Home / Frontstretch Staff (page 144)

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.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In The Chase: 2007 Subway 500 at Martinsville Edition

The Hendrick stronghold on the Chase for the Championship tightened Sunday at Martinsville, as Jimmie Johnson scored his series high seventh win of the season. Not to be totally outdone, teammate Jeff Gordon finished third, maintaining a 53-point lead over Johnson in what has quickly become a two man race for the Championship. If not for some bad luck and poor finishes in earlier events by the other ten drivers who make up the Chase, Sunday could have actually had an interesting impact on the standings; Chasers claimed ten of the Top 13 positions. But as things stand right now, it's the Gordon / Johnson show down the stretch, with Clint Bowyer barely holding on in a possible spoiler role for yet another week. But even though the big trophy is out of reach for most, there is still plenty of cash to fight for amongst the other ten competitors. So, which of the Chasers left Sunday's yellow-filled race at Martinsville throwing caution to the wind, and which ones left feeling like they had gone twelve rounds with a heavyweight champ? Read this week's Who's Hot and Who's Not in the Chase to find out...

Read More »

Ten Points to Ponder…After the 2007 Subway 500 at Martinsville

*1. Safety, Schmafety* - The next time anyone from NASCAR tries to say that safety is their first priority, I want to have a tape of today's finish on hand, showing David Ragan's car sitting sideways in the middle of the track coming off Turn 1 and the leaders heading towards him full steam ahead. Rusty Wallace, a seven-time winner here who was calling the race, was incredulous: "The 6 car is sitting sideways in the middle of the track! They're wide open!" he yelled before the caution came out. What's worse was the No. 6 car was stopped perpendicular to the wall, with the driver's side door in the direct path of oncoming traffic. This race saw a record number of cautions, but NASCAR was clearly late with the flag when it counted most. Added Wallace in disbelief, "We saw the caution flags all day long, late in the race, and they were coming wide open in Turn 1 with that 6 car sitting dead sideways in the middle of the track." *2. Eddie Edwards* - Did you see the footage of Carl Edwards shoving and then feigning a punch at teammate Matt Kenseth's face when the two argued after the race? I'm sure Carl will say he was just kidding around, but it's obvious Matt didn't get the joke. Will Edwards, clearly the aggressor, be penalized? Will that Tony Stewart line from a year or two ago about Carl being the Eddie Haskell of NASCAR resurface? Either way, Jack Roush can't be happy seeing this altercation between his two stars.

Read More »

Three Straight Weeks of Misfortune Cripple Bill Elliott, Wood Brothers In Top 35 Quest

October has not been a good month for the Wood Brothers team. It all started back in Talladega, when Ken Schrader tagged the wall following a cut tire; it was a tragic set of circumstances that resulted in the No. 21 car falling out of the Top 35 in car owner points. Sadly, that was only the beginning. Now - three weeks later - the deficit between the No. 21 team and the final bubble position has grown substantially. The latest episode came this weekend at Martinsville, when a mechanical failure erased a Top 20 performance, handing the team a DNF just 16 laps from the finish. To see how far back the No. 21 team is from the final bubble position, check out this week's edition of the Bubble Breakdown...

Read More »

Rick Crawford Driver Diary: Four Feet Short and Gone Golfing

Sorry for keeping you all waiting on this edition of my diary. Sometimes our schedules just get crazy! Our last race at Talladega was definitely a good one. That was a very important one for me since Talladega is my home track. I'm from L.A. That stands for Lower Alabama, which is where my hometown of Mobile is. Kevin Starland and the Circle Bar Racing team gave me a great truck and we just went out there and did our best to try and win that one but came up about four feet short. If you were watching that last lap it was actually kind of boring until we got to the trioval. We'd been practicing making our move all day in both the trioval and coming out of turn four but we decided the trioval would be the best place to actually do it.

