Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Ambrose Wins in Watkins Glen

Marcos Ambrose gives Richard Petty Motorsports first win of 2012
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<p> Marcos Ambrose beat Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch in a wild last-lap scramble to win NASCAR's Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen.</p>
2012

Defending Watkins Glen race-winner Marcos Ambrose entered the Sprint Cup Series’ Finger Lakes 355 as the odds-on favorite to win. And Ambrose, who also has three Nationwide Series victories at the Glen, didn’t disappoint.

The Australia native with an extensive background in Sports Car racing used every bit of his expertise, capping a wild last-lap battle with Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch to give Richard Petty Motorsports its first win since this same race last season.

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 News & Notes of the Week

Dodge Bolts, Allmendinger Talks & Junior Dishes on the Road Course
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long reports on Dodge leaving NASCAR, AJ Allmendinger's Adderall claim and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s take on Watkins Glen.</p>
2012

Unable to find the right partners, sponsors and teams to put together an effort for next season, Dodge announced Tuesday that it will withdraw from NASCAR after this year.

Dodge was left without a Sprint Cup team for 2013 after Penske Racing announced earlier this year it would move to Ford next season.

Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, likened Dodge’s challenges to a puzzle not fitting together.

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

10 Memorable NASCAR Moments at Pocono

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Pocono

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's Pennsylvania 400
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkorses for your Fantasy NASCAR team as the series heads to Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 400.</p>
2012

This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the Pocono Mountains for the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. When the series last hit the 2.5-mile oval in June, it was Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano that went to Victory Lane, leading 49 of the 160 laps and moving veteran Mark Martin out of the lead in the closing laps.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Can Dale Earnhardt Jr. win the Sprint Cup?
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<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council grades NASCAR's visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ESPN's broadcast of it and ponders whether Dale Earnhardt Jr. can win the Sprint Cup title in 2012.</p>
2012

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead at Indianapolis, giving his fans something to cheer about in a season where there have been plenty of highlights. Although the points will be reset at the start of the Chase, the question becomes can Earnhardt continue his successful season and win the championship?

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Haven't we seen this movie before ... like in 2006, '08 and '09?
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<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
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<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)
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<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.

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