Wednesday , October 22 2014
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Amy Henderson

Five Who Would Like to Forget: Who Isn’t Meeting Expectations?

Five Who Would Like to Forget: Who Isn’t Meeting Expectations?

Last week in this column, I discussed the seasons of five drivers who were having a rather unpublicized good year. But there are also drivers who, while well inside the top 35 cutoff in points, are having a season that is fraught with disappointment-the kind of year in which everyone from media to fans to your own grandmother wonders what the heck happened. The kind of season in which the silver lining is that it’s not worse than someone worse than you. Here are five drivers whose seasons have been a far cry from where their hopes stood in February. Read More »

Beyond the Cockpit: Colin Braun On the Future, Le Mans, and…Signing Babies?

Beyond the Cockpit: Colin Braun On the Future, Le Mans, and…Signing Babies?

_Colin Braun became accustomed to racing - and winning - at a young age, beginning his international career at just eight years old. He’s the youngest driver to win a major auto race on American soil (2006 Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona at age 17) and, later that year, became the youngest driver ever to have a podium finish at the 24 Hours of LeMans, finishing second in his class. This year, he added NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner to his already impressive resume, and will take the reins of a full-time Nationwide Series ride for Roush-Fenway Racing in 2010._ _Braun took a little time out of his busy schedule last week to talk to Amy Henderson about his racing accomplishments, as well as his future in stock car racing with one of the sport's most successful organizations._ Read More »

Big Six: Carfax 400

*Who…gets my shoutout of the race?* Sometimes it’s not about being the fastest or having a brilliant pit strategy that nobody else can figure out, or outsmarting another driver in the last turn. Sometimes it’s just about patience and knowing that you don’t have the car to win, but if you position yourself in the right place at the right time, you have a chance. That was exactly the way *Jeff Gordon* drove the race, and it paid off with ... Read More »

Diamonds In the Rough: 5 Drivers Having a Great 2009, Not That You’ve Seen It On TV

Diamonds In the Rough: 5 Drivers Having a Great 2009, Not That You’ve Seen It On TV

NASCAR broadcasts these days are, as many fans complain, not exactly equitable in how they dole out airtime to drivers. While one guy (you fill in the name) will be on TV throughout the broadcast no matter where he is running, another (fill in that guy too) might be having a great run-and you hardly see him. At the end of the race, when they show the results, you look and think, ‘I had no idea.’ Sometimes it seems as though that scenario is a microcosm for NASCAR as a whole. Some guys make the news because they are running well-while others are exceeding expectations and you hardly hear a word about it. A few actually get more press for running bad than some of the frontrunners. There are a few drivers who have very quietly put together decent seasons without fanfare. They all might not make the Chase, but all things considered, are having much better seasons than the press (or lack thereof) suggest. Check out these five hidden gems, who are quietly putting together a better season than some who make the news (but shall remain nameless). Read More »

Big Six: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips At the Glen

*Who…gets my shoutout of the race?* Predictable? Probably. But how can you not be impressed with the run *Marcos Ambrose* put together at the Glen? After having the fastest car in final practice and winning the Nationwide Series race, Ambrose drove an underfunded, underpowered racecar to a second-place finish on Monday, showcasing his considerable talent against the likes of Tony Stewart and other Sprint Cup frontrunners. An underdog from Down Under…and fun to watch! *What…was THAT?* Is it just me, ... Read More »

McMurray At A Crossroads With Miles To Go

McMurray At A Crossroads With Miles To Go

The year is 2002, and there is buzz in the then Busch Series garage and among fans about a 26-year-old driver seemingly in the fast lane to the top. By season’s end, he looks to be proving to all takers that he’s worthy of the talk--he’ll end up with a pair of wins, and will finish in the top 10 over 40% of the time. He’ll also finish sixth in points and win in a then-Winston Cup race as well, in only his second start as a fill in for the injured Sterling Marlin. In fact, his first Cup win will come before his first Busch Series win. He is a sponsor’s dream, a genuinely likeable young man with a floppy bowl haircut and an easy smile. Everyone likes him because of his outgoing personality. There seems to be no limit to where this young driver will go, and after he wins Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors and finishes 13th in points in the Cup series in 2003, now driving for a brand-new Cup team with a new and extravagant owner in Chip Ganassi while winning two more Busch Series races on a limited schedule, his future seems written in stone. Read More »

Big Six: Allstate 400 at the Brickyard

*Who…gets my shoutout of the race?* A fraction of a mile per hour cost *Juan Pablo Montoya* the chance to become the only driver to win both the Indianapolis 500 (a feat which he accomplished in 2006) and the Allstate 400. Montoya, who is Earnhardt-Ganassi racing’s only real Chase hope, had a dominant car all day long and was driving like a championship contender until a speeding penalty ended his chances to win. Still, Montoya showed that his learning curve ... Read More »

It’s About Dreams: Lessons From A Short Track

It’s About Dreams: Lessons From A Short Track

With the Sprint Cup Series off and the Nationwide Series at Gateway for a late Saturday Night Special, a trip to the local track was in order. Now my local short track is one of the most famous in the land-Hickory Motor Speedway, in Hickory, North Carolina, a track where the winners’ list reads like a who’s who of NASCAR’s best and brightest. But these days, Hickory is all short track, and it’s a great place to spend a sultry Southern Saturday night. So I grabbed the cooler, a lawn chair and a few friends, and off we went. Read More »

Side By Side: Should Johnson’s Indy Win Have An Asterisk?

Side By Side: Should Johnson’s Indy Win Have An Asterisk?

_Editor’s Note : The following is a special edition of Frontstretch’s Side By Side. Occasionally throughout the season, two of your favorite Frontstretch writers will duke it out in a debate concerning one of NASCAR’s biggest stories. Don’t let us be the only ones to speak our minds, though…be sure to read both sides and let us know what you think about the situation in the comment section below!_ *Today's Question: Given NASCAR's tire debacle in last year's Brickyard 400, should Jimmie Johnson's win have an asterisk by it in the record book?* Read More »

Too Steep A Learning Curve Makes Too Wild A Ride

Too Steep A Learning Curve Makes Too Wild A Ride

There has been discussion lately about rushing young drivers too quickly to the top in NASCAR, because at one time, in the not-too-distant past, it was considered out of the ordinary for drivers younger than their mid- to late-20s to join the elite class of race drivers that is now NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. It has become more and more common in recent years to see younger drivers reaching the top, along with many question as to whether it is detrimental to them or their careers. Certainly, one has to wonder if this is so. But there is another thing to consider as well. What about its effect on the sport? Read More »