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.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Making Your Team Work in the Windy City

The Sprint Cup Series heads to the Windy City this weekend for another intermediate racetrack. For the first time, the race will be held under that lights at Chicagoland Speedway leaving many fantasy gamers a little nervous. Some drivers are on a roll and momentum certainly plays a role in the sport. Others very well may be on a mission from God. With recently announced driver changes and NASCAR penalties, who knows what also might be playing with the psyche of combatants this weekend. Read on to see which drivers our experts feel are driving on a full tank of gas with half a pack of cigarettes wearing sunglasses in this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans.

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Time To Get The Manufacturers Out of NASCAR

Wow! That’s a pretty bold headline! But the time has come to be honest with ourselves. Time to call a spade a spade. Time to open your eyes and actually see what your eyes are looking at every week. Time to stop being a narrow minded, automotive bigot! Time to admit that it IS going to happen down the road, so we might as well embrace it and not stupidly act all surprised about it later. You are smarter than that. Consider some facts: GM stock has lost 75% of its value in the last nine months and is trading at an all time 54-year low. 54 years people! That’s almost BEFORE NASCAR was ‘invented’!

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Getting Over Kyle Busch: You May Hate Him, But He Sure Can Drive A Racecar

It has almost become amusing to hear so many people who collectively dislike NASCAR’s Kyle Busch find new ways to both express their dislike for him on a personal basis, yet accurately recognize that the young man is truly a phenomenal talent behind the wheel of a racecar. Of course, all the blame for putting race fans in this uncomfortable position rests squarely on the shoulders of the 23-year-old Las Vegas native. If he would simply quit winning so much -- and often times in such spectacular fashion -- fans wouldn’t feel the need to enumerate on their negative feelings towards the Sprint Cup points leader.

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Talking NASCAR TV: TNT’s Wide Open Coverage Has Some Gaps

There is nothing quite like a Saturday night race -- especially one presented without commercial interruption. The Coke Zero 400 on TNT was a thrilling broadcast from start to finish, even during some of the long green flag runs, in large part because of the Wide Open Coverage that gave us the ability to watch far more of the race than usual. According to cawsnjaws.com, the network broke away from full race coverage for just 17 minutes all night long. Of course, there were far more times when their sponsors popped up in the video box at the bottom of the screen, but TNT did not do a bad job at all of integrating those mandatory commercial ads during the race broadcast. The extra space created by those special ads was used wisely, with extra information about drivers placed in what would have been a massive HD ribbon of blank space.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: 2008 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Edition

There were fireworks before and after the finish of Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, as 11 cautions -- most of them late -- led to a mini-demolition derby of sorts which changed the outcome of the race. Helping some while hurting others, those last-minute wrecks completely changed the placement of several of our Hot/Not drivers this week. Most notable of those was Jeff Burton, whose consecutive top-15 streak ended at Daytona when he was wrecked not once, but twice during the race. Who else suffered mightily after watching their car turn into a piece from the junkyard, you ask? Well, here is this week's look at the hot, the warm, and the cold, after a hot and sticky Saturday night in Daytona Beach.

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10 Points To Ponder… After The 2008 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

1. The Other Big Three - American automakers GM, Ford, and Chrysler have just about reached the panic stage, as their financial well-being becomes a critical concern. GM stock has lost approximately 75% of its value over the last year, Ford Motor Company has seen a 50% decline of stock value in the last three months, and Chrysler is expected to either file bankruptcy or sell off what profitable segments of the company they can. NASCAR's Chairman and CEO Brian France, speaking on whether there'll be continued support from the "Big Three" in the sport considering their financial crunch, summed up the situation by saying, “...we’ll just have to see.” On the other hand, in 2007 Toyota earned about $16 billion on sales of 9.37 million vehicles, surpassing GM as the No. 1 maker of automobiles. But although they're expecting a decrease in profits for 2008 due to the economic downturn, the company's expected to still be very much in the black and continue to expand their world markets.

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Bubble Breakdown: Last Lap Restrictor Plate Mayhem Ruins Night For Several Bubble Teams

As NASCAR made its first return trip to a racetrack in 2008, several bubble teams once again showed signs of life during Friday’s qualifying session. Joe Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, and Regan Smith turned laps that qualified them in the fourth, fifth, and eighth starting positions respectively, serving notice they planned to be a force during the race at Daytona the following day. On the flip side of that, JJ Yeley’s No. 96 Toyota and Scott Riggs’ No. 66 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet -- teams who sat 36th and 37th respectively in owner points -- both failed to qualify, giving somewhat of a break to those teams already (un)comfortably within the Top 35 in the owner standings. However, as I’ve stated here before, it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. And when all was said and done, including a last-lap melee that held up the posting of the final results for several hours, several of the top bubble finishers had come from about as far back in the pack as you can get. With that in mind, let’s break down this week's bubble from the Daytona International Speedway:

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Jimmy Spencer and NASCAR’s ‘Young Punks’

Here is part of Spencer’s harangue: "The sport has really grown, these young kids come along, and there are some really good young kids. There are some punk young kids. I just wish they would realize and respect what others did. I think it's just a total attitude problem that they have. Their dad needs to take them behind the fence and smack them around a little bit. Our world's lacking respect, and I hope these kids learn that." My opinion on the drivers’ importance to the sport relative to its management notwithstanding, I can confidently say that NASCAR could have grown itself just fine without Spencer.

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