The Frontstretch: Making the Grade: Nextel Cup Budweiser Shootout by Dennis Michelsen -- Tuesday February 15, 2005

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Making the Grade: Nextel Cup Budweiser Shootout

Dennis Michelsen · Tuesday February 15, 2005


Pace Laps
What happened to Reverend Hal Marchman? I am not used to seeing someone else give the invocation at Daytona, I sure hope Reveren Hal is ok.

Chris Myers said, “The drivers are looking like super heroes.” He then followed that strange comment with, “We heard from ‘Three Doors Down’ now its time to go three stories up to the announcers booth.” I wish CBS would interview Myers for the news anchor position so I wouldn’t have to put up with him on NASCAR
telecasts. There is no one else in television more full of himself that Chris Myers!

I nominate Matt Yocum for the title of “Best Pit Reporter of All Time.” (Chris Economaki formerly held that title in my opinion)

Great job by the Fox pit reporters to cover all the problems teams were having during this hectic event.

Race Grade: B+
Restrictor Plate racing is not often as entertaining as this “Made for TV” event. Maybe the glitzy television package masked a few blemishes on the race product, but overall this was not a bad way to start the season.

F for Geofrey Bodine
Despite having “earned” the right by winning the event in the past, this team just did not belong with this field. Perhaps we can nickname this team “The Not Ready for Prime Time Players.”

D for Dale Jarrett’s UPS Ford Team
Are we seeing a repeat performance of this team’s weak performance from last year? Despite strong efforts by teams with the same motors, DJ’s UPS Ford “delivered” itself to the back of the pack after starting on the pole. This team has proven they can go one lap real fast but how about in race trim?

C for Matt Borland’s Decision to Take Two Tires
Even if Jeremt Mayfield had not had his penalty and given Newman a drafting partner, the idea to take two tires would still have backfired. Ryan Newman made an amazing charge considering his handicap and could have been the class of the
field with better rubber.

B for Tony Stewart
“Smoke” was slicing and dicing his way through the pack and was all smiles after the race. Other teams should get really worried when Tony Stewart is in a good mood! Look for that “Smiling Helmet” to have a great chance to visit Victory Lane in the Daytona 500.

A for Jimmie Johnson and the Lowe’s Chevy Team
The cliche about this being a “Team Sport” was never truer! A fast pit stop got Johnson to the lead and some great “Mirror Driving” kept him there. After their strong finish winning four of the last ten races in 2004 this team has to be a championship favorite this year.

Extra Credit for Roush Racing
All three of their teams in the Bud Shootout finished in the top ten which is an amazing feat in this crazy event. Maybe Hendrick Motorsports deserved the mention here for a 1st and 3rd place finish, but the Roush teams were not favored to win. Add Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards to the mix for the Daytona 500
and Jack Roush might be all smiles in Victory Lane…the only question is which driver will join him there.

Today on the Frontstretch!
Even packing for a trip is different when you’re a NASCAR fan
Frontstretch 2005 Preview: 7th – Ryan Newman
Frontstretch 2005 Preview: 8th-Kasey Kahne
Numbers Game – Bud Shootout

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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


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