Jimmie Johnson

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Racing NASCAR's Trucks at Eldora and surprises in Kansas
<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council voice their opinions on what a NASCAR Truck Series race at Eldora would be like and talk about Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway.</p>
2012

Is it time for NASCAR to look in a different direction to run a race? Maybe something old school. You know, some place dirt-y? Of all that happened last weekend in Sunday’s Cup race at Kansas, what was the most impressive feat? Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council debated those and other questions this week. Here’s what they said:

Dale Earnhardt Jr. cleared to race

Earnhardt to make NASCAR Sprint Cup return in Martinsville
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<p> Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend at the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.</p>
2012

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been medically cleared to race this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday.

Earnhardt missed the past two races after suffering a concussion Oct. 7 in a last-lap crash at Talladega Superspeedway. It was his second concussion within six weeks. He suffered a concussion in a crash during an Aug. 29 tire test at Kansas Speedway.

Matt Kenseth Wins Kansas

Kenseth survives, notches third Sprint Cup win of 2012
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<p> Matt Kenseth won the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway.</p>
2012

There is typically one race in NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship that throws the Sprint Cup field the proverbial curveball.

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

Rule Changes, Bowyer's Big Win and Earnhardt's Absence
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long has a lot of NASCAR ground to cover this week. From Clint Bowyer's big win and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s absence to AJ Allmendinger's return and new rules procedures, it's all in Athlon's NASCAR News &amp; Notes of the Week.</p>
2012

Don’t be fooled by the court jester routine Clint Bowyer seems to play in press conferences. For all the joking he does, he’s serious about winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

With five races left in the Chase, Bowyer is fourth in the standings for car owner Michael Waltrip’s team, 28 points behind series leader Brad Keselowski.

Clint Bowyer Wins Charlotte

Bowyer back in title talk with win in Bank of America 500
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<p> Clint Bowyer worked his way back into title talk with his win in NASCAR's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.</p>
2012

After four races, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin had seemingly separated themselves in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Not so fast, says Clint Bowyer.

As the sport’s version of a playoff completed the “first half” in its 10-race run, Bowyer and his No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing team used strategy to outsmart the trio of favorites, winning the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with superior fuel mileage.

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

Kenseth excels, Earnhardt recants
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long discusses Matt Kenseth's restrictor plate record in 2012, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s statements about plate racing and ESPN's ratings for NASCAR's Good Sam 500 at Talladega.</p>
2012

Matt Kenseth’s win Sunday at Talladega completed one of the greatest seasons of restrictor-plate racing in NASCAR since 1988, the first season the plates were used for all the races at Daytona and Talladega.

Kenseth won the Daytona 500, finished third at Talladega in the spring, was third at Daytona in July and won at Talladega last weekend, giving him an average finish of 2.0 in those four plate races.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Crew chiefs, Chase races and grading Dover
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<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council shares its thoughts on the best crew chiefs, whether the Chase length is too long or just right and grades the racing at Dover.</p>
2012

Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council take a wider look at the sport this week, judging who they think the best crew chief in the Chase is and if the length of the Chase should remain 10 races. Here’s a look at what they had to say:

Who is the best crew chief in the Chase?

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

A spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Highlighting this week's news is Brad Keselowski's points lead heading to Talladega, changes on Ryan Newman's team and Joey Logano's strong run during the Chase.</p>
2012

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Brad Keselowski admits he has conflicting emotions heading into this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

“There’s part of me that says no matter how bad Talladega goes I can only be 47 points back or 46 or so, so it can’t be that bad,” he said Tuesday. “Then there’s the other side of me that thinks that if we go to Talladega and have a bad day and end up losing a championship by those points, that would really be a shame.”

Keselowski wins in Dover

Fuel mileage, strategy, pay off for Keselowski, Penske Racing
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<p> Brad Keselowski used fuel strategy to beat Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson in NASCAR's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.</p>
2012

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is only three races into its 10-race Chase for the Championship playoff stint. And thus far, three drivers seem to have separated themselves from the field.

One made a major statement in the AAA 400 from Dover International Speedway — a statement even bolder than Denny Hamlin’s perceived “called shot” and win a week earlier in New Hampshire.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

NASCAR vs. NFL, Hamlin's win total and grading Loudon
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council discusses NASCAR vs. NFL, Denny Hamlin's winning ways and the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.</p>
2012

Even with replacement referees, the NFL is drawing large TV audiences. With NASCAR’s title Chase under way, members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council were asked what they’re watching more of — NASCAR or NFL. The answer, from a group of NASCAR fans, might surprise you. That’s just among the questions Fan Council members debated this week.


Which did you watch more of Sunday — NASCAR or NFL?

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