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Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor. Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as Tony Stewart's Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

Couch Potato Tuesday: It’s Time To Preview Our NASCAR Telecasts

Hello, race fans. So, the offseason is officially over. Yee-haw. Welcome to year No. 4 (for me, at least) of race telecast critiquing. This year, there will be some slight changes, the first of which you've already seen. That's right, a brand new series title. While I'll admit that "Couch Potato Tuesday" is not something I came up with, I'm cool with it. I had inherited the Talking NASCAR TV title from my predecessor, Doug Turnbull, back in 2009 and wasn't really in love with it. However, there will be no change in focus. I'll still be here to criticize bad aspects of telecasts and praising good ones. The Critic's Annex in "the Newsletter":/notice/9557/ will be back as well, but it will not run every week. We have a new feature that will run in its place once a month that we will be announcing quite soon. Having said that, we're going to take a brief look at what NASCAR's TV partners have to offer for us this season. I'm going to hold off on covering TNT for now since they don't start their series until June.

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News Recap for the week of December 21, 2009

Jimmie Johnson named AP Male Athlete of the Year Last Monday, the Associated Press announced that 2009 Sprint Cup Series champion has been named the 2009 AP Male Athlete of the Year, a first for a racer in the award’s 78 year history. Johnson received 42 votes, beating out second …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud Like Matt McLaughlin: 2008 Pepsi 500

*Key Moment:* Pole Qualifying on Friday. Johnson's pole winning run set the tone for the rest of the weekend. *In a Nutshell:* I can describe the race in eight words or less: Johnson came, he saw, he kicked butt. *Dramatic Moments:* With such a dominating performance by Johnson, the biggest excitement on the track was caused by falling caution lights. Not one, but two yellows were thrown because of them.

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Side By Side: Should Kyle Busch And Carl Edwards Have Been Penalized?

*Today's Question: Following Saturday's on-track altercation after the race between Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, NASCAR chose to penalize both drivers for their transgressions. On Wednesday, they announced the two men would be put on probation for six straight races -- although they determined there'd be no fines or loss of points for either of them. Did the sport stop short by not producing a harsher penalty? Or should Busch and Edwards have never been penalized at all?* Phil: It’s not like Edwards’ bump on lap 470 resulted in Busch crashing -- he still finished a strong second, and had enough time to run Edwards back down if only his car was handling as good. Historically, this type of maneuver is typical at Bristol -- even with the new repaving job -- and the point leader should have expected something like this. But instead of taking it all in stride, Busch decided to essentially ram Edwards after the checkered flag in a display of petulance not seen in the Sprint Cup Series in quite awhile. It was the motorsports equivalent of throwing a hissy fit -- and Busch should have paid for it. *Vito*: Kyle Busch was summoned to the officials' trailer Saturday night, but not before he got in his digs on Edwards with a Mr. Ed quote heard around the NASCAR world. Following Edwards' unapologetic remark that all he would do differently next time is hit him harder, both were slapped with a six-race probation. Considering the broad scope of the incident, some are wondering if the penalties were not harsh enough. Are you kidding?

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Talking NASCAR TV: Cup Race Good, But ESPN Stands Alone With Poor Nationwide Coverage In Montreal

In just their second full weekend of coverage, I thought the Sprint Cup telecast on ESPN was pretty good Sunday. But as for Saturday's Nationwide Series show, it was a whole other story altogether. You knew issues were bound to arise with the network using the No. 2 crew to do the race; but the number of problems seemed to only increase along with the rain pouring down on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve that afternoon. The main issue I had with the race coverage was the camera shots. I’m personally not sure if ESPN themselves was in charge of the on-track cameras, or if a Canadian station like Global or TSN was -- but no matter which one led the way, they produced some pretty bad camera work on Saturday. _Editor's Note: ESPN was in charge of the camera crew for this event._ Finding good shooters can always be an issue with races in foreign countries because of their potential inexperience with covering major auto races, but I was expecting better from the cameramen and camerawomen on Saturday.

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Bubble Breakdown: Waltrip Racing Shines While Road Course Ringers Struggle At Sonoma

Road course races can always have a long term effect on the points standings since teams that ordinarily might not run all that well can get good finishes, either by using substitute drivers, or their normal drivers having significant skills on road courses. This set the stage for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350k at Infineon Raceway. Ahead of the race weekend, DEI tapped Ron Fellows to drive the No. 01 Principal Chevrolet in place of Regan Smith, while Max Papis (originally hired to drive the No. 70) was placed into the Haas Automation No. 66 after that car fell out of the Top 35 in Owners’ points after last weekend’s LifeLock 400. Also, Marcos Ambrose was in the No. 21 for the Wood Brothers for the first of his 12 scheduled Sprint Cup starts this season. In addition, Brian Simo was able to coax the No. 34 for Front Row Motorsports into the field and Boris Said was back as well. Did these teams, along with the other teams in and around the danger zone have any real success on Sunday? Let’s find out.

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