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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 Reasons The Chase Might Not Be Won By a Hendrick Driver

10. Other drivers hire Tonya Harding to give both Jimmie and Jeffy a good "knee whacking." 9. Ingrid and Chandra (their wives) decide to "experiment" and run off together, leaving the boys sulking in a bar somewhere too distraught to drive. (When Jeff can find a babysitter…) 8. Jimmie and Jeff are linked to Gene Haas as "financial advisors" and are sentenced to two weeks in prison. 7. While it sounded like a good idea at the time, Hendrick Motorsports finds out the hard way why Kobalt Tools are not the Official Tools of NASCAR.

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SMI Acquisition Of New Hampshire Serves to Benefit Sport, Fans

Chalk another one up for Bruton Smith. And this time, chalk one up for the rest of us, too. Smith, the CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and a France family bane, has expanded his empire to include the purchase of New Hampshire International Speedway. NHIS, currently owned and operated by Bob Bahre, was one of the last independently owned tracks — along with Dover International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway — that hosted Nextel Cup events. Not anymore. Now, Smith's SMI tracks at Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Texas, Sears Point, and now New Hampshire will account for nearly half of the races on the 2008 Cup schedule, with newly re-christened New Hampshire Motor Speedway playing host to NASCAR's first Chase event. But that won't be the case for long - and that's where the good news for the rest of us comes in.

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Bruton Smith Intent On “Shafting” New England Race Fans

Friday's announcement by O. Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) that he had purchased New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) for $340 million should concern the fans of the New England area. Smith, who also revealed that as part of the change of ownership, the name of the racetrack will be changed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, can be counted on to make drastic changes other than just the subtle name modification. The exact details of the future plans for NHMS are not completely clear, but all indications are that Smith's interests do not necessarily align with the best interests of the outstandingly loyal fans of the extreme northeast region of this country. The charismatic Smith, viewed by some as a kind of "white knight" against the forces of the France family, who not only owns NASCAR, but controls SMI's rival track owner/management company, International Speedway Corporation (ISC), is not a man afraid to shake things up a bit to get what he wants; and in this case, what he wants is a second date for his Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In The Chase: 2007 Dickies 500 at Texas Edition

They say everything is bigger and better in Texas, and that adage certainly proved true for Jimmie Johnson, as he continued his quest for back-to-back Nextel Cup Championships. Once again, Johnson and the No. 48 team found themselves at the front of the field when it came down to money time, as he ran down Matt Kenseth in the closing laps to score his ninth win of the season and third in a row. Not even his teammate / co-owner / mentor Jeff Gordon can seem to tame the No. 48 juggernaut; with just two races remaining on the schedule, he's fallen behind his streaky teammate. But at least the two superstars have pulled away from the crowd; barring some freakish incident, the battle for the title is all but officially down to the two cars from the Hendrick stable. Johnson, with his new Stetson cowboy hat in hand, now heads to Phoenix trying to increase his 30-point lead over Gordon. Behind them, there are other Chase drivers fighting to finish as high as possible, all of them trying hard not to end the season quietly. So, who left Texas still kicking, and which drivers are already out to pasture? Read this week's Who's Hot and Who's Not in the Chase to find out...

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Numbers Game: 2007 Dickies 500 at Texas

*0.944 * Jimmie Johnson's margin of victory over Matt Kenseth in the Dickies 500. (in seconds) *1* Car dropped to the rear of the field before the start of racing at Texas. (No. 7 - Robby Gordon for an engine change) *1st* Career Bud pole for Martin Truex, Jr. after taking the top starting spot in Texas, with a lap time of 27.964 seconds and a speed of 193.105 mph.

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Ten Points to Ponder…After the 2007 Dickies 500 at Texas

*1. Your Year* - How many times did Rusty Wallace say at the end of today's race, "When it's your year, it's your year" in reference to Jimmie Johnson? The irony is that up until a few weeks ago, that phrase had been used almost exclusively to describe Jeff Gordon's 2007 season. The No. 48 team has certainly been strong in the Chase, winning three straight races now and taking a 30-point lead heading to Phoenix. But let's not forget that under the old points system (irrelevant, but still) Gordon would have a 400+ point lead over Johnson with two races to go. Maybe it's a little premature to put the crown on Johnson just yet... *2. Aardvark Alarm* - If you missed Saturday's "NASCAR Performance" on SpeedTV with Bootie Barker, Chad Knaus, and Larry McReynolds, you missed Bootie's hilarious recap of the Atlanta race...

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Accident Claims Bill Elliott, Kyle Petty; Boosts Dave Blaney In Top 35 Race

This was supposed to be the time of year that the battle for a locked in spot for the first five races of 2008 heated up. This was supposed to be the time that the Top 35 battle was just as intense as the Chase. But with just two races now remaining, it appears that the 35th and final spot will be all but secured heading into Homestead, after a lap 129 accident ended any hope of a good run for the team currently 36th in owner points, the No. 21 of Bill Elliott. With the gap widened considerably - up to 127 points - it seems like the No. 21 team may have a difficult time recovering from Sunday's misfortune. To see where their main competition stacks up now in the Top 35 picture, check out this week's edition of the Bubble Breakdown...

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David Starr Diary: 22 Down, 3 to Go!

It's hard to believe there are only three more races until the end of the season. We haven't won a race yet, but we have made it into the top 10 in points which is a big accomplishment for our team. We are now 9th in points, and I have to say I am surprised. We haven't had the season I had hoped we'd have, because it's been a very competitive series once again. I'm definitely disappointed in our results because I know we are better than that, we just haven't had the finishes that we are capable of. We aren't satisfied just making it into the top 10. As always, we are going to keep fighting for the last three races and try to move up in points and get that win. The whole International MaxxForce Diesel team is excited about it, and if we can keep that enthusiasm and run up front, the points will take care of themselves.

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Sunoco Misses Yet Another Advertising Bonanza

Remember way back in February, when Kevin Harvick was firmly ranked first in the Chase after winning the Daytona 500? Remember all the hoopla by racing pundits everywhere about how Kevin had the Chase all but sewn up? Me, neither! What I _do_ remember, though, is all the whining by Sunoco, The Official Fuel Supplier of NASCAR, that the Shell emblem on Harvick's car was _way_ too big, and that it was unfair because … because … oh yes, because the Shell car won and the emblem was too big. You see, Sunoco, The Official Fuel Supplier of NASCAR, had paid millions of dollars to be The Official Fuel Supplier of NASCAR, and they felt it just wasn't right that the car sponsored by a competitor twice as big as themselves won the Daytona 500 … or some such drivel.

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NASCAR Stuff We Can’t Make Up

_In our newest feature, Senior Staff Writer Becca Gladden scours the NASCAR news front to bring you the week's curious, offbeat, and just plain wacky news from the intriguing world of big-time stock car racing. Trust us, folks, these stories are all true - we just couldn't make this stuff up!_ - According to an article on Adweek.com, the makers of Meaty Bones dog snacks are actively courting NASCAR dads - a demographic they define as "middle-aged, working-class men outside of urban areas who frequent car races." Nothing like a little flattery to get consumers to open their wallets. In order to attract this target audience, the company created an online game which proclaims itself "The Greatest Game in the History of Dogs. Ever." You're invited to "mark your territory" by hitting moving objects with a stream of water while missing the pop-up cats. Really.

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