Recent Posts

Best of Turn 5: Phil Chases His Dream

Today kicks off eight straight days of Frontstretch.com's exclusive Turn 5 cartoon. We will be picking out some of the best Turn 5 cartoons, giving new fans a chance to meet Phil Filler, Velma Lou and the rest of the gang; while fans that have been here since the beginning can enjoy their antics all over again. Today's cartoon is one of the very first cartoons that debuted February 12, 2007.

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Rick Crawford Driver Diary: Graceland, Fine Wine, and Bad Luck

At Memphis the truck was in the Top 5 on each practice session and running really good. I had an early draw for qualifying, went out and was the fastest of the trucks that went out before me. I was pretty optimistic and thought we had a really nice piece but got knocked out early. Some dramatic things happened during that particular wreck that have just never happened to me before. We exploded a battery and the battery blew the back of the truck off. The crew did a fantastic job fixing it but we lost two or three laps in the pits when we had to install a new battery. We just made laps and finished where we finished. In Kentucky we practiced about where we qualified and were trying to move up as soon as the green flag dropped. I don't know, it just got away from me and that's one of those things. I save it probably 90% of the time but there's that 10% chance that you're going to lose it.

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Driven To The Past: Phil Parsons

Phil Parsons is probably best known to race fans as part of the trio that make up the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series color commentating team for Speed. Along with Rick Allen and Michael Waltrip, Parsons can be seen and heard calling the action in NASCAR's version of Double-A baseball. What many may not know is that Phil was a pretty fair racecar driver in his own right, becoming part of racing history by winning the 1988 Winston 500 at Talladega.

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What’s The Call: Did Aric Almirola Make The Right Career Choice?

Today's Question : Earlier this week, it was announced that Aric Almirola will be headed to Ginn Racing to share a Cup ride with Mark Martin for the rest of 2007 and beyond. Was this the right move for Aric's future, or was he wrong to slam the door on an opportunity with one of the top teams in Cup, Joe Gibbs Racing, a team he drove for in the Busch Series up until this surprising turn of events? Becca Gladden:Let's see - sharing a Busch ride with Denny Hamlin or sharing a Cup ride with Mark Martin. Hmmm. That's a tough choice. Not! This is a no-brainer for Almirola...and it has nothing to do with what happened in Milwaukee. Tommy Thompson: The news that Aric Almirola is leaving Joe Gibbs and signing on as a part-time Cup driver, sharing duties with Mark Martin in the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet at Ginn Racing, truly bewilders me. Is the kid suicidal? That's the first of two things that came to my mind when I heard the decision. The other was simply a rule of thumb for self-preservation, one that a grizzled firefighting instructor at Texas A&M once shared with me and the other assembled trainees: "If the rats are running out of a burning building, you don't run in." Someone needs to share this practical wisdom with Almirola, before he gets burned…BIG TIME!

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Rest Easy, Anheuser-Busch: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Did NOT Coronate Budweiser

A few days ago, my esteemed Frontstretch colleague and friend, Mr. Mike Neff, made the assertion that it is the driver that makes the sponsor. While that may be true for some lesser known products, I don't believe the separation of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Budweiser should prompt Anheuser-Busch to be searching through the St. Louis area Yellow Pages for a cheap bankruptcy lawyer _just_ yet. Contrary to popular cultural myth, Budweiser, the "King of Beers", did in fact exist long before the inception, conception, reception, and perception of NASCAR's Most Popular Driver. Truth be told, it predates him by some 98 years, back to 1876, when horsepower was actually rated by the number of road apples left in your wake.

