The Frontstretch: Scanner Static: NASCAR Fans Speak Out! by Jess Nicholas -- Wednesday March 29, 2006

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Scanner Static: NASCAR Fans Speak Out!

Bristol A Humbling Experience For Sherman · Jess Nicholas · Wednesday March 29, 2006


Q: I’m a BAM Racing fan because of Ken Schrader, but is Brent Sherman really the answer? I would have thought BAM would be more competitive so far this season. midnightride

A: I’ve been a BAM fan ever since they began, too, but I’m beginning to wonder about Beth Ann and Tony Morgenthau’s qualifications to judge talent. Their first driver when they moved to Cup full-time in 2002 was Shawna Robinson, who clearly wasn’t ready. Ken Schrader was hired the year after, and almost immediately made the team competitive for a few years. When Schrader jumped to the Wood Brothers this offseason, though, there were some good drivers out there "" Scott Wimmer, Mike Bliss, and Kenny Wallace, to name three. Instead, BAM went with Sherman.

Perhaps it was at the behest of new sponsor Serta… who knows. What was painfully obvious to all on Saturday was that Sherman didn’t need to be out there. It’s no accident that Jimmy Spencer will drive the car at Martinsville. BAM says it’s because rookies aren’t allowed to test Martinsville; I suspect it has a lot more to do with where this team is in the owner points list. If Spencer can drive the car to a Top 25 finish, which is reasonable, and Scott Riggs and Sterling Marlin continue to struggle, BAM could be locked back in the field for Texas.

Q: This is two straight wins for the Dodge Charger. Does this finally kill the Intrepid? HemiJemi

A: You’d think so, but I’ll bet Ryan Newman runs it through Texas, which is Dodge’s drop-dead date for getting it off the track. Newman’s team seems insistent that the Intrepid can give them an edge. More power to ’em.

Q: I can’t believe what Tony Stewart did to Martin Truex, Jr. at Bristol. I thought he and Dale, Jr. were better friends than that, and Tony goes out and knocks Truex out of the race. Truex had a good run going and Tony doesn’t need to do that. Is he that scared of DEI? Greg873

A: What Tony Stewart did to Martin Truex, Jr. at Bristol was all of Truex’s own doing. Yes, Truex got spun by Jeff Gordon, and Gordon could have avoided doing it had he been more careful. But like Darrell Waltrip said on the broadcast, you take care of those things outside the hauler after the race. You don’t go out there and use your wounded car as a payback machine. Stewart and Gordon were racing for positions inside the Top 10, and Truex was looking for a place to cause a wreck. Stewart sent the rookie a message, and it’s one he apparently needed. Even Truex’s own crew was chastising him over the radio afterwards. This had nothing to do with DEI.

Q: I hope Martin Truex, Jr. runs over Tony Stewart AND Jeff Gordon at Martinsville. What a pair of (deleted). Foxfire40

A: Jeez, again with the Truex issue "" look, Truex has to keep himself better under control. Jeff Gordon causes a lot more accidents than he wants to admit, but Tony Stewart wasn’t so much bumping Truex out of the way as he was clearing the racetrack of a mad, immature and potentially dangerous hazard in the form of the #1.

Q: I was so happy to see Bobby Labonte at the front again Sunday. He’s one of my favorite drivers, and Petty deserves a good break. Do you think he has a chance to win at Martinsville? TheDoctorIsIN!

A: I think he has a very good chance, as does his teammate, Kyle Petty. The short tracks, like the restrictor plate racetracks, are crapshoots. You don’t always have to be the best dog in the kennel to win the race on that particular day. I’m not predicting that either wins, but I bet they both finish inside the Top 25, at worst, barring accidents or equipment failures. They definitely seem to have their act together over there.

