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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.

Talking NASCAR TV: Jump the Shark

Race fans, the title says it all for me. However, for those of you who may not be familiar with the term... let me explain. The term "Jump the Shark" was created by Jon Hein and a group of his buddies at the University of Michigan in 1987. Apparently, they spent a Saturday night watching Nick at Nite and thinking about television shows and when they peaked. One guy, named Sean Connolly, claimed that the TV show Happy Days essentially went in the toilet when they had Fonzie jump over a shark on water skis. The term stuck from there. In the late 1990’s, Hein started jumptheshark.com, a website devoted to, well, allowing fans to post their input on when their favorite shows peaked. It eventually became very popular on the internet, and its eventual sale to TV Guide netted Hein millions. Jump the Shark doesn’t just apply to TV shows, though; it can apply to anything. Hein’s 2002 book Jump the Shark: When Good Things Go Bad, covered TV shows, politicians, bands, celebrities, athletes, and sports teams. It has become a term used to describe anything that has peaked and is on the downturn. At the heart of this explanation is how NASCAR television may have hit a new low this weekend at Phoenix.

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Mark Martin Breaks his Winless Streak at in 2009 Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix

Starting on the front row this season had been a mixed bag for Mark Martin. At Bristol, he ran up front for most of the race and finished sixth. At Daytona, he got caught back in traffic and the rains prohibited him from moving up higher than 16th before the …

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NASCAR News for Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jim France Steps Down as ISC CEO The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Jim France, the brother of the late Bill France, Jr., will be stepping down as the CEO of International Speedway Corporation (ISC). On June 1st, Lesa Kennedy, currently the President of ISC, will take over the executive …

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Talking NASCAR TV: Creative Approach To Practice Makes ESPN Shine At Nashville… Until Nemechek’s Flip

Last weekend was Easter Weekend, a traditional week off for the Sprint Cup Series for as long as I can remember -- and probably before that as well. However, the Nationwide Series has not always stuck with that tradition. In the past, the division has actually held races on Easter Sunday at tracks like Hickory Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway back in the car's V-6 era. Today, the cars race on the day before Easter (Holy Saturday) at Nashville Superspeedway, a 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval near Nashville, TN. This past weekend's Pepsi 300 was the first standalone event of the new season for the Nationwide Series, so ESPN2 decided to use it to try some new things. For the final practice session, ESPN decided to essentially “adopt” a team and follow them all through practice. In this case, they chose the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge driven by Justin Allgaier for Penske Championship Racing.

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NASCAR News for Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hunt Brothers Pizza to the No. 44 On Wednesday, Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Hunt Brothers Pizza has signed on sponsor the No. 44 Dodge and driver A.J. Allmendinger for six point races, and the Sprint All-Star Weekend festivities at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The result of this deal is that …

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NASCAR News for Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brian Scott to Drive NNS No. 10 for Braun Racing Braun Racing announced on Tuesday that Brian Scott, currently the driver of the No. 16 Albertson’s Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series, has been tapped by Braun Racing to drive the No. 10 Toyota for four races. Only two …

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Talking NASCAR TV: Digger Returns… But That’s Not The Only Problem With Texas Coverage

Hello, race fans. Texas provided us with long green flag runs on both Saturday and Sunday’s races. Usually, this means that the field gets extensively stretched out, and Texas was no exception to the norm. So, how did this weekend’s television coverage add up? Let’s take a look. On Saturday, the Nationwide Series, back from a week off, raced in the O’Reilly [Auto Parts] 300. ESPN 2, with their commentary crew of Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree was on hand for the call. Kevin Harvick, winner of the most recent Nationwide Series race (the Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol), did not race on Saturday and sat in with Allen Bestwick and Brad Daugherty in the mobile studio.

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NASCAR News for Wednesday, April 1, 2009

McMurray’s Assets Frozen The Dallas Morning News reported on Monday that Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford, is currently locked in a battle to have his investment assets unfrozen. McMurray’s accounts were frozen as they were set up through the Stanford Financial Group, currently under investigation …

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Talking NASCAR TV: FOX Needs To Cover More Than Just The Cars Up Front

Martinsville is an old school type of track, a place where the ideals of aerodynamics really don’t apply all that much (although having smooth sheet metal does give some benefits on short tracks). And, most importantly, it's a place where far more rudimentary methods than normal are considered acceptable for passing. Sunday’s race saw Jimmie Johnson use a very brash maneuver to root Denny Hamlin out of the way to win -- and face no retribution for it at all. As for the Truck Series event, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, it was completely rained out and rescheduled for Monday afternoon at noon.

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