Kyle Larson

NASCAR's Top 5 Faces of Tomorrow and their contemporary counterparts

NASCAR Rookie Report: The "Second Visit" Fallacy

Analyzing the seven-driver crop of rookies in the Sprint Cup Series
David Smith analyzes the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie crop.

Welcome to the Athlon Rookie Report, where each week David Smith will evaluate the deepest crop of new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series talent since 2006. The Report will include twice-monthly rankings, in-depth analysis, Q&A sessions with the drivers and more.

 

Today, David challenges the theory that all rookies get better in a second visit to a racetrack.

 

 

Gordon, Hendrick remain atop NASCAR charts with Brickyard win

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Indianapolis
Post-race reaction from Jeff Gordon's win in NASCAR's Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Speeding past the sport’s best drivers 20  years ago, Jeff Gordon won the inaugural Brickyard 400 en route to starting his own legacy. Much has been made of the win’s impact — his second of 90 Cup victories, — even though it was hardly surprising at the time. After all, Gordon was blooming in his second season and the Indiana native was expected to morph into one of the sport’s all-time best.

NASCAR Rookie Report: Potential growth of the 2014 Sprint Cup newbies

Analyzing the seven-driver crop of rookies in the Sprint Cup Series
David Smith analyzes the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie crop.

Welcome to the Athlon Rookie Report, where each week David Smith will evaluate the deepest crop of new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series talent since 2006. The Report will include twice-monthly rankings, in-depth analysis, Q&A sessions with the drivers and more.

 

Today, David ponders how each rookie’s growth pattern might play out in future Cup Series seasons.

 

 

NASCAR Rookie Report: How glaring weaknesses can be remedied

Ranking the seven-driver crop of rookies in the Sprint Cup Series
Ranking the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Rookie of the Year contenders

Welcome to the Athlon Rookie Report, where each week David Smith will evaluate the deepest crop of new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series talent since 2006. The Report will include twice-monthly rankings, in-depth analysis, Q&A sessions with the drivers and more.

 

Today, David attempts to isolate each rookie from his team and equipment and properly rank the driving chops of each member of this year’s rookie class.

 

 

NASCAR Chase deserves better kick-off than stops in Chicago-Loudon-Dover

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in New Hampshire
Post-race reaction after Brad Keselowski won NASCAR's Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

On paper, New Hampshire Motor Speedway should be one of the most exciting racetracks in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Just one mile in length, it’s the shortest oval NASCAR races on between the second week of June and Bristol in late August, part of a summer doldrums stretch that typically produces the lowest ratings of the year. Its second event, held in September, is also in the Chase midway through the first round of eliminations that will cut the field down from 16 drivers to 12 drivers.

NASCAR Rookie Report: Are Cup newbies making a "passing" grade?

Analyzing the seven-driver crop of rookies in the Sprint Cup Series
David Smith analyzes the first- and second-quarter passing splits of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookies from the 2014 season.

Welcome to the Athlon Rookie Report, where each week David Smith will evaluate the deepest crop of new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series talent since 2006. The Report will include twice-monthly rankings, in-depth analysis, Q&A sessions with the drivers and more.

 

Today, David analyzes the first- and second-quarter passing splits of rookies from the 2014 season.

 

 

Petty's No. 43 returns to Daytona Victory Lane with Aric Almirola

Through the Gears: Four things we learned in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona
Post-race reaction from Aric Almirola's upset win in NASCAR's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

For years, Aric Almirola’s name in the record books has come with a weird asterisk. In 2007 at Milwaukee, he was just a part-time Nationwide (then Busch) Series driver for Joe Gibbs Racing trying to make a name for himself. Pegged as a backup for Denny Hamlin, Almirola was pressed into a start when the Cup driver’s helicopter ran late. Although running from the pole and dominating early, JGR chose to replace Almirola once Hamlin arrived. Hamlin slid in and rode on to an easy victory.

 

Rookie Report: The Future of NASCAR is "Dad"

What the future of NASCAR ownership may look like
David Smith on what the future of NASCAR may look like and the owners that will be fielding entries for the rookies of tomorrow.

Welcome to the Athlon Rookie Report, where each week David Smith will evaluate the deepest crop of new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series talent since 2006. The Report will include twice-monthly rankings, in-depth analysis, Q&A sessions with the drivers and more.

 

Today, David writes about what the future of NASCAR may look like, and the owners that will be fielding entries for the rookies of tomorrow. 

 

 

After Sonoma win, is Carl Edwards' NASCAR destiny as clear cut as believed?

Through the Gears: Four things we learned at Sonoma Raceway
Post-race reaction from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Toyota-Save Mart 350, won by Carl Edwards.

Let’s have a quick flashback to NASCAR 2011. The hottest free agent on the Sprint Cup Series market? Carl Edwards, whose decision lie between sticking with Roush Fenway Racing and replacing a struggling Joey Logano at Joe Gibbs Racing. The choice was difficult, as Edwards was on the comeback trail with RFR after a 2008 season that witnessed a gaudy nine victories and found him on the cusp of unseating Jimmie Johnson.

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