Thursday , October 23 2014
Home / Danny Peters (page 8)

Danny Peters

Nuts for Nationwide : Pretenders and Contenders for the 2008 Crown

Nuts for Nationwide : Pretenders and Contenders for the 2008 Crown

With 16 races down and 21 remaining in the Nationwide Series, we have a long way to go. But after two straight maiden victories for two of the most promising young drivers in the sport, there is a lot to like about this year’s Nationwide Series Championship. After a couple of blow out seasons--Harvick won the title at a canter in 2006 as did Edwards in 2007--it looks like 2008 will be much more competitive. The chances are we’ll have a Championship battle that goes right down to the final couple of races, possibly even the last. This can only be good news for NASCAR's second most popular series. So who are the contenders and the pretenders for the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Crown? Who are we likely to be saluting come November? Who has a better than average chance and who are the pretenders – the men who might just pull off a surprise and win it all? Read More »

Sprint Cup Report Cards : Grading the Pack 1/3 Of The Way Through The Season

Sprint Cup Report Cards : Grading the Pack 1/3 Of The Way Through The Season

In the immortal words of one Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it.” The star of the 1980s silver screen was right: life does move fast - and so does NASCAR. With the checkered flag flying on the Coca-Cola 600, we’re exactly a third of the way through the 2008 season, just fourteen races away from the start of the Chase. So it’s as good a time as any to take a look at the hits and misses of the season so far. Who has driven it like they stole it? Who has run ho-hum, and who has flat out sucked? Find out the answers below, as I hand out awards for the first four months of the season to date: *Best Driver – Kyle Busch* Nine wins in 31 races (three Cup, four Nationwide, two Craftsman Truck Series) and eight Top 5 finishes in 12 Cup starts, while impressive, don't even tell the whole story - Busch has been a factor in virtually every race he’s run. Plus, he’s positively reveling in the pantomime villain role. Read More »

A Talk With Joe Balash On The Nationwide Series’ Past, Present, And Future

As is often the case, it was one conversation that changed Joe Balash’s life. “Just happened to be another one of those phone calls,” he says now, but at the time it was clearly anything but. When that call came, Balash was Senior Vice President of Operations for the now-defunct ASA Series, rising to the top after just four short years of working his way up the ladder. Little did he know the next step would be a _little_ higher. “[NASCAR’s] Gary Nelson asked me to come down and interview,” he explained. “We talked about me working as a Technical Director for the Regional Tours.” Making the move from ASA to the top stock car series in America, Balash and his wife moved from Ohio to North Carolina and began the transition to NASCAR. But 60 days later, another phone call turned his life upside down once again. This time, the call came from NASCAR President Mike Helton, and the words would change this official’s life for good. Was Balash interested in becoming Director of the Busch Series? Read More »

Eight Thoughts After Eight Races

Eight Thoughts After Eight Races

Technically speaking, we'll be at the quarter pole mark following the conclusion of the rollercoaster ride at Talladega this Sunday; but, with a brief pause in the relentless slog that is the Sprint Cup schedule, it's a good time to put out eight thoughts and questions with eight races of the 2008 season in the books. *1. We had a 50th Daytona 500 to be proud of…* It is often the case in sport that the “big” occasion doesn't live up to the pre-event propaganda, but the 50th running of the Great American Race was not one of those instances. Now, it's fair to say this finish wasn't an instant classic; but it was far from a damp squib. Yes, the finish, while undeniably exciting, was not as dramatic or spectacular as 2007, nor did it contain cars crossing the finish line upside down and on fire. But as the lap counter ticked down in the 2008 edition, the tension ratcheted up notch-by-notch in the last 25 circuits. With three laps to go, Tony Stewart looked set to break his Daytona 500 0-fer; but in the end, it was Ryan Newman, courtesy of the an answered prayer in the form of a push from teammate and erstwhile “Smoke” nemesis Kurt Busch, who took the honors in the most prestigious of all NASCAR races. Read More »

Is It Already Bust Rather Than Chase For Juan Pablo Montoya?

Is It Already Bust Rather Than Chase For Juan Pablo Montoya?

