The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Fan Q & A: Preaching Tolerance And Patience Across NASCAR by Summer Bedgood -- Thursday October 4, 2012

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When I referred to Keselowski as a “dark horse”, I didn’t actually think he’d end up leading the points! I figured he would win a couple of races, turn some heads, and finish somewhere in the top five in points. While it might still play out that way, Keselowski has actually become Jimmie Johnson’s closest competitor along with Denny Hamlin. Undoubtedly Keselowski is one of the biggest surprises of the season.

Personally, I don’t think he’ll actually be the one holding the trophy at the end of the season; I still think that will be Johnson. But Keselowski has impressed me and countless others. As strange as it seems, he actually seems more confident in his program and his own talent that even Hamlin does. Am I the only one who feels this way?

While you’re mulling that one over, let’s take a few questions from readers this week:

We are all seeing the success Piquet is having in trucks. Shouldn’t Montoya had started there as well and worked his way up? Would that have made him more competitive?

Jose

While I do agree with the route that Piquet took with his career is great, I really don’t think it would have made much of a difference. As a driver, you either have it or you don’t, and I just don’t get the “stock car vibe” from Juan Pablo Montoya. Sure he’s had moments that shined, but seriously, what’s the first thing you think of when you hear Montoya’s name? If you’ve been paying even a little bit of attention this year, you think “jet dryer.” Or, “Gee, what lap will he crash this week”?

Piquet, on the other hand, has developed very well as a driver and has the credentials following his win at Las Vegas last weekend to prove it.

With the exception of his two road course wins in 5 years (and two near wins at Indy), JPM has become more synonymous with DNF than WIN.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to downplay Montoya’s accomplishments. I know he was a very talented driver in his respective field—open wheel. But stock car racing and open wheel racing are two totally different animals. While both are very good all around drivers and both have made trips to Victory Lane, I feel, as a whole, Piquet is just better.

What is the future of both Regan Smith and James Finch racing past this weekend?

Fred

Actually, they both might very well end up working together!

Just to get everyone caught up, this weekend in Talladega will be Smith’s last race with Furniture Row Racing and Kurt Busch is expected to take over the No. 78 ride. That leaves Busch’s current No. 51 ride at Phoenix Racing open.

Since James Finch plans on finishing out the season, that leaves the team in need of a driver. Finch has already spoken to Smith about possibly racing for them the remainder of the season, though names like A.J. Allmendinger—yes, that A.J. Allmendinger—and David Reutimann are being thrown around too.

While nothing have been announced yet, it looks like both parties are doing what they can in order to secure themselves at least until the end of the season.

As far as next year, Smith has said that the Nationwide Series might be a good option for him next season. I tend to agree. Although the argument can be made that Smith hasn’t been in the best equipment, I just don’t think he’s got what it takes to be regularly competitive in the Sprint Cup Series. But I could see him doing well in the Nationwide Series with the right people around him.

Why doesn’t NASCAR publish their rule book and make it available for fans. For instance when a car fails because of the ride height. I think that it would be interesting for fans to know how this is measured and what are the tolerances?

David

NASCAR’s answer to this is basically that they give the rule book to the media annually so if an issue comes up, the media can just reference the rule and give the fans the information they need. In other words, you don’t need to see it.

Honestly, when you think of common sense though, you’d think that allowing the everyman to have access to the rulebook would be the right answer. After all, nearly every other major mainstream and professional sports league—including other forms of motorsports—allow fans to either access or purchase the rulebook on their website. NASCAR tries incredibly hard to align themselves with other sports, yet this is an area (among others, but we won’t go into that) that they struggle with that.

You might be able to find copies of the rulebook on eBay from other sellers if it’s something you’re really looking for, though sellers typically charge a pretty penny because of the demand and lack of transparency from the sanctioning body. But, come on, this is the Internet. You can find anything if you want to!

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paltex
10/04/2012 05:31 PM
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johnson will prob. win it
with the assistance of cheating chad and hendrick. if they get caught all they have to do is appeal to hendricks old time chev. buddy. hard to beat those odds.

Steve K
10/05/2012 12:24 AM
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Montoya is far from a failure. Three NASCAR (two cup) wins and a chase appearance is not indicative of someone who isn’t a talented stock car driver. Jimmie Johnson wouldn’t have done better this year with the pathetic stuff Chip is rolling out onto the track.

Andy D
10/05/2012 05:52 AM
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Still haven’t figured out how the “Patience & Tolerance” headline ties into this column.