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.

Beyond the Cockpit: Scott Lagasse, Jr. on 2009 at CJM Racing

Doug Turnbull: You drive the No. 11 car in the Nationwide Series but have had an up and down ride on the way there. A couple of years ago, you drove in the Truck Series for Bobby Hamilton Racing, but that deal didn’t work out. Then, you landed on your feet again in the Truck Series with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing, but that ride didn’t pan out. You're on the sideline a couple of months and then, out of nowhere, you replace a proven Nationwide Series veteran in Jason Keller in that No. 11. How did that happen? Did something go wrong with Jason? Did you bring sponsorship? What’s the story? Scott Lagasse, Jr.: It’s really a wild story. I’ll probably get some of it wrong and get corrected here (his bosses are sitting right next to him). I guess you can say that everything happens for a reason. I had heard that a lot from my mom over the last three or four years, because it had been such a struggle; it wasn’t at all what I was expecting, moving to Charlotte and racing a lot.

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NASCAR News for Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FOX Sees Ratings Fall at Phoenix The ratings numbers that came out following Saturday night’s race at Phoenix certainly didn’t have the same feel good story behind them that Mark Martin’s win did. Overnight ratings show a 18% decrease in viewership over last year’s race and an all-time low for …

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Numbers Game: 2009 Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix

0.734 Mark Martin‘s margin of victory over Tony Stewart Saturday in the Subway Fresh Fit 500k. 2 hours, 53 minutes, 16 seconds Time it took to complete the Subway Fresh Fit 500k. 5 Drivers failed to qualify for the Subway Fresh Fit 500k. (No. 64 Todd Bodine, No. 41 Jeremy …

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Wondering “Where Does Ask.com Get These Ideas”?

I’ve always maintained the opinion that it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself. Especially if you’re obsessed with something. Anything. One of my addictions is NASCAR and growing up in the Northeast, where automotive sports are often put in the same basket with punkin’ chunkin’ and mud bogging …

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Five Points to Ponder: 2009 Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix Edition

*R-E-S-P-E-C-T* How cool was it to see the procession of drivers come through Victory Lane and congratulate Martin following his first win in nearly four years? The 50-year-old vet was joined by current teammates, former teammates, his former owner Jack Roush, and other past champions. This was as popular of a win as we’ve seen in quite awhile, and it really goes to show what respect can do for a driver. There is not one person in the garage who does not respect Martin… something younger drivers of today need to learn to earn.

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Bubble Breakdown: Hornish Rips Off First Top 10 of 2009, Solidifies Locked In Spot

Bad news has hit one of our bubble teams since the last race at Texas. After several patchwork sponsorship deals to keep the team afloat through March, the No. 8 Chevrolet driven by Aric Almirola has been shut down due to a lack of funding. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing plans to bring everyone back once sponsorship is found, but with the car sitting outside the top 35, sponsors aren’t really lining up to throw money at them. If you don’t believe me, just go ask the folks at Robert Yates Racing, whose No. 28 car also folded earlier in the year when put in a similar spot. Despite that disappointment, there was also plenty of good news coming out of Phoenix, too. Several teams sitting outside the top 35 posted top 10 qualifying performances, while another one fighting to stay inside it actually managed to finish there. So, read on to see who’s moving up and who’s moving in the opposite direction in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown...

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Why We Don’t See As Much Emotion As We’d Like

Some NASCAR fans say they want to see more emotion from drivers, complaining that so many of them are corporate robots these days. Even Fox Sports’ Larry McReynolds has joined the chorus. This in an age when the current crop of drivers includes Tony Stewart, who is good for at least two or three post-race rants a season. Or Kyle Busch, who parks his car, gets out and lets his crew push it to the garage after a slow pit stop cost him a win. Or Carl Edwards, who went after his teammate on camera during an interview. Or Jeff Gordon, who emerged from his car after getting spun and gave a shove to the perpetrator without even waiting to take off his helmet. Or Kevin Harvick, who leaped onto a rival’s hood and did his best to put holes in it with his feet. Or Robby Gordon, who executed his own burnout after a botched official call cost him a victory. Racing is not an endeavor where keeping one’s head is easy or should even be expected. By definition it is unnerving. Imagine driving on a congested highway full of aggressive drivers at three times the speed. Competitive fire got these guys to this level. They’re human and sooner or later they’re going to lose it with someone. It does happen.

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Driven To The Past: Just Thinkin’ And Rememberin’

I’m tired of hearing all these technical explanations about engine failures. It was much better when the driver and crew chief just said, “It blew up.” Besides, all of these technical terms are ignoring the real reason that the cars run. We suspected the truth back in the day, but I never heard it explained quite as well as an old mechanic did in telling my son about it one day. Forget all that stuff about pistons, rods, camshafts, crankshafts, bearings, etc... What really makes a racing engine run is magic smoke. Ever notice all the smoke that comes out of a car before it falls out of a race?

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In Case You Missed It: Friday, April 17, 2009

Jack McCoy, Camping World West Series Champion, Dies at 72 Jack McCoy, the winningest driver in the Camping World West Series of NASCAR, passed away Tuesday. “Jack was a tremendous competitor and representative of NASCAR on the West Coast,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of corporate communications. “Our thoughts …

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NASCAR News for Friday, April 17, 2009

Wild Card All-Star Driver Voting Begins The voting to determine who will be the wild card driver in this year’s All-Star Race in Charlotte has begun. Fans can vote at Sprint or at NASCAR’s website. Last year’s wild-card was Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Dodge for Evernham Motorsports. …

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