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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: 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 »

Mirror Driving: Troubling Trends, The Best Driver Intro, And Career Suicide?

Mirror Driving: Troubling Trends, The Best Driver Intro, And Career Suicide?

*Bristol Motor Speedway, a track that once had a waiting list years long for tickets, had a lot of empty seats on Sunday. Has the racing really changed that much since the resurfacing, or is the real problem something else?* Phil: Well, racing might play a small role. Really, everything else is playing a bigger one. Amy: A huge part of the problem is the price gouging going on at the hotels. People had to stay in Asheville, North Carolina, an hour and a half away to get a normal room rate. Jeff: The Spring race was never hard to get tickets to. It was the night race in August that had years of waiting. Beth: I don't think the real problem can be nailed down to just one thing. Sure, price gouging plays a role, but that happens around most tracks. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Can Early Surprises Stick, And A Women Only NASCAR Series?

*Kasey Kahne won the CWTS race at Darlington in convincing fashion - but can Kahne parley his winning ways into the Cup Series this season?* Jeff: Magic 8 ball answer... could be. Phil: Kahne was a toughy all night Saturday, and winning definitely gave him some confidence. However, it's the Truck Series. Only so much can translate to Sprint Cup. Amy: I could see him winning one. I don't think it will be consistently, though; he's Red Bull's number 2 guy AND a lame duck. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Ford’s Future, Keeping Momentum, And Truckin’ To Darlington

*NASCAR's ratings are up in double-digit percentages over the first three races a year ago. What is the reason for the renewed interest; and more importantly, can it last?* Mike N.: I'm sure it is all because of the simple point system. No wait, it is because drivers can only run for one title... hang on, it is because of the wildcards for the Chase. That must be it. Phil: Not having a pothole derail the Daytona 500 helps. Does it have staying power? I hope so. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Time To Kill The Repave, And Can Millions Make A Difference

*Phoenix was the second race with the new points system, and it began and ended with several drivers having to climb out of a points hole. Considering the number of early cautions at Phoenix, is the new points system going to make the racing better or is it already making drivers too aggressive early on?* Beth: Too aggressive? Really? Summer: Yeah... Seriously. Mike N.: I think the opposite is going to be true. I think they're going to be more conservative because a bad day is so much worse now than with the old system. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Tire Talk, Daytona’s Feel-Good Stories And Nati-sui-cide

*Trevor Bayne got his season off to the right start, winning the Daytona 500 in just his second Cup race. What does it mean for the 20-year-old, and where should he go from here?* Tom: It means ... a lot. Honestly, we may look back at the second-to-last restart, where David Ragan jumped it and gave Bayne the lead it became the defining moment in both their careers. Phil: Well, from here, he'll be on Cloud 9 for awhile. Summer: He should milk it for all it's worth. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Hendrick Horsepower, Kill The Duels, And Hard Cards Run Amok?

*The Budweiser Shootout was the first race at Daytona since the repave job. How did it rate, what does it tell us about the Daytona 500, and was the rules change to limit cooling airflow to stop these two-car breakaways necessary?* Phil:: The changes were probably necessary if only because the blowover risk was very high. With the speeds being reached Saturday night, if someone spun in the right way, the car pushing from behind could just lift the first car up and over. Amy:: I thought it was a great race - probably the best plate race since the current car. As for the 500, it will either be a great race or a total cluster. Depends on how smart they drive. Read More »