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Tag Archives: Joey Logano

2008 Sprint Cup Rookie Report Cards: Economic Woes and Poor Performances Leave Their Mark

Looking back on the 2008 season, many fans will notice a lot of similarities between this year and 2007. The most obvious comparison, for example, involves the complete dominance by three-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson during both Chases. But the 2007 season also saw the emergence of a new trend in NASCAR, involving the transition of open wheel stars joining the stock car scene. After a successful freshman campaign by Juan Pablo Montoya which included a win at Infineon, that trend set the tone for the freshman class of 2008, as four out of the six Rookie of the Year candidates were open wheel converts. Just nine months later, there is a very real difference for those open wheelers that debuted in '08 as compared to '07 -- just one of them appears ready to survive for a second season. What went wrong, and could their mistakes have been corrected? It’s now time for Professor Lumbis to grade their performance throughout the season, and take a look at the other new faces that emerged onto the scene and what the future may hold for them.

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Fanning the Flames: Closing The Inbox On The 2008 Season

*Q: Besides prima donna Joey Logano — who Gibbs is trying to force-feed the 2009 Rookie of the Year award by sandbagging his 2008 schedule and making him the new No. 20 successor to Tony Stewart — who else should we keep our eyes on? I know Danica Patrick isn't sitting on the pole at the Cup level yet; has the IRL import craze died down? Are there any Busch-leaguers swerving to the big leagues? Or legacies inheriting a silver spoon ride? Who's new?* _— Rowdy Rush_ *A:* Prima donna? Wow, I can always count on Rowdy here to call it like he sees it — and to go out with a BANG. As for the open-wheel imports, well, that “experiment” is in the process of dying a slow and sordid death thanks to the stunningly bad performances of Dario Franchitti, Jacques Villeneuve, Sam Hornish, Jr. and Patrick Carpentier. Juan Pablo Montoya and A.J. Allmendinger will continue to lead that charge in 2009 -- although, Hornish and Carpentier aren’t done trying to prove themselves just yet.

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Top 15 Commercials Of The 2008 NASCAR Season

Making a great 30-second ad is next to impossible. For those who’ve not sat for hours on a set drinking coffee, eating junk food and waiting interminably for something to happen, you would be absolutely shocked at the length of time it takes to make something seemingly so simple. Throughout the creative process (which typically takes 8-12 weeks) there are so many impediments to your progress; from nervous clients to intransigent creative directors, script changes in pre-production, more script changes on the set itself and of course yet more in the editing suite. In short, it’s damn hard to produce a compelling half minute piece of advertising and it’s even more so when you throw NASCAR drivers into the mix as, with respect, most wheelmen are not renowned for their Oscar-winning acting talent.

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Fanning the Flames: An Act of Charity, A Chase Take, And A Crazy Rumor

Good questions this week and I’m feeling a bit long winded, so let’s get to it. However, I do have to mention this first: I can be reached by clicking on *this link* with questions, comments, opinions, and the like. I’ll get you in next week — first-time, long-times get to the front first, just type “First time, long time” in the subject line. And don’t cheat, I know who you are. *Q: Hey Matt! For the Texas race results, I noticed that Joey Logano was not awarded points. Instead, in that column it reads “PE” even though he finished 40th. What the heck does that mean?* _— Confused in Iowa_ *A:* Funny, I know another “Confused in Iowa” — Frontstretch’s own Jeff Meyer! (Sorry bud, couldn’t resist.) Anyway, PE stands for Post Entry. Each team must submit an entry blank the week prior to a race. If a team hands its entry form in past NASCAR’s deadline, that team is not awarded driver or owner points in the event. They can still come and play, but no goodies for you! Except for the check, of course — they still get that.

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Did You Notice? Montoya’s Nightmare, Logano Losing Steam, And Disbelieving A Championship Dream?

