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.

Going It Alone: Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek Relish Role as Owner/Drivers

For most of the 17 teams vying for the final four spots up for grabs in the 51st annual Daytona 500, today’s 150-mile Duel qualifying races will not only determine whether or not they’re in for Sunday, but whether or not their team will travel to California, Las Vegas, and beyond. The pressure is immense for these small-time operations, as a season's worth of success or failure could depend on only 60 laps. For former Sprint Cup winners Jeremy Mayfield and Joe Nemechek, though, it's a totally different story. Sure, making the Daytona 500 and its approximately $250,000 payout would certainly be a springboard to a potentially successful 2009. But missing it wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world – leaving them far more relaxed than others on their end of the garage.

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On The Bubble At Daytona: Sorting Through Who’s Locked In And Locked Out

You'd think that over the offseason, it'd be hard for the top 35 situation to change as no one would be accumulating any more points. But in an offseason filled with teams folding, merging, and selling off their "locked in" places on the starting grid, the landscape of Who's In and Who's Out looks completely different than it did when I left you back in November. Several teams that were out of the Top 35 after Miami have gained access to automatic spots, while others have seen their points go to different cars within their own teams. It's all enough to leave you more than a little confused. So, without further adieu, let’s clear the air and preview the Top 35 for 2009.

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Fanning the Flames: Greed Or Business As Usual? With NASCAR, It’s Hard To Tell

Strong stuff in the inbox this week, guys 'n' gals. Thanks for the input once again. I wasn’t able to get to a few of you this week... but I haven’t thrown anything out. Keep the questions and opinions flowing in, and we’ll see this column through to its true purpose: To be a free-flowing dialogue of thoughts, concerns, questions, answers, and solutions. Here’s your link to participate this time around. Remember, without your participation, this weekly spot does not exist. OK, then, let’s drop the green …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insiders, Daytona 2009: How To Make That Harvey J. Earl Trophy Yours

_Just as the Daytona 500 brings stock car racing roaring back to life, it also marks the beginning of the 2009 season for hundreds of thousands of fantasy racers across the country. And just as every driver in the 500 field needs a strong finish this Sunday to kick off their campaigns, every fantasy racer wants to get a jump on their competition the first weekend of the season. Picking a restrictor plate race is never easy -- but Frontstretch’s own Bryan Davis Keith and Mike Neff are nonetheless going to bumpdraft you to the front of your respective leagues._

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Mirror Driving: The Fallout Of No Testing At Daytona, Dueling For… What?, And Avoiding Short Fields

*Saturday's Budweiser Shootout featured several multi-car crashes that took out some top contenders -- including rookie sensation Joey Logano and Cup champions Bobby Labonte and Jimmie Johnson. Was this to be expected in a non-points race, or is it an ominous result of the testing ban — and is there more to come as the ban continues?* Beth: I think it was a little bit of both, actually. Amy: I think it's a sign of things to come for the 500; but after that, not so much. Teams need the track time, but they'll get that the first few weeks.

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Closing NASCAR’s Seventh Decade: The Top 12 Drivers — Including The Champ Who’ll Lead Us Into 2010

2009 closes out the first decade of the 21st Century for NASCAR, and what a long, strange trip it's been. Who would have thought back in 2000 Petty Enterprises would cease to exist nine years later -- along with no Adam Petty to lead NASCAR's first family into the next generation? Or that Dale Earnhardt, Sr. would make only 37 more Cup starts, his death the impetus for a sudden wave of safety innovation no one would have even imagined? And who would have believed that a little-known Busch Series upstart named Jimmie Johnson would be the man rewriting the record books for three full seasons, becoming one of the best stock car drivers ever to set foot in the series?

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not: 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona Edition

Considering the fact that a points-paying race has not yet taken place, gauging the true momentum of drivers and teams is a bit more of a daunting task than it is between races. So much flux and change has occurred in the garages of all three of NASCAR’s top series this offseason, mainly because of the changes teams had to make because of the economy. That constant team and driver upheaval in the garage has left many organizations with a completely different makeup than last year, also opening up new spots for some new startup teams to try and entrench themselves as parts of the weekly NASCAR circus. While their presence is welcomed, it makes the ability to pinpoint their progress more difficult than ever. Following Saturday’s Bud Shootout and Sunday’s qualifying session, some drivers and teams have already begun to stand out as possible contenders and definite holders of momentum -- while others already have chinks in their armor before they can even get a donut on the driver’s side door. Here is this week’s list of Hot, Warm and Cold drivers...

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Side by Side: Should The Champion’s Provisional Be Dropped?

_Editor's Note : The following is a special edition of Frontstretch's Side By Side. Occasionally throughout the season, two of your favorite Frontstretch writers will duke it out in a debate concerning one of NASCAR's biggest stories. Don't let us be the only ones to speak our minds, though...be sure to read both sides and let us know what you think about the situation in the comment section below!_ *Today's Question : With the Daytona 500 the equivalent to NASCAR's "Super Bowl," should they automatically save a spot for a former champion who can't qualify into the field any other way? Or should the rule be relaxed and another, faster driver installed in their place?*.

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NASCAR News for Monday, February 9, 2009

Tire of Tomorrow? According to a report on foxsports.com, Goodyear officials are working to create a new tire for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that they hope will make a limited debut in 2010. Goodyear officials are hoping the wider, taller tire will improve racing in NASCAR’s top series by …

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