The Frontstretch: Ten Points to Ponder ... After Dover by Becca Gladden -- Sunday September 23, 2007

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Ten Points to Ponder ... After Dover

Becca Gladden · Sunday September 23, 2007

 

1. Car of Too-Massive? – Dover was considered an extremely narrow race track when the “old” car was in use. Is the Car of Tomorrow – four inches wider than the old car – just too big and boxy to run on a tight track like this? The race, which Dale Earnhardt, Jr. described as “bizarre and weird,” had 13 cautions (only three for debris) and two extended red flag clean-up periods. What say you, race fans?

2. War of the Words – You never know where the next rivalry will come from…but Kyle Petty versus Denny Hamlin? Racing on very different agendas – Hamlin for a title and Petty for a Top 35 spot – the two had an angry exchange in the garage and through the media after Hamlin wrecked Petty on Lap 204. “I watched the Busch race yesterday and I knew Denny was sick – I just didn’t know he was hallucinating and needed three lanes to get up off the corner, because he ran all over us,” said Petty. Countered Hamlin, “I think a lot of it was his frustration over this whole Top 35 thing, but we're racing for bigger and better things. Hopefully one day if they get it turned around I can exchange the favor, but right now we're the guys racing for the championship.”

3. Shake and Bake – There was a huge shake-up in Chase points Sunday, with just one driver, Kyle Busch, maintaining his spot (fifth) in the standings. The biggest mover was Carl Edwards who gained five spots to third, while Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, and Denny Hamlin each lost three places to fourth, tenth, and twelfth respectively. Notably, the top four drivers – Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson – are now separated by just one point each.

4. A Sea of Green – If there was any concern about whether Junior Nation would adapt to Dale’s new number, sponsors, and paint schemes, the question was answered resoundingly on Friday’s “Trackside” show on Speed TV. With Junior as a guest, the broadcast drew its biggest live audience ever, all wearing the new aptly named “Kelly Green” color representing Junior’s co-sponsor, AMP Energy Drink. And kudos to Robert Yates for his gracious decision to part with the number 88 – a very classy move on his part.

5. Do the Math – Carl Edwards victory gave Jack Roush his 100th win as a NASCAR Cup owner. Jack's first Cup win occurred in 1989 with Mark Martin at Rockingham, and his current total places him only behind Petty Enterprises and Rick Hendrick among active teams. But there is unfinished business at press time; Edwards’ car failed post-race tech, and the No. 99 team could be penalized by NASCAR on Tuesday. The win won’t be taken away, but there may be a points deduction – stay tuned!

6. Color Matters – As the Dover race wound down, teammates Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle were lining up first and third for a restart. Biffle playfully revved his engine behind Carl, but Edwards was unfazed. “It’s hard to intimidate somebody in a light blue car,” he joked, referencing Biffle’s baby blue Nintendo Wii paint scheme.

7. Best for Biffle – Speaking of the Biff, his second-place finish at Dover was his best run all year. “It was a pretty good day for us,” said Greg matter-of-factly after the race. “We had to make a lot of changes to the car to make it good. I had a great opportunity at the end, and had I been able to get by (Mark) Martin before the last yellow flag came out, I may have had something for Carl at the finish.” Behind him, Martin came in fourth, delivering the highest-ever CoT finish for DEI’s No. 01 Army team.

8. Commercial Free, Unless … – Wasn’t it strange to hear Jerry Punch announce with great fanfare that the race broadcast was going to be “commercial free for the final 40 laps” – only to have a red flag bring on a flood of subsequent commercials? I guess what he meant to say was that the broadcast would be commercial free, unless there was an opportunity to run a whole bunch of commercials.

9. Wrong, Rusty – I actually felt embarrassed for Rusty Wallace when he interviewed Kasey Kahne in the booth during qualifying on Friday. Kasey was wearing a “Vitamin Water” hat and Wallace commented that Budweiser must not be enforcing the same restrictions as most beverage sponsors regarding a driver promoting a competing beverage product. Clearly uncomfortable at the awkward question, Kahne gently pointed out that this is still 2007, and Vitamin Water IS his sponsor – the Budweiser deal doesn’t start until 2008. Oops.

10. Do You Smell Smoke? – Here’s another ticklish sponsor issue – How do you think the makers of Old Spice Deodorant, currently running an ad campaign that prominently features Tony Stewart’s armpits, will react to Home Depot’s new ad promoting Tony as a Chase contender. The Home Depot ad’s tagline? “Uh, oh! We smell Smoke!” Um, is that a good thing?

