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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.

A Successful Female NASCAR Driver Would Be… Oprah-Like

I would love to have a financial stake in the first woman driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that performs at the high level of skill that IRL driver Danica Patrick does. There is no secret that the nation's top automobile racing series is sponsor driven, and a successful female driver would have a host of new companies, never before on the racing scene, clamoring for her endorsement of their products. I can see it now: multiple companies, all attempting to outbid one another to have their brand name adorning her fire suit and the hood of her car. Quite simply, a winning female driver in NASCAR -- particularly one with a winning personality as well -- could become the biggest income earner on the American sports scene. And owners know this to be true, as well. Here's the problem : they just can’t find one. There has never been a legitimate candidate to fill such a role. Really, the closest NASCAR has ever come to having a star female driver on and off the track was the talented Janet Guthrie, who competed in NASCAR sporadically from 1976-1980. During Guthrie’s 33-race career, she recorded 5 Top 10 finishes in second-tier equipment.

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Critiquing NASCAR TV: Who’s Turned Things Around In 2008… And Who Hasn’t

This is my first week writing for this website, and my first time taking over Frontstretch's new television critiquing column in particular from John Potts. But after a challenging week in Mexico City for television -- with the race being in a foreign country and all -- I didn't want to start my writing career here on a negative note. So, let me start with mostly positive television turnarounds from last season (with one glaring exception), now that 2008 is well underway: * As much as ESPN’s NASCAR Now lacked in consistency and substance last year, it has been made up for -- and then some -- in 2008. Last year’s hosts of the show, with the exception of Ryan Burr, really struggled to even pretend to have a clue about anything in the sport; but things have changed over the course of the past few months.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: After the 2008 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix

Talladega Superspeedway is one of the more intimidating tracks on the Sprint Cup schedule. It requires skill; it requires patience; and most often, it requires a certain amount of luck. For a few of the drivers, the 2.66-mile track is a welcomed site; but for most, Talladega is a dreaded wild card event where anything can and will happen. But despite the track's unpredictable nature, some drivers have achieved consistent success down in Alabama. As the Who's Hot / Who's Not column returns from an off week, we take a look at not only the hottest and coldest drivers in the series this year, but how the Top 15 in driver points have fared at Talladega throughout their careers. *Who's Hot* *Jeff Burton:* Points leader extended his Top 10 streak to six races at Phoenix. Burton's worst finish is still a remarkable 13th in what's amounted to the best start of his career to date. *Carl Edwards:* Nearly went four for eight in the win column this year if not for a pit road problem at Phoenix. And if it weren't for a blown engine while leading at Atlanta, Edwards would have just two finishes out of the Top 10 in all of 2008.

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Giving Danica Patrick Her Due… and Nothing More

Congratulations to Danica Patrick for winning her first IRL race! After three years, fifty starts, and three podium finishes prior to Saturday's Twin Ring Motegi 300, her arrival in Victory Lane has long been awaited. Altogether now: three cheers for Danica! There. Are we done patting the little lady on the back? No, don't go getting your knickers all knotted up. Believe me, this accomplishment cannot be dismissed as unimportant. But I don't believe it is truly the hallmark in auto racing that much of the planet wants it to be; and to be honest, I could care less that Danica is one of the fairer sex. She has competed with some of the best drivers in the world and won... Period.

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Bubble Breakdown: Top 35 Surprises, Disappointments, And Concerns In 2008

Welcome one and all to this week's edition of The Bubble Breakdown. With no Sprint Cup Series race last weekend to speak of, we're going to take advantage of the break to look back at the first eight races of the season and analyze the biggest surprises and disappointments so far. So without further ado, here's a recap of this year's bubble drivers. *Biggest surprise avoiding the bubble* What do you get when you take a driver who has 70 career starts, only two Top 10 finishes and didn't even race the previous season, add him to a mid -evel, border line fading team, and put him in a car without a sponsor? 99.9% of the time you'd have a disaster. The other .1% of the time you'd get *Travis Kvapil*. Travis has his Yates Racing Ford sitting comfortably in 25th in owner's points, with no full time sponsor on the car. He's posted a career best 23.5 average finish including an eighth at Las Vegas. More importantly, he's been running at the end of every race, which means Kvapil's not tearing up the equipment he's being given.

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Ten Points to Ponder… After the 2008 Corona Mexico 200 at Mexico City

*1. Now We're Talking...Real Fascists!* - Formula 1 racing is embroiled in a nasty and controversial sex scandal and some within the organization are asking for the removal of its president, Max Mosley. Mosley has been accused (complete with video) of engaging in a kinky XXX Nazi-role playing session with five prostitutes. Mosley and the paid performers were play-acting, he as a Nazi soldier and the prostitutes as Jewish women in a Nazi concentration camp. The 68-year old Mosley's father was a well-known political figure in pre-war Britain and was a leader of the British Union of Fascists. In fact, Mosley's parents were married at Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels' home in Berlin, with Adolph Hitler in attendance as a guest of honor. During his University years attending Christ Church at Oxford University in the early-60's, Mosley, a physics student, was Secretary of the Oxford Union and his campaign slogan, in support of his father who wished to speak at the Union was, “Free speech for fascists.” Now really...is NASCAR head Brian France all that bad?

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David Reutimann Driver Diary: What Can Brown Do For You?

I've had the pleasure of running new colors and a new number for the past couple of weeks, but outside of those things, nothing else is different. We sure have been super busy trying to get the team headed in the right direction, keeping up with testing sessions and running in both series. Unfortunately, one of the other things we've been busy at was trying to stay in the Top 35 in owner's points. Our team had asked NASCAR if we could swap the points of the No. 00 and the No. 44, but our request was denied. I didn't think that was a fair decision, but that's NASCAR's ruling and you don't have to agree with everything they say, you just have to abide by it.

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The Unluckiest Driver In Auto Racing?

Being the undeniable gentleman that he is, Mark Martin would probably take exception to my calling him the unluckiest driver in auto racing. He would counter that he has won 35 Cup races and 47 Busch races, driven for top notch teams, and pulled down an amazing five IROC championships. And how many drivers have finished in the top five in the standings 12 times? But the only luck involved in any of those accomplishments is getting into an organization that can build a great car underneath of him. Throughout his career, he has certainly proven himself worthy of that kind of luck. Watching the Phoenix race, I couldn't help but think that it was just another in a long line of disappointments for Martin that would have aggravated the hell out of most any mortal.

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Fanning the Flames: “Smack” Talk, Engine Issues, And That Damn Gopher Cam

*Q: It's so good to see Kenny Schrader get in a ride at Talladega that stands a fighting chance! The BAM deal was going nowhere for him, even though it was good to see him on the track. Is this a one-race deal or will he be in the No. 70 for awhile? And what do you think of his chances at Talladega with a Hendrick engine?* _— Terry G._ *A:* I wondered if I'd hear from our lifelong Schrader honk this week. Schrader is a good choice for a team just trying to get a car in the show, although he hasn't had any success at Talladega in a decade. He does run well at Daytona; but for some reason, the notes just don't transfer to Alabama for him. I'm glad to see your boy got a ride, Terry, but I figured the smart call would have been to Mike Wallace, who is a plate-track ace. And as for the length of the contract...

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