Q: So when is Mercury getting back into NASCAR? TheMaskedMarauder

A: They’re in line behind Mitsubishi, Mazda, Jaguar and a couple of guys riding Cub Cadet mowers. Next "¦

Q: Is there any hope for Bristol getting a race in the Chase in the future? Concrete Bullring

A: Maybe. That’s one of the rumors of the week. Right now, the Chase has one plate race (Talladega), five intermediate tracks (Kansas, Charlotte, Atlanta, Homestead and Texas), and three "long short tracks" (Loudon, Dover, Phoenix) to go along with one true short track race (Martinsville). I’d like to see NASCAR delete either the Loudon race or the Texas race and move Bristol into that slot. Loudon seems the most vulnerable, although Martinsville is probably the most vulnerable of them all. There’s also a rumor that Darlington is going to come back into the picture. Whatever happens, Bristol needs to be there. It’s already one of the most exciting and stressful races, and if you hold it during the Chase, you might see people’s heads actually explode on pit row. A good alternative would be to make it the last race before the Chase instead of Richmond, and let Richmond lead off the Chase instead of Loudon.

Have a question for Jess Nicholas, or some advice on where he should hide from Jeff Gordon’s fans after this week’s edition? Email him at, and you could be part of this very column next week!

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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
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


©2000 - 2008 Jess Nicholas and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

Mike Johnson
03/30/2006 06:43 AM

Why is every one so hot for Harvick. He stats suck and he seems like a punk to me.

03/30/2006 09:13 AM

So who put Tony Depot in charge of keeping rookies in line? He either wrecked him or he didn’t, I saw him wreck Martin, doesn’t matter why, he DID!

03/30/2006 10:30 AM

Hey Jess, I would love to see Mr. Excitement Spencer put the bump on Kurt this weekend.

03/30/2006 12:45 PM

Jeff dumped Martin first. I thought it was great him giving Jeff a ruff time after all this was Bristol. Jeff thinks he can take out whoever he wants and when he wants. All Martin was doing was keeping Jeff from getting down on the track causing Tony to be able to catch up to them. Jeff did far worse to Martin. I listened to Jeff and Tony ’s scanners after Tony bumped Martin Jeff said he got what he deserved and Tony was worried about Martin wanting to know if he was alright and was he out of his car yet. I don’t believe Tony bumped him on purpose. Martin hit hard and could have been hurt and Jeff’s comment was not cool. I think Jeff has had a hard time dealing with his 2005 season. He has great talent and had many fans the way he was. Trying to become a tuff a@@ is not going to make him a better driver nor gain more fans. Most everyone has their mind made up if they like him or not.

03/30/2006 01:45 PM

I have been a Jeff Gordon fan since his sprint car days, yet I do believe he should have been penalized for his actions after the race at Bristol (and yes, I was there and witnessed the entire ordeal, firsthand); HOWEVER, if his “shove” of Matt Kenseth warrants a $10,000 fine and 5 months probation should Nascar be using the footage of it (over and over and over…) in commercials to promote the next race at Martinsville? Isn’t that the epitome of hypocrisy??? Nascar is saying, “We won’t tolerate that sort of behavior in our sport, but we will certainly put it to music and glorify it to make sure everyone tunes in for the next race!”

03/30/2006 01:49 PM

Waaaa! Truex got what he deserved. Stewart punted the punk to the hauler. Good for Tony.

abe browne
03/30/2006 02:17 PM

Jesse , and all you dumb supporters of Stewart and Gordon, Stewart should not have been bumping anyone. You idiots cannot tell the difference between right and wrong anymore.

03/30/2006 02:43 PM

kevin have-a wreck bites!!!!!

03/30/2006 03:07 PM

Kirado, I haven’t seen the commercials you are talking about, but I would guess they are put together by Fox or the track, not NASCAR. Of course Fox is going to promote it, they want the ratings!

Heather Fundora
03/31/2006 09:13 AM

It just seems to me that some just wish to blame everything on Jeff Gordon , The rain is Jeffs fault, the snow was jeffs fault also lol , I mean come on do some of you see how you seriously sound. Jeff bumped Martin and some of you want his head on a platter because how dare he bump dei. Tony takes Truex completely out and Tony is a good guy for asking about him. This is racing this isnt ballet class

03/31/2006 01:50 PM

Okay, Nikki, I can buy that. However, the NASCAR logo is prominently displayed in the commercial…and I bet Fox or whoever produced it had to have NASCAR’s permission to use the logo…therefore, NASCAR endorses the commercial and is glorifying the incident to promote the next short track race.


Jess no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can still read all his articles on his archive and bio page.