The Frontstretch: Fanning the Flames: Joey's Debut, Kyle's Karma, and Tony's Ravioli by Matt Taliaferro -- Thursday September 11, 2008

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Fanning the Flames: Joey's Debut, Kyle's Karma, and Tony's Ravioli

NASCAR Fan Q & A · Matt Taliaferro · Thursday September 11, 2008


Here’s to hoping the 10 Chase races are as cool as the one we saw in Richmond. It’s a long shot, I know… but here’s to hoping. This was a surprisingly slow week for you guys … clicking on this link will ensure your name is up in lights next week. And it will ensure I have a column for the foreseeable future, too…

Nate here is doing his part, though. He’s in for the second week in a row:

Q: Matt, my question last week was about Joey Logano and how you thought he would do in his first race. Well, like you alluded to God and Tropical Storm Hanna prevented that, so I’m going to ask again. The debut will be at New Hampshire instead of Richmond now. How do you think that will be different, and do you still think we can only expect a 20th place finish?
— Nate Paulsin

A: Thanks for the follow-up, Nate. I wouldn’t expect Logano’s mindset to be any different. He’s still going to have to watch his P’s & Q’s around the Chase guys (and instead of three or four shooting to just get into the Chase, he’ll now have to keep his eyes peeled for all 12 that suddenly believe they have a shot at a title). But no, I don’t think his debut will be much different in that respect.

I do believe New Hampshire will provide a much tougher test for him than Richmond. There’s only one real groove in Loudon, while those boys were slingin’ it all up near the wall — and maintaining speed — at RIR. I’d say his bumper will be beat all to hell by race’s end, and he still comes in about 20th at best.

Was the contact between the 88 and 18 at Richmond karma… or just close racing?

This next one I saw coming about lap 200 last Sunday:

Q: KARMA! And it came at Richmond of course! Nothing so sweet as to see Kyle Busch skidding across the track and the 88 right up under him! First Carl at Bristol, now Dale, Jr. at Richmond. How’s those short tracks taste, Kyle?
— Jonathan Hembry

A: Well, I suppose you’re on to something with the karma comment — and that’s coming from a guy who actually kinda likes Kyle’s style (save for the shades). Nevertheless, his six Top 5 finishes at the short tracks over the last two seasons (11 races) tells me “short track” tastes like ribeye to Kyle.

Q: Hey Matt! Reports are saying the Reed Sorenson may leave Ganassi Racing before the end of the year. I think that is pretty logical. My question is who is being discussed to take the 41 ride for next year? Thanks!
— Brad Lundholm

A: And my question is, who would want it? Honestly, I don’t know. Shoot, throw Jeremy Mayfield in there … if he couldn’t get along with Roger Penske or Ray Evernham, just imagine the stuff we’d have to discuss while he’s driving for Chip Ganassi!

Q: Your thoughts on the Tony Stewart article in Rolling Stone? I thought it was a poor excuse to fill empty page space. Real nice of the author to not mention any of Tony’s good qualities. You know, all the charitable causes he supports and all. Rolling Stone should stick to drugged-out rock stars and burnt-out pop princesses and let the pros who cover NASCAR stick to that.
— Terri G.

A: Yeah, I’m not real sure where the article was going, other than to highlight the vices of a highly visible personality. St. Anthony of Columbus he may not be, but I agree that the author seemed more interested in delving into tabloid-esque territory than writing a balanced piece. And you know the most offensive part of the whole article? The visual presented of Tony sprawled on the floor of his motorcoach in tightey whiteys eating ravioli. I mean, who needs to see that? It’s kind of perverse, ya know? And to pull us in involuntarily … thanks a lot.

OK, that’s it for this week. Love it or hate it, it’s playoff time — NASCAR style. Let’s hear what you’ve got to say.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Racing to the Point: NASCAR Has Its Own Heartbreak Kid
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09/11/2008 08:23 AM

If eating ravioli in your underwear is the secret to Tony’s driving abilities , a lot of race car drivers better get to the canned goods section of their supermarket real quick .

09/11/2008 02:48 PM

Y’know, if there’s a way to get the casual fan to question the legitimacy of racing’s athletes and the ability it takes, it’s probably showing them a picture of a fat race car driver in his undies eating ravioli and then saying, “This guy is one of the best ones.”

09/11/2008 03:17 PM

The best Karma is that there are several drivers that owe Kyle a love tap or two and when is it a better time to repay the favor? The chase with Kyle on probation LOL.

Good thing Kyle wasn’t smart enough to know (as Gibbs would say) you reap what you sow. Let the reaping begin. He’ll have only himself to blame for losing the championship. Many times the bumping guys out of the way wasn’t even needed he was fast enough and a good enough driver to pass clean but he chose the other route.

09/11/2008 05:12 PM

On Joey Logano…

Unlike Richmond, Joey has actually raced at NHMS, albeit in the lower tier series now called Camping World East (formerly Busch East).

Whether that fact will help him or not, I’m not sure…


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Recent articles from Matt Taliaferro:

Fanning the Flames: Of Daytona, Danica, Dale, and Duels
2009 Season Review: Tony Stewart
2009 Season Review: Ryan Newman
Fanning the Flames: Closing the Inbox on the 2009 Season
Fanning the Flames: The Crew Chief Carousel and Other Assorted Oddities