Matt Taliaferro

Martin Truex Jr. ends NASCAR skid, wins in Sonoma

Truex puts on a clinic on the road, collects first Cup win since 2007
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<p> Martin Truex Jr. ends 218-race winless skid, wins the NASCAR Toyota-Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.</p>

Not long ago, Sonoma Raceway was owned by drivers Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart who, between 1998-2006, won seven of the nine NASCAR Sprint Cup races at the 1.99-mile road course. Road-racing aces like Robby Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya were the real competition, not the typical oval-centric stock car crowd. And certainly not drivers with a short-track background like Martin Truex Jr., in the midst of a 218-race winless skid.

Greg Biffle, Ford snag Father's Day NASCAR win in Michigan

Biffle earns Ford's 1,000th NASCAR victory; Hendrick Motorsports falters late
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<p> Greg Biffle wins the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.</p>

At no point in the last decade has winning a Sprint Cup Series race at the Michigan International Speedway been of more importance in the NASCAR ranks. A renewed emphasis on “manufacturer” over “car number” or “driver” — largely at the behest of Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, the Cup Series’ three auto makes — has placed a premium on home field bragging rights near America’s automotive capital.

Jimmie Johnson: Pocono Party Pooper

Johnson dominates Party in the Poconos 400, extends NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead.
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<p> Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono Raceway.</p>

Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 Lowe’s team showed up to Pocono Raceway with something to prove.

After being penalized for jumping a restart the previous weekend in the 400-miler at Dover that cost the team a victory, Johnson was all business as the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit hit Pocono’s quirky, 2.5-mile layout.

Jimmie Johnson's Martinsville Mastery Continues

Johnson wins the STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway
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<p> Jimmie Johnson won NASCAR's STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway.</p>

Jimmie Johnson capped off a dominant weekend at Martinsville Speedway in a familiar way: by celebrating in Victory Lane. The Hendrick Motorsports driver won his eighth career NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the half-mile Virginia short track on Sunday in the STP Gas Booster 500.

Johnson’s weekend started in fine form on Friday, when he won the pole for the event. His No. 48 was near the top of each practice session’s speed chart, and when the green flag flew for 500 miles of racing, there was little doubt as to who the field would be chasing.

Confident Earnhardt leads Sprint Cup Series into Martinsville

Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads NASCAR point standings, enjoying momentum
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<p> Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings and is a favorite to win this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.</p>

It’s said that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is off to the best start of his 14-year NASCAR Sprint Cup career.

The 38-year-old has recorded top-10 finishes in each of the first five events, averaging a 4.4-place finish, and leads the point standings heading to the circuit’s sixth stop, in Martinsville, Va., on Sunday.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Keselowski, Earnhardt Jr. setting blistering pace
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<p> Dale Earnhardt Jr. has assumed the top spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, but it's defending champion Brad Keselowski who finds himself atop the Athlon Sports Horsepower Rankings.</p>

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has assumed the top spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, but it's defending champion Brad Keselowski who finds himself atop the Athlon Sports Horsepower Rankings.

1. Brad Keselowski
If not for an overheating issue late in Fontana (while running fifth), Keselowski would most likely be five-for-five in the top-5 finishes category. The defending champ has come out swinging.

Kahne Survives, Wins at Bristol Motor Speedway

Kasey Kahne grabs first NASCAR Sprint Cup win of 2013
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<p> Kasey Kahne held off Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski to win the NASCAR Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.</p>

After leading the most laps last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway only to run second to Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne felt he had something to prove on Sunday. And with Bristol Motor Speedway being the next stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule, all the better, as Kahne had yet to win on the tough half-mile racetrack in East Tennessee.

And prove it he did. Kahne got the jump on Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin during the final restart of the Food City 500 and cruised, leading the final 40 laps to notch his first Cup victory on Bristol’s high banks.