Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. rode into Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway on June 8, enjoying what is looking a lot like the best season of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career. His triumph in that race was his second of the season, meaning he'd already won as many races this year as he had the seven previous seasons combined. And with this year's points system favoring wins much more than consistency, Earnhardt is now a lock to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff that begins in September.
Earnhardt is grateful in his celebration. "[When I] thank those guys on my team, I really mean it," he says of his crew. "Especially Steve Letarte — this is his last year."
One might excuse Dr. Jerry Punch for having some residual hard feelings when it comes to Kurt Busch. Busch, now driving for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, infamously launched a string of curses on the air during the last race of the 2011 season, when ESPN's Punch tried to interview him after his transmission broke early in the competition. The two made up at the start of the 2012 season, and now, with Busch going for an epic motorsports double this
55th Daytona 500
NASCAR is all abuzz with what's new, from yet another revised points system — meant to give the final race of the season more of a "playoffs" feel — to the return to competition of Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 car (driven by Rookie of the Year candidate Austin Dillon). But even as the Daytona 500 kicks off a fresh season on Sunday, teams still have to contend with the same old leader — the sport's formidable six-time and defending champion: "The road to the Sprint Cup championship any year goes through Jimmie Johnson," says Fox NASCAR commentator Mike Joy. "That's who you have to beat."
Paul Martin and Ryan Miller
Like any professional hockey player, Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller is used to hearing the Canadian national anthem played before most NHL games. But, like every member of the United States men's hockey team who played at the last Olympics, Miller hasn't entirely gotten over hearing "O Canada" after the gold-medal game.
That was in Vancouver in 2010, when...
Ryan Seacrest, Heidi Klum, Tom Bergeron, Jeff Probst, Howie Mandel, 60th Primetime Emmy Awards
Ryan Seacrest (American Idol), Heidi Klum (Project Runway), Jeff Probst (Survivor), Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars) and Howie Mandel (Deal or No Deal) will be competing in more ways than one at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday (8 pm/ET, ABC). They’re cohosting the show, and they’re also the five nominees in the new category of Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. Here, they go head-to-head for Best Answers to Emmy-Related Questions.
TV Guide: What makes you most qualif
Any fans still wallowing in shock over Dale Earnhardt Jr. missing the cut for the 2007 Chase for the Nextel Cup had best get over it. NASCAR's postseason gets under way this Sunday with the Sylvania 300 (1 pm/ET, ABC), in Loudon, New Hampshire, and it looks to be the most jarringly competitive last 10 races since the Chase format began in 2004. The field of 12 (an increase this year from the customary 10) is rife with former winners, led by defending champ Jimmie Johnson, who's entering the Chase with great momentum.
Johnson won the last two races of the "regular" season — not to mention notching top-five finishes in five of the last six contests. Still, he must contend with fellow ex-titleholders Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth. Stewart, who won his second Cup trophy in 2005 but missed the Chase cut last season,
Fast Cars & Superstars: The Young Guns Celebrity Race
On a steamy March afternoon, former NASCAR Nextel Cup champ Kurt Busch sits in a stock car at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina, revving his engine in anticipation. The question hangs in the air: Which of three nearby celebrities, decked out in racing jumpsuits, will be the first to gulp back fear, strap into the makeshift passenger seat, and join Busch in a three-lap, cement-wall-kissing 190 mph run around the famed 1.5-mile track?
Laird Hamilton, best known for riding 70-foot waves, finally stands and pulls a helmet over his long blond locks. "Oh, sure," Hamilton calls to NFL legend John Elway and tennis champ Serena Williams with a grin. "Get the stupid surfer to do it."
Few television shows pack the same live-grenade tension as an hour of The Unit (which presents its season finale tonight at 9 pm/ET). On the CBS series, Dennis Haysbert leads a small group of elite military personnel through deadly missions in hot spots around the world, while at home, Unit wives grapple with long separations, their husbands' low pay and some potentially explosive secrets. The show is based on the book Inside Delta Force, which covers author Eric Haney's own career in the army's special-forces unit from 1978 to '85. And though both Haney and fellow series producer
Jimmie Johnson has his eyes on another prize.
BREAKING NEWS! Michael Waltrip apologizes for cheating, and his role in one of the sport's biggest scandals. See FoxNews.com for details.
NASCAR driver Jeff Burton isn't known for overstatement, so it's noteworthy when he says, "I've never been part of a season that's had this many changes at once." As the 2007 Nextel Cup season gets under way at the Daytona 500, America's premier auto series faces major twists and turns on and off the track. Here's your guide to the new season.
1) The Chase Gets an Overhaul
The Chase for the Championship has been significantly tweaked, placing a greater emphasis on winning races. Nextel Cup drivers now earn five extra points for each victory, and 12 cars — two more than in the past — can qualify for the postseason Chase, with their poi