Kyle Busch

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Richmond

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 400
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at fantasy NASCAR favorites and darkhorses for Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond International Raceway.</p>
2012

After 25 races, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season will roll into Richmond International Raceway for the final event before the 12-driver Chase field is set. While the top 10 is essentially a lock, the race for the wild card positions is all about wins, with eight drivers still eligible for the two spots.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Hamlin, Johnson, Keselowski separate from the pack
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<p> Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski challenge Jimmie Johnson for the top spot in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson  Denny Hamlin may be the hottest driver on the Cup circuit at the moment, but Johnson’s team will still be the one everyone keeps an eye on going into the Chase.

2. Denny Hamlin  Became the first driver since Tony Stewart in last season’s playoffs to score consecutive wins on the Cup circuit, with victories at Bristol and Atlanta. This is not the Denny Hamlin of 2011, folks.

NASCAR News & Notes: Kenseth to JGR official, Logano to Penske

Kenseth, Logano and Chase wild cards take center stage
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long reports on Matt Kenseth signing with Joe Gibbs Racing, Joey Logano going to Penske Racing and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase wild card battle between Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon.</p>
2012

As a Green Bay Packers fan, Matt Kenseth knows the shock many had seeing quarterback Brett Favre wear another team’s uniform. Kenseth says he doesn’t think his fans will be as shocked with his new look at Joe Gibbs Racing next season after being with car owner Jack Roush’s team since 1999.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Fan reaction from a wild weekend in Bristol
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<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council talks all-things Bristol and weighs in on which wild card drives will make the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship.</p>
2012

The changes to Bristol may not have worked quite how track officials imagined, but most members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council liked what they saw there last weekend. Is it enough to get them back to the track? You might find those responses interesting. Also, Fan Council members updated their selection on who they think will get the wild card spots in the final two races before the Chase.


Grade Saturday’s Cup race at Bristol

NASCAR News & Notes of the Week

Biffle, Earnhardt, Stewart and Truex making Cup Series news
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this week with Greg Biffle, Dale Earnahrdt Jr., Tony Stewart and Martin Truex Jr.</p>
2012

Greg Biffle credits an aggressive approach with his team’s return to the points lead and says once NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup starts, there won’t be any backing down.

Biffle regained the points lead after his victory at Michigan and held it despite finishing 19th last weekend at Bristol. That finish was good enough to clinch a Chase spot and return him to NASCAR’s playoffs after missing it last year.

Denny Hamlin Wins Bristol

Fireworks fly in a wild Bristol Night Race
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<p> Denny Hamlin won a wild NASCAR event on Saturday, taking checkers in the Bristol Night Race.</p>
2012

Few topics in NASCAR have been as polarizing as track owner Bruton Smith’s decision to “narrow up” the historic half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Bristol

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for the Bristol Night Race
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Saturday's Bristol Night Race NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Bristol Motor Speedway.</p>
2012

The Race for the Chase is heating up and after two weeks of late-race drama the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Thunder Valley for the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

When the series hits the high-banks, it will be on a much different racing surface than the drivers have been accustomed to over the past few seasons. After the 2007 reconfiguration of the track, progressive banking was added in the corners, allowing for multiple grooves and two- and three-wide racing.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Johnson, Keselowski in frenzied battle for supremacy
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<p> Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski are in a frenzied battle for supremacy of Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings. Could this be a preview of the NASCAR Sprint Cup title battle?&nbsp;</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson  Loses a second one in three weeks in heartbreaking fashion. That may derail some teams, but with the 48, you get the feeling it only makes them more determined.

2. Brad Keselowski  Keselowski and the boys are rounding into form nicely, with seven consecutive runs of ninth or better. They’re going to be a handful at Bristol this weekend.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

NASCAR's no-call and Dodge's departing
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<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council weighs in on all the happenings at Watkins Glen — from the racing action to whether NASCAR should have thrown a caution on the race's final lap.</p>
2012

Watkins Glen had members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council talking from what should have been done at the end of the race with oil on the track to what they saw throughout the entire event. Fan Council members also shared their thoughts on Dodge’s recent announcement that it will leave NASCAR after this season. Here’s what the Backseat Drivers Fan Council had to say on those issues:


Grade Sunday’s Cup race at Watkins Glen

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Fallout from a wild one at the Glen
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<p> Once again, Jimmie Johnson leads the way in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>
2012

1. Jimmie Johnson  Once an Achilles heel, Johnson rolled to his fourth consecutive road course top 10 with a third at Watkins Glen. In the process, he vaulted to the top of the championship point standings. Last week: 1

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