Each week, NASCAR.com runs a short article on Juan Pablo Montoya. Entitled "Where's Juan?" it's a gentle look at what's going on in the world of the Bogota, Colombia native. But where, exactly, is Juan these days? After Sunday's 19th place finish, two laps down, it's not a bad question -- because for most of this year, he's been utterly anonymous. In fact, the start of the open-wheel convert's sophomore season has been as bland as his rookie campaign was colorful. Read More »

Nuts for Nationwide : Ten Years Ago Today

Nuts for Nationwide : Ten Years Ago Today

On this very day some 10 years ago, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won his first race in NASCAR's second series, taking the checkered flag in the 1998 Coca Cola 300. The Kannapolis, North Carolina native drove his father's AC Delco sponsored No. 3 Chevy to victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway. Later that same year, Junior founded JR Motorsports, initially to deal with his burgeoning sponsorship and marketing opportunities. Four years later he turned the business into a race team running in the street stock division at Concord Motorsports Park. And in 2006, Earnhardt, Jr. debuted the No. 88 car in the Nationwide Series with Mark McFarland picking up the driving duties. Tomorrow, Junior will pilot the second Nationwide car in his JR Motorsports stable, the No. 5 Go Daddy Chevy, as he tries to mark the 10th anniversary of his maiden victory at a track where he also secured his first Sprint Cup win. Read More »

How Much Will Be Enough For Dale Earnhardt, Jr.?

How Much Will Be Enough For Dale Earnhardt, Jr.?

Last year, ahead of the Spring race at Martinsville Dale Earnhardt, Jr. expressed frustration at the sheer dominance of Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon on the smallest track the Sprint Cup Circuit has to offer. On Sunday, the No. 88 finished behind the 24 and 48 once again; but while the frustrations remained, the expectations were far different. This time, all three were running for Hendrick Motorsports, something few would have predicted at the time of Junior's annoyance twelve months earlier. But none of them would have ventured a guess as to what else was in the forecast; that the second time around, it would be Junior, not his teammates, who truly had the upper hand. Read More »

Is Hamlin Suffering A Junior Jinx?

Is Hamlin Suffering A Junior Jinx?

In every episode of the hit Bravo TV show "Project Runway," the delectable German Supermodel Heidi Klum makes the solemn proclamation that, "In Fashion, one day you're in. The next you're out." Now, I realize you're probably wondering if you clicked onto the wrong website, or if the esteemed editors of Frontstretch are playing some kind of a joke... but hear me out. Yes, Project Runway is not a show I would expect to show up on too many NASCAR fans "can't miss TV" lists, but Heidi's famous line is one that has parallels to our own beloved sport because: "In NASCAR, one day you're in. The next you're out." If you're in any doubt of that, just look into the mindset of Denny Hamlin, because the driver of the No. 11 FedEx Camry has had a nightmare start to 2008. Read More »

Nuts For Nationwide : Four down, Thirty-one to go.

Nuts For Nationwide : Four down, Thirty-one to go.

It's still very early in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series but already the themes are emerging. Yes, there are thousands of laps to be run, but the pre-season predictions are proving to be accurate. Well, mostly. Moonlighting Cup drivers are cleaning up… Drivers from NASCAR's top echelon have made almost exactly a third of the total available starts (58 of 172) in Nationwide races this year and, perhaps unsurprisingly, they've picked up all the prizes on offer so far. Tony Stewart (Daytona, California), Mark Martin (Vegas) and Matt Kenseth (Atlanta) have accounted for the wins while Stewart (Daytona), Jeff Burton (California, Atlanta) and Brian Vickers (Vegas) have vacuumed up the pole positions. For Mark Martin, it was an all-time series best 48th victory, the next nearest being Kevin Harvick with 32 wins; for Matt Kenseth it was win number 24, moving him into a tie for fifth place on the all time wins list with Tommy Houston. Kenseth's win, by the way, ended a 22 race winless streak for Ford in NASCAR's second series. Read More »

Like It Or Not … Toyota’s Here to Stay

Like It Or Not … Toyota’s Here to Stay

After what can most politely be termed as a "learning experience for Toyota" in year one, there was little doubt in the media, in the garage, or amongst the fans that 2008 would be a completely different story. After Joe Gibbs Racing was safely ensconced in the fold, along with the expertise of renowned engine builder Mark Cronquist, the only real question was "when" and not "if" they would win a Sprint Cup race. On Sunday, after 500 tough miles at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kyle "Rowdy" Busch achieved the milestone win for the Japanese manufacturer in his own inimitable fashion; Busch, being a man for whom the term "drive it like you stole it" was invented. But Toyota was hardly stealing the winning trophy in their 40th start in the Cup series. The seeds of their milestone victory were sown over several years of hard work, a culmination of their early experiences in both the Craftsman Truck and Nationwide Series. Following the automaker's 2004 introduction to NASCAR's Trucks, it took just 13 races before Travis Kvapil took the checkers in his Tundra at Michigan. Just three short seasons later, the manufacturer had their first Truck champion in Todd Bodine, and they accounted for 12 race victories in total. Read More »