Home / Frontstretch Staff (page 117)

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.

Bubble Breakdown: Mad Martinsville Scramble Leaves Jamie McMurray, Regan Smith Back In Top 35

And so it begins. With NASCAR switching to the 2008 owner points at Martinsville, the quest for a guaranteed top 35 spot becomes a mad scramble at the back end of the point standings. When the season began at Daytona, the top 35 were locked in for the first five races. A mistake at California could be made up for over the next several races. Now as the guaranteed spots shift to 2008 owner points, a mistake this week could have you on the outside looking in the following week. And the outside of the top 35 is a slippery downhill slope. A missed race here, a miss there, then a qualifying gets rained out, now you're a few hundred points behind. The pressure to make the races week to week becomes intense. If you don't get back into the top 35 by Miami, it may be tough getting sponsorship for the following season. Which continues a downward spiral that can cripple a team. But don't take my word for it. Just ask the boys over at Morgan-McClure racing. Despite having a solid driver in Ward Burton and a team history of winning, not being in the top 35 meant they couldn't secure enough sponsorship dollars to run the 2008 season.

Read More »

Frontstretch Folio: 2008 Goody’s Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville

The Sprint Cup Series heads to Virginia this weekend to beat and bang at Martinsville Speedway. The Goody's Cool Orange 500 is the sixth race of the 2008 Sprint Cup season, and will be broadcast live on Sunday, March 30th at 2:00 pm ET on FOX, with radio coverage by MRN affiliates nationwide. Competitors will make 500 circuits for 263 miles around the .526-mile flat short track in their quest for the checkered flag. *Records and Facts* *Tony Stewart* holds the record for the fastest lap at Martinsville Speedway, posting a qualifying lap with a speed of 98.084 mph to win the pole for the 2005 running of the Subway 500. *Darrell Waltrip* holds the record for the most poles recorded at Martinsville with eight; *Denny Hamlin* won the pole for last year's event.

Read More »

Hendrick’s Recent Performance At Martinsville Inspirational

Much has been said and written about the perceived fall from dominance of Hendrick Motorsports. It is the farthest they've gone into a season without a victory since 2003, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are out of the top 12, Casey Mears is struggling to stay in the top 35, etc. It seems as though this team is suddenly looking very mortal. But let's not get hasty. We're only five races in, and in truth the only really surprising faulty cog in the Hendrick machine has been Jimmie Johnson. After winning two straight championships and fifteen races in two years, the 48 team has only finished higher than 13th once in 2008, with a 2nd in California. That's a surprise, but even that isn't impossible to believe…the car being run at the intermediate tracks is radically different from last year's, so we're going to see some anomalies out there, at least for a little while. Jeff Gordon has two top fives and could easily have had four by now. And the new kid in the 88 hasn't done too badly…it's his best start since 2004, or since the last time he drove for a team that was capable of consistently building winning racecars.

Read More »

Voices From the Heartland: Silly Sponsors and Another Nail In the “Manufacturer’s” Coffin

As usual following an "off" NASCAR week, finding things to write about can be pretty slow. There were, however, a few things that did pique my interest enough for me to share my opinion on them with you my lucky readers. Of course there has been the whole Jack Roush vs. The World Toyota saga, but since I am running a day late this week, you've probably read all you want on that subject anyway. Not that there is much of an actual story there. The way I see it, if Jack Roush has the lugnuts enough to make accusations of theft, he should at least "put up or shut up". Don't throw little barbs out there and then not tell the whole story. If they stole something, tell us what it is! Until Jack comes clean, to me he appears to be just a sniveling little crybaby. (And now, to use a phrase that I detest, but seems to be one of our editor's favorites, and would have probably been thrown in here anyway…) But I digress.

Read More »

David Starr Driver Diary: Martinsville and “Honey Do” Lists

It's been three weeks since we raced at Atlanta, and I can't wait to get back into the truck this weekend at Martinsville. As many of you may remember, two years ago I was able to drive my Red Horse Racing Toyota to victory there. But that was then. Even though we won at Martinsville in 2006, I don't look at this race any differently than I do any other race. I go into this weekend's race at Martinsville just like I went into Atlanta and California - knowing we can win.

