The Frontstretch: Ten Points To Ponder ... After Talladega by Tommy Thompson -- Monday April 28, 2008

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Ten Points To Ponder ... After Talladega

Tommy Thompson · Monday April 28, 2008

 

1. Aye, Aye…Captain! – The United States Navy has announced the formation of an 88-person Boot Camp as a recruiting gimmick dubbed the “Dale, Jr. Division,” in conjunction with the Navy’s sponsorship of the sport’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his JR Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide team. Dale, Jr. will drive the No. 83 JR Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide series Chevrolet at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 24th to kick off the recruiting campaign; selected recruits will then be sent to Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois in August, at which time Earnhardt, Jr. will commission the division. Following the completion of the seven-to-eight week course, Earnhardt, Jr. will again visit “his” recruits.

All branches of the Armed Forces have or are sponsoring NASCAR race teams. However, no current full-time driver in the Sprint Cup Series has ever served in the active military … including Junior himself.

2. Fries With That?NASCAR has allowed Checkers / Rally’s to opt out of its Official Burger of NASCAR agreement; the move is one of several motorsports sponsorship deals that the company has decided to discontinue. As a result, it was reported in the departure that NASCAR’s Marketing folks are scrambling to find a replacement in its quick-service restaurant category.

Checkers / Rally’s has been the Official Burger of NASCAR? Will the sport be able to survive being burger-less? Stay tuned…

3. I’d Pay To Do That! – Humpy Wheeler, master promoter of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, announced a “burnout” competition at this year’s All Star-race festivities to be held in mid-May. The event will require Clint Bowyer and four other drivers (yet to be named) to perform two 360-degree burnouts, and then race into a faux Victory Lane. The winning driver of the contest, to be determined by fastest time, will be able to designate which charity he would like to have the $10,000 in prize money donated.

Humpy would probably have no problem in recruiting outspoken driver Tony Stewart to burn out as many Goodyear tires (with which he has expressed his dislike) as he can get away with. Who knows; Stewart might even match the donation as a sign of appreciation for being allowed to participate in the tire-shredding competition!

4. In Your Face…A.C.L.U.! – Joe Nemechek, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, took the pole position for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega. The Denver, Colorado-based race team, chronically sponsor-challenged, was 44th in the championship owner points going into the race; however, they had a possible Top 10 clinched until being involved in a last lap melee that relegated him to a 25th place finish. Nemechek’s race car was “sponsored” for the weekend by the Christian-based Focus on the Family, and National Day of Prayer.

Seems that the struggling outfit had some prayers of their own answered with a much-needed start and points day.

It was like old times for NASCAR veteran David Stremme, back in the No. 40 Tums Dodge at Talladega after an injury to regular driver Dario Franchitti.

5. No Hard Feelings – David Stremme subbed for defending Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti in his old Ganassi Racing No. 40 ride Sunday, finishing 28th after being caught up in a last lap crash. Stremme drove the No. 40 for two seasons before being dumped in favor of Franchitti. Stremme is now under contract to Penske Racing as a test driver, and for Rusty Wallace in the NASCAR Nationwide series. Stremme said of the current relationship between he and his former employer, “He [Ganassi] gave me an opportunity to come down here [and race a Cup car], and he’s still a friend of mine. There was just some sponsorship stuff that went on toward the end of last year where we couldn’t continue the relationship, and we both moved on. It’s situations like this where I’m able to step in and help them out for this weekend, where I appreciate them giving me the call — and we’ll see where things end up. But this is just a one-race deal. That’s all this is, just to help them out. But this is just a one-race deal.”

NASCAR is all business!

*6. Just Bluffing? *– Two-time NASCAR Cup Champion Tony Stewart, who is now in his tenth season with Joe Gibbs Racing, the only Cup team that he has ever driven for, is hinting that he may not resign with the organization when his contract expires at the end of ’09. Additionally, rumors are swirling [which Frontstretch.com reported in the Newsletter last week] that he may ask to opt out of his contract early to pursue other offers, including some that involve Stewart aquiring at least partial ownership of a Sprint Cup team. Some speculate that Stewart may be posturing in his contract renewal talks with JGR to leverage a better deal.

Where there’s Smoke … isn’t there usually fire?

7. Forget The Truck – Roush Fenway driver and fitness fanatic Carl Edwards seems to be of interest to the United Parcel Service, presently sponsor of David Reutimann’s No. 44 Toyota. UPS has let it be known that they would be interested in sponsoring the No. 99 Ford of Edwards should Roush Fenway and present sponsor Office Depot not be able to negotiate a new sponsorship deal.

Ladies, don’t you just know that Edwards will be featuring his physique in company attire — complete with UPS’s signature brown shorts — prominently in UPS commercials should a deal be reached?

8. Anti-Climatic? – When NASCAR implemented the green/white/checkered rule in 2004, the purpose of the rule, as explained by NASCAR, was to give fans better odds of watching a race finish under actual race conditions…and not under yellow.

So…why does NASCAR not have green/white/checkered finishes when a caution is thrown on the white flag lap, requiring drivers to not race back to the finish line as occurred yesterday at Talladega?

