Jimmie Johnson

Brad Keselowski and Paul Wolfe: The Duo that Almost Never Was

NASCAR News and Notes of the Week
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long reveals that Paul Wolfe was very close to not being Brad Keselowski's Sprint Cup crew chief. But now that the two are together at Penske Racing, they satnd on the verge of a NASCAR championship.</p>
2012

The first time Brad Keselowski asked Paul Wolfe to be his crew chief, Wolfe didn’t flinch.

“He looked me in the eye and said, ‘No, I don’t want to do it,’” Keselowski said. “I think he was kind of mad at me because I had wrecked (his car).”

It was Aug. 2009 when Keselowski posed the question to Wolfe, a former driver turned crew chief working for CJM Racing.

Harvick wins a wild one in Phoenix

Gordon/Bowyer melee mars AdvoCar500; Keselowski turns tables on Johnson in points battle
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<p> Kevin Harvick won a wild AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski overtook the points lead over Jimmie Johnson while Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer engaged in an on- and off-track melee.</p>
2012

Once the smoke cleared, the cars (or what was left of them) were loaded and the Sunday sun set over Phoenix International Raceway, a new championship landscape had emerged in NASCAR. But tempers as hot and raw as the surrounding Sonora Desert shifted the focus of the Sprint Cup Series’ AdvoCare 500 from said title battle—and the race’s previously-MIA winner—to wrecked racecars, fist fights and talk of on-track payback.

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

The 2013 Sprint Cup, Brad Keselowski's spike in popularity and Kyle Busch's hot streak
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long updates on the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup car, Bradk Keselowski's popularity in the Chase and Kyle Busch's bot streak.</p>
2012

A Goodyear tire test Tuesday and Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway could provide a clue as to how racy NASCAR’s 2013 Sprint Cup car can be.

10 Unforgettable NASCAR Moments at Texas Motor Speedway

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

NASCAR's new start times, title favorites and grading Martinsville
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<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council discuss new start times in the Chase, who the chmapionship favorite is with three races remaining in the season and the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville.</p>
2012

Times are a-changin’ in NASCAR but will fans see a change in who has been the champion most often in recent years? With starting times for the remaining races pushed back, members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council were asked if they liked the move, along with who now is their pick to win the title with three races left and what they thought of the Martinsville race. Here’s what they had to say about those issues and more:

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

Against odds, Keselowski hanging with Johnson in Chase battle
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit with Brad Keselowski's title fight with Jimmie Johnson, a crew chief shuffle, Michael Waltrip Racing's performance and Kyle Busch's hot streak.</p>
2012

Brad Keselowski is not supposed to be challenging for a NASCAR Sprint Cup title. At least this year’s title. Many expect him to be a championship contender for years to come but the prevailing thought entering the Chase was that this wouldn’t be his year.

The reasons varied:

• Dodge, the team’s manufacturer, is leaving NASCAR after this season.

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.

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