Read More »

Fanning the Flames: Marching to Martinsville, With Goodyears In Tow

Peaks of jubilation and valleys of heartbreak. Devotion. Sacrifice. Harrowing escapes, crushing defeats, and glorious victories. Good choices and bad... and it all equates to 46 wins, 13th on the all-time list. No, this isn't the gritty tale of the ageless Elzie Wylie Baker, Sr., better known to us as "Buck." Yes, Buck Baker makes for a great story. The South Carolina native was the first driver to win back-to-back Grand National championships, recorded 46 career wins and, ironically enough (for the sake of this story) sits 13th on the all-time NASCAR wins list. Buck provided Jeff Gordon his first ride in a stock car at his "Buck Baker Racing School," has been inducted into nearly every Motorsports Hall Of Fame in America, and was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

Read More »

Mirror Driving: Veterans Driving Junk, Who’s In A Funk, And Will Chrissy Wallace Flunk?

*In light of recent developments, which included Tony Raines and Kenny Wallace both moving to lesser-funded, single-car operations, is it better for series veterans to sit out completely, waiting for the right opportunity that will get them a competitive ride? Or should they take any ride offered to them, hoping against hope that the underdog will, in fact, triumph?* Matt T.: Shall we ask Ward Burton this question? Tony: Yep; one has to look no further than Ward to find the answer. Amy: I think they should take the ride, though, because some teams forget about drivers sitting around on the sidelines. Danny: Right. It keeps a driver in the spotlight for when other opportunities arise.

Read More »

Top Ten Roush Fenway “Proprietary” Items Found In the Possession of “A” Toyota Team

*10.* A Roush Fenway internal memo titled "How To Get Into And Stay In The Top 35" in Michael Waltrip's back pocket. *9.* Carl Edward's golden, ceremonial Gillette Young Guns shaver. Found next to the sink in Tony Stewart's motor coach, full of hair and right next to a torn up coupon for a free waxing from a local salon. *8.* Jack's last bottle of Crown Royal, taken from his motor coach. Found in A.J. Allmendinger's possession. A.J. claims he was just trying out a new drink called "Royal Bombs."

Read More »

Open Wheel Reunification: A Lesson For NASCAR, Too!

One of the biggest U.S. motorsports stories of the last two decades occurred late last month, with the announcement that the Indy Racing League (IRL) and the Champ Car Word Series (CCWS) had agreed to merge. The news, however, garnered little more than a cursory nod from the stock car community which seems reluctant to even acknowledge that there is another form of racing in this country, let alone one that outshined NASCAR for many years back in the day. But if the newly invigorated IRL plays its cards right, auto racing enthusiasts will begin, en masse, to pay attention once again towards an open wheel series based in the United States. Of course, the key for the IRL in rebuilding the series to prominence in large part will be to pattern themselves after their brethren in American auto racing … NASCAR. There are also lessons that can be learned as a result of the nasty split in 1995 between the IRL and CART; ones that not only the IRL should never forget, but also that NASCAR should make note of moving forward.

Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Nationwide and Trucks: Easter Edition

While Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck Series teams were home this Easter weekend spending quality time with family and catching up on March Madness, the Nationwide Series spent Saturday afternoon roaring around Nashville Superspeedway, the series' sixth stop this season. While this column is normally reserved for discussing the trends of the hottest and coldest teams in Sprint Cup, on this off week we'll take a quick look at what's going on in the other series. Scott Wimmer took advantage of a Kyle Busch spin this weekend to pick up his first win since July of 2003, and the series' first non-Sprint Cup winner since Jason Leffler in July of last year. Wimmer is hot, averaging a 10.3 finish in his three starts this season, but come in and see who else is hot in this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not, as we take a look at which non-Buschwackers, or Nationwhackers or Insurance Adjusters, or whatever they're called now, in NASCAR's other two premier series.

Read More »