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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: Single-File Questions After A Single-File Sunday

*Q: In the first five Car of Tomorrow races, NASCAR jumped up and down, pointing to the "close finishes." But the last six CoT races (excluding the Talladega plate race where we always see close finishes) have been anything BUT close at the checkers. Could it be that those hair-raising finishes were aided and abetted by the infamous "debris caution" in the last laps that NASCAR is so famous for? And have these less than stellar finishes occurred _after_ Tony [Stewart] compared NASCAR to the WWE, manipulating the finishes with phony cautions? I have noticed that field bunching cautions dropped noticeably since then.* _— SallyB_ *A:* The mysterious invisible debris cautions have been somewhat nonexistent lately, haven't they Sally? We'll examine that in a minute. First off, I went back and looked at the finishes of the first five CoT races and found that, beyond Bristol and Martinsville — where close finishes are not necessarily the norm, but not uncommon either — the endings weren't quite as close as NASCAR would like for you to believe.

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I’m Just Sayin’…NASCAR Qualifying is Stupefying

If you know someone who thinks NASCAR is just a bunch of guys driving around in circles, I have a challenge for you. Get a printout of the actual qualifying results - you know, the ones based on lap times - from the October 7th Talladega race, and put them side-by-side with the actual starting lineup of the event. Then, try explaining to a person who's already a little dubious about NASCAR why the two lists are so completely different. By the time you're done, the person you're talking to will be less concerned about drivers going in circles, and more concerned about the dizziness in his own head. And chances are, so will you.

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Mirror Driving: Dale Jarrett’s Road To TV Geek, Jason Keller’s Record-Breaking Streak, And Did Villeneuve Get The Respect He Seeks?

*After observing one restrictor plate race with the Car of Tomorrow package, should there be changes made for future events at Talladega? Also, which type of restrictor plate racing was better - the old car or the new car?* Mike: I don't know that we can make a good judgment after one race. When people were willing to _race_, I thought it was a pretty good show. Tony: Let's see…we had side-by-side racing, then a freight train for awhile, then the Big One, then a last lap pass for the win. I'd say things were close to the same. Beth: When the Cup cars weren't lined up single file, they put on a darn good show.

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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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