9. Good Hands…And More – Eventual Aaron’s 499 winner Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray, while in a three-abreast battle, bounced off of one another and appeared to be headed for a harrowing out-of-control wreck that could have possibly involved many more in the race field. Amazingly, both drivers regained control of their cars; and Busch, though getting sideways, seemed to never lift and motored on to challenge for the win. Only three laps later, the 22-year-old phenom, seemingly unshaken, overtook race leader Juan Pablo Montoya.

Is the kid that good, or is it the Car of Today?

10. Is This Getting Repetitive? – Kyle Busch wins another NASCAR race this season.

‘Nuff said!

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Swan Racing Announces Restructuring, No. 26 & No. 30 ‘Sold’ Off
Tech Talk with Tony Gibson: Taking Stock Of Danica Patrick In Year Two
Vexing Vito: Three Drivers In Need of a Role Reversal
Going By the Numbers: Top-10 NASCAR Variety Hard To Come By In…
Truckin’ Thursdays: Lessons Learned Just Two Races In
Fantasy Insider: Team Revelations For NASCAR’s Short Tracks

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Scott
04/28/2008 09:40 AM
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“Is the kid that good, or is it the Car of Today?”

Answer: Yes. That rear wing really works, and Kyle is just that good – so yes on both points.

Kevin in SoCal
04/28/2008 12:36 PM
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NASCAR has said from the beginning that the green/white/checkered only happens before the white flag. Once the white flag flies, the race is over if a caution comes out. I dont know why, but that’s the way its always been.

Douglas
04/28/2008 01:57 PM
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A “common theme”!!

Always trying to “explain” why NA$CAR did something!!

How sick is that?

Not that long ago NA$CAR stated they DID NOT WANT RACING BACK TO THE FLAG!

PERIOD!

That is why they placed all the “scoring loops” in the tracks!

Now what do we do???

Why of course!!! RACE BACK TO THE FLAG!!!!

It's Me!
04/28/2008 03:18 PM
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Kyle Busch almost wrecks Jamie McMurray (and drives like a maniac almost all day) and we commend him on his superb driving skill?

How about giving some credit to Jamie and the other drivers on the track for avoiding wrecking DISPITE Kyle Busch’s “skills”?

sparxmoore
04/28/2008 04:28 PM
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hey ITS ME …hit the nail right on the head as thats what i posted this morning before it was removed …that or was the comment i made about TONY refusing to mention toyota in his interviews even after winning in one ….SURE hes just posturing !!

Ed
04/28/2008 05:40 PM
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I have a real problem with the armed forces sponsoring NASCAR teams. That amounts to tens of millions of our tax money being spent uselessly. Goodness knows plenty of it already goes down the drain. It certainly doesn’t need to be spent to line the pockets of NASCAR owners.

Douglas
04/28/2008 06:28 PM
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Hey Ed!! AMEN!!

Actually a couple weeks ago I took issue with the National Guard Sponsoring cars, that post was removed from this site!

$100 billion for Iraq and we spend money on NA$CAR!

Last time I heard the Army was recruiting criminals! NOT race fans!

A double standard here maybe? Think Jr. is going to sign up and do his duty?

Rick
04/28/2008 07:05 PM
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TOYOTA TONY will do as Toyota directs.

Marc
04/28/2008 07:20 PM
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Ed, what a valid point. Tax dollars should be not spent on NASCAR hoods.

Dave
04/28/2008 08:51 PM
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I have a real problem with the armed forces sponsoring NASCAR teams. That amounts to tens of millions of our tax money being spent uselessly. Goodness knows plenty of it already goes down the drain. It certainly doesn’t need to be spent to line the pockets of NASCAR owners.

Actually a couple weeks ago I took issue with the National Guard Sponsoring cars, that post was removed from this site!

$100 billion for Iraq and we spend money on NA$CAR!

Last time I heard the Army was recruiting criminals! NOT race fans!

A double standard here maybe? Think Jr. is going to sign up and do his duty?

Ed, what a valid point. Tax dollars should be not spent on NASCAR hoods.

It’s called advertising , it’s used for recruiting. Douglas, if you have a problem with all of the criminals in the Army, why don’t you go down and see your local recruiter and do your duty. As a 20 year veteran who flew missions against the former soviet union as well in both the 1st and 2nd Gulf Wars and Afganastan I take offense to your remarks. No Junior will probably never join the Armed Forces along with 95% of the rest of the Country, but I am sure he would never disparage (sp)the brave men and women who choose to serve.

Douglas
04/29/2008 07:50 AM
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Hey Dave!!!

Most drivers are generally shown “using” their products displayed on the hoods, well, err, maybe when Mark Martin advertised Viagra! (gee, did Mark drive harder when he was sponsored by Viagra?) So what would be wrong with Jr. showing TOTAL support for the Armed Forces by joining? If he was REALLY PATRIOTIC, as you indicate, if he joined, maybe he could get 10,000 of his LOYAL fans to go with him!

Recruitment problem solved!

Thank you Jr.!!!

Kyle
04/29/2008 10:49 AM
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Douglas, are your complaints because of the government, or are you just a Jr hater? quit your boo-hoo-ing and log onto Vanity Fair. i’m sure someone there can pass you a tissue or play the violin.

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