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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.

Top Ten Things Dumber Than Buying/Building a House Near a Race Track And Then Complaining About the Noise

_Author's note: I wanted to leave all of these ten blank, but the Editors - while agreeing that the list would indeed be factual - also felt that it would be a "cop out" on my part, and insisted I actually list something this week. Apparently, they are onto me...note that they (the Editors) are NOT on the list!_ 10. Trying to teach a pig to sing. (Whoops! I'm Guilty! Hey, here in Iowa, we sometimes get bored waiting for the corn to mature.) 9. Buying or leasing a racing engine from DEI. 8. Betting on Greg Biffle to win…I mean, _finish_ a race at Talladega. 7. Most any action that begins with the sentence, "Hey y'all! Watch this!"

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Move Over, Jimmie! Let’s Let Jeff Gordon Get One For The Thumb

Race fans, imagine this... Jimmie Johnson is leading Jeff Gordon by one point at this year's season-ending race at Homestead, Florida. Johnson runs one spot ahead of Gordon on the track, when all of a sudden, he receives an order over his in-car radio from Chad Knaus instructing him to let his teammate move ahead. Dejected, Johnson obeys the edict, watches the No. 24 swing by, and remains helpless as Gordon goes on to win his fifth NASCAR Cup Championship. Sound crazy? It is actually not as far-fetched as it seems. Unless the hierarchy of the sport steps up to the plate and takes action to stop the issuing of "team orders," something similar to my illustration is almost certain to occur in NASCAR. It may not be this season, or even the next - but eventually a championship will be determined by the whim of an owner, and _not_ by honest competition on the track.

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Fix ‘Er Up! Frontstretch Editor Nextel Cup Power Rankings After the 2007 UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega

*Fix 'Er Up - Frontstretch Editor Nextel Cup Power Rankings* _As Of October 10th_ *1) Jeff Gordon* _(6 First Place Votes)_ _Last Week: 3_ Was going to either win, or become a hood ornament on Tony Stewart's Chevy in a daring last lap pass for the win. *2) Jimmie Johnson* _(1 First Place Vote)_ _Last Week: 1_ Didn't Jimmie learn last year not to have your teammate behind you on the last lap? *3) Clint Bowyer* _Last Week: 2_ Secret formula for being the lone DEI / RCR engine to hold together: one quart of 10W-30 Jack Daniel's.

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Ten Points To Ponder…After the 2007 UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega

*1. Masterful Move* - Jeff Gordon clearly demonstrated not only why he has 80 career Cup wins, but is now in sole possession of the title "most career plate wins" in NASCAR history. Gordon turned a push from Dave Blaney into a sweet move to the middle, getting out from behind teammate Jimmie Johnson to sneak away with the victory. Tucking his rear bumper just in front of a charging Tony Stewart, Gordon gave Stewart no choice but to push him to the win. Gordon now has 12 restrictor plate wins, passing the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., who had 11. *2. Discontent Drivers* - NASCAR can't be happy with the number of drivers who badmouthed the racing action today, including superstars Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jeff Gordon, who both told a national TV audience that from their perspective, it was quite boring.

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Dave Blaney Finishes 3rd, Jumbles Up Top 35 Race; No. 21 Team Knocked Out

What a week it was for those teams positioned outside of the Top 35 in owner points at Talladega. What was already billed as the "wild card" of the Chase proved to be a shake up in the standings not only for those battling for this year's title, but for those racing for a locked in spot next week at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the 2008 season, as well. As if the drama of restrictor plate racing wasn't enough, the impound format allowed a number of go-or-go-home cars the opportunity to qualify at the front of the 43-car field. The result was a wild race that saw a last lap pass for the win, the "Big One," and a new car sneaking inside the Top 35 in car owner points, led by a driver who tied his best career finish in the series. To see who moved into the 35th and final "bubble" position, what team suffered a precipitous fall, and which Toyota held their head up high, check out this week's edition of the Bubble Breakdown...

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Hey NASCAR, Where Did The Extra $100 Million Come From?

Barely a week after I wrote about how Anheuser-Busch is severing almost all ties with the sanctioning body of NASCAR after the season - opting instead to focus on its Budweiser sponsorship of Kasey Kahne - a viable replacement has been found for the support series its leaving behind. NASCAR CEO Brian France announced Wednesday that Nationwide Insurance will become the new entitlement sponsor for what is currently known as the Busch Series. "We are thrilled that we had the opportunity to select a partner in Nationwide Insurance who is as excited as NASCAR about taking the NASCAR Nationwide Series to even higher levels of popularity," said France. "Nationwide Insurance is an ideal partner for NASCAR, advocating safe driving and already serving millions of NASCAR fans with its auto, health, and life insurance. The company has a real passion for NASCAR, which will benefit our fans and all participants in our industry."

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Fanning the Flames: What A Weird Week For NASCAR It’s Been

Wow, what a week. The Kansas race still has fans buzzing, while 2008 plans have become just as much of a hot-button topic: why just yesterday, Kyle Busch got a new sponsor (M&M's), Scott Riggs a new home (Haas CNC Racing), Ganassi Racing a new open-wheeled Scotsman (Dario Franchitti), and the Busch Series a new title sponsor (Nationwide). Oh, and did I mention Talladega is up next, with four — count ‘em, _four_ — drivers attempting to qualify for their first plate race (in the midst of the Chase, no less). Geez, just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder… Thanks for the questions this week; the quality just gets better and better from you folks. Remember, you can shoot me your opinions, questions, or comments by clickin' on this little red link: matt.taliaferro@frontstretch.com. *Q: In several CoT races, cars that finished well have been found to be too low in the rear quarter panel. We are constantly assured that this is, in fact, a handicap to running well. Here's my question: With all the limits on the CoT and all drivers talking about the lack of front downforce, are we sure that lowering the quarterpanel is still a handicap? Wouldn't that help equalize the balance on the car?* _— SallyB_ *A:* That's a great question, Sally, and with the unknown nature of the new car, it is hard to give you a fully qualified answer. However, I talked to my buddy Matt McLaughlin here on the Frontstretch, and we concluded...

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I’m Just Sayin’…Greg Biffle Won, Period

Watching the end of Sunday's weird, wacky Kansas Cup race, I was as stunned as anyone to hear Jimmie Johnson say in his immediate post-race interview that he didn't think Greg Biffle won the race. "He was clearly out of gas," said Johnson. "I feel terrible for Greg. He's been working so hard to win a race and he was up there in position to win it. But if you don't maintain pace car speed, you don't hold your position. And it was clear to everyone that he couldn't do it. If he could have, he would have stayed on the bumper of the pace car to the finish line. So in my opinion, where he coasted across the finish line relative to the other cars that could maintain pit road speed is where he should finish."

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Mirror Driving: The Kansas Debacle, Dale Junior’s Bobble, And Was Biffle’s Wobble To The Finish Legit?

*How should the race at Kansas have been completed on Sunday? Should they have called the race at 148 laps, run the race on Monday...or done something in between?* Amy: I think they did it right, under the circumstances. Nikki: I agree, Amy, and not just because I wanted to get my money's worth. Beth: They probably should have specified a time for the race to end not a lap number.

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