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Author Archives: Tom Bowles

Tom Bowles
The author of Bowles-Eye View (Mondays) and Did You Notice? (Wednesdays) Tom spends his time overseeing Frontstretch’s 30 staff members as its majority owner. Based in Philadelphia, Bowles is a two-time Emmy winner in NASCAR television and has worked in racing production with FOX, TNT, and ESPN while appearing on-air for SIRIUS XM Radio and FOX Sports 1's former show, the Crowd Goes Wild.
A Swan’s Broken Wings Equal NASCAR’s Next Concern?

A Swan’s Broken Wings Equal NASCAR’s Next Concern?

Is Swan Racing writing their Swan Song as we speak? That’s been the story during a slow NASCAR off week, the two-car team leaning more towards extinction with each tip. News broke Thursday in the form of an official statement, the upstart, two-car Cup Series organization claiming they were “evaluating their program” in the midst of financial troubles. The Richmond entry list, released Monday may initially have their Nos. 26 and 30 listed but who knows whether they’ll actually show up at ... Read More »

Did You Notice? … Drivers Still Make A Difference… But Silly Cautions Don’t

Did You Notice? … Drivers Still Make A Difference… But Silly Cautions Don’t

Did You Notice?… In an era where so much has been pinned on equipment, or lack thereof, who you have behind the wheel can still make a difference? 2014 has reminded us of that, with two prominent examples sticking out through seven races. The first is Kyle Larson, replacing Juan Pablo Montoya behind the wheel of the No. 42 Target car after a rollercoaster eight seasons of mediocrity. During Montoya’s final season in 2013, he was 27th in points through seven races despite the addition of Hendrick ... Read More »

Raining On NASCAR’s Parade: Struggling With The Status Quo

Raining On NASCAR’s Parade: Struggling With The Status Quo

Another rain-delayed Sprint Cup race? Complete with hours of waiting until officials finally call the event? Ain’t nobody got time for that. On a serious note, with the Texas race rescheduled, NASCAR is now on pace for 15 “late starts” or rain postponements for 36 races this season. That’s an astounding number, a projection that has to lower itself over time… right? This rain cloud following stock car racing can’t stay around forever…right? At some point, a season filled with promise has to ... Read More »

NASCAR’s Career-Death Experience: A Road To (Almost) Recovery

NASCAR’s Career-Death Experience: A Road To (Almost) Recovery

In the wake of Kurt Busch’s Martinsville victory, filled with more irony than Alanis Morissette could ever sing about, it’s important to remember his comeback, nearly 80 races in the making is nothing short of miraculous in modern NASCAR. For in a world where rides, let alone sponsors were growing extinct back in December 2011 this point cannot be emphasized enough: Kurt Busch was left for dead. I bring this YouTube clip back, not to disparage Busch but to remind ... Read More »

Did You Notice? … NASCAR’s Free Agent Lynchpin, Uncomfortable Reality And Gambling

Did You Notice? … NASCAR’s Free Agent Lynchpin, Uncomfortable Reality And Gambling

Before this sarcastic-laden column begins, I’d like to start by offering my deepest sympathies to the Petty family. Matriarch Lynda Petty was, by all accounts, the glue that held them together, her warmth and southern charm defining NASCAR’s first family for multiple generations. One of the sport’s good people, she will be sorely missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected. HENDERSON: Five Ways Lynda Petty’s Death Has An Impact WHAT NASCAR IS SAYING ABOUT LYNDA PETTY Did ... Read More »

NASCAR, Tires, And The Goldilocks Theory

NASCAR, Tires, And The Goldilocks Theory

ATHLON SPORTS – BOWLES: FOUR THINGS WE LEARNED AT FONTANA Once upon a time, Goldilocks attended a NASCAR race for free at a big, “cookie-cutter” superspeedway. The girl sat down and watched, politely only for the cars to never pass each other. “This racing is too boring!” she said. Her race was… too many tracks, too many repaving jobs the last few years in this sport. Phoenix, Michigan, Kansas… new pavement, plenty of single-file opportunities. Fresh asphalt makes hard tires ... Read More »

Did You Notice? … Toyota Trouble, Limping Into Action And Testing The Waters

Did You Notice? … Toyota Trouble, Limping Into Action And Testing The Waters

Did You Notice?… We’re four races in and Toyota hasn’t made it to Victory Lane? Their 0-for-4 performances, thus far highlight some weaknesses at both Joe Gibbs and Michael Waltrip Racing. Combined, Toyotas have just one top-5 finish out of 20 recorded thus far in 2014; only two drivers (Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth) sit inside the top 10 in Cup Series points. That’s a far cry from last year, early in the season when JGR looked to be the fastest team on ... Read More »

Nuts For Nationwide: Young Drivers Looking To Bust Out At Bristol

Nuts For Nationwide: Young Drivers Looking To Bust Out At Bristol

Much has been written, to the point you can almost recite word-for-word, about how much Cup drivers have “taken over” the Nationwide Series. But if past races at Bristol are any indication, this Saturday should offer a sigh of relief. Two of the past four Spring events in NASCAR’s second-tier division were won by Nationwide Series regulars. And last year? Young Kyle Larson came within a whisker of unseating Kyle Busch. While second place was indeed the first loser, the ... Read More »

Did You Notice? … The Details Behind Busch Double-Duty And NASCAR Teams/Series Needing A Boost

Did You Notice? … The Details Behind Busch Double-Duty And NASCAR Teams/Series Needing A Boost

Did You Notice?… Kurt Busch could be the fourth person in history to do theNASCAR/Indy “double,” running 1,100 miles in the same day? OK, you probably do because Busch was everywhere with a camera, a microphone, and a satellite signal Tuesday. Between the national rounds, from ESPN to NBC along with aKurtBuschDouble.com website rollout it’s clear this Memorial Day Weekend decision has been brewing for months. My colleague Huston Ladner, if you haven’t read it does an excellent job explaining the IndyCar side of this equation. For ... Read More »

NASCAR’s Drought In The Desert… A Case Of Bad Timing

NASCAR’s Drought In The Desert… A Case Of Bad Timing

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series swept into its West Coast swing this weekend with a sandstorm out in Arizona. Momentum, with one Most Popular Driver winning one Most Important Race, was clearly in their corner. All week, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. popped up everywhere from SportsCenter to Letterman, reminding former, current, and future supporters of stock car racing of the cool factor that can still be attached to this sport. Fans entered Phoenix Raceway in droves, looking to quench their thirst for excitement with a finish that could ... Read More »