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…
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©2000 - 2008 Becca Gladden and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

Douglas
09/24/2007 05:20 AM
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So Hamlin is in essence telling all non-chase drivers that they need to just pull over and let the chase cars go by un-challenged?

How sick is that attitude?

Roo
09/24/2007 05:31 AM
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Hmm, he’s not really saying that to everyone…just Kyle Petty. It’s not Kyle’s fault, he just got too lucky…usually by halfway through a race he’s out of it and safely off the track – in this race nothing happened to his car and he was still out on the track on lap 200 – probably wasn’t sure what to do. Hamlin rules. He wants it.

Pauline
09/24/2007 06:57 AM
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I have to agree with Petty, there are 43 cars out there and they are all racing for various reasons. The chase drivers shouldn’t expect the rest of the field to just pull over and let them pass.

Michael
09/24/2007 07:04 AM
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Hamlin is starting to show the “ Junior “ attitude. Its all about me. Every driver and team is equally important in every race . Hamlin needs to step back and take another look at the realitys of stock car racing , not just his own little piece .

Tinker
09/24/2007 08:17 AM
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Uh, I seem to recall Hamlin driving at barely minimum speed the last third of the race, just for points …. sound familiar?

Sandra Canfield
09/24/2007 09:01 AM
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I think Denny Hamlin is getting a big head and a really bad attitude problem. There is no way someone should pull over and let them buy just because he’s in the chase. There is 11 other drivers in the chase and they don’t sound off about that. Treat people with respect and you’re get respect back but if you don’t you won’t.

Vito Pugliese - FS Staff
09/24/2007 09:27 AM
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Number of people who have insulting things to say about Kyle Petty: 1

Name: Denny Hamlin

Hamlin was the same guy who last year was making accusations on MRN that Mark Martin tried to “wreck him” at Martinsville and earlier in the year tried to “wreck him” at Las Vegas.

See a pattern developing??

Steve M.
09/24/2007 09:43 AM
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To everyone who is bashing Denny …. You have to keep in mind who is teammate/mentor is. Denny is only saying and doing exactly what Tony Stewart has been saying and doing for years. The thought of having two ego’s out there, Stewart and now Hamlin, is a very scary thought indeed. This is just the first of many temper-tantrums that we will see from Denny. Joe Gibbs, with all the work that he has to do, and be nanny on top of it all to his two spoiled, whiney drivers has his work cut out for him.

Greg
09/24/2007 10:22 AM
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Kyle Petty has more class in his toenail than Denny Hamlin has in his whole body.

How arrogant is a comment like “we are racing for bigger and better things.” I think Kyle is racing for the 300+ employees of Petty Enterprises while Denny is obviously racing for himself.

I used to like Fedex, but now I will be shipping UPS.

chris
09/24/2007 10:50 AM
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Petty won’t even get a haircut. That’s how stuck he is on his past. No future at Petty except to run a day care for unfortunate youths. He should not be allowed to continue to drive in Sprint Cup and when he falls out of the 35 he will not be able to qualify. That will be the end of the great Petty clan.

Mike
09/24/2007 01:07 PM
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Just for the record, Hamlin was keeping to himself and has said NOTHING bad about Patty until he came into HAMLIN’S stall and began picking a fight. Actually, I felt Hamlin showed great restraint in not climbing right out of his car and kicking that old buzzard’s butt!

Joe
09/24/2007 02:28 PM
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i’d put 5 on Kyle showing Denny how the Allison brothers and Cale use to settle a dispute

Judie
09/24/2007 04:24 PM
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Denny has had that pull over and let me go attitude all season, not just for the chase. He had radio transmissions where he has actually threatened other drivers in future races because they raced him! I guess maybe he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word race. It does not mean move over if someone comes up behind you. Some one mentioned TS teaching DH to have that bad attitude and how they pittied poor Gibbs having to babysit them both, you ain’t seen nothing yet, wait until Kyle Busch joins in! Gibbs will have a permanent seat in the big yellow trailer. I can see TS and DH wrecking each other and then blaming it on KB! And it might even be true!

 

Becca Gladden is no longer a contributor to the Frontstretch, but you can see all her past articles on herbiography and archive page.