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.

Talladega Plus The Car of Tomorrow Equals The NFL And A Nap

From my seat in the stands (for this particular race, a sage green upholstered one in front of a 57" Hitachi), Talladega looked a lot like sitting alongside I-94 in Michigan in the middle of a construction zone. The only thing that reminded me that it was Talladega was seeing Old Glory proudly waving behind the semi-truck in the "fly by" during the pre-race ceremonies. Instead of the slicing and dicing, three-wide racing we usually see, the majority of the race was a single file, bumper-to-bumper train along the top of the racetrack. To say that it was like watching paint dry would be an insult to freshly applied coats of satin everywhere.

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That’s History Profile: Bobby Allison

Bobby Allison started racing around southern Florida while he was in high school, but after one too many accidents, his dad, "Pops" Allison made him quit. Following graduation, Bobby, along with brothers Eddie and Donnie, ventured north in search of more competitive and financially rewarding competition. It didn't take long; they found their calling in nearby Montgomery, Ala. After getting wind of a race at Montgomery Raceway, Bobby entered his car - and won with ease. He never looked back as Donnie, friend Red Farmer, and some other buddies of his decided to set up shop there; soon after, what became known as The Alabama Gang was born.

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Much Ado About Nothing At Kansas: Attempting To Create Controversy Where There Is None

The Chase for the Nextel Cup is now three weeks old, and there is yet to emerge a dominant or favored contender to win the 2007 championship in NASCAR's elite division. Mainly because everyone keeps wrecking. One would think that might be a talking point as we move 1/3 of the way through the title chase. However, the biggest story coming out of Kansas this week was Greg Biffle winning the Lifelock 400. Or not winning the Lifelock 400 if you ask Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer.

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That’s History Profile: Bobby Hamilton Sr.

Charles Robert "Bobby" Hamilton Sr. started his racing career similar to a man before him - Dale Earnhardt - by dropping out of school at age 13. He laid the foundation for a career at Nashville Speedway, now known as the Music City Motorplex. Nashville Speedway was raced by many NASCAR legends such as Darrell Waltrip, Coo Coo Marlin, and part time driver/country singer Marty Robbins. Bobby would gain the attention of many in the NASCAR community when he competed in a 1988 event starring Cup luminaries Waltrip, Bill Elliott, and Sterling Marlin at his hometown track.

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2007: The Worst NASCAR Season Ever

I may be in the minority here (my heritage notwithstanding), but for many reasons, to me this season has been one of the worst in recent memory for NASCAR. Perhaps ever. To look back on it that way is quite disappointing - especially since 2007 started out with so much promise. There was the addition of a new manufacturer in Toyota, a new face in the form of a former Formula One superstar, and the network that started the ball of unencumbered growth rolling in the mid 1980's was about to take over NASCAR coverage again. _And_, if all that wasn't enough, for the first time since 1981, a new breed of car was about to hit the track. Then the season actually started.

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That’s History Profile: Curtis Turner

Curtis Turner started out driving well before he was old enough to get a driver's license. He hailed from the area of Bent Mountain, Virginia, and as with many who lived in remote regions of the South during this era, Turner worked to export the local product: moonshine. He became as big of a legend running illegal liquor as he did on the track. His ability to outrun Federal agents as well as local law enforcement earned Turner respect for his skill behind the wheel and unlike his counterpart Junior Johnson, Turner was never apprehended by the police. He ran his first race in 1946 in Mt. Airy, N.C. He finished last in a field of 18. In his next start, he won, beginning a legend as the best driver ever to race on dirt.

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Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers, Oh My! Busch Series To Pony Cars in 2009?

I hate the CoT. I physically hate it. As British automotive journalist Jeremy Clarkson might say, "It is wayward, its front splitter is utter rubbish, and the rear wing is stupid." A series that once celebrated and thrived on ingenuity, differentiation, and brand identification has now devolved into a bastardized IROC series, starring the ugliest thing this side of an El Camino. While NASCAR's premier division continues to plod along, refusing to input changes to a wholly unlikable car that have been pleaded for by competitors, there was some question as to when the CoT would make its way to the "middle" division in NASCAR, the soon-to-be-former Busch Series.

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That’s History Profile: Fireball Roberts

Fireball Roberts was one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history to never win a championship. And while the biggest prize managed to elude him; Roberts, the 1957 Most Popular Driver, still managed to etch his name in the NASCAR record books. In 1958, he became the first driver to win two 500-mile races in the same season, winning at Trenton, N.J. and the Southern 500 at Darlington. Three times he earned victories in two of NASCAR'S most prestigious races; the 1958 and 1963 Southern 500s and the 1962 Daytona 500. Perhaps his lasting legacy came in one of the sport's darkest moments, his death in the World 600 in 1964; which was the catalyst for the development and implementation of fuel cells, driver safety products, and fire retardant uniforms.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr.: How To Handle The Chase for The Championship

The 2007 Chase for the Nextel Cup is finally upon us. With the "drama" that surrounded last week's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond a thing of the past, most fans have now begun to speculate how the twelve title contenders are shaping up to make their run at the title. There is, however, another budding story in the garage as the dust begins to settle. While Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed making the big show for the second time in three years, his teammate, two-time Busch Grand National champion Martin Truex Jr. has made it instead, getting over the hump in just his sophomore season behind the wheel of a Cup car.

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That’s History Profile: Cale Yarborough

William Caleb Yarborough was born the son of a tobacco farmer on March 27th, 1939, just outside of Darlington, S.C. Later on in life, Cale would raise not tobacco but turkeys. He had little interest in the product, but more so what was happening down the road. 1950 was the first year of the Southern 500, the first super speedway oval specific to NASCAR, and one of the first to feature banking. Cale didn't have a ticket, so he slipped through a break in a chain linked fence to watch the action. A few years later he attempted to make the race, lying about his age to gain entrance. His first start at the track would be in 1957 driving a Pontiac for owner Bob Weatherly. Starting dead last, he'd only improve two positions to 42nd, a failed hub ending his day, but not his desire to race.

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