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Kurt Smith

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After losing his beloved Baltimore Orioles to Peter Angelos (or as he fondly refers to him, “Slimeball”), Kurt needed to fill a sports void, and found himself increasingly interested in his participation in his brother’s NASCAR fantasy league. By 2002 Kurt was hooked, tuning in every week to see how his drivers were performing.

After nearly taking the league title in 2003, losing to his father by just a scant 72 points out of over 10,000 (even with a late season surge fueled by Tony Stewart), Kurt decided to keep stats and take notes to better learn who to activate each Sunday. The failure to activate Michael Waltrip for the 2003 Daytona 500 had been the difference, and Kurt did not want to make that mistake again.

In 2004 Kurt began sending short summaries of races to other members of the league, using his notes to describe the action and poke fun at Darrell Waltrip’s occasional tortured syntax. Response to his diatribes was favorable and gradually he spent more and more time composing columns each week. Then, in August of 2006, he sent a column to That’s Racin’, and Kurt became a member of the Infield blog. And finally, after years of heartbreak, near misses, and frustration, in 2006 Kurt’s fantasy team (“Vapor Trails Racing”) won its first Fairgrounds Racing League championship. Only buying his 2002 Mustang gave Kurt more joy. Vapor Trails Racing then followed up with back-to-back division titles.

After a year and a half of contributing to the Infield, Kurt auditioned for the Frontstretch in January 2008, and the rest is history. Now Kurt offers his take as the “Official Columnist of NASCAR” on all things Sprint Cup Racing in his “Happy Hour” column on Fridays, and hopefully the world is better for it. This year Kurt began the Frontstretch Foto Funnies, his humorous take on what’s really going on in those recent race photos.

Kurt has never been a racecar driver, nor has he been a crew chief, mechanic, or even a sports editor. He is just a regular guy from New Jersey. In fact, he treasures few things more than being regular. Kurt lives in Turnersville (exit 3 of the NJ Turnpike), not far from the new track in Millville. He has been married (sorry girls) for 1.5 years to his lovely wife Suzanne, who is not the slightest bit of a NASCAR fan. But Kurt tolerates it because she’s tolerant of his endless hours in front of a laptop banging out NASCAR insights. And not to diminish its importance, but he also has a fine collection of music and can cook a little bit too. Recipe for world-class salsa upon request.

When You Can See Kurt’s Frontstretch Columns:
Happy Hour : Fridays (Website)
In Case You Missed It : Fridays (Newsletter)
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: Wednesdays (Website)

Q & A With Kurt Smith:
What Is Your New Favorite Technological Gizmo? : Cruise control

Who Is Your Favorite Musical Artist(s)?: Rush, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stevie Wonder, The Police and many many others. Hey, if it’s good I want to hear it. Just became a big Trace Adkins fan…didn’t think I’d ever be a country boy.

Do You Have Any Pre-race Rituals? : Nachos/salsa/guacamole/etc. preparation. And opening a beer.

Who Is Your Favorite Cartoon Character? : Foghorn Leghorn (“I’m wide, I say I’m wiiiiiide open! Shoot me a lateral!”)

What is your favorite vacation spot? : Wildwood NJ. No contest.

Kurt’s Favorite Non-Racing Sites He Recommends

Ballpark E-GuidesPDF-format guides to 14 major league ballparks, with lots of info
Roadfood – a great resource for finding great and inexpensive places to eat on the road
Hotwire – the best place for finding hotel rooms, trust me
How Stuff Works – believe it or not, it helped me get through college

