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Author Archives: Huston Ladner

Huston Ladner
Promoted to editor this season, Huston works through some of the site’s biggest columns while writing one of his own: Happiness Is… (Fridays). “Stranded” on the islands of Hawaii, the aspiring college professor also helps anchor our IndyCar and Formula One racing coverage while coordinating Pace Laps, our multi-series news update (Mondays) each week.
Happiness Is… Silly Season, Tweaks & Juan Pablo Montoya

Happiness Is… Silly Season, Tweaks & Juan Pablo Montoya

The Coke Zero 400 is but a distant memory and it is barely a week old.  That race often sits as the wonderful spectacle that marks a sense of the midpoint of the season while marrying itself to the country’s holiday party, particularly with its old name, the Firecracker 400. Yet this one fell flat. Yeah, this year has been a difficult one with regards to weather and racing, so much so that the wunderkind Air Titan 2.0 has been ... Read More »

Pace Laps: First-Time Winners, Long-Time Winners and Ferrari’s Forgettable Race

Pace Laps: First-Time Winners, Long-Time Winners and Ferrari’s Forgettable Race

Did you miss an event during this busy week in racing? How about a late-night press release, an important sponsorship rumor, or a juicy piece of news? If you did, you’ve come to the right place! Each Monday, The Frontstretch will break down the racing, series by series, to bring you the biggest stories that you need to watch going forward for the week ahead. Let our experts help you get up to speed, no matter what series you might ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Vacation, Luck & Making Friends

Happiness Is… Vacation, Luck & Making Friends

Ahhh.  It’s time for a pause.  One of those moments of reflection or something like that.  People who practice yoga might consider it a time to get centered.  Those who are taking a different path to enlightenment might feel it’s time to grab a beer and change the channel.  Duly noted. One of the things that has confounded Happiness Is in recent weeks are the frequent comments about how the media covering NASCAR is just a shill for the product. ... Read More »

IndyCar Preview: Pocono INDYCAR 500 Fueled by Sunoco

IndyCar Preview: Pocono INDYCAR 500 Fueled by Sunoco

The INDYCAR schedule is keeping its drivers up on the wheel.  The series will have gone from the Texas oval to the street course of Houston and now to the testy triumvirate of turns better known as Pocono.  The variety of tracks is an under-appreciated aspect of the tests that the drivers must face to win the championship. What’s News Pocono marks the third oval on the schedule, with Ryan Hunter-Reay winning at Indianapolis and Ed Carpenter doing so at ... Read More »

Pace Laps: Tire Problems, Harvick’s Nationwide Win and Busch Fails Inspection

Pace Laps: Tire Problems, Harvick’s Nationwide Win and Busch Fails Inspection

Did you miss an event during this busy week in racing? How about a late-night press release, an important sponsorship rumor, or a juicy piece of news? If you did, you’ve come to the right place! Each Monday, The Frontstretch will break down the racing, series by series, to bring you the biggest stories that you need to watch going forward for the week ahead. Let our experts help you get up to speed, no matter what series you might ... Read More »

Happiness Is…Thursday Night Racing, Sand, and Houston

Happiness Is…Thursday Night Racing, Sand, and Houston

Happiness Is usually prattles on about some kind of something or other to open each column.  It’s an opportunity to hit on something that might not fit into the usual points.  This week there’s none of that fluffy crap to get things going.  It’s just the good ol’ stuff that brings about a smirk.  Let’s roll. Happiness Is…Thursdays.  Thursdays are not rare, they happen every week.  They are both the promise of the weekend and a reminder of things to ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Jimmie Johnson, Road Courses & More Road Courses

Happiness Is… Jimmie Johnson, Road Courses & More Road Courses

Angriness Is, brother to Happiness Is, sent a text after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Michigan race last weekend that summed up everything in a more succinct fashion than us purported wordsmiths could: “What did fathers do to deserve that f*^#ing race?” Yup.  As entertainment, races are supposed to be some form of escape and provide, on some level, enjoyment and their best a sense of catharsis.  But Michigan once again provided little or none of those things.  If NASCAR ... Read More »

IndyCar, Quiet But Still There

IndyCar, Quiet But Still There

There’s little in the way of news for IndyCar this week.  Heck, there’s been little in the way of news for a few weeks now.  There’s been no Silly Season discussions, no big sponsorship deals, and no big announcements regarding tracks.  There have been some rumblings of a different schedule for next year, but it has yet to be fully realized.  And now the series is in the second week of a break. IndyCar decided to take a break at ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Car Counts, Pocono & ’1′

Happiness Is… Car Counts, Pocono & ’1′

Blah, blah, blah.  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If anyone saw last year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, they’ll understand that opening.  As the band Rush accepted its long-awaited entrance to the hall, guitarist Alex Lifeson gave a speech that consisted of just one word — blah — used in an oratory performance that seemed like an actual speech.  Brilliant. Unfortunately, there’s no great witticism here; blah, blah, blah seems about right for what’s happening in ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Isle of Man Time Trials, Pocono(?) and Maple Syrup

Happiness Is… Isle of Man Time Trials, Pocono(?) and Maple Syrup

The season is over; everyone can start testing for next year. Now that Jimmie Johnson has won the last two races, there’s a prevailing feeling that the team has found their golden horseshoe, is about to go on a tear and that no one stands a chance. It’s quite possible that sentiment is correct. That would save a lot of teams money, as they won’t have to show up at the track — much like the fans at Dover last ... Read More »