Recent Posts

Pushing Through NASCAR’s Press Conference Daze About Nothing

"Last week":https://frontstretch.com/jmeyer/23100/ I reported, in part, about the press conference held at Lowe's Motor Speedway that announced another press conference would be forthcoming in a couple of weeks. Oh, that's right! They also named Ric Flair as the Honorary All-Star Race Director for 2009 ... but that was just a side show. Instead, at the time LMS officials dangled “the carrot of All-Star race change” in front of a vegetable crazed-media but declined to comment further, presumably to let them stew a bit. After all, no good stew is worth anything if there ain’t a carrot or two involved!

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Fanning the Flames: Yeah, I’ll Admit It; I Miss The Old Bristol Stomp

Ah, Bristol; you gotta love it. Even when we have a race that isn’t considered to be one of the all-time classics (Sunday’s was at best a 5.0 on the excitement scale) the fervor generated amongst the fan base reaches a fever pitch. Old Bristol or new? Bump ‘n’ Run or hit the high groove? Frustration, bird flippin’, and post-race tirades... or more of the same old canned answers after the checkers? See, what I miss about the “old” Bristol is the intense emotion of the whole show. The guys were crammed into a giant blender for three hours in melting hot pieces of steel and rubber that belched exhaust fumes and deafening noise. The makeup of the track and the cars mandated they use certain, uh, shall we say “means” of getting the business of the day done. Afterward, the frustration (or jubilation) and raw nerves of 43 men on the edge were bared for all to see. Unfortunately, it’s not that way anymore.

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insiders: No Need for Headache Powder at Martinsville

_As NASCAR’s first short track leg of the season continues, the Cup circuit heads from a drastically altered Bristol Motor Speedway to a track that, well, hasn’t changed much at all since the 1950s. Martinsville Speedway is still a flat-banked, claustrophobic paper clip that provides the most old-school racing still seen today in big-time stock car competition. And with the help of Frontstretch’s Fantasy Insiders, there will be no need for fantasy racers to make use of the ample free samples of Goody’s that will be circling the track this weekend. We'll leave those to the drivers knocked out in all those crashes, leaving your fantasy team to dominate on the .526-mile oval with the right drivers capable of making it through._

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NASCAR News for Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Buskirk Expected to Return at Martinsville Kevin Buskirk, crew chief for the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 19 Dodge Charger of Elliott Sadler, is expected to return to his pit box this weekend at Martinsville Speedway for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 following a battle with a stomach bug he acquired …

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Did You Notice? Earnhardt’s Free Pass, Busch’s Less Than Intimidating Nature, And Mourning NASCAR’s Past

*Did You Notice?* … Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s been getting rather "lucky" these days? Just 19th in points after five races, so much talk has centered around the No. 88 team struggling to get it together. Some feel like they’ve turned the corner towards respectability in recent weeks … but I’m not so sure. A quick look at the Free Pass statistics tells you all you need to know about his season. With six free passes used in four races, Junior’s needed help to get put in position to finish even as high as he has. And whatever you think the problem is, the facts speak volumes for a four car Hendrick organization that prides itself on a top 5 finish being a disappointment. Junior hasn’t even had one of those since Martinsville last Fall, where he wound up second to Jimmie Johnson; and at this point, it's been over eight months since he was the top-performing HMS car in a race (Coke Zero 400 - July 2008).

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Racing The Way It Used To Be: NASCAR Short Tracks Still Exist – If Barely

I am going to focus on what used to be one of the most anticipated times of the year, NASCAR’s short track season. Back when I first started really getting into the sport, four of the greatest and most storied tracks — Darlington, Bristol, North Wilkesboro and Martinsville — would follow one another. It was short track action that looked the same then as it did 20 or 30 years earlier. Darlington is not a short track of course, and has but one date now that resides in early May, while Wilkesboro has since been relegated to little more than a weed farm and termite Valhalla. Bristol and Martinsville remain, but the racing has not been the same at these tracks of late. So what gives?

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Mirror Driving: Final Thoughts On The New Bristol And Digesting The New Top 35

*It's clear that 18 months after repaving, this isn't the same old Bristol. That's led to some mixed reviews from fans -- but is the new Bristol a classic or a total flop?* Amy: Personally, I like it. Fewer wrecks… but still some good passing. Mike N.: Most of the fans I have talked to are not liking it at all … but I personally like the new Bristol. I find it to be better racing with actual passing instead of bumping people out of the way.

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Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Food City 500 at Bristol

Frontstretch Power Rankings
The fastest half-mile in the world at Bristol battered many of Cup's top contenders and spit them out. Bad luck struck more than one competitor, most notably Greg Biffle, causing mechanical problems which dropped him out of the top 15 in our power rankings. But every driver's pain is someone else's gain, and when the dust settled from Thunder Valley there were plenty of familiar faces still on top. Kyle Busch’s win moved him up three spots in the standings ... but was it enough to knock Jeff Gordon off the top perch? Meanwhile, both men received a challenge from Jimmie Johnson, whose surprising third place success at Bristol left him ready for an assault on the top 5 heading into a track at Martinsville he owns over the last few years.

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