The Frontstretch: Becca's Big Six: Darlington Edition by Becca Gladden -- Wednesday May 17, 2006

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Becca's Big Six: Darlington Edition

Becca Gladden · Wednesday May 17, 2006


Each week, Frontstretch Staff Writer Becca Gladden looks at the prior weekend’s NEXTEL Cup race from a reporter’s point of view, covering the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of the race, the drivers, the TV coverage and even the commercials! Check back here every Wednesday for Becca’s fun and thought-provoking commentary.

Who … decided to feature Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle in Ford’s newest “Overactive Adrenaline Disorder” commercial? The backflipping Carl Edwards was believable in the role, but trying to convince consumers that Biffle and Kenseth – two of the coolest cats in the Cup garage – suffer from OAD is definitely a stretch.

What … is the most unusual news story heading into the All-Star race? Could it be word of the upcoming release of the Official Mark Martin Rap Anthem – “Start Your Engines” – as part of Roush Racing’s diversity initiative? Martin is a self-confessed fan of rap music, but this still seems like the most incongruous pairing since the Roanoke Ballet Theatre presented “NASCAR Ballet” two years ago. Twenty dancers representing cars donned the logos of theater sponsors on their leotards and performed ballet on a 40-foot banked track. The NASCAR ballet also featured dancers crashing into one another, “pit crews” performing ballet lifts, and an announcer who “called the race.” Really.

When … does Kurt Busch get credit for being a nice guy on or off the track? Not very often. So kudos to Kurt, who deserves the courteous driver award for letting race leader Greg Biffle by in the latter part of the race when he could have just as easily held Biffle up. “He could have raced me and he let me go to the top. He was the last car on the lead lap, and I really appreciate it,” said Biffle. Busch ended the race 19th and is currently 18th in points.

Where … can a driver escape to on the track once he has ticked off Tony Stewart? Answer: Nowhere. Just ask Casey Mears, who learned that after getting Stewart loose some 200 laps into the race. A few laps later, Stewart waved Mears past him with the express purpose of getting into his rear bumper, which he promptly did.

Why … did Dale Junior, who was down with the flu during the race, tell his crew chief on the in-car radio, “I may be slapping my armpit here tonight.” Translation, anyone?

How … clever was Greg Biffle at Darlington? Sure, he led 170 laps en route to a victory that catapulted the 16 team six spots in the points from 20th to 14th, but it was Biffle’s suggestion to crew chief Doug Richert to short pit for the final round of green-flag pit stops which helped seal the deal for Biff.

Rebecca (Becca) Gladden is a freelance writer covering NASCAR’s Nextel Cup series for two of the internet’s most popular racing websites. You can visit Becca’s website at for a complete listing of her articles, polls, unique NASCAR news, and more!

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


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

M. B. Voelker
05/17/2006 06:21 AM

You are probably right about Kenseth, but Biffle is the one with the flying sand car. ;-)

05/17/2006 09:41 AM

Slapping the armpit is how a driver signals to his crew that he needs a relief driver.


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