The Frontstretch: Fans Have Questions, We Have Answers: NASCAR Thursday Roundup by Summer Bedgood -- Thursday September 20, 2012

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Fans Have Questions, We Have Answers: NASCAR Thursday Roundup

Summer Bedgood · Thursday September 20, 2012

 

Hey race fans, welcome to week two of my Frontstretch Thursday Question and Answer session! There’s plenty to get to this week, so let’s skip the intro and head right into the meat of the column…

NASCAR’s track spotters (the one’s whom watch out for water bottles, spring rubbers, car debris, oil on the track, and/or rain). Who are they? Do they travel with the circuit from week-to-week or are they contracted by individual tracks, themselves?
Tim

Tim, the track spotters are NASCAR officials so they travel with the series just like the officials who work with the teams on pit road.

To me, that sounds like both the easiest and the most boring job on the circuit, though in some cases it feels like they have more power over the race than race control. “Yawn … I’m getting bored. I see debris!”

Thanks for the question!

Do you think the guys that had trouble this weekend can come back and have a good shot at the championship?
Candace

You always hear the so-called “experts” say that you can’t win the championship in one race, but you can lose it. I’ll go along with that. Jeff Gordon is essentially screwed, since Chicago pretty much took all the bling out of their last ditch effort to make the Chase in Richmond. As impressive as that second-place finish was, it didn’t do them any good once the postseason actually started.

With the announcement that both Tony Eury Jr. and Sr. have parted ways with JR Motorsports, one of the last remaining family ties and connections with DEI and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has been severed.

I’ll take that “elimination theory” a step further though and say that ninth on down (Truex, Harvick, Kenseth, and Gordon) are already done. There are just too many good teams and they are just too far back (over 20 points) to even have a chance.

Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. are on the bubble I believe. If they can have a good weekend in Loudon, then they should be fine. I’m still not a believer in either of these two winning the title, even though they both led the standings in the regular season. But maybe they can still muster a top-5 finish out of it before all is said and done.

Will the issues with the JR Motorsports Nationwide team and the Eury family affect Junior in the Chase?
Burt

Absolutely not. Earnhardt’s sister Kelley handles much of the business side of the organization, anyway — not the driver himself. While Junior admittedly said that the Eurys are like family to him, affirming the toughness of the decision in a press release announcing the move, the Nationwide Series program has nothing to do with his Sprint Cup Series team. Even mentally, the separation shouldn’t have an impact. For whatever reason, Earnhardt’s focus seems to be in the right place this year.

Does that mean he will contend for the championship or even win it? I highly doubt it. It would take quite a surge in competitiveness for that team to beat teammate Jimmie Johnson or the other frontrunners right now — coupled with some trouble for those ahead of them. But that has nothing to do with anything going on at JR Motorsports.

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