April 17, 2015

Bristol: Three Drivers To Watch

Food City 500 Race Preview


Brad Keselowski has taken the checkered
flag twice at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Getty)
#ItsBristolBaby!  It's second smallest track on the schedule at just 0.533 miles with banking up to 30 degrees.  There's nowhere for the cars to go when racing in a 43-car field, but that doesn't stop them from pinballing around the track like a roulette wheel.

A roulette wheel.  That's a pretty fitting comparison for a track where no car finishes the race without a dent or a tire rub.  It's not about being the best, it's about keeping your nose clean enough to be near the front late in the race and seizing victory if the opportunity arises.

Here are three drivers to keep an eye on this weekend at Bristol:

Green Flag - Brad Keselowski

He finds his way up front at Bristol, having led at least 40 laps in five of the last seven races at that track.  He's won two of those events and finished in the top-three on two other occasions.  Expect to see his run of six straight top-10s on the 2015 season get extended at BMS.

April 14, 2015

Magic Mile Power Rankings: Texas




Next Up: Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway

(Getty Images)
With his win on Saturday night, Jimmie Johnson became only the third driver in the history of Texas Motor Speedway to win both the spring and fall race at the 1.5-mile oval.

More importantly, the 48 team is now a lock to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, having now won two races this season. And while a six-time NASCAR champion should never have anything to prove, a win over the most dominant driver in the sport today – Kevin Harvick – was certainly a boost to the ego for Johnson and company.

Saturday night was also a good night for the likes of Jamie McMurray (9 laps led), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) and Martin Truex Jr. (seventh straight top-10). But were those strong runs good enough to push McMurray and Earnhardt into the Magic Mile Power Rankings, and how far did Truex climb the ladder?

MMPR format:
Win: 10 points
Top-5: 5 points
Top-10: 3 points
Most Laps Led: 2 points
Pole: 1 point
21-30: Minus-1
31-40: Minus-3
41-43: Minus-5
*The most recent five races are counted.
(Last five weeks' point total in parentheses)

Here's a look at the MMPR heading into the seventh race of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday in Bristol, Tenn.:



April 9, 2015

Texas: Three Drivers To Watch

Duck Commander 500 Race Preview


His season's performance hasn't
been good, but Texas tends to be one
of Greg Biffle's best tracks. (Getty)
It's time for NASCAR to race under the lights for the first time in 2015.  Texas Motor Speedway will kick off the lighted portion of the season that will become a regular event for race fans in the coming months.  Night racing traditionally brings out a little bit more of an edge in the drivers and makes for some dented bumpers and bent feelings.

Here are a few drivers to keep an eye on in the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday night:

Green Flag - Matt Kenseth

In the absence of a clear favorite, Kenseth projects as the surest bet in this No Limits event.  He has three top-10s this season and has led double-digit laps in each of the last two races.  At Texas specifically, his 8.9 average finish leads the field.

Yellow Flag - Jimmie Johnson

The winner of three of the last five races at Texas seems out of sync right now.  Johnson is historically dominant at tracks like Phoenix, Auto Club and Martinsville, but failed to lead a single lap at any of those tracks in the last three NASCAR races.  He could certainly turn it around with a win at Texas, but his current performance doesn't make him a favorite.

April 7, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 25 Years Ago ...

It was 25 years ago this July that New Hampshire Motor Speedway opened its doors and it's track to NASCAR racing for the very first time. July 15, 1990 to be exact. Since then, a lot has happened, including more than 214 NASCAR races over five different series at the Magic Mile.

But 1990 had a lot going on that year: the end of the cold war, the retirement of Margaret Thatcher and reunification of Germany. It was a history-filled year with many highlights and low-lights.

Here’s a list of our top 10 events to happen in 1990:

March 31, 2015

Magic Mile Power Rankings: Martinsville




Next Up: Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

Getty Images
Six weeks into the NASCAR season and it's finally time to take a breath. It's been a whirlwind start with five different winners and a driver that's been so dominant that an eighth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday seemed like a finish outside the top 30.

The sixth race of the season also marks the first time this season in Magic Mile Power Rankings that a race will be dropped off, as the points accumulated in the season-opening Daytona 500 no longer count (see the MMPR format below).

Denny Hamlin put a lot of smiles on the faces of employees throughout Joe Gibbs Racing (our thoughts and prayers are with J.D. Gibbs), and it was a terrific day all the way through for the JGR team, which needed a boost. Was the win enough to vault Hamlin into the top-five? And how much did Kevin Harvick's eighth-place finish hurt him in rankings?

MMPR format:
Win: 10 points
Top-5: 5 points
Top-10: 3 points
Most Laps Led: 2 points
Pole: 1 point
21-30: Minus-1
31-40: Minus-3
41-43: Minus-5
*The most recent five races are counted.
(Last five weeks' point total in parentheses)

Here's a look at the MMPR heading into the sixth race of the season at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night, April 11, in Fort Worth, Texas: