Frontstretch Staff

Frontstretch Staff
The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

NASCAR News for Thursday, May 14, 2009

NASCAR Probes Ratings Decline As noted in Monday’s edition of the Frontstretch newsletter, NASCAR on FOX ratings have taken a 15 percent dip in metered markets throughout the 2009 season. As a result, officials are scrambling to unearth factors contributing to the drop off and the subsequent exodus of their …

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Driven To The Past: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

I’m getting a little tired of hearing Joey Logano referred to as “the best thing since sliced bread” as if it was something new. Understand me right, here--I don’t have anything at all against Joey Logano. He seems to be a pretty darned good race driver who was thrust into the top stock car series in the country maybe a year ahead of schedule. He’s dealing with that very well, in my opinion. The best thing I heard on the TV broadcast from Darlington was Greg Zipadelli telling him in so many words to just drive the car, they’d take care of the fixes. If there’s a beef I have against him, it’s that he might not understand how the cars really work, but that doesn’t make him unique among today’s drivers. A lot of them just climbed out of go-karts and into bigger cars and all they’ve done is drive. Quite a far cry from guys like the Allisons, DW, Rusty Wallace, and even Mark Martin, who had to help build their own cars. Like I said, though, the “sliced bread” quote is nothing new.

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Top Ten Excuses Jeremy Mayfield Gave For Failing The Drug Test

*10.* “I had dinner at Brian France’s place the other night. I thought the oregano in the spaghetti sauce smelled funny!” *9.* “I gave Shane Hmiel a ride home the other night and you know the old saying…grass, gas or ass, nobody rides for free! Well, he was broke and I wasn’t about to…well, you know!”

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Mirror Driving: Darlington On Steroids?, The Rookies Rally, And NASCAR On Drugs

*Jeremy Mayfield stated that his positive drug test was the result of a mix of legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs - in effect, a false positive. Did NASCAR do the right thing with its "suspend first, ask questions later" reaction, or should they have ordered and waited for a more complete toxicology test and report… even given that some tests may take several weeks before results are available?* Mike N.: They did the right thing. It is better for them to err on the side of caution, because you just cannot take someone's word for it when the test states something different. Kurt: All I can say is that denials are often untrue. In a perfect world, I would say wait; but in racing, I don't think NASCAR should take the chance.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Hot in Sprint Cup: 2009 Southern 500 Edition

If you are a sheet metal supplier and you live in or near the Charlotte, North Carolina area, congratulations -- you are about to be very rich. The first ever Springtime version of the Southern 500 may have been a potent mixture of high speeds on newer pavement -- but it also led to the same danger of race cars marring themselves with Darlington Stripes. As the race’s 367 laps wore on, many teams, both HOT and COLD, experienced and inexperienced, fell by the wayside at the feisty hands of the Track Too Tough To Tame, pushing the night’s caution total to a record-setting 17. In the end, a patient, steady veteran in Mark Martin may have been the star of the show, but rookies Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski also cracked the top 10 to show the Lady In Black isn't afraid to reward both young and old. With another challenging race in the books and a tight points battle remaining that way, here's the scoop on the HOT, WARM, and COLD drivers of the week as the Sprint Cup Series prepares for its annual All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

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NASCAR’s Good Neighbor Policy: No Drugs Allowed

Drugs. Just hearing the word makes you sit up and look around, doesn’t it? This Saturday, at approximately 6 p.m., you could hear a pin drop when the announcement was made that a driver in the Sprint Cup Series had been suspended… because of drugs. NASCAR randomly tested Jeremy Mayfield …

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Five Points to Ponder: 2009 Southern 500 at Darlington Edition

*Tweet, tweet* Just when you’ve thought you’d seen it all, professional athletes are giving fans more access through social networking sites and blogs all across the internet. Scrolling through Twitter (a real-time short messaging server that many celebrities toy around with) the other night, I stumbled across the page of Nationwide Series driver "Michael McDowell":http://twitter.com/mmcdowell47. To my surprise, I noticed that McDowell was giving updates throughout Friday night’s race from… his race car? There were six updates on McDowell’s page during the duration of the race from "TwitterBerry" -- a service that allows Twitter users to update their page from their BlackBerry phone -- leaving me wondering if he is actually updating his Twitter page under caution from his race car.

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Bubble Breakdown: Mayfield Dealt Death Blow While Non-Top 35 Teams Struggle

As I am sure you’ve heard by now, some big news came from one of our bubble teams just prior to the Southern 500 this past Saturday night. However, I am not about to open my column talking any more than I have to about a run of the mill driver who manages to get himself suspended for failing a drug test. Instead, I would much rather focus on the positive ... like Sam Hornish, Jr. starting fourth with a career best qualifying run, or Joey Logano tying his career best finish with a ninth place performance, following up on a career best qualifying effort of his own -- starting fifth at what is arguably NASCAR’s most difficult track. But just like Jeremy Mayfield's test results, the Lady In Black wasn't kind to everyone to tried to conquer her this weekend.

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Numbers Game: 2009 Southern 500 at Darlington

1 Number of times winner Mark Martin led the Southern 500 Saturday. 1.531 Martin’s margin of victory over Tony Stewart Saturday in the Southern 500. 2 Drivers failed to qualify for the Southern 500. (No. 41 Jeremy Mayfield, No. 82 Scott Speed) 2 Victories and six top 10 finishes in …

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Tony Stewart Is Making Me Look Like An Idiot—But Lesson Learned

Throughout the Richmond race I was watching Ryan Newman run toward the front, lead, and contend for the win in a Stewart-Haas Chevrolet. You know, those same Haas Chevrolets that consistently ran in the 30s as recently as last year. Those Haas cars that were as desperate to find driving talent as the driving talent sometimes was to find a Cup ride. Those Haas cars whose sponsors, once you got past Best Buy, had names like Hunt Brothers Pizza. That Haas team that had one car barely in the top 35 and the other in the weekly fight to make the field, a fight it sometimes lost. I probably should have known better.

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