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Fanning the Flames: NASCAR Silly Season Could Be Worse – We Could Have Steinbrenner

Remember when Silly Season used to go into full swing around the Charlotte race date in October? These days, it seems it's going strong by Indy. Yeah, I know I say this every year...but this season truly seems much sillier than last. Or the one before, and the one before that… This year is unique in that most of the silliness centers not with the drivers, but the owners. We have the Ray Evernham / George Gillette deal that has been ongoing for all of a decade and may never get done. There are also investment firms popping up right and left in the garage, milling about like pit lizards, trying to buy into someone, _anyone's_ race team. Problem is, these investment firms don't know a front clip from a fuel pump. They also don't realize that teams need sponsors...not someone to split the utility bill with them.

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Kyle Busch: There’s Nothing More Dangerous Than A Man With Nothing Left To Lose

_"You better not try to stand in my way_ _As I'm a walking out the door,_ _Take this job and shove it_ _I ain't workin' here no more."_ -Chorus to _"Take This Job And Shove It"_, by Johnny Paycheck Those words immediately came to mind when digesting the recent bizarre behavior exhibited by Kyle Busch. While his recent statements aren't exactly as outlandish as say, Tony Stewart accusing his teammate of backing up into him at 200mph at Daytona, they do give one pause for reflection: What the heck is up with this kid? It doesn't appear he's trying to make the best of a difficult situation, wooing a suiting sponsor, or auditioning for his next ride. He looks like a guy trying to get canned instead of quitting, so he can collect unemployment.

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Mirror Driving : Kahne Drinking Bud? Chicagoland A Dud? And Ginn Hits The Ground With A Thud

*It's now been six years since Chicagoland hosted its first Nextel Cup race. Are you disappointed in the progress being made as the track has aged, and should improvements be made ala Homestead and Las Vegas to make the facility more competitive?* Tommy: Heck no...looks like it's becoming a challenging track. I could care less how slick it was…it made for some interesting racing. Amy: The track itself has improved, as it basically started as a one groover. The problem is, NASCAR never needed to be adding all those cookie-cutter tracks in the first place - Chicago _and_ Kansas? Give me a break. Tony: Not sure why we had such a bad race Sunday. I thought Chicagoland was starting to get a bit better; instead, it just took a step back.

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Top Ten Ways NASCAR Could Make Chicagoland Mildly More Entertaining

10. Let Medallion Financial Corp. sponsor the race, featuring 43 selected cab drivers as the drivers while the actual drivers ride shotgun and try to give them advice. (Great for the Diversity program, too!) 9. Move the date to California Speedway so we, the fans, can hear once again just how full the stands really are and how great the shopping is under the grandstands. 8. Hold the race on the Dan Ryan Expressway during regular rush hour traffic. (We'll see just how brave NASCAR drivers really are!) 7. Feed each driver a plate of "Chicago Style" hot dogs and baked beans before the race and enhance the in-car audio for that true "Windy City" effect.

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Driver Shopping? Try Clint Bowyer On For Size

There is no secret that NASCAR is experiencing a "changing of the guard" over the past few years, as many of its popular veterans have either retired or are in the process of gradually exiting the sport. This attrition has left not only team owners scrambling to find competent replacements for the seats of their race cars, but race fans as well looking for their next favorite driver to replace an aging veteran. And in many ways, the process that fans go through in finally settling on a suitable replacement are no less complicated than what car owners are saddled with. Some might argue that picking a favorite driver is even more onerous of a decision for the fan, as owners generally only require a driver to be competent behind the wheel and project an acceptable public persona. Not so for most fan supporters, who, before pledging their personal loyalty and support, in addition to contributing probably more of their hard-earned money in accessorizing their wardrobe, cars, and den than they should, have a lengthy and very personalized set of requirements that a prospective new "favorite" driver must meet. That is as it should be, because this is not a "term of contract" agreement between the fan and their No. 1 driver…it is a longterm commitment. Perhaps Clint Bowyer, presently setting tenth in drivers points in only his second full-time season in the Nextel Cup Series, can fill the void that the recent retirement of Rusty Wallace, as well as the gradual and / or soon expected final retirements of popular veterans like Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd or Kenny Schrader have or will create for fans of those drivers.

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