The Frontstretch: Making the Grade: Everything is Bigger in Texas by Dennis Michelsen -- Tuesday April 11, 2006

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Making the Grade: Everything is Bigger in Texas

Dennis Michelsen · Tuesday April 11, 2006


Pace Laps

Not only did "Little Big Town" do a good job on the National Anthem, but they also fit the Wild West theme at Texas!

Eleven different winners in eleven Cup events at Texas…now THAT is some competitive racing!

Stewart challenges the announcing team to a fence-climbing contest? Better have the oxygen and the paramedics waiting for that one!

Race Grade: A-
Now THAT was some exciting racing until Kasey Kahne stunk up the show after the final restart! Texas Motor Speedway has come a long way in 10 years, and is deserving of their two Cup dates!

F for Kurt Busch
What in the heck is getting into this guy? He is not on the lead lap and won’t give a guy any space at all? Could be a long season for Kurt if the other drivers start treating him the same way! Also gets an "F" for the poor attempt to explain away the accident!

D for Clint Bowyer’s Luck
One of those in the wrong place at the wrong time sort of cost Bowyer a better finish. He was headed for a surefire Top 10 until a combination of getting loose and being near a Busch cost him a strong finish.

C for Terry Labonte
Was he even in the race? Terry Labonte didn’t get much of a mention on the broadcast, and his twenty-fifth place finish was ho-hum indeed at his hometown track.

B for Scott Riggs
This team has made huge strides in just a few weeks and might just find their way to Victory Lane soon! Riggs has showed that not only is he a great mouthpiece for the sponsors, but he is also a great driver behind the wheel! As this team meshes, it will make an interesting run at the Chase, if not this year then next season for sure.

A for Kasey Kahne
Kahne is showing the same intensity as last year, but with a pinch of patience tossed into the mix. This “recipe” has him running up front every week, and could make him the guy to beat the rest of the season!

Extra Credit for Fox Sports and Mike Joy
Fox Sports stepped up their game at Texas Motor Speedway and brought us a much better broadcast. While far from perfect, it kept a good race very interesting. Mike Joy was a statistical junky’s best buddy, tossing out great insight and nuggets of wisdom along the way!

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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?


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Rajeev Jaswal
04/11/2006 07:51 AM

Kasey has shown tremendous patience this year and I guess the results are now justifying his talent. Scott Riggs is putting together some good finishes too. It’s time for Mayfield to pick up the speed or he’ll get the left over equipment at Evernham Motorsports.
As for the Busch Brothers, looks like they bet with each other before the race about how many drivers they can wreck. What goes around, comes around. Sooner or later they’ll be dumped by someone when it matters the most…when lot more is on the line. These drivers don’t forget.
Matt Kenseth has been awfully strong is back in his 2003 form.

M. B. Voelker
04/11/2006 08:59 AM

I’m a fan of both Biffle and Kurt (I really HATE it when my guys get into each other, but when you root for the hard-chargers its inevitable), and, at first I was really mad at Kurt.

However, by the time I’d seen all the camera angles and heard what Harvick—who can be considered impartial because he has no liking for either Kurt or Biffle—had to say, I was equally mad at both of them.

Either driver could have prevented that. Kurt by being ready to let off if what was happening with Biffle and Schrader caused a problem and Biffle by not cutting his pass on Kurt so close. A pass by inches is a good risk when going for the win but its a dumb move when you’re the fastest car on the track and trying to pass a lapped car.


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