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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: Championship Favorites, Young Talent, And “Chasing” Road Courses

Mirror Driving: Championship Favorites, Young Talent, And “Chasing” Road Courses

*Kyle Busch took over sole possession of the points lead in Michigan after Carl Edwards' engine woes. With his fourth win of the year, does Busch become the title favorite, or does that moniker still belong to Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, or someone else?* Mike: The favorite banner is still Jimmie Johnson's until he's beaten. I know people try and poo-poo their chances for a multitude of reasons but they're right there. That said, Busch should, at least at this point in time, be the favorite to take the title away if anyone is going to. Phil: Busch has been very strong recently, but Johnson is starting to come on once again. Edwards is falling off, even though his contract is done and signed now. Read More »

Mirror Driving: As Joe Gibbs Racing Turns, In The Name Of Safety And Points Racing

*Marcos Ambrose's first career win was nearly overshadowed by some nasty crashes at Watkins Glen. Does the track need a major safety overhaul?* Amy: Yes, but here's the thing. The major incidents in recent years have been on parts of the track that can't be reconfigured because of the temporary barriers. Phil: There are some nasty blunt angles on walls there. That kickout that Ragan originally hit was an issue last year. I wouldn't be surprised if that got revised. However, that kickout protects a crossover. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Silly Season, Kurt vs. Jimmie, Road Course Ringers and More

*Silly Season seems to be winding to an anti-climactic close as Carl Edwards re-signed with Roush Fenway while Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya are close to deals to stay with their current teams. Should fans expect any late-season moves, and if so, who's most likely to be at the center of it?* Phil: I don't really expect anything at this point. We're already past August 1st. That's basically the deadline for the big stuff nowadays. We'll see some moves with the smaller teams, though. Mike: I don't think there will be any big names moving anywhere. I think the only driver that anyone is really still curious about is Brian Vickers. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Menard’s Win, Edwards’ Contract, A Silly Rule, More

*With his win at Indy, Paul Menard becomes the first entrant into Sprint's $3 million Summer Showdown Bonus program. He'll be joined by the winners of the next four races. Will anyone win the bonus, and is such a program relevant in the series today?* Phil: It's way too early to be able to tell if someone's going to win that bonus. However, such a program, if promoted correctly, can bring some fire to a part of the year that's all but a throwaway with the Chase in play. I don't think they're promoting it right, though. Amy: I think if anyone wins, it will be someone like Carl Edwards or Kyle Busch. I don't see Menard winning another race this year. It's an okay program, I suppose. I always liked the Winston Million better than the No Bull 5, which this is more like in nature. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Stripping A Win, Drawing A Crowd, And A Sponsor’s New Direction

*NASCAR stripped a win from Ryan Newman in the Modified division after inspection revealed an illegal spacer. NASCAR has long said they would not strip wins as it was confusing for race fans. Does this move represent a change or a double standard?* Amy: I think NASCAR just inadvertently said Modified fans are smarter than everyone else. Seriously, huge double standard. They'll happily strike wins in Modifieds and, I presume, other regional series, but not in the Big 3. Summer: Well since it's not a series that most fans follow all that closely, it really didn't seem to make a difference. It's not on TV very often. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Turnaround At Stewart-Haas, Harvick’s Warning Heeded?, More

*Was Sunday's 1-2 finish at New Hampshire the beginning of a turnaround for Stewart-Haas Racing, and will finishes like Sunday's save Tony Stewart's Chase hopes even without a win?* Amy: This is the time of year Stewart always gets hot. Phil: True, it is. Stewart has had a lot of success at Loudon in the past. However, he's been burned out of wins at least twice there because of fuel mileage in the past. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Junior’s Contract, Kentucky Blame Games and Iowa Ignorance?

*The race at Kentucky Speedway was overshadowed by fan complaints about traffic, parking, and concessions. Who is responsible for the fiasco and for fixing it for next year--NASCAR, who allowed track ownership to move the race from Atlanta, track owner Speedway Motorsports, Inc., or local and state government, who has control over local roads and police? And speaking of that race, did the racing justify the track getting a Sprint Cup date?* Phil: Responsibility: A combination of SMI for not expanding parking and the Kentucky State Police for an Epic Fail. I keep reading about exchanges, but its not an equal exchange, so the outrage will only continue. Summer: I think the fans that showed up validated a Cup date, not necessarily the racing. However, I don't pin the blame on NASCAR. They probably just assumed the track would deal with what needed to be dealt with. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Ragan’s Win, The Four-Team Cap and Nationwide Leaves IRP

Mirror Driving: Ragan’s Win, The Four-Team Cap and Nationwide Leaves IRP

*David Ragan's win at Daytona was the third first-time win by a driver this year. But was it enough to save his ride with Roush Fenway Racing?* Beth: One win does not save a career, but it's certainly a good place to start. Phil: Ragan was very strong on Saturday... he was able to keep himself up front almost all night. I'll say he definitely didn't hurt himself; UPS was definitely pleased with the victory. Amy: I think Ragan's future at RFR depends largely on Carl Edwards. If Edwards jumps ship, he could be a bit more secure. The thing is, Ragan is a consistent threat on plate tracks ... but inconsistent elsewhere. Beth: And does one win really offset just 27 top-10 finishes in 163 starts? Read More »

Mirror Driving: Vickers vs. Stewart, Daytona Rivalries and Kurt Busch as Champion?

*The Toyota / Save Mart 350 saw aggressive driving and payback between Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers. Did NASCAR finally make the right call by letting them "have at it" or should they have stepped in?* Jeff: They worked it out amongst themselves so let it be. Beth: I don't have a problem with NASCAR's no call on this one. They've promised boys have at it, and that's exactly what this was. Mike: Stewart wasn't mad so how can anyone else be mad. He said he knew it was coming and he was cool with it so it is all good. I didn't really think Vickers was blocking in the shot they gave of the initial incident. That doesn't let you know what he was doing before that. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Red Bull Reaction, Spoiled Oil And Nationwide Driver Swaps

*Reports have Red Bull pulling out of NASCAR at the end of 2011. With the demise of yet another smaller team, does NASCAR need to worry?* Mike: I don't know that I'd call Red Bull a smaller team. They had as big of a budget as anyone in the sport. but yes, it is not good to have two more cars not coming to the track every week Amy: Yes, but they've needed to worry for a few years now and they haven't started yet, so I can't see this being any different. Read More »