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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.

BSNews! NASCAR Snippets From the Cutting Room Floor

*Daytona Beach, FL* -- In what can only be described as a shocking admission, Brian France revealed today that he has, in fact, used Coke on a daily basis for a few years now ... even on days that he was scheduled to make important decisions regarding how NASCAR is run. Fans may remember that a few years ago, France was involved in an incident involving the Daytona Beach Police Department, where witnesses say he was driving erratically near his home. Upon investigation, police found a substance on the front seat of his Lexus. That substance later proved to be a potentially dangerous "cocktail" of Coke and another substance that is believed to have originated in Puerto Rico.

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Rick Crawford Driver Diary: Another Crawford On Track Soon?

Since the last time we talked, our team did a NASCAR official Truck Series test at Martinsville. The Ford Powerstroke Diesel ran well for two days, and the Maxx Force Diesel ran well for two days with Brendan Gaughan. Even Adam got a shot at driving the Ford Powerstroke Diesel for the first time, and handled it like a veteran. He put some speed up on the charts. I'm real proud of Adam, and I'd really like to thank everybody for having the confidence in him and the team for working behind him.

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Random Drug Testing: Harvick, Earnhardt, Stewart And Granny! Form A Line Over Here!

Recent shocking revelations that former Craftsman Truck and Nationwide Series driver Aaron Fike not only concealed a painkiller addiction from NASCAR officials, but competed in CTS events after using heroin on race day has renewed criticism of the sanctioning body's present drug testing policies. At the moment, NASCAR does not have a random drug screening policy like other major sports; instead, they maintain the right to test under the broadly worded "reasonable suspicion" edict in their rulebook. This position gives them almost an unfettered right to test anyone at their discretion participating in a NASCAR-sanctioned event. Additionally, team owners are free to test drivers and crew members either randomly, or on a basis of reasonable cause. This results in two layers of detecting possible problems; but for some, that just isn't enough. That's a shame...because it should be.

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Mirror Driving: Is Gas Mileage Great? The Drug Testing Debate, And Mexico’s Upcoming Fate

*Saturday's race came down to a fuel mileage gamble, with a crew chief begging his driver to slow down for the win. Is fuel mileage racing good for the sport -- or should NASCAR be looking for the invisible debris instead?* Amy: It doesn't hurt the sport in the least. In fact, I thought the last 10 laps were really exciting. Kurt: I hate when races turn into fuel mileage runs. I wish it didn't happen, but it's part of the game, and Jimmie and the No. 48 team played it brilliantly. Mike: Invisible debris is crap in my view. Fuel mileage is a great strategy call; and no one thought that anyone was going to be close to making it to the finish. The No. 48 did a great job of stretching it and making it work. There are usually two or three races per year that are fuel mileage races like that; and it is always enjoyable seeing if that will work out when it happens.

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Striving for Mediocrity: The NASCAR Way to Victory Lane

"Slow down! Slow way down! You'll never make it unless you slow down!" I really thought I had entered the twilight zone. What crew chief in his right mind would possibly be telling his driver that he'd better pull back or he'd never win? "You've got twenty seconds on the No. 07. You've got to slow down!" Well, that wasn't quite true; there were only ten seconds between the front-running car and second place. Still, Chad Knaus' words had plenty of wisdom to back them up. Jimmie Johnson had not stopped for gas, and according to calculations, his No. 48 Lowe's machine was running on nothing more than fumes. Knaus stood on top of the pit box screaming at his driver to please lay off the gas pedal; otherwise, his chances for a win -- and the momentum that comes with it -- would fall victim to the tragedy of an empty fuel tank.

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Ten Points To Ponder… After the 2008 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix

*1. Longtime Gone* - The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has become a favorite of many race fans, due to its highly competitive fields and close championship battles. The racing that the series provides has been likened to "old school," and has steadily increased in popularity. However, there has been no race scheduled since the series visited Martinsville March 29th … over two weeks ago. The wait won't end anytime soon, either; the series will take to the track next in two weeks, on April 26th at Kansas Speedway. Why?

