Thursday , October 23 2014
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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: A Cautionary Tale, Ragan Rallies and Preseason Favs Fading

*There was a debate after the Coca-Cola 600 surrounding a multi-car crash on the first lap of a green-white-checkered attempt, which did not draw a caution and occurred while Dale Earnhardt, Jr was leading and gunning for his first win in 105 starts. Was the non-call the right thing to do, a blatant attempt to try and assure a popular win, both, or neither?* Mike: I don't think it was a good call but I also don't think it was to try and get Earnhardt a win. I think they were trying to let the race run its course with so many people about to run out of gas, but I think they should have thrown the caution. Amy: Personally, I say neither. There was no way to guarantee Junior the win, caution or not. However, there should have been a caution. Some friends of mine were sitting over that way and said there was debris on the track. Read More »

Mirror Driving: All-Star Disappointment, Kyle’s Ticket and Raikkonen’s Future

*Saturday night's All-Star Race was decidedly tame compared to what fans have come to expect from a non-points race for $1 million. What was the reason for that, and what can be done about it?* Amy: The All_Star deal has gone downhill ever since Spring came on, truth be told. Bring back the invert, eliminate drivers each segment and only let one guy race in. Phil: Well, sometimes races get spread out. Big deal. It happens. It's not the end of the world. Mike: There needs to be desperation involved and I don't know for sure how you get it. They need to bring the invert back for sure. They need to get the Showdown back to one driver transferring, not two. I'd really like to see them go to heat races. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Tire Rubber Slicks, Empty Seats and Picking on Probationers

Mirror Driving: Tire Rubber Slicks, Empty Seats and Picking on Probationers

*The second half of the Dover event was peppered with driver complaints about excessive rubber buildup on the track, caused from the tires making the racing surface too slippery. Is this something NASCAR and Goodyear need to address... or a case where the drivers need to deal with it?* Summer: Drivers will complain about anything that makes the racing difficult. Amy: In the case of Dover, definitely a "shut up and drive" situation. In the case of Bristol, there were safety issues, and in that case, obviously something needs to be done. Safety issues, like tires cording in a handful of laps, need addressing. Phil: They had the exact same issues last Fall. It did negatively affect the action since drivers had serious troubles passing people, and the COT probably didn't help things much. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Regan’s Win, Kevin vs. Kyle and Fuel Injection

*Regan Smith got his first career win on Saturday night. Could this victory be the springboard towards a ride with a team that has better resources, or is Smith better served by staying at Furniture Row, trying to develop that program into a yearly Chase contender?* Summer: I don't really see that team turning into a yearly Chase contender anytime soon. Let's remember, that win wasn't because they necessarily had a good car. It was the strategy that won them the race. Mike: Furniture Row has the resources. They can get whatever they want because their owner wants to win. He can succeed with them it would just help if they got another car. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Carl’s Contract, All-Star Racers And A Solution to Nationwide Interlopers?

Mirror Driving: Carl’s Contract, All-Star Racers And A Solution to Nationwide Interlopers?

*With Greg Biffle signed to a contract extension, the biggest free agent question mark is Carl Edwards. Is Edwards better off re-signing with Roush-Fenway or shopping his wares elsewhere; and if so, where?* Phil: I'd say he should stay in the No. 99. He'd only hurt himself by leaving. Plus, it's not like he's struggling right now. Amy: I think RFR is probably the best fit for Edwards in terms of both equipment and personality. I don't see Edwards fitting the Hendrick mold, but they don't have an open seat anyway. Gibbs could be a player, but I'm not sure how the chemistry would be. Ditto Stewart-Haas. Mike N.: Carl's not going anywhere but, if he wants to get a couple more bucks out of Jack Roush and John Henry he should shop his talents, or maybe take them to South Beach. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Playing By The Rules, Speed Dating, And Silliness

*While the finish at Talladega was one of the closest in NASCAR history, it was not without controversy; race winner Jimmie Johnson appeared to touch the yellow line as he gained position on Mark Martin on the final lap. NASCAR didn't penalize Johnson, and the rule appears in question as it's not formally published anywhere. Should NASCAR make its rules transparent for fans and competitors alike, or would that create more problems than it could hope to solve?* Amy: Absolutely, the rule should be published for all to see. Why the secrecy, if they plan on enforcing it fairly? Mike N.: The rule, as I understand it, says you cannot go below the yellow line. He was not below the line. Jeff: I was not aware there was controversy. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Ford’s Fight, Two-Car ‘Dega Drafts And Dale Jr. To Victory Lane?

Mirror Driving: Ford’s Fight, Two-Car ‘Dega Drafts And Dale Jr. To Victory Lane?

*Ford grabbed its third win with its third different driver in seven races at Texas, all on tracks of 1.5 miles or longer. Chevrolet has two different winners in 2011; Toyota one. Does this make a Ford - any Ford the odds on favorite for this year's title given the number of intermediate tracks on the schedule?* Phil: Not necessarily, but it's not going to hurt them at all. It could be arguable that this resurgence is a return to form. Remember when the intermediates were Ford's forte a couple of years ago before their simulations screwed them up? Amy: Unless the Chevy or Toyota camps can come up with something the Fords haven't hit on, I think it does make one of them a favorite. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Martinsville Excitement, Tire Troubles and Fueling Speeds

*Martinsville gave fans plenty of excitement: a thrilling finish, the Most Popular Driver returning to form, and a record number of lead changes. Was Sunday the best competition we've seen this season? And if so... what was the most important thing to take from the race, something the sport should hope happens elsewhere?* Phil: It was pretty dang sweet, I'll tell you what. I definitely want that action in other races as well. We will get that... just don't know where. Amy: It was a great race all day long. What NASCAR needs is more short tracks on the schedule. Phil: They'll have to lower sanctioning fees for that to happen. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Hidden Gems, Hiding Rookies, And Horrid Luck For Gibbs

Mirror Driving: Hidden Gems, Hiding Rookies, And Horrid Luck For Gibbs

*Auto Club Speedway has the reputation of hosting boring races, but after two great finishes this weekend, is that changing as the track ages?* Jeff: NO! Beth: Not at all. We got a few minutes of great racing, and the rest was just a bunch of follow the leader. Amy: Let's not get carried away. Sunday's race had about five good laps following 195 of crap. And it wouldn't even have been close without Bobby Labonte's blown tire. Read More »