The Frontstretch: And Then There Were Eight by Dennis Michelsen -- Monday September 18, 2006

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And Then There Were Eight

Making the Grade : New Hampshire · Dennis Michelsen · Monday September 18, 2006


Pace Laps

Get well soon, Benny! We need you to keep the peace in the television booth!

The power outage at New Hampshire International Speedway was responsible for a weird opening ceremony at the track…Bill Weber did a good job of explaining that to everyone.

Can we spend just a few minutes mentioning the non-Chasers, please? Otherwise, sponsors will leave, and we will end up with fewer quality teams in a few years!

Race Grade: B-
There is no need for two races at New Hampshire International Speedway. Yes, they sell out, but so would a race at Kentucky Speedway, and the racing would be better. By NHIS standards, this was an entertaining race, however.

F for Bill Weber
Can he actually look out the window instead of only telling us what is on our television screen? Any reasonably intelligent fan can figure out what is going on right in front of them! Bottom line, it takes a quality play-by-play announcer to handle the job right, and Bill hasn’t been living up to that standard…unless, as suggested on, somebody spraypainted his windows!

D for Jeff Green's Luck
It has been a rough year for the Best Buy team and Jeff Green, and once again, Green was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and took a huge hit as a result. Completing just two laps after his accident with Kyle Busch, Green finished 43rd.

C for Kasey Kahne
After facing constant pressure to race his way into the Chase, it was inevitable for Kahne to have a stale race to start the playoffs. So much was made about this team being the master of the 1.5-mile track and the fact there are five such tracks in the Chase; but if this team runs like they did Sunday on the other five tracks, they might be too far behind to make a run for a title before the 1.5-milers even arrive on the schedule.

B for Dave Blaney
A second Top 10 in a row for a team that has struggled all season is certainly worth this mention. The rabid fans of Dave Blaney, called the “Blaniacs,” will be partying big time all week! This might be one of the most underrated drivers in NASCAR, so watch out next year if the new Toyotas are fast out of the box!

A for Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick is in the “Zone,” that mythical place where every move turns into gold! When he stuffed his car in between Jeff Burton and Denny Hamlin only 36 laps into a 300-lap event, you knew Harvick was hungry for the win! It is so refreshing to see a guy in the Chase racing for a win instead of points racing.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Beyond the Cockpit: Alexis DeJoria On The 300 mph Women of the NHRA
A Swan’s Broken Wings Equal NASCAR’s Next Concern?
Thinkin’ Out Loud – The Off Week Season Review
Pace Laps: Swan Racing’s Future, Fast Females and Dropping Out
Sprint Cup Series Facilities Can Build Upon Fan Experience by Looking to Their Roots


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09/19/2006 02:31 PM

Dennis, As much as I was excited to see Kevin Harvick racing for the win it worried me. If other drivers started to race for the win what would happen to points racing? I’d have to think that NASCAR would have to come out with the Chase II or something to award points to the guy that runs the safest during the week..

09/19/2006 07:30 PM

What covered Weber’s window was the splatter from the remains of Barney


Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.