Monday , October 20 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: Chasing The Chase, Tiring Tires, And Flipping The Bird

*Carl Edwards' win at Atlanta barely closed the gap between he and point leader Jimmie Johnson. Is the championship battle officially only between these two? And what has to happen for Edwards to win?* Matt T.: Johnson, Knaus, and the No. 48 team spontaneously combust. Jeff: J.J. needs to crash often, hard, and early. Bryan: The battle is over. The only thing Carl can do is spray sterno in J.J.'s engine. Read More »

Mirror Driving : A NASCAR Spending Cap? Fixing Qualifying, And Saving The Truck Series

*Following a dominant performance on Sunday, can anyone catch Jimmie Johnson for the championship? And if so, which team will do it?* Matt T.: Nope. Jimmie is the smoothest driver and Chad is the smartest crew chief. They won't give this thing away. Doug: Just like with Jeff Gordon and Evernham, J.J. and Chad have that "magic.” They shine when the light shines on them. Vito: Unless someone slips them one of Kyle Busch's engines or Dale Jr.'s tires, this thing is over. Even then, if Johnson does pop a motor — or a tire — Burton, Biffle, and Edwards have to be on their game and virtually perfect from here on out. And none of them has shown that they or their crews can do that. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Sorting Out Burton’s Title Hopes, The Harvick-Edwards Fracas, And 28-Car Fields

*This week's race at Charlotte saw another shuffle in the point standings, as Jeff Burton took over the second spot. Is Burton, with just two wins on the season, a realistic title threat, or will it take more than that to bring home the Cup?* Kurt: Burton's a legitimate threat, but he will need Jimmie to have some bad luck; and we're headed to a few tracks where Jimmie is just awesome, especially the second time around. Amy: I think if Burton can win one more, you can't count him out. I also think whoever wins it is going to have to win at least one more race in the last five. Read More »

Mirror Driving : Kicking Talladega Out Of The Chase, How Regan Lost The Race, And Do DNFs Matter

Mirror Driving : Kicking Talladega Out Of The Chase, How Regan Lost The Race, And Do DNFs Matter

*This week's race at Talladega ended in controversy when NASCAR disallowed Regan Smith's last-lap pass on Tony Stewart, saying Smith made the pass illegally while below the yellow line. So, who really won the race?* Amy: Regan Smith absolutely won. Tom: In reality, Regan Smith crossed the finish line first. End of story. But I learned long ago that NASCAR and reality don't quite mesh all the time. Vito: Regan Smith was robbed. Not surprising, though. Seems to be the order of the day for the No. 01 car at plate tracks the last couple of years. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Who’s Losing A Date To Kansas, Who’s Already Lost The Chase, And Judging Lame Ducks

*Given that the finish at Kansas was one of the best of the year, has the track matured to the point it deserves a second date -- or was this not good enough? And if an ISC track is to lose a date at Kansas' expense, which should it be?* Kurt: What we think about whether Kansas should get a second date is irrelevant. It's going to get one. Bryan: If Fontana is the track to lose a date, I hope it happens tomorrow. Doug: The finish was good, but the rest of the race was a yawner. And Bryan, NASCAR isn’t going to axe California’s second date. Read More »

Mirror Driving : Richmond Renaissance, Dangerous Chasers, And… Doomsday For Dodge?

Mirror Driving : Richmond Renaissance, Dangerous Chasers, And… Doomsday For Dodge?

*Sunday's race at Richmond provided some tense moments for Chase contenders and a 10-lap duel to the checkered flag — a brand of racing that has been absent for much of the season. Was this due to the track, the last chance to get bonus points for the Chase, more teams finally getting a handle on the CoT, or something else?* Matt T.: Richmond always provides great racing. I have to figure that the track had a lot to do with it, because I don't think anyone has the car totally figured out yet. Vito: Typical short track racing; the first race at Richmond was the same way. You had three or four cars in that race that were very close to each other in speed. Amy: Part of it is the track for sure, but I was surprised at how many Chase contenders actually raced hard instead of stroking it home. Read More »

Mirror Driving: California Snoozin’ While Johnson’s Cruisin’

Mirror Driving: California Snoozin’ While Johnson’s Cruisin’

*Once again, Auto Club Speedway produced a less-than-stellar race for the sparsely-attended Pepsi 500. What makes the track race so different than it’s multi-groove twin, Michigan International Speedway and was this week’s race simply the product of the CoT and one team stinking up the proverbial show?* Vito : Well, it's a stones throw from the largest metropolitan area in North America, and still nobody shows up. Kurt : I don't actually think it was a bad race. I like when one guy dominates. Jimmie darn near threw a shutout last night. Vito : 70,000 people. That's it. More people go to Wrestlemania. Kurt : But I was noticing that it was difficult to pass again, which I think is going to be a problem with this car forever. Vito : MIS is in Detroit's backyard so there is interest, (albeit tepid) from fans and the auto industry alike. And it's difficult to pass in Fontana because of a stupid car with tires that are not designed with said stupid car in mind. Amy: Michigan races better, though. There are more passes. Kurt : I can't understand how Fontana got a Chase date. That is beyond my comprehension. That would be like giving Mexico City the second to last race of the season. Read More »

Mirror Driving : Bristol Bust? Are Owners Impatient? And Was Patience Needed For Logano?

Mirror Driving : Bristol Bust? Are Owners Impatient? And Was Patience Needed For Logano?

*The Sharpie 500 featured by far the fewest number of leaders (three) since the introduction of the CoT. Passing for the lead can be difficult with the new car on bigger tracks, but was that the case at Bristol… or was it just that uncompetitive at the front?* Amy: I think... it was just that uncompetitive. It was good at the back... but at the front, it was the worst Bristol race I've ever seen. Tony: Busch had them pretty much covered up front, coupled with the fact that it seemed like the top was the better groove -- making it harder to pass. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Gibbs’ Cheating, Busch Takes A Beating, And Dyno Tweaking

*The empty seats at Michigan were the latest in a trend that has seen attendance declining at many tracks on the Cup circuit. With the 2009 schedule coming out this week, would it be in NASCAR's — and the tracks’ — best interest to hold one race at some of these venues with hopes of a sellout, allowing the series to travel to tracks like Kentucky and Nashville for one-race shows -- or are stands that are a quarter or more empty still worth the trouble?* Amy: I almost think so. Yes, you sell more tickets with two dates even at 3/4 full, but operating costs, like electric and water, are astronomical times two with two races. Matt T.: I'd love to see a few tracks lose one date for variety's sake and to cater to more people. Read More »

Mirror Driving : Road Ringers Lose, Mears On The Move, And Young Guns Get The Boot

Mirror Driving : Road Ringers Lose, Mears On The Move, And Young Guns Get The Boot

*The Watkins Glen race had several road course ringers in the field but, as usual, a Sprint Cup regular won the race. Is there really any advantage for replacing a team’s full-time driver with a road course specialist?* Matt T.: Ask the Wood Brothers. Kurt: Of course there is; there's money involved. Racing is expensive. Plus, there is the matter of getting the car in the Top 35 in owner points, and a good finish will do that. Bryan: The No. 01 team would agree with you, Kurt. Read More »