Recent Articles by Kurt Smith

July 2011
07/21: MPM2Nite: NASCAR Arrogance Gone Awry [20]
June 2011
06/30: MPM2Nite: The List of Problems More Short Track Races Could Solve [7]
May 2011
05/12: MPM2Nite: What Is And Isn’t Acceptable In The "Have At It" Age [13]
April 2011
04/28: MPM2Nite: Getting The Big Guys to Stop Picking On Little Guys [7]
March 2011
03/16: Did You Notice? ... A Look At The 2011 Season To Date [4]
November 2010
11/18: The Odd Story Of The No. 11 Car [2]
11/11: NASCAR's Late Season Swing Produces A Memorable Event – No Legislative Help Needed [7]
11/05: A Sneak Peek At The Future: What NASCAR Could Look Like In 2011 [18]
October 2010
10/28: A Tale Of Two Drivers [20]
10/22: Gateway Disappearance A Sign Of The NASCAR Times [8]
10/14: If You Watch Or Attend One Event This Year… [13]
10/07: Allgaier Is Worthy Of A Sponsor Investment [7]
September 2010
09/30: Ads With 11 To Go? Before You Blame The Press... [25]
09/24: The Bleeding Won't Stop Until The Chase Is Gone [34]
09/16: "Have At It" Hasn't Made Much Difference [17]
09/09: What Are They Buying With The Danica Hype? [27]
09/02: What's So Horrible About A Winless Champion? [10]
August 2010
08/26: Ol' D.W. May Be Onto Something [20]
08/20: 2011 Schedule Creates More Problems Than It Solves [18]
08/12: The "Epic" 12th Place Battle? Sorry, Ain't Feelin' It [15]
08/06: NASCAR Vindicated On Car Of Tomorrow, Somewhat [7]
July 2010
07/29: Some Ad Campaigns NASCAR Could Be Running [15]
07/22: Why Race At Indy? Because It's Something Different [5]
07/15: Nice Guys Don't Finish First Too Often [5]
07/09: Changing The Chase Will Only Delegitimize It More [11]
07/01: "Pursuing Younger Fans?" That's The Marketing Department's Job [9]
June 2010
06/24: And That's Why Jimmie's The Champ [6]
06/17: Gordon's Slump Isn't Helping NASCAR Either [15]
06/10: Hamlin To Dethrone Johnson? Don’t Bet The Farm Just Yet [18]
06/04: There Is No New Kyle Busch – There Wasn't Even An Old One [11]
May 2010
05/27: Little E's Troubles May Be Psychological [21]
05/20: NASCAR Limps Home, Its Future Uncertain [35]
05/13: Future Hall Of Fame Arguments [25]
05/06: Why Race Fans Love Darlington So Much [8]
April 2010
04/29: Will Kahne Be Much Better At Hendrick? Not If Recent History Is A Guide [10]
04/22: Restrictor Plates Still Restricting Racing [19]
04/15: Sponsors Call The Shots In Today’s NASCAR [9]
04/09: Jimmie Johnson Is Not Unbeatable [7]
04/01: How Important Is The Crew Chief? With Matt Kenseth, Not Very [13]
March 2010
03/25: Keselowski Overcoming The Odds, Again [2]
03/18: Is NASCAR Cracking Up? [6]
03/12: Sometimes, NASCAR Needs To Be The Bad Guy [12]
03/04: Where Is NASCAR On Hendrick Dominance? [18]
February 2010
02/25: Jeff Burton May Finally Be Back [9]
02/18: What's Left To Be Said About The Daytona 520 [10]
02/11: The Curse Of The Daytona 500 Win [3]
02/04: Martinsville Or Dover In Danger - More Potential Bullet Holes In NASCAR's Feet [16]
November 2009
11/19: What We Really Can Look Forward To In 2010 [22]
11/12: Danica Hype A Symbol Of Where It's At Today [25]
11/11: Top Ten Ways To Save Gas In A NASCAR Race [3]
11/06: Drivers Should Unite Again On Talladega [35]
October 2009
10/30: For A Second Class Citizen, Kyle Busch Has Had A Hell Of A Season [14]
10/23: NASCAR’s Attempts To Legislate Parity Backfire [14]
10/16: The Car Of Tomorrow And The Safety Delusion [19]
10/09: It Isn't Auto Club Speedway's Fault [27]
10/02: Is Anyone Even Willing To Challenge The 48 Team? [18]
September 2009
09/25: Is There A Hex On UPS Cars? [4]
09/15: Would The Chase Critics Just Shut Up And Go Away? No... We Won't [30]
09/11: If We MUST Have A Chase...
09/04: Revisiting Predictions From February [1]
August 2009
08/28: Wins Leaders Both In Danger Of Missing Playoffs? [8]
08/21: Junior May Be Struggling With Motivation [21]
08/14: Don't Blame Us For NASCAR's Decline [37]
08/07: Kyle Busch And The Karma Factor [10]
July 2009
07/31: Give Goodyear Credit For Turning It Around [4]
07/24: Mayfield Drama Exposes NASCAR's Credibility Problem [34]
07/22: Top Ten Ways Goodyear Tried To Fix The Tire Problem From Indy 2008 [3]
07/17: Another Speedway Race, Another Chink In NASCAR’s Armor [17]
07/15: Top Ten Things Drivers Will Do On Their Week Off [5]
07/10: NASCAR And The "Citizen Journalist" [8]
07/03: Consistency Still Rules Over Wins, Especially In 2009 [2]
June 2009
06/26: Scott Wimmer Is Worthy Of A Better Shot [5]
