Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 5 Amazing Stats for Martinsville

David Smith crunches the numbers to reveal some telling stats for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500
David Smith crunches the numbers for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

The Jimmie Johnson-Matt Kenseth battle atop the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings takes an interesting turn this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Johnson and his No. 48 team were dominant in the last 13 races (spanning the entire CoT era and the first Martinsville race of the Gen-6’s existence), winning six times, most recently the 2013 spring race, and finishing inside the top five 10 times. Without much thought, it’s easy to cede this fight to Johnson.

Kenseth might be in better shape than a first impression suggests, though.

McMurray wins in Talladega; NASCAR Chase lead changes

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Talladega Superspeedway
Four things we learned following Jamie McMurray's win in NASCAR's Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Sunday on Twitter, as a single-file line froze in place after the NASCAR Sprint Cup race’s final caution on the white-flag lap, I wrote the following Talladega evaluation:

“Great race, but last few laps, almost all drivers decided getting out in one piece was more important.”

A NASCAR 12 Pack of Big Ones from Talladega

Fantasy NASCAR Picks for Talladega

Geoffrey Miller breaks down the best Fantasy NASCAR picks for the Camping World RV Sales 500 in Talladega
Geoffrey Miller breaks down the best Fantasy NASCAR picks for the Camping World RV Sales 500 in Talladega.

To help guide you through the 2013 Fantasy NASCAR season, Athlon Sports contributor Geoffrey Miller will be offering his best predictions for each race. And because Yahoo's Fantasy Auto Racing game is arguably the most popular, he’ll break down the picks according to its Sprint Cup Series driver classes — A-List, B-List, C-List. The main picks are designed to make optimal use of Yahoo!’s nine-start maximum rule over the course of the season.

Kvapil’s domestic violence arrest another NASCAR mess

Geoffrey Miller's Five Things to Watch at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Geoffrey Miller highlights the five storylines to watch as the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit visits Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500.

1. Travis Kvapil’s domestic violence arrest another NASCAR mess
The controversies for NASCAR in 2013 have often taken a turn far from on-track action. Instead, the cavalcade of driver romance, drivers making asinine statements, fans getting injured and the whole Chase field fiasco has buffeted the sport’s news cycle between often so-so racing.

Enter Travis Kvapil.

Busch wins in Atlanta; NASCAR Chase race tightens

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Post-race reaction from Kyle Busch's win in the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

So much happened at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past weekend that the winner was, in some ways, irrelevant. Kyle Busch’s fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup victory clinched his spot in the Chase, but it was one the driver had on lockdown for weeks. The No. 18 Toyota, comfortably within the top 10 in points, has been overshadowed amongst potential title contenders by Jimmie Johnson’s strength-turned-slump and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth’s five wins.

Kahne takes a pass; Kenseth wins NASCAR night race at Bristol

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol.
Post-race reaction from Matt Kenseth's win in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Kasey Kahne, by his own admission, is NASCAR’s version of “Mr. Clean.” What else can you say after Bristol’s big fireworks show that never exploded? He had several prized opportunities Saturday to turn Matt Kenseth’s Dollar General Toyota and skate by for the win and a season sweep at the half-mile track. No one would have blamed him, either. All season, the No. 5 car has been swung into SAFER Barriers like clockwork by Kenseth and his teammates; they’ve made the old Allstate cougar accidents seem minor by comparison.

Joey Logano claws way back into NASCAR Chase contention with Michigan win

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Pure Michigan 400
Post-race reaction from Joey Logano's win in NASCAR's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Sheryl Crow once sang “A Change Will Do You Good.” She’s a perfect example of how it doesn’t always work out that way (see: dating Lance Armstrong). But sometimes, the sporting universe aligns itself exactly right, rotating beautifully where it works for all parties involved.

Drivers look to secure NASCAR Chase bids in Michigan

Geoffrey Miller's Five Things to Watch at Michigan International Speedway
Geoffrey Miller's five things to watch as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hits Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400.

Winning still not everything for nearly locked-in Chase drivers  Jimmie Johnson
Sunday’s green flag at Michigan International Speedway will leave just three left before NASCAR’s field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup is set. Series points leader Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the 43 drivers who will start the race who knows he’s completely and totally locked in the championship field.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 6 Amazing Stats for Michigan International Speedway

David Smith crunches the numbers to reveal some telling stats for the Pure Michigan 400
David Smith crunches the numbers to reveal some revealing NASCAR stats for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Let’s be clear: Joey Logano making the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase in 2013 should be considered a coup, not an expectation.

At 23 years old, Logano has underachieved in the eyes of many, but not under the watchful eye of Penske Racing, his new home at which he is blossoming this year. He’d be more firmly in Chase contention if not for the 25-point penalty incurred earlier this season, but 16th with a bullet probably also suffices for developing ahead of schedule.

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