The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is just around the corner. And after arguably the greatest championship finish in the sport's history, fans can't wait for the green flag to drop on a new season. The 10th anniversary edition of Athlon Sports Racing arrives just in time to provide the preseason analysis and predictions craved by race fans from Sonoma to Daytona and everywhere in between.
We take a few laps around the track, asking and providing the politically incorrect answers to "13 Tough Questions," exploring hot topics like Danica Patrick's arrival on the Nationwide scene, the craziness of Kyle and Kurt Busch, the trend of championship crew chief changes and the sport's start-and-park problem.
Our exclusive Q&A with Jeff Gordon — who has gone from baby-faced phenom to respected elder statesman — examines the four-time Cup champ's desire to win it all again in his 20th full season on NASCAR's premier circuit. We also take an in-depth look at racing's new "Wonderboy," 21-year-old Austin Dillon, the Truck champ making the jump to Nationwide stock cars. If you're a fan of the No. 3, black Chevys or Richard Childress, you'll want to read up on young Dillon.
"Changing of the Guard" details three-time Cup champ (2002, '05, '11) Tony Stewart's incredible run to "bookend" Jimmie Johnson's five Cup titles (2006-10) and end JJ's reign by winning five of the 10 Chase races to edge out Carl Edwards in a championship-clinching tie-breaker. The economics of the Sprint Cup Series go under the microscope in "NASCAR's Big Five and the Sport's Broken Business Model." Rick Hendrick, Joe Gibbs, Richard Childress, Jack Roush and Roger Penske may be doing well enough, but the rest of the rides need help — not only from sponsors, but the governing body of the sport itself.
As always, Athlon Sports takes you inside the garage with anonymous, highly opinionated quotes from rival head wrenches, crewmen and wheelmen. All 23 tracks are previewed extensively, as are the top 25 drivers and the best of the rest racing for the checkers. And we include a rundown of the Truck Series and improved Nationwide Series, whose star-power has increased with Danica and Dillon.
Athlon Sports Racing is the most complete preview available today. Order your copy now.