Recent Posts

Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Let the Games Start

The engines have fired. The first laps have been driven in anger. Victors have celebrated... and losers have been left to lick their wounds. Yes, ladies and gents, the 2009 Cup season has officially kicked off -- for better or worse. The Cup season began on a day when the Northeast of the great United States was bathed in some remarkably warm weather, free of the ice and sub-zero temperatures that have plagued us since last November. It’s hard to imagine now, but the Magical Mystery Tour that is the NASCAR season will roll on to almost Thanksgiving, a length I find frankly ridiculous.

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On The Bubble At Daytona: Sorting Through Who’s Locked In And Locked Out

You'd think that over the offseason, it'd be hard for the top 35 situation to change as no one would be accumulating any more points. But in an offseason filled with teams folding, merging, and selling off their "locked in" places on the starting grid, the landscape of Who's In and Who's Out looks completely different than it did when I left you back in November. Several teams that were out of the Top 35 after Miami have gained access to automatic spots, while others have seen their points go to different cars within their own teams. It's all enough to leave you more than a little confused. So, without further adieu, let’s clear the air and preview the Top 35 for 2009.

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Fanning the Flames: Greed Or Business As Usual? With NASCAR, It’s Hard To Tell

Strong stuff in the inbox this week, guys 'n' gals. Thanks for the input once again. I wasn’t able to get to a few of you this week... but I haven’t thrown anything out. Keep the questions and opinions flowing in, and we’ll see this column through to its true purpose: To be a free-flowing dialogue of thoughts, concerns, questions, answers, and solutions. Here’s your link to participate this time around. Remember, without your participation, this weekly spot does not exist. OK, then, let’s drop the green …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insiders, Daytona 2009: How To Make That Harvey J. Earl Trophy Yours

_Just as the Daytona 500 brings stock car racing roaring back to life, it also marks the beginning of the 2009 season for hundreds of thousands of fantasy racers across the country. And just as every driver in the 500 field needs a strong finish this Sunday to kick off their campaigns, every fantasy racer wants to get a jump on their competition the first weekend of the season. Picking a restrictor plate race is never easy -- but Frontstretch’s own Bryan Davis Keith and Mike Neff are nonetheless going to bumpdraft you to the front of your respective leagues._

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What’s Vexing Vito: The Great American Race – Suppressed By The People’s Republic of NASCAR

I’m actually pretty excited this morning. Normally during the week, I’m in a bad mood until about 11:00am, but today is a little different as the actual racing season gets underway with actual racing–The Gatorade Duels at Daytona International Speedway will set the field for Sunday’s 51st running of the …

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Did You Notice? Double Yellow Line Means Ridiculous, Stremme’s Sad Debut, And Said’s Big Chance

*Did You Notice...* The giant black wrecking ball on the track Saturday night? NASCAR was looking for a new wrinkle to make the races more exciting, and... Hold on a second. That was David Stremme? Ohhhh ... _now_ it all makes sense. Seriously, it’s hard to think of a worse debut for a driver with a top-level team. I know the Shootout is an exhibition race, but Stremme was pulling an ugly exhibition of his own Saturday night, involved in multiple wrecks while destroying his Veriz ... er, Penske Championship Racing Dodge. He followed that up by falling flat in qualifying the next day, taking full advantage of his Top 35 exemption into the field after timing in a dismal 41st.

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The NASCAR Stimulus Package: What Can Be Done To Jump Start Racing In America?

There are a myriad of changes on the horizon for NASCAR as the 2009 season kicks off in grand fashion this week. All (or most) of them are aimed at cutting spiraling costs of competing at any of the three levels of America’s premier racing series. Considering this, I got to thinking... what would I put forth if I were president (or owner) of NASCAR for a day? What would be my racing stimulus package? Below are a list of my demands, decrees and edicts, all aimed at injecting a little bit more life into a sport that once graced the cover of Sports Illustrated as “America’s Hottest Sport.”

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Mirror Driving: The Fallout Of No Testing At Daytona, Dueling For… What?, And Avoiding Short Fields

*Saturday's Budweiser Shootout featured several multi-car crashes that took out some top contenders -- including rookie sensation Joey Logano and Cup champions Bobby Labonte and Jimmie Johnson. Was this to be expected in a non-points race, or is it an ominous result of the testing ban — and is there more to come as the ban continues?* Beth: I think it was a little bit of both, actually. Amy: I think it's a sign of things to come for the 500; but after that, not so much. Teams need the track time, but they'll get that the first few weeks.

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Closing NASCAR’s Seventh Decade: The Top 12 Drivers — Including The Champ Who’ll Lead Us Into 2010

2009 closes out the first decade of the 21st Century for NASCAR, and what a long, strange trip it's been. Who would have thought back in 2000 Petty Enterprises would cease to exist nine years later -- along with no Adam Petty to lead NASCAR's first family into the next generation? Or that Dale Earnhardt, Sr. would make only 37 more Cup starts, his death the impetus for a sudden wave of safety innovation no one would have even imagined? And who would have believed that a little-known Busch Series upstart named Jimmie Johnson would be the man rewriting the record books for three full seasons, becoming one of the best stock car drivers ever to set foot in the series?

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