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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.

Fanning the Flames: Robby Gordon’s Problem, Joe Gibbs’ Reality, And Why Kurt Busch Is Craving…Miller Lite?

_"Big picture, we didn't gain many points on Dale Jr. today or any of the guys because they ran well. But the other big picture is all the Americans that enjoy Miller Lite with us today… I encourage them to go out to the convenience stores, grocery stores, or their pubs, grab a fresh Miller Lite and celebrate with us all week - ‘cause we're here and we're gonna try to get in the Chase."_ Yes, that was our boy Kurt Busch from Victory Lane this past weekend, doing his best Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn impression after dominating the Pennsylvania 500. Congenial, media-friendly, and an all-around great guy, Busch ripped off one helluva commercial that would have made any marketing guru proud (and any true pitchman cringe).

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Hats Off to NASCAR For Finally Capturing the “Casual Fan”

Ever since Brian France took over the reins of NASCAR, he has unabashedly stated that two of his primary goals for the future of the sport were as follows: be as popular as the NFL, and capture that elusive creature known as the "casual fan." Those are undoubtedly mighty ambitious goals for a man who is so despised by the very fans of the sport over which he presides. Things have gotten so bad as of late that even the President of the United States, when he wants to feel good about himself, compares his "approval ratings" to those of France.

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Mirror Driving: Did Kyle Busch Make The Right Choice, Does Robby Gordon Still Have A Voice, And Did Ray Evernham Buy Himself A Rolls Royce?

*Kurt Busch was - in a word - dominant on Sunday. What's made the difference over at Penske Racing in the past two months that has him primed to make the Chase? Can he keep up the momentum?* Amy: Two Words: Pat. Tryson. Vito: Pat Tryson has been the answer - plain and simple. Beth: Pat Tryson.

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Robby Gordon One-Ups Himself

"It amazes me. Every time I think Robby can't do anything any more stupid than he's already done, he one-ups himself." _Casey Mears, March 2007_ It is time to revisit the subject of Robby Gordon: Race Car Driver after his controversial activities in Montreal, Canada last Saturday. In March of this year, I dedicated this weekly column to defending Gordon against what I believe to be unfair and unbalanced treatment by the motorsports community as a whole. What had prompted that "article":https://frontstretch.com/tthompson/7408/ entitled, Robby Gordon: NASCAR's "Lone Wolf" were allegations of Gordon's aggressive driving that led to an early race accident in Las Vegas, one which ended with the race cars of Ward Burton and Casey Mears being severely damaged. Though I continue to maintain that Gordon's survival as an owner/driver in Nextel Cup far outshadows in significance any perceived "bad behavior" on his part, I believe Casey Mears' comment on the accident at that time, in consideration of these most recent events, carries considerably more credence. Considering all of the altercations with teammates and other drivers that Gordon has been involved in over his career - or even the numerous one-car spins or multi-car wrecks he's caused - it seems to me that Robby Gordon has definitely upped his "stupid bar" another notch or two this time.

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Top Ten Things More Exciting Than The 2007 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono

10. *Grandma's Quilting Bee* At least you get all the latest juicy gossip. 9. *Watching the commercials* For, like, the millionth time, just because it says Bud ON the car, doesn't mean there is Bud IN the car…Crazy…mutant…desert…consumers. 8. *Watching NOL's Garage Cam for 10 hours straight* At least you see your favorite driver, even if his name isn't Junior or Kurt.

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Robby Gordon Got Dumped

Robby, Robby, Robby…What went wrong during Saturday's Busch race in Montreal? Does anybody know? I mean, save from Robby Gordon being kicked out of Sunday's Nextel Cup Pocono race by NASCAR, of course. Was that called for? Well, let's see what I can decide. So, what exactly happened on Saturday? See, this is the first problem. Nobody really saw…I doubt even NASCAR got a look at what transpired between his No. 55 and Marcos Ambrose's No. 59. At the moment that the field was busy spinning into a pile of debris behind Robby and Marcos, Robby was putting the moves on the No. 59's rear bumper. I swore Robby almost had Marcos' rear end off the ground when the camera shot pulled away to focus on the melee behind them. The next thing we knew, the camera picks the pair up coming out of a turn, with the yellow flag flying and Marcos dumping Robby. As I indicated, Robby may have had that coming...we just never fully saw why.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Nextel Cup: 2007 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Edition

Unless you're a glutton for punishment, Kurt Busch, or one of Kurt Busch's fans (yes - he actually does have some), then you probably found Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono a real snoozefest. Busch started from second position, alongside Dale Earnhardt, Jr., but didn't stay there long; he made a mockery out of the race, leading 175 laps en route to his first win of the year and a spot inside the Top 12 in points. Unlike recent weeks, there weren't any potential Chasers that ran into major trouble on Sunday; the 14 main contenders all finished in the Top 17 positions, making the race for the Chase more competitive than ever with just five races remaining. So, which drivers left Pocono feeling revitalized and upbeat about the final month of the regular season ahead, and which ones were left feeling weary like the rest of us? Read this week's Who's Hot and Who's Not to find out.

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Numbers Game: 2007 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono

*3 hours, 47 minutes, 55 seconds* Time it took to complete the Pennsylvania 500...but it felt more like an eternity. *4* Number of cars that failed to make the starting field. (No. 37 - Kevin Lepage; No. 49 - Mike Bliss; No. 78 - Kenny Wallace; No. 84 - A.J. Allmendinger) *4* Top 5 finishes this season for Pennsylvania 500 runner-up Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

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Ten Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono

*1. Robby Robbed?* - I'm going to take the minority position here, but I believe NASCAR initially made the right call placing Robby Gordon in 13th for the restart in Saturday's Busch race. The issue according to NASCAR was not where Gordon was when the caution came out, but the fact that he failed to "maintain a cautious pace" under the yellow. However, NASCAR did compound the confusion by initially telling Gordon to line up in first...then in second...then in 13th. The officiating crew also messed up by restarting the race with Gordon still in second, knowing full well that he would wreck Marcos Ambrose after the restart - which, of course, he did. For his part, Gordon said that the reason he didn't move back was that he was going to appeal the finish and "wanted to make sure that the race played out the way it should." *2. Robby Wrong* - Even if you side with Gordon on the initial protest, his failure to acknowledge the black flag and subsequent burnout after the checkers was quite over the top, a move which resulted in his suspension from Sunday's Cup race.

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David Starr Diary: Off Weekend? What Off Weekend?

We are more than half way through the 2007 season, and in a little over two weeks we go to Bristol Motor Speedway! Recently we took our International MaxxForce Diesel Ford F-150 to test the "new" Bristol track. It's always cool to go to there because it's just an awesome facility and there is so much excitement and history at the track. Going there last week and testing was exciting because of the new surface. It was a great test, but the track was very "green," meaning there was no rubber on it. All in all, it was good for my team to be able to really work together and try new stuff. We learned a lot and I'm looking forward to going back there for the race.

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