*Did You Notice?* … Juan Pablo Montoya’s sophomore season has officially become a nightmare? Of drivers who’ve started all 34 races in 2008, Montoya has the most DNFs with nine. Eight of those have been caused by crashes, including four in the last five races that have wrecked – literally – any supposed on-track improvements for the No. 42. Any guesses as to who’s second on the DNFs list? Surprise, surprise … it’s David Gilliland, with eight of them -- including seven wrecks -- in 34 starts. So I guess it should come as no surprise that the two ran into each other in Texas, huh? Both drivers are also struggling to get full-time sponsorship for 2009; but with credentials like that to sell, it’s no wonder they’re having trouble with people signing on the bottom line.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Brad Keselowski has Impressive Debut While Joey Logano Struggles

*Rookies in the Starting Lineup:* Sam Hornish, Jr. (21st), Marcos Ambrose (24th), Regan Smith (25th), Scott Speed (33rd), Brad Keselowski (37th), Joey Lagano (43rd) *Unofficial Finishing Positions:* Brad Keselowski (19th), Marcos Ambrose (21st), Sam Hornish, Jr. (23rd), Scott Speed (33rd), Regan Smith (34th), Joey Lagano (40th) *Rookie of the Race: Brad Keselowski.* The 24-year old rookie finally got to make his Sprint Cup debut this weekend when he put his Hendrick Chevrolet in the 37th position on the starting grid after having rain spoil his attempt in Charlotte last month. The rookie could not get a grip on the Texas Motor Speedway as he scraped the wall on the fifth lap while trying to pass cars on the outside. Soon thereafter, Keselowski found himself a lap down to the leaders. However, the young driver and veteran crew chief Lance McGrew did not panic and found themselves in position for the “Lucky Dog” award when the afternoon’s first caution flew on lap 57.

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 O’Reilly Challenge 300 at Texas

The results at Texas Motor Speedway were exactly what anyone who’s followed the Nationwide Series in 2008 would expect. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Toyotas were untouchable. Cup regulars dominated the finishing order, taking six of the top eight finishing positions. And Kyle Busch led early and often, leading 174 of 200 laps to score his tenth win of the Nationwide season. He’s fast become the Florida State of NASCAR, beating up on the lower ranks in much the same way the Seminoles opened the college football season with back-to-back games against I-AA teams.

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Did The NASCAR Genie Pull Through in 2008?

This is my 50th column for Frontstretch and with just three races to go in 2008 I’m fast approaching the end of my rookie year as a NASCAR columnist. I’m not sure the esteemed editors are quite ready to pull the Yellow Stripe off my back bumper (traditionally, the sign that denotes a first-year driver) but with the season to all intents and purposes done and dusted, and while we wait for the coronation of King Jimmie Kenneth Johnson for a third time, there isn’t much to get too excited about or indeed good topics to wax lyrical on. With that in mind, I’m going to take a look back at my third column, "Ten Wishes for NASCAR Heading Into 2008":https://frontstretch.com/dpeters/14387/ to see how many wishes the NASCAR Genie granted me. I’ll list the initial wish first, then discuss how it either broke down or went swimmingly in 2008.

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Drivers Take Turns at Trying to Solve Rained Out Qualifying

Friday marked the third consecutive race and the 10th time this season that Sprint Cup qualifying had been rained out and the starting field has been set by owner’s points. With that in mind, many fans and the media have wondered aloud about the ramifications of NASCAR’s deciding never to move qualifying to another day. Why can’t NASCAR stage qualifying, if weather permits, on Saturday, instead of canceling it on a rainy Friday? How are teams outside the Top 35 supposed to have a fair shot at qualifying for the race, if some are simply sent home after a rainout? How can rookies who are trying to gain seat time in Cup and get certified to run in the series supposed to do that if qualifying gets rained out? If part-time teams are sent home after qualifying, how can they gain the traction to run well, attract sponsorship, and graduate to running a full-time, competitive schedule? Several Sprint Cup drivers took some time during the Friday rains to address the issue.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Sam Hornish, Jr. Bounces Back From Crash To Widen Lead At Atlanta

*Rookies in the Starting Lineup: (Due to rain, qualifying was canceled and the field was set by owner points):* Regan Smith (32nd), Scott Speed (34th), Sam Hornish, Jr. (36th), Marcos Ambrose (38th), Chad McCumbee (41st) *Unofficial Finishing Positions:* Sam Hornish, Jr. (24th), Marcos Ambrose (29th), Regan Smith (30th), Scott Speed (34th), Chad McCumbee (36th) *Rookie of the Race: Sam Hornish, Jr.* From the drop of the green flag, it looked like it would be a long afternoon for Sam Hornish, Jr. Yet again, his No. 77 team was forced to start from the rear of the pack after qualifying was rained out on Friday. Then, on lap two, the rookie was involved in a wreck with veteran Bill Elliott, and subsequently penalized a lap for pitting too early following the incident.

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