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Vito Pugliese

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Vito is one of the longest-tenured writers at Frontstretch, joining the staff in 2007. With his column Voice of Vito (monthly, Fridays) he’s a contributor to several other outlets, including Athlon Sports and Popular Speed in addition to making radio appearances. He forever has a soft-spot in his heart for old Mopars and presumably oil-soaked cardboard in his garage.

No News Is Bad News: Dark Days Still Loom On The Horizon For NASCAR

After taking last week off after covering the LifeLock 400 at Michigan, there have been a few stories floating around that provided some ammo for this week’s column. Some are the same retreads we've all heard before, but regardless of what information has come to light, the answers remain the same. Even after spending a weekend as a garage area imbed (yes, that’s right – I didn’t leave out an “r”), there are some things in NASCAR that I don’t understand. Now I know what you’re going to say. “No kidding Vito, your columns every week are proof positive of that.” While that very well might be true (and funny), the weekly news items that pop up give me pause for reflection. Literally.

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Invading The Infield – Gauging Fan Reaction To The Effects of The Economy – And The State of The NASCAR

Perched atop pit road in the media viewing area at Michigan International Speedway this weekend, I had the perfect vantage point from where to view the Lifelock 400. The addition of a Sprint FanView device courtesy of Sprint’s Chris Hannigan made all the difference in the world, having a television …

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Mark Martin’s Middle-Aged Miracle: 1-On-1 Secrets Revealed For Revitalized Career

If it isn’t rough, it isn’t right. For well over 20 years, those words used to sum up a Mark Martin day perfectly. If there was a tire to be blown, an engine to burn a piston, a caution flag to fly while pitting, or a meteor to fall out of the sky, you could safely assume that it would land squarely on the hood of his car. But 2009 has so far proven to be a completely different experience in more ways than one for the newest addition to Hendrick Motorsports. Sure, there were some rough spots earlier in the year; back-to-back engine failures at California and Las Vegas, followed shortly thereafter by a wreck caused by a blown tire at nearly 200 mph entering Turn 1 at Atlanta. They were scenes that looked eerily reminiscent of a time thought long since passed for Martin – episodes that not long ago would have haunted and tormented him, only until they were erased by the next unexplainable disaster.

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Number Five Is Alive: Mark Martin Outwits and Outlasts Opponents In 2009 Lifelock 400 At Michigan

_Ste-Pha-Nie….Number Five…is ALIVE!_ Remember that from the 1986 movie, _Short Circuit_? It was about a robot that, after being struck by lightning, has an awakening and decides that he is not a singularly programmed machine with a single purpose but one who becomes conscious, aware, and celebrates all that is good around him. Following his third win of 2009, Mark Martin is similarly alive and well once again on the NASCAR tour, rejuvenated both physically and mentally after a couple of part-time years taken to focus on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. After a couple of years taken to catch his breath, he is currently on pace to equal his best season since some 11 years ago, when he collected seven wins and finished runner-up in the standings in 1998.

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At-Track News and Notes – 2009 Lifelock 400 at Michigan

Dust In The Wind – Camping World and Nationwide Teams Lose General Motors Funding When the Sprint Cup Series comes to Michigan International Speedway, it is always as Ron Burgundy would say, “…kind of a…’Big Deal’…” Situated in the backyard of the Big Three automakers, MIS has traditionally been one …

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Johnny Benson Ousted From Red Horse Racing

“I have a lot of faults Brad, but ingratitude isn’t one of them.” – George C. Scott in Patton – 1970 That line came to mind this week, when it was announced by Red Horse Racing, that defending Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Benson, Jr. was being booted from …

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Desperate Men Doing Desperate Things: NASCAR’s Actions Speak Volumes About The State of The Sport

William Shakespeare is quoted as having said, “Tempt not a desperate man.” During the last few weeks, it has become apparent to me that he must have been a NASCAR fan. We’ve all read similar columns and stories about our sport this year. They all start out the same way: bemoaning the state of the economy, how horrible everything is, and the impending doom that can be seen on the not too distant horizon -- just like Sarah Connor in the beginning of _Terminator 2_.

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What’s Vexing Vito: Carl Long Penalty Further Proof That The Little Guy No Longer Is Welcome In NASCAR

Much like Lloyd Christmas in Dumb & Dumber, just when you didn’t think NASCAR could do anything more asinine than they have as of late, “they go out of their way and totally redeem themselves!” – i.e., out do even themselves yet again. Carl Long, who two weeks ago was …

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Kyle Busch: Who Else Is Sick and Tired of His Act Besides Me?

Busch has most recently been likened to Dale Earnhardt (Sr.), christened the driver most likely to dethrone David Pearson from second place in career victories. Instead, he is pissing and moaning and stomping off like Danica Patrick following a botched Double-A series engagement because – imagine this – a Goodyear tire went flat. It’s too bad that Busch no longer sponsors NASCAR’s junior series, because the best analogy ever would be to call this Busch League behavior; however, that would do much to discredit everybody’s favorite watered-down swill that tastes like horse urine.

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Tough Love: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Tony Eury, Jr. – Rip Off The Band-Aid and Start The Healing

Well, here we go again – the rumor mill is at Def-Con 2 this week, with talk of Tony Eury, Jr.’s imminent demise and departure as crew chief for cousin Dale Earnhardt, Jr. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost one year since Earnhardt, Jr. last won a race, on …

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