The Frontstretch: Ten Points to Ponder ... After Texas by Becca Gladden -- Sunday November 4, 2007

Go to site navigation Go to article

Ten Points to Ponder ... After Texas

Becca Gladden · Sunday November 4, 2007


1. Your Year – How many times did Rusty Wallace say at the end of today’s race, “When it’s your year, it’s your year” in reference to Jimmie Johnson? The irony is that up until a few weeks ago, that phrase had been used almost exclusively to describe Jeff Gordon’s 2007 season. The No. 48 team has certainly been strong in the Chase, winning three straight races now and taking a 30-point lead heading to Phoenix. But let’s not forget that under the old points system (irrelevant, but still) Gordon would have a 400+ point lead over Johnson with two races to go. Maybe it’s a little premature to put the crown on Johnson just yet…

2. Aardvark Alarm – If you missed Saturday’s “NASCAR Performance” on SpeedTV with Bootie Barker, Chad Knaus, and Larry McReynolds, you missed Bootie’s hilarious recap of the Atlanta race. It was Bootie’s driver Johnny Sauter who blew a tire on lap 318 in Atlanta, setting up the two-tire call by Knaus that put Jimmie Johnson in position for the win. Said the crew chief, “In my headset, (Chad) has a special channel he goes on, and he whispers the code name ‘aardvark.’ When I hear ‘aardvark,’ I know to tell Johnny to run it into the wall, because that will give Chad time to take two or four and manipulate the situation like he did to win the race … I did it for (Chad). Aardvark’s the code. The millions of dollars and all the work we’ve spent at Haas Motorsports – it’s all for The Chad.”

3. Tiresome Terms – Let’s start a list of words and phrases we would like to see eliminated from the lexicon of TV broadcasters for the rest of the season. Here are a few to get you started: 1) The “Cinderella Season” of Clint Bowyer. 2) 40 laps into a 334-lap race: “If the race ended now, Jimmie Johnson would be your new points leader.” 3) Rusty Wallace: “David Gillian.” And yours …?

Have you heard the news? Carl Edwards clinched his first-ever Busch title on Saturday.

4. Carl Control – Shame on ESPN for turning Saturday’s Busch race into the Carl Edwards Show. It’s hard to believe that they actually spent the entire race discussing the “pressure” on Carl to try to win his first Busch title. Pressure? For Pete’s sake, the guy had a 531-point lead heading into Texas and just had to start the last three races to take the title. They even interviewed Carl’s mom, who said she hoped her son could win the title at Texas so he could get a good night’s sleep. Now, that’s drama!

5. Busch Banter – By the way, did anyone notice that Kevin Harvick’s win was his sixth Busch win of the season (Edwards has four), and moved Harvick to second on the all-time Busch Series win list? And unfortunately, ESPN once again failed to broadcast the entire pre-race show due to a college football game.

6. Rumors I – Thought you would find this bit of news intriguing: “Multiple sources are saying that NASCAR's parent company, International Speedway Corporation, is studying the sale of the world's largest stock car auto racing sanctioning body due to financial troubles. Two sources say that an investment bank, most likely New York-based Lehman Brothers, has completed a study that placed a value on NASCAR, and that a prospectus has been prepared.” For more, here’s the link to the article …

7. Rumors II – And here’s another one: “A private-equity buyout group that features some prominent ex-Nextel executives considered a takeover of Sprint Nextel last year, through the Carlyle Group. That particular deal never got anywhere, in part because of the amount of money involved, around $100 billion to buy the whole operation. But there is still a lot of curious talk about Sprint Nextel, following the recent ouster of boss Gary Forsee. What it all might mean for NASCAR's Nextel Cup soon-to-be-titled Sprint Cup series is unclear: The Carlyle Cup?” For more, here’s a link to the speculation …

8. Venue Miscue – Did you notice that when ESPN did a side-by-side of the race during their first (annoying) “SportsCenter Minute” the caption under the race picture read, “Live: NNCS at Phoenix.” Um, sorry guys – Phoenix is next week.

9. Champions’ Chat – Did you know that UPS and Daytona International Speedway are sponsoring a series of live online chats with past Daytona 500 champions? These chat sessions are part of the celebration leading up to the 50th running of the 500 in February, 2008. Next on the schedule is Dale Jarrett, who will chat live with fans on November 14th. Check out for details.

10. Goody’s Giggle – 2007 hasn’t been Tony Stewart’s year, but it’s nice to know the mercurial driver hasn’t lost his sense of humor. Discussing the effectiveness of Goody’s Headache Powder Cool Orange, a sponsor of his Busch car, Tony joked, “Well, I get a lot of headaches. And I give a lot of headaches.”

