The Frontstretch: Becca's Big Six : Bristol Edition by Becca Gladden -- Tuesday August 29, 2006

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Becca's Big Six : Bristol Edition

Becca Gladden · Tuesday August 29, 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, even the commercials.  Check back every Wednesday for Becca’s fun and thought-provoking commentary.

Who ... gets my shout-out of the week? There were several good choices, but the nod goes to rookie Denny Hamlin, whose sixth-place finish was his sixth Top 10 in as many races. Hamlin is currently sixth in points and, barring the unforeseen, will be the first rookie ever to make the Chase. This week’s Runner-Up: Scott Riggs, who finished fourth at Bristol for his first top-5 of the year.  
What ... ever happened to beatin’ and bangin’ at Bristol? Saturday night’s race at the famed Tennessee short track was, let’s face it, boring – at least by Bristol standards. When the biggest post-race “controversy” is Jeff Gordon lecturing Scott Riggs on how to pass cleanly on the straightaway, you know that this year’s event did not live up to the hype.

When ... did the September race at Richmond become known as “Cut Down Day?” That’s what TNT’s Bill Weber called it, apparently in reference to the fact that the Chase field will be firmly set by the last lap at Richmond. But “Cut Down Day?” Sounds more like a term farmers would use to eradicate weed patches. Hope that’s one moniker that doesn’t catch on!

Where ... were the TV cameras during the pre-race flyover? For the second week in a row, they were focused on the people on the ground looking up at the sky, rather than on the sky itself. C’mon, guys. You’re supposed to be helping the folks at home see what they would see if they were at the track – and during the flyover, most people look at the flyover.

Why ... is it so hard to pull off a prank on Kevin Harvick? Because he is such an accomplished prankster himself! If you missed the segment on NASCAR RaceDay, Harvick’s wife DeLana tried and failed to get Harvick’s goat during a staged TV interview. When the prank fell flat, she asked viewers to submit suggestions for the perfect prank to pull on Kevin. If you think you have one, you can probably use the email link at KevinHarvick.com to send it to her.

How ... close is the battle from 4th to 11th in the Nextel Cup standings? Currently, those eight drivers are separated by just 138 points. Mark Martin’s problems at Bristol, including a penalty for pitting outside the box, showed just how crucial every action and decision is for the Chase contenders. Martin plummeted six spots in the points from 4th to 10th, and must be flawless for the next two races in order to hang on to a Chase berth. It may be manufactured drama…but it is suspenseful nonetheless.

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