.</p>
2012

Neither Greg Biffle nor team owner Jack Roush is unaccustomed to visiting Victory Lane at Michigan International Speedway. So it was no surprise that the duo ended up spraying champagne following Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race. What was a surprise were the circumstances that landed them there.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Fallout from a wild one at the Glen
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<p> Once again, Jimmie Johnson leads the way in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson  Once an Achilles heel, Johnson rolled to his fourth consecutive road course top 10 with a third at Watkins Glen. In the process, he vaulted to the top of the championship point standings. Last week: 1

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

Ambrose's Chase chances, Stewart's grueling schedule and Edwards' winning ways in Michigan
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long talks Marcos Ambrose's Chase chances, Tony Stewart's grueling racing schedule, the "new" groove at Bristol and Carl Edwards' Michigan run.</p>
2012

Buoyed by his victory at Watkins Glen on Sunday, Marcos Ambrose said the goal is quite simple for the next four races as he and his team vie for a wild card spot in NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Watkins Glen

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for the Finger Lakes 355
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell gives his weekly fantasy NASCAR tips for Sunday's running of the Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International.</p>
2012

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the Northeast this weekend as it hits Watkins Glen International for the Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen. The second of two road course races this season, teams will have to adjust to turning both left and right, carrying high speeds and preparing for heavy braking with multiple elevation changes and opposite-side pit stops.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Who comprises NASCAR's Dream Team?
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<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
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<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

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