The Frontstretch Newsletter, back in 2014 gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up now. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!

Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


©2000 - 2008 Becca Gladden and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

11/05/2007 09:43 AM

I’m glad somebody else noticed the race coverage in “Phoenix”. My wife and I just continue to laugh at the horrendous coverage from ESPN/ABC. And thank you for inviting me to include what has become my all-time winner of “tiresome terms”: Rusty Wallace – “that’s for sure”. I wish I had a dollar for everytime he says it. I’ll tell ya; Love him or hate him, DW can run circles around RW. FOX is the best. In a perfect world, FOX could get Alan Bestwick and DJ from ESPN/ABC, and even Kyle Petty from TNT; then all would be right with the world.

11/05/2007 10:04 AM

The Live in race Sports Center minute winodw was cought by my 7 year old. How the heck can adults miss it that are suppose to be professionals when a 7 year old kid knows the racing is at Texas and not Phoniex. My wife says I poisoned the boy with watching NASCAR most of the time. But its her fault he roots for Jeffyboy Gordon.

11/05/2007 10:19 AM

well Becca, you surely don’t speak for the old race fans when you gripe about not seeing the pre-race show.

I’d be glad to go back to the day when coverage started at the green flag. No more Bill Webber and the likes…..

11/05/2007 11:40 AM

Mike, (comment edited) I’ve been a race fan for a damn long time, but you don’t speak for me and I sure don’t speak for everyone who hasn’t been run off yet. I watch the SPEED prerace coverage every week. Wouldn’t miss it. Kenny and Jimmy make my week. If you don’t like ESPN, then turn over to SPEED and watch a quality prerace show with announcers that know what they’re talking about.

11/05/2007 12:15 PM

How bout this for a tiresome term: A battle for x-spot when there not even half way into the race. There’s no battle. There’s two of 43 cars shown on the screen. Go 4 wide in NHMS’ turn 3, and there’s a battle…ask Tony Stewart in the modified race he and Carl Edwards ran there…

Steve Cosentino
11/05/2007 12:57 PM

How about Rusty and “draftlock” or anything else he says. Or when a guy crashes 75 laps in and he says “and we had a top 5 car”

11/05/2007 01:01 PM

Tiresome Terms:

#1) Anything uttered by Suzy Kolber. Why is she there? No racing background. Talks like she’s on the toilet pushing too hard.

#2) Rusty Wallace- “Kenseths”. Think how fast Matt would be if he was driving solo!

#3) Tim Brewer boils water for tea and does a great job of describing it. “This here’s a kettle…”

#4) For more info on sinking ratings, go to searchword dontknowhow.

I want to take this opportunity to apologize for all the bad things I ever said about NASCAR on Fox…

11/05/2007 01:51 PM

I am sick of Rusty Wallace and Jerry Punch. It seems that while the Doc was away from motorsports, he forgot everything he learned and Crusty is the worst commentator EVER!! Andy Petree does a very respectful job when he is allowed the opportunity to speak. I really miss Benny Parsons & Wally Dallenbach. Bill Weber is even kinda missed, but Allen Bestwick deserves to be in the booth, not in the pits reporting.

11/05/2007 03:56 PM

How’s this for building suspense? Jimmie was trying to catch Matt and Casey was just ahead of them. Rusty tried to build something out of nothing. After Casey pulled low to let them by Rusty seemed disappointed Casey didn’t try to block Kenseth. Just because the race sucked, don’t try and build drama. Just shut up and let the race unfold.

11/05/2007 04:46 PM

Anyone notice Suzy’s “spooky” voice when she was doing a race recap? I think she still thought it Halloween. All I know is that it annoyed the hell out of me.

Any else notice that Rusty did a way better job with Jarrett in the booth during the Busch race? They seemed to play off each other well, and Jarrett does a great job. I think Rusty just doesn’t get along with Petree.

I’m still just amazed about how a crashed car can be on fire, still rolling, and they cut to the 24 running by itself and then to a close-up of Chad Knaus. Biffle was almost out of the car before they showed it again. Ridiculous.

11/05/2007 05:37 PM

Race coverage has been terrrible since the networks think they need
a loud mouth like Waltrip
(both) that are both boring and obnoxious. Keep Petrie, add Kyle Petty(he can’t race) and
a professional announcer.
NOTE professional announcer not a Dr. that
knows stick and ball and
track events.
Ps. the dirt track races
Sat. and the football game Sunday were a heck of a lot more entertaining

Mr. Daly
11/06/2007 10:21 AM

Going to commercial with Hamlin and Kenseth side-by-side only set the stage for going to commercial with Jimmie Johnson charging up through the pack to pull into second place. It certainly has been a tough year of some bad decisions late in the race.

JD –


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