Jimmie Johnson wasn't the talk of Speedweeks -- Danica Patrick was. And while Patrick acquitted herself well, Johnson is hauling home the Daytona 500 hardware.
If you weren't thrilled by the finish -- and ultimately Jimmie Johnson's win thanks to teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- at Talladega on Sunday, then you never will like NASCAR.
The math says Mark Martin is still in contention for his first Sprint Cup championship. The reality? The best Martin likely can do is finish second -- for the fifth time in his career.
Jamie McMurray won the race Sunday at Talladega, and Jimmie Johnson won the title. Oh, not officially for Johnson, not yet. But it will take a miracle to catch him now.
Still think Sunday's Cup race at Talladega -- the world's largest roulette wheel -- is the Chase field's best chance to derail three-time defending champ Jimmie Johnson? You kiddin'?
Juan Pablo Montoya and Mark Martin have been big buddies this season. One bump on the track Saturday night put Martin in a Chase hole and may have Montoya all but out.
NASCAR doesn't like dominance lest it stink up the show. And one thing The Strange Case of the 5 and the 48 clearly demonstrates: The show still trumps sport.
No, Jeff Gordon's not off to the start he wanted two races into the Chase. But the four-time champion, now 38, might just have a little "Wonder Boy" left in him yet.
Mark Martin and Ron Hornaday Jr. used to be too young, now they're too old. But baby boomers tend to make their own rules, so maybe that's why they're running up front.
What's this? Mark Martin, the cleanest, fairest racer in all the land, suddenly embroiled in controversy after his Chase-opening victory at New Hampshire? Hardly.
Six stories in the 2009 Chase would resonate in both the motorsports community and the mainstream public. But only one outcome would truly rock NASCAR's world.
What will 2009 ultimately bring for Mark Martin? His greatest triumph ... or his greatest disappointment? We've got 10 weeks to find out.
You want a great reason to watch Sunday's race at Atlanta? It may just be the best Chase preview we could have.
Mark Martin would rather win fair and square or not win at all. The classiest racer in NASCAR proved that again Saturday night at Bristol by not punting Kyle Busch late in the Sharpie 500.
Bringing Mark Martin into Hendrick Motorsports at age 50 might not have made a lot of sense to some. But it made sense to Rick Hendrick and, as usual, he was right.
Would Jimmie Johnson have had enough to run down Juan Pablo Montoya had JPM not been penalized for speeding on pit road? "I don't have a clue," JJ said. "I do know I have the trophy."