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Author Archives: Frontstretch Staff

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

Mirror Driving: Defining Dodge, Pondering Penalties and Does Winning Breed Winning?

*The big news of the weekend happened off the track, with Penske Racing announcing a switch to Fords for the 2013 season. How will the change impact Penske along with the other Ford teams… and is there a future for Dodge in NASCAR?* Beth: Well, Robby Gordon is their future come 2013...you do the math. Phil: If Dodge wants there to be a future, there will be one. However, I think they're in a situation where they have to drive up to Joey Arrington's engine shop with a truckload of money. Read More »

Mirror Driving: What To Take To Phoenix, NASCAR’s Weeknight Future And “Minor” Support

Mirror Driving: What To Take To Phoenix, NASCAR’s Weeknight Future And “Minor” Support

*The Sprint Cup teams head for Phoenix after a memorable Daytona Speedweeks. What lessons learned at Daytona will NASCAR, teams, and fans need to pay attention to going forward with the 2012 season?* Mike N.: Jet dryers carry 200 gallons of fuel. Amy: And jet fuel fires are hard to put out. Mike N.: Speedways can patch a surface 8,472,985 times faster than the DOT. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Two-Pack Racing, Penalties at Daytona and Political Correctness

*The season kicked off with a literal bang in Saturday's Budweiser Shootout. Only half of the 25-car field completed the race and only 10 cars finished on the lead lap. Did we learn anything from that race about what we can expect on Sunday, and is NASCAR's new rules package a good one or a dud?* Amy: We learned that a lot of good cars are going to get taken out in wrecks not of their doing. Mike N.: We learned that the best drivers in the world forgot how to race at a plate track without pushing each other around. The new rules package is a good one if you don't like tandem racing and like to see lots of equipment torn up. Not so good if you like to see everyone finish the race... Read More »

Mirror Driving: Danica’s Surprise, Judging Underdogs & More

*Danica Patrick announced she’ll run the Coca-Cola 600, not the Indy 500 as part of the Sprint Cup Media tour this week. Bad "business decision" for the former open-wheeler? Or the right move for someone whose long-term decision is to focus on stock car racing? Most importantly... is the fact these open-wheelers are no longer willing to try the double bad for racing in general?* Bryan: Sure, it's the right decision... if she was ready for Cup. Danica hasn't even run a full Nationwide season and we're already talking starts in the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600? Tom: I know it’s conspiracy theory-esque, but I almost thought this decision was intentional by those mysterious “business people.” NASCAR knows open-wheel is on its knees right now at a critical time... and now, the most marketable star won't be within 500 miles of Indy the whole month of May. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Judging NASCAR Silly Season, Radio Silence And More

*Several Sprint Cup drivers made postseason moves recently, with Kurt Busch jumping to the Phoenix Racing No. 51, A.J. Allmendinger to the No. 22 at Penske, and Aric Almirola reportedly to the No. 43 at Richard Petty Motorsports.  There were also several changes in the Nationwide Series… so which driver made the best move, and why?* Mike N.: I'd have to say, of those three, Allmendinger made the best move. He's going to be in a proven, race-winning machine. If the 'Dinger doesn't get it done there, he's got no one left to blame but himself. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Rebuilding Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Penske, And…

Mirror Driving: Rebuilding Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Penske, And…

*Mike Ford was removed from his crew chief post at Joe Gibbs Racing Tuesday after a disappointing season. Will this put Denny Hamlin back into title contention after a miserable 2011, and who's the best candidate to replace him?* Tom: My only complaint with the Ford firing is that it didn't happen sooner. JGR should have gotten a head start with someone new during the Chase. Everybody knew, by the middle of 2011 that duo wasn't working out. The fact they created momentum over the final few races, actually battling back to ninth in points after sitting dead last wound up a total waste of much time. Phil: Exactly, Tom. With all the discussion about Mike Ford since his stupid comments about having the title won last year, you'd think this would have happened 4 months ago. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Validating The Chase, Grubb’s Departure And Raining On Championships

Mirror Driving: Validating The Chase, Grubb’s Departure And Raining On Championships

*The season-ending race at Homestead had plenty of excitement, ending in the first ever championship points tie. But in a non-Chase situation, under this system Carl Edwards would have clinched the title at Phoenix, not Tony Stewart, eliminating the battle fans saw on Sunday. So did 2011 validate the Chase?* Amy: Not really, although I think to NASCAR it will. Unfortunately, to those of us who want to see it gone, this will just be the big "we told you so." Phil: That sounds about right. A bunch of people will claim that this will validate the whole system. Read More »

Mirror Driving: A Worthy Champ, Villainous Vickers and Series Identities

Mirror Driving: A Worthy Champ, Villainous Vickers and Series Identities

*The Sprint Cup title comes down to just two drivers at Homestead, three points between them. Does this mean that the new points system did what it was supposed to, or was it just a lucky break?* Phil: I'd argue that it's a lucky break. I don't think anyone would have predicted the 10th-place guy at the start of the Chase battling for the title. Tom: More of a lucky break than anything else. To be honest, it's not too much different than the old system. Not enough points for winning, consistency rules... only two of the 12 drivers are eligible for the title. We've been in situations where five, six drivers have been eligible. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Chase Games, Brainless Kyle And Sponsorship Loyalty

*After Texas, the championship battle is effectively between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards. Who has an edge the last two races, and why?* Phil: Well, both guys are pretty good. I'd argue Stewart, though. He's got Big Mo on his side and he's very good at Phoenix. Of course, Phoenix is a bit of a toss-up... Tom: Going into Texas, I still think Carl had the edge. But Tony just beat Carl at his own game. Intermediates are the No. 99's bread and butter. Have been for years. So now, I think it's a total toss-up. Both men have won at Phoenix and Homestead... and that track is repaved. So it's a virtual unknown. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Martinsville Chaos, Cheating Chad And Settling For a Job

Mirror Driving: Martinsville Chaos, Cheating Chad And Settling For a Job

*The Martinsville race was full of spinouts, paybacks, and all sorts of aggressive on-track behavior. Plenty of people left the track angry... but who, if anyone should have a legitimate beef going forward and will we see payback before the 2011 Sprint Cup season is out?* Amy: I think about half the field has a beef with Brian Vickers. But I don't think you'll see a lot of payback. Phoenix is much faster now, and the other two are as well. Phil: I doubt you'll see any paybacks this weekend since they'll be in Texas. Maybe at Phoenix. No one's stupid enough to dump someone at 195. Read More »