Recent Posts

The Best Of The Frontstretch: 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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The Best Of The Frontstretch: Tearing Apart The Trucks: Fike’s Fall From Grace

The drivers of the Craftsman Truck Series got a break this past weekend, and while some drivers spent that time resting and relaxing, others spent it capturing headlines. Aaron Fike was arrested Saturday night with lady friend Cassandra Davidson at Kings Island after the park reported Fike's SUV as suspicious. Fike tried to drive away when the Mason City Police Department approached the vehicle, but another officer pulled in front, forcing him to stop. After a thorough search of the car, the two offenders were taken into custody and arrested after officers found heroin, syringes, and spoons with residue stashed inside. According to police, Fike admitted taking the drug; if that's true, those words will cause another promising Truck Series career path to be flushed down the tubes. NASCAR's substance abuse policy was instituted in 1988, and it's pretty straight forward. NASCAR may conduct random drug tests on a whim; if a driver refuses to take the test, he is suspended until he passes, giving NASCAR a reason to consider allowing him to return to the track. However, if he fails the test outright, he is immediately suspended, offered a treatment plan, and considered for reinstatement only after completing his recovery under the watchful eyes of NASCAR. Although it will consider lifting a suspension, NASCAR officials have said there is one rule they will not bend : a three strikes and you're out policy.

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Mirror Driving: Fixing Qualifying Rules, Changing The Age Rule, And Who Ruled At Testing?

*With Daytona testing for the three major series in the books, what have we learned and what questions do you still have heading to the Daytona 500?* Amy: We have learned that Daytona testing is the same as always... the guys who have to race in let it all hang out while the rest ride. Tony: Toyota is looking more competitive this year - but honestly, not much more than that. Traditionally, offseason testing doesn't tell us that much. All we need to do is look back no further than the days both Junior and Waltrip were dominant with DEI at Daytona. They were crap in testing ... but then did well in the race. Mike: Toyota cars are fast by themselves, Hendrick is still going to dominate, everyone still doesn't show all they have, and the offseason is too long. I also think we learned that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is going to try very hard to work and play well with others in the Hendrick organization.

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The Best Of The Frontstretch: Bobby Ginn: The Gambler Rolled “Snake Eyes”

In what has become the quickest and most dramatic rise and fall of a race team in recent NASCAR history, Ginn Racing has fans, drivers and other owners in the NASCAR garages wondering what in the world has transpired with the team that had been showing so much promise since the drop of the green flag at this years Daytona 500. Since owner Bobby Ginn purchased the two-team organization formerly known as MB2 Motorsports from its previous majority owner Nelson Bowers barely a year ago, what the NASCAR community has witnessed is an illusion…a highly calculated gamble, based on maintaining an appearance of stability to gain acceptance within the sport in hopes of securing significant outside financing, money that was desperately needed to continue the charade. And it was a fairly well orchestrated deception...one that almost worked. The plan's downfall was simply that no corporate sponsor was ever found that would take the bait that Bobby Ginn set out…and the ruse has now begun to unravel. Bobby Ginn, a real estate developer from South Carolina, entered the NASCAR scene with a BANG!

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The Best Of The Frontstretch: Give Me A Break: The Significance of Martin Finally Taking The Week Off As Promised

Someone might want to contact Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel; it appears as if Hell has actually frozen over. For the first time since the November race at Atlanta in 1987, a streak of 621 consecutive races, Mark Martin will not be competing in a NASCAR Cup Series event. Ranking 4th on the all-time list behind Ricky Rudd, Terry Labonte, and Dale Earnhardt, Sr. for consecutive starts, Martin finally takes a break this weekend. It's not due to injury, poor qualifying effort, or fear of flying CoT wings and splitters that sends Martin off to the sidelines; it's simply because he has more "pressing business" at a dirt track in Lake City, Florida. Uh…okay?

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The Best Of The Frontstretch: Ain’t That A Shame – But Who’s To Blame For Bristol?

It seems I am in the minority about the "new" BMS - I actually enjoyed Saturday night's Cup race, a drowning voice in the face of mounting criticism against the track. What I saw throughout was a lot of two and even three wide racing, along with passing throughout the pack. Yes, two cars - the No. 9 and the No. 99 - dominated the race, but keep in mind that Matt Kenseth led 415 laps en route to his win in the 2005 Bristol night race. So, such domination is not without precedent even at the old Bristol. Still, many fans and even some members of the media proclaimed Saturday night's race at Bristol "boring" (or worse). In fact, many feel the night race has been ruined.

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The Best Of The Frontstretch: The Kyle Busch You Don’t Know

Abrasive. Argumentative. Arrogant. Ask a NASCAR fan to describe Nextel Cup driver Kyle Busch and those are some of the adjectives you might hear. When Kyle entered the Cup series full time, many fans painted him with the same broad brush as older brother Kurt, who perhaps had done more to earn those epithets in the early years of his career than Kyle did. And it didn't help that Kyle was driving for Hendrick Motorsports, making him a teammate of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson - two drivers that many fans already loved to hate. But there are many positive attributes that should come to mind when you hear the name Kyle Busch - among them: Accomplished.

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The Best Of The Frontstretch: In This Age of “Perception,” DEI Is In Intensive Care

In this ever increasingly mixed up world, a world where "perception" seems to be valued over "truth," the entity known as Dale Earnhardt, Inc. is in dire need of serious medical attention. Pronto. The biggest wound that DEI has suffered in 2007 is, of course, the well-documented divorce and subsequent family tiff that ultimately resulted in Dale Earnhardt, Jr. becoming employed by Rick Hendrick next season...not the family business he has always worked for. After that sort of major trauma, one would think that DEI would prefer to sort of "lay low" for awhile, taking stock and regrouping in preparation for life without a "Dale" in the mix.

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Furniture Row Racing Roars Into 2008

Denver, CO – Furniture Row Racing enters its third year of competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup racing this season, and the team is positioning itself to have its best opening season yet. Striving to reach its top potential, the team will be powering their Chevy Impalas with Hendrick Motorsports engines. Team …

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An Amazing Event in the Desert: NASCAR’s Connection To Barrett-Jackson

Every January, as the New Year dawns there is a pilgrimage to the desert Southwest by car enthusiasts from around the globe. In a display of decadence by a very large group of people who have more money than people should rightly have, people purchase cars that were originally priced at a few thousand dollars for hundreds of thousands more. The thrill and competition of a no-reserve auction - coupled with egos of people who are used to getting what they want whenever they want it - turns a sleepy racing offseason into a made-for-television event that's the definition of the word compelling. This annual event is the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car auction. Running for six days, this year the Scottsdale, Arizona-held event sold 1,200 cars for a staggering total of more than $80,000,000. In the process, any car that you have ever dreamed of owning likely went across the auction block, a selection that's truly the cream of crop when it comes to classic automobiles. Anything from Volkswagon Microbuses to Corvettes to Robosauruses are on the block - if you can dream it, you can find it in this six-day oasis of car craziness. But not only do you see some very cool vehicles, you also get to see some celebrities, including some of NASCAR's stars.

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