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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.

Beyond The Cockpit: Carl Edwards at Phoenix

*Q: Any thoughts so far on the Car of Tomorrow?* *A:* It's growing on me. At first I was like, man, it's crazy. But I think they look pretty neat and I think they should race pretty well. The safety innovations should be good, and I think they'll put on a good show … it's competition, and any time they change a variable - and there are a lot of variables changing with that car - it gives people an opportunity to either rise to the occasion or fail. I feel like we've got great engineers, and I'll do whatever it takes to be proficient in that car.

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Scanner Static: Racing Around The Western Hemisphere

*Q: How long before Formula One star turned NASCAR rookie Juan Pablo Montoya wins a race? Tony Stewart said he'd be "disappointed" if Montoya didn't win at least once this year, and that he expects the Columbian to succeed sooner than later. Do you agree? Also, who do you think is the frontrunner for this season's Rookie of the Year?* _— Rush Rocket_ *A:* Truth is, JPM is learning a new racing discipline on the job against the best stock car drivers in the world, and the Ganassi equipment isn't aiding one bit in his quest to figure it out. However, if the Car of Tomorrow is the great equalizer it's being billed to be, Montoya could turn more heads at Infineon and Watkins Glen than Sue Ellen Mischke in a _Seinfeld_ episode.

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Mirror Driving: DEI On Edge? NASCAR Losing Credibility…Again?

*Another questionable debris caution late in the race Sunday bunched up the field and led to an exciting finish at California. But is NASCAR losing credibility with the fact they may be "engineering" finishes with these yellow flags?* Amy: Of course they are. They have been for about three years now. Meegan: I think so, because they happen to occur at opportune times. TOO convenient times. Vito: Rollbar padding, hot dog wrapper, air…throw a caution. Car upside down, on fire full of sod.....eh, let 'em race to the line.

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Dale Jarrett is the Golden Ticket for Owner and Manufacturer

Toyota and Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) have found their debut as competitors in the Nextel Cup Series challenging, to say the least...but probably not entirely surprising. Two races into the 2007 season, the manufacturer has two drivers positioned in the coveted Top 35 in the point standings, namely Team Red Bull's Brian Vickers (34th) and MWR driver Dale Jarrett (a more secure 28th). The Top 35 teams in owner points from 2006 are guaranteed a starting position in each of the first five Nextel Cup races of 2007. However, after the fifth race at Bristol in early March, inclusion on the Top 35 list will be based on the current seasons owner's points. And at that time, the enormous value for MWR and Toyota of Dale Jarrett's much talked about defection from Robert Yates Racing at the end of 2006 will become clear for everyone to understand.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Nextel Cup: 2007 Auto Club 500 at Fontana Edition

As the Nextel Cup Series put its second race in the books last weekend in California, a state known for wildfires surely did its part to fuel the flames of several of Nextel Cup's hottest drivers. This week's surprising contingent listed as currently burning up the tracks includes a 48-year-old veteran who continues to steal center stage, as well as a 21-year-old rookie using a combination of luck and racing smart to fight his way towards the top of the charts. At the other end of the spectrum, an entire organization threatens to find itself thrown in the freezer with little or no to chance of being thawed, icing up next to one of the circuit's oldest drivers and the greatest comeback story that may never be told.

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Numbers Game: 2007 Auto Club 500 at Fontana

*0.679* Matt Kenseth's margin of victory over Jeff Gordon at California Speedway. (in seconds) *1* Car that fell to the back of the field at the start of the Auto Club 500. (No. 96 - Tony Raines for an engine change) *2* Number of times Matt Kenseth has swept the weekend, winning both the Busch and Cup race, in his career. It is also the number of times a sweep has happened this season, despite most drivers claiming there is no advantage to running the Busch Series companion events. (The big, fat liars!)

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Becca’s Big Six: 2007 Auto Club 500 at Fontana Edition

*"Debris, what debris?"* *Who … gets my shout-out of the race?* Congratulations to Brian Vickers and Team Red Bull for a Top-Ten finish in their first points race of the year. Vickers spent the latter part of 2006 under rancorous conditions at Hendrick Motorsports, and his new 2007 team was unable to qualify for the Daytona 500 last week. Vickers was understandably happy about Sunday's performance: "Everybody did such a good job. Team Red Bull and Toyota - everybody involved. This is really our first intermediate track for us and for Toyota. To come out of it with a Top Ten - I don't think it could have been any better." Vickers qualified the No. 83 car 15th and crossed the finish line in 10th. *What … was the most overused phrase of the whole post-Daytona 500 controversy?*

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Prodigal Son Sits 41st in Points After Engine Woes

Perhaps Michael Waltrip bit off a little more than he could chew. Debuting a three-car operation with a brand new manufacturer, Waltrip has just one car in the Top 35 in owner's points after California. Dale Jarrett is leading the charge but sits a dismal 28th. A devastating late-race crash dropped rookie David Reutimann to 42nd in the standings, while Waltrip is drowning in a sea of misery after failing to make the event. It is unlikely he will find his head above water and in the Top 35 at any point in the 2007 season - even after just two races. While Michael Waltrip Racing is having its share of problems, a number of championship teams are still continue to struggle - including the sport's prodical son, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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Frontstretch Folio: 2007 Auto Club 500 at Fontana

The Nextel Cup Series heads to Fontana this weekend for a star studded event at the California Speedway. The Auto Club 500 is the second race of the 2007 Nextel Cup season and will be broadcast live on Sunday, February 25th at 3 pm ET on Fox, with radio coverage by MRN affiliates nationwide. Competitors will make 250 circuits for 500 miles around the 2 mile D-shaped oval in their quest for the checkered flag.

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In Case You Missed It – 2/16/07 – 2/22/07

With Speedweeks behind us, the NASCAR traveling circus heads west to California this week for the second race of the season. With one of the closest Daytona finishes in history, there was plenty of news following the Great American Race. Mark Martin, fresh off grabbing the closest runnerup finish at Daytona in years, announced his plans to race another five years for Ginn Racing. Over at Hendrick Motorsports, Jeff Gordon's yet to be born daughter signed a development deal to race for her Dad in 2025, and NASCAR announced plans to allow teams to add Red Bull energy drinks to their fuel cells. OK...maybe those things really didn't happen. But you can check out what really did take place this week in the newest edition of In Case You Missed It.

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