Read More »

Fanning the Flames: Talkin’ Smoke, Specs, and Wrecks

Count me as being of the opinion that Tony Stewart's Chase hopes are officially dashed. Yes, I know Stewart is arguably the most talented driver on tour (case in point: wheeling that aero-deficient car with Band Aids on the nose to a seventh at LMS) and that Jimmie Johnson overcame a 146-point deficit after Charlotte last season to win it all. However, I just don't see it being in the cards for Smoke this year. Being nearly 200 points behind the Chase leader is bad enough for the two-time champ, but considering that the points leader is also averaging a _fourth-place finish_ over the last five races, and you start to see the hill Stewart has to climb. That's not to say he can't make it interesting; on the contrary, he's recorded wins and runs competitively at the next three tracks on the slate — Martinsville, Atlanta and Phoenix — but so have, and do, Jeff Gordon and Johnson.

Read More »

Well, Duh! NASCAR PR Once Again Overstates the Obvious

Whenever I am feeling down and I'm sure that my world is going straight to heck in a hand basket, I can always count on a bit of NASCAR PR to brighten my day and reassure me that the world is, in fact, a good and happy place. This week was no exception. The press release that once again allowed me to sleep peacefully wasn't actually from NASCAR itself, but rather, Michigan International Speedway. However, since MIS is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and ISC is essentially the conjoined twin of NASCAR, I consider it all from the same source.

Read More »

Martinsville: Stop The Bumping!

Every spring as the NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule entered late March and early April, I became more and more frustrated that I seemed to be about the only one that despised the part of the schedule that held two of, in my opinion, the worst races on the schedule, Bristol and Martinsville. And the frustration was only amplified by the knowledge that my view was lopsidedly contrary to popular opinion. However, in late March I wrote again on the topic of my loathing for the despicable style of racing that the two one-groove race tracks produced, knowing full-well that I would again be chastised for my opinion. But I was encouraged to take another swipe at the track configuration at Bristol on a whiff of a rumor that track owner Bruton Smith may be considering progressive or variable banking as part of the tracks resurfacing project. Though I was exceptionally skeptical of the rumor and assumed that someone had planted it just to "mess with my head," I took the bait and put forth the best argument I could muster in an article entitled "Progressive Banking For Bristol…Why Not?" as to why the track modification would be good for all concerned. Well Mr. Smith, apparently swayed by my commentary (unable to confirm this assumption) did order engineers to install variable banking into the track, creating of all things, passing during Augusts Cup event. Now it is Martinsville Speedway's turn!

Read More »

Top Ten Ways a Crew Chief Can Mess With His Driver’s Head

10. "Dude, I can't hear a word you say...are you SURE you have the radio on?" 9. Running water noises in his well-hydrated ear near the end of a long race on a cool night. 8. (Speaking to the spotter) "JimBob. I know it is October, but you shouldn't wear your Halloween mask while spotting at Talladega." 7. "Did you say something? This race was so boring, I dozed off for a few laps."

Read More »

Mirror Driving: Tired Of Tires, Who’s Haas Gonna Hire, And Whose Chase Has Caught Fire?

*All weekend long at Lowe's, both complaints and concern centered around the tire Goodyear brought to the event. After seeing the race unfold, is the tire still too hard for this surface - or are drivers getting to the point of whining about something a little too much?* Amy: A little of both. Tom: I did think that the racing was slightly better - but the cars spread out just too quickly. It's easy to see clean air is so much more critical at Lowe's than ever before. Tommy: NASCAR should have been changed to a softer tire for this race. I understood the caution after the repave...but come on!

Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not: Outside the Chase after the 2007 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte

Lowe's is a 1.5-mile oval that has a reputation for going fast and wrecking hard; Saturday night's race proved no exception to that rule. As such, it's time to take a look at how a myriad of non-Chasers performed under the lights in NASCAR's hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Let's take a look at Who's Hot, and Who's Not, non-Chase style... *Warm* The last four races have seen *Michael Waltrip* qualify for each of them - his longest streak of 2007 - as well as watch him finish in the Top 10 for the second time this year, win a Bud Pole Award, and gain five positions in the points.

Read More »