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 Ways Jeff Gordon Could End His Winless Streak

10) Instruct Jeff to imagine that there is a hard-boiled egg under the gas pedal 9) Attach transponders to middle fingers of Gordon-haters, giving the #24 a lap every time an anti-fan expresses feelings 8) Seek out Wrigley Field goat for sacrifice following “Wrigley Stadium” blunder

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Dickies 500 at Texas Edition

Last week I said in this column that Jimmie Johnson all but had his third consecutive title locked up; Don't tell Carl Edwards, who is trying his best to make sure that doesn't happen. Chasing down the series leaders in both Nationwide and Sprint Cup, Edwards is riding back-to-back victories on the Cup side in an effort that has closed the deficit between he and Johnson to 106 points. Still, it appears Edwards needs Johnson to hiccup in one of the final two races to have a shot at the championship. With just two races remaining, the 1-2 drivers at the top of the standings are clearly among the hottest drivers in the series. But who else is on a roll? Who needs a good run this weekend at Phoenix? Check out this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not in Sprint Cup: Chase Edition to find out.

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Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN Pit Reporters Bring Their A-Game To Texas

There were two major storylines Sunday in the Dickies 500: Jimmie Johnson coughing up some of the points lead to Carl Edwards and Edwards’ unbelievable stretching of fuel to win the race. Johnson’s problems became entrenched before the midpoint of the race when the No. 48 team fell back to 25th in the running order and was not only lapped by Edwards, but never in a good position to get the Lucky Dog and drive back into contention. The latter of the two was a storyline that no one expected to ever be possible. Carl Edwards commanded the race, leading the most laps and putting good cars multiple laps down early. The sheer dominance of Edwards and the No. 99 car made the fact of him relying on fuel mileage to win the race surprising.

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Ten Points To Ponder… After the 2008 Dickies 500 at Texas

*Bailout Needed* - According to CBS Sports, sources have said that anywhere from 750-1,000 jobs in NASCAR shops may be lost in the Sprint, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series as a result of the nation's slumping economy. The report specifically mentions Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as a prime example of teams poised to see drastic cutbacks in manpower as the high profile four-car organization at present only has one signed primary sponsor for 2009. Remember about a year and a half ago when Tony Stewart, who will become a team owner / driver in 2009 said, “DEI without Dale, Jr. is a museum?” Or is DEI’s, as well as other team's financial woes, reminiscent of the 1992 Bill Clinton presidential campaign credo... “It’s the economy, stupid.”

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Bubble Breakdown: Marcos Ambrose Cuts Margin In Half For Final Top 35 Slot

NASCAR’s thundering herd of 43 invaded the lone star state this past Sunday for the second time in 2008. At this point in the season the field is pretty much divided into three groups. One group is running for the championship, one group is running to get into or stay in the top 35 for 2009, and the other group is just running laps. And while many of the experts have already anointed Jimmie Johnson as this year’s champion, the race for a top 35 locked in spot for 2009 is now tighter than a pair of Speedo’s on Jimmy Spencer. So with that stunning image fresh in your mind, read on to find out who’s locked in, who’s locked out, and who’s still fighting for a spot in the top 35 in this weeks edition of the bubble breakdown.

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NASCAR’s Opportunity In A Troubled Economy

In the press conference announcing the coming Camping World sponsorship of the truck series, every NASCAR fan’s favorite CEO commented on the future with a shaky economy dominating the headlines. Incidentally, while I wouldn’t often be mistaken as a member in any kind of a standing of the Brian France Fan Club, he probably does deserve credit for nailing down sponsorship for the truck series. This is a series that looked to be skating on thin ice with Craftsman bailing and advertising budgets being cut, but since they at least haven’t tainted their points system, the series is a winner with a lot of fans. France announced that there were no plans to change the field sizes in races, which is good news, if for no other reason that it is a sign that NASCAR isn’t panicking. Not that it would be a terrible thing to reduce the fields…at least then everyone would have their own pit stall at Dover…but if we still have 43 and only 41 make the entry list, it will likely still be worth everyone’s while.

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Driven To The Past: NASCAR’s Most Spectacular Accident

The first thing I want to say this week is how much I appreciate the comments we’ve been getting, and the e-mails I’ve been receiving, some from people I haven’t heard from in years. It’s nice to know that there are some folks having as much fun reading this stuff as I’m having writing it. Every story seems to lead to another. I surf the web a lot, and once in a while, I run up on an item that strikes a chord somewhere in my alleged brain. Much like Kenny Schrader says about Michael Waltrip, there’s a lot of stuff rumbling around up there, and once in a while it pops out. Anyway, while surfing the web, I ran across a video of the big wreck they had at Daytona in the Sportsman race back in 1960. They started 68 cars. Speeds were a then-incredible 150 mph.

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Scott Speed Driver Diary – ARCA Revenge, Sprint Cup Debut, Bull Riding and Mohawks

_It’s been yet another eventful month in the life of Scott Speed. Speed entered the ARCA series finale at Toledo with a sizable point lead, before a memorable altercation with his closest rival, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ended his chances of taking home the crown. The following week, the rookie made his much-anticipated Sprint Cup debut at the Martinsville Speedway in the No. 84 Red Bull Camry._ _Speed took a break out of his busy schedule to tell us why he wouldn’t tolerate Stenshouse’s on track behavior, explain his early struggles at NASCAR’s top level and to enlighten us about his bull riding experience in the middle of it all._ I knew there was going to be trouble right from the very start of the race with Ricky (Stenhouse). We were only 50 laps in when he was behind us and beating the heck out of our back bumper. At that point in time, I felt it was too early and we didn’t need that one position to win the championship, we just needed to finish. So our team asked the No. 99 spotter to go around us on the restart. Then one of the restarts, we tried to let him by and he basically just crashed us, it was pretty blatant.

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Why Is the Obvious Always So Hard To See?

I have an extremely low tolerance for ‘stupid’. Fortunately for me, seeing as how ‘stupid’ has reached epidemic proportions worldwide, I have a built in antidote. That antidote consists of 50% laughter, 40% wonderment and amazement and 10% humility; as in, there but for the grace of God go I. When it comes to NASCAR, I have been laughing, shaking my head a lot and thanking the good Lord above almost on a 24/7 schedule lately. Fortunately, my position here at Frontstretch.com allows me a platform to try and have some influence, or at least offer advice, even if it is mostly ignored. It’s not that it is bad advice or even unpopular, for most of the time, people seem to agree with me, but it is ignored none the less. Stupidly, I keep trying (said the author, laughing silently at himself as he looked pleadingly skyward and shaking his head.) Even though it will probably do no good, I will once again lay it all out there to be ignored once again.

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Top Ten Reasons Jimmie Johnson Might Not Win The Chase

_Author's note: This list is a revision of one I wrote about one year ago! It's sad how apropo it is today as when I wrote it last year -- 'cept for the Jeff Gordon part!_ *10.* Other drivers hire Tonya Harding to give Jimmie a good “knee whacking.” *9.* Chad Knaus decides he is tired of babysitting Jimmie, and lets him "keep on welding." *8.* Two words: Goodyear tires.

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