06/19: Happy Hour’s Best Five Drivers In The Sport [22]
06/12: Happy Hour’s Best Drivers In The Sport, Part Two: Drivers #10-#6 [6]
06/10: Top Ten Other Rock Star Tributes Planned By Kyle Busch [11]
06/05: Happy Hour’s Best Drivers In NASCAR, Part One: Drivers #15-11 [5]
06/03: Top Ten Changes Lance McGrew Will Make To The No. 88 Team [3]
May 2009
05/29: Joey Logano Bit Off More Than He Could Chew – And Now He’s Chewing It [4]
05/27: Top Ten Other Things To Do In Delaware Besides The Monster Mile [12]
05/22: Return Of The Forgotten Busch Brother [1]
05/19: Top Ten Ways Tony Stewart Will Spend His Million [1]
05/15: NASCAR Should Reconsider The Four Car Per Team Rule [16]
05/08: Stewart Is Making Me Look Like An Idiot—But Lesson Learned [14]
05/01: Carl Edwards Wasn't Quite Right [22]
April 2009
04/24: Is NASCAR Seeing What’s Happening? [33]
04/17: Why We Don’t See As Much Emotion As We’d Like [4]
04/10: Some Crazy Ideas For A New Superspeedway [8]
04/03: Once And For All, The Reason Junior Isn’t Winning [13]
March 2009
03/27: Kvapil’s Situation Is Sad – But It’s The Reality [6]
03/20: Solving NASCAR’s Racetrack Problem, Part 2 – Happy Hour Motor Speedway I—A New Short Track [17]
03/16: Top Ten Other Victory Celebrations Kurt Busch's Miller Lite Drinking Buddies Suggested
03/13: Solving NASCAR’s Racetrack Problem, Part 1 – What NASCAR Can Learn From Baseball [19]
03/05: Eight Years Ago In Atlanta [8]
03/04: Top Ten Suggestions to Help Jeff Gordon Break His Losing Streak [1]
February 2009
02/26: Does NASCAR Need Digger? [29]
02/19: What's Left To Be Said About The Daytona 380 [18]
02/12: NASCAR’s Biggest Problem - Jimmie Johnson [15]
02/05: The New Man In Black – Jeff Gordon [5]
November 2008
11/21: The Best 2008 NASCAR Stories That You Will Soon Forget [8]
11/13: A Meaningful Finale [3]
11/06: More Excitement? The Chase Hasn’t Even Done That [11]
October 2008
10/31: NASCAR's Opportunity In A Troubled Economy [2]
10/24: Is Johnson's Three Year Run As Good As Yarborough's Was? [8]
10/17: Please NASCAR, Not Martinsville Too [9]
10/10: Goodyear Mounting An Increasingly Poor Reputation [14]
10/03: What Should Be Done About Multi-Car Teams? [11]
September 2008
09/26: Should The Fans Stick Around? [18]
09/19: From 207 Points Up To 74 Points Down; What's Wrong With This Picture? [28]
09/12: Hey Race Fans, It's Time For NASCAR's Annual Big Points Giveaway! [8]
09/05: If Locked In The Chase, Why Race at Richmond? [6]
August 2008
08/29: The Top 35 Rule Is The Symptom, Not The Problem [10]
08/22: Stewart And Newman Should Enjoy The Honeymoon While It Lasts [10]
08/20: Top Ten Ways Carl Edwards Can Psych Out Kyle Busch [9]
08/15: A NASCAR Writer's Midlife Crisis [1]
08/08: No Mas in Ciudad de Mexico: NASCAR Gets One Right [7]
08/01: It's Time For Brian France To Step Down [24]
July 2008
07/30: NASCAR's Top Ten Excuses For The Indianapolis Race [3]
07/25: Networks Prop Up The Chase; Real Fans Reject It [21]
07/18: What is Ryan (or Roger) Thinking? [10]
07/11: The End of a Classic NASCAR Era [4]
07/04: Jimmy Spencer and NASCAR's 'Young Punks' [11]
June 2008
06/27: Mauricia Grant's Lawyer Smells Blood [16]
06/20: NASCAR And The Drivers: Who Needs Who More? [11]
06/12: A New Kind Of Schedule Proposal For NASCAR [8]
06/06: Where's The Love for Pocono? [13]
May 2008
05/30: NASCAR's Rule Enforcement Problem [12]
05/23: Happy Hour : Kyle Busch Really Burns Our BUTs [3]
05/16: An Open Letter To Dale Jr.: Don’t Worry About The Wins [19]
05/09: It May Be Time to Panic for Michael Waltrip [22]
05/02: Is Finishing Under Green That Important? [4]
April 2008
04/25: Welcome To Talladega – May The Best Aero Package Win [1]
04/23: Top Ten Bumper Stickers Found On NASCAR Driver's Personal Cars [1]
04/18: The Unluckiest Driver In Auto Racing? [6]
04/11: "Our" NASCAR? Nice Try, Brian [21]
04/04: Nationwide Whackers Are Hurting The Sprint Cup Series [21]
March 2008
03/28: Hendrick's Recent Performance At Martinsville Inspirational
03/21: Happy Hour : Tony Stewart Still Paying For WWE Comments [12]
03/14: The Best Ad Campaign in NASCAR History [12]
03/06: Do Hard Hits Make Drivers Consider Retirement? [3]
03/05: Top Ten Victory Celebrations Other Drivers Can Do [1]
February 2008
02/28: Fontana Won't Be The Last [8]
02/26: Top Ten Ways California Speedway Is No Darlington [13]
02/21: Giving Kurt His Due and Other Thoughts [8]
02/16: Call it the Kyle Busch Rule [6]
02/07: The Official Columnist of NASCAR [6]