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Bubble Breakdown: David Reutimann Muscles His Way Into The Top 35… Again

The big news for the week from bubble land involved the No. 70 Haas Automation Chevrolet previously driven by Jeremy Mayfield. On Monday, Haas CNC Racing announced that the team and Mayfield agreed to part ways after the No. 70 car fell out of the Top 35 in owner points. According to team General Manager Joe Custer, "Jeremy stepped into the seat and did everything we asked him to... and more. Ultimately, we were unable to provide him with the right balance, handling, and speed he needed to be successful." With that, the team was off to roll the dice at Phoenix, bringing back 2007 driver Johnny Sauter in an attempt to revitalize the program. But apparently, they couldn't provide those things for Sauter, either, as he was only able to qualify the car in 42nd position and finish a disappointing 37th. The deal was for Sauter to drive at Phoenix only, meaning the team now has two weeks to decide on a driver before the next race at Talladega; but with speed, not skill, the deciding factor in that qualifying session, who the organization will pick is anyone's guess.

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Think Twice Before Playing Poker With Aaron Fike

It often appears that the suits in NASCAR hold all the cards; they are usually confident that no matter what the circumstances, they always have four aces up their collective sleeves. But a young driver named Aaron Fike -- in his bid for eventual re-instatement as a NASCAR competitor -- may have just laid down a Royal Flush. Fike's recent admission that he used heroin on days he was scheduled to race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series before he was suspended in July of '07 has left many in the racing world stunned, and at the very least, has Brian France and his court jesters frantically searching for a napkin to wipe the egg from their faces. One of the reasons Fike's admission is so stunning is because it is a 180 degree turn around from statements he made in an Associated Press interview last year, after undergoing 4 months of intense rehab.

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“Our” NASCAR? Nice Try, Brian

Prior to the start of the 2008 NASCAR season, Brian France held his annual "state of the sport" press conference. In his announcements, to the surprise of some accustomed to the sport's general arrogance about criticism, he admitted that some hardcore fans had been driven away from the sport. He also stated that NASCAR had experienced all the change it could stand for a while and was going to reach out to fans that had been alienated. This was followed by two commercials that have been airing regularly during each race this season. One proclaims the sport to be "Your NASCAR—My NASCAR—Our NASCAR"; another shows classic moments from the 1960s through today with Matchbox 20's "How Far We've Come" playing in the background, an obvious attempt to show one long interrupted string of excitement through the years. The commercials deliberately focus on the sport's tradition and history. They remind us that in every era of NASCAR, there have been great finishes, great victory celebrations, and great rivalries.

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Side-By-Side: Was Jeremy Mayfield Dumped Unfairly By Haas CNC?

*Today's Question*: Jeremy Mayfield was removed in place of Johnny Sauter at Haas CNC Racing this week. Was this move the right call to turn a struggling program around ... or did the team simply not give Mayfield enough of a chance? Kurt: After just 10 races, Haas has decided that Jeremy Mayfield no longer merits a position driving the No. 70 car. I hope the Frontstretch doesn't do that with me after 10 columns. It's not often you see a pitcher get traded after two months with a team. Mayfield is being replaced by Johnny Sauter, who after 10 races in the same car last year only had one Top 10--a ninth place finish at Phoenix. Mayfield blew an engine in the No. 66 last year at Phoenix, so there's no knowing how well he could have done. Apparently, the thinking is that Sauter runs well in Phoenix and could put this team back in the Top 35. With that mentality, Haas could drop Sauter and bring back Mayfield for Pocono. Sauter making the field for Phoenix is not guaranteed by any means. Tom: Jeremy Mayfield's career has come with more twists and turns than _Days Of Our Lives_, so to see him ousted from his new Haas CNC ride seven races into the season wasn't a real shock. After all, this is the same man who had the guts to out Erin Crocker and Ray Evernham's relationship when everyone else knew for months, but was just afraid to open their mouths; add an unceremonious dumping from Roger Penske in 2001, and Mayfield's got a history of messy divorces with former teams. So, if you're sitting there thinking he didn't get enough of a chance before Haas CNC pulled the plug, well, you don't know the driver that you're plugged into.

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