The Frontstretch: Making the Grade: Talladega by Dennis Michelsen -- Tuesday May 2, 2006

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Making the Grade: Talladega

A Day Late But Not a Big One Shy · Dennis Michelsen · Tuesday May 2, 2006


Pace Laps

A day late, but very few empty seats…now those are race fans!

Great line by Mike Joy: "Checkered flag fever!"

Larry Mac summed up what it takes to finish strong at Talladega: Avoid the Big One. Too bad it takes more luck here than skill!

Another example on Sunday of a classy approach to the National Anthem by Edwin McCain"¦he didn’t try to make the song his! Good job!

Race Grade: B+
Yes this was an exciting "event" but hardly racing the way we should have racing in NASCAR. Restrictor-plate racing puts fannies in the seats, so it won’t be going away any time soon, but give me a good old fashioned short track any day.

F for Kyle Busch
No, the "Big One" was not all his fault, but stuffing your car in there five wide that early in the race was just plain stupid! The crazy thing about plate racing is that the guy that makes the dumb move to get the wreck started seldom gets caught up in the mess, but Kyle did in this one.

D for Mark Martin’s Bad Luck
It doesn’t matter if Martin runs up front, in the middle, or way in the back, trouble seems to find him at restrictor plate races. Isn’t it ironic that the one time this race went caution free that Mark Martin was the winner? Not this time.

C for NASCAR’s Lack of Consistency on Rules
Denny Hamlin got dinged for aggressive driving, yet no penalty is handed down to anyone else? Hamlin wasn’t the only guy driving aggressive all day, yet he was the only one penalized. Once again, NASCAR’s lack of consistency is hard to explain.

B for Tony Stewart
Another race, another top finish for the defending champion. Smoke is already in midseason form, which is a scary thought for everyone else this season. If he has his usual strong second half, he could make a joke of the championship Chase!

A for Jimmie Johnson
Do we have a new king of restrictor-plate racing? Johnson backed up his somewhat controversial win at Daytona with another solid effort. Staying out of trouble until late in the race, Johnson found the right dancing partner to get to the front when it paid!

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
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05/03/2006 10:30 AM

First, let me say that I am not a Kyle Bush fan, but he was not the cause of the big one. The one at fault was Vickers. What was he thinking by going below the yellow line. Then when he moved up, he moved Carl Edwards up into Kyle and that is when the melee started.


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