Wednesday , September 17 2014
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Huston Ladner

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 »

Pace Laps: Hendrick Horsepower, RHR’s Rebound and a Surprise Nationwide Winner

Pace Laps: Hendrick Horsepower, RHR’s Rebound and a Surprise Nationwide Winner

Sprint Cup Series: Power and Tires - Enzo Ferrari once stated that aerodynamics are for people who don’t know how to build engines.  That may be a paraphrasing of the Italian icon’s words, but you get the idea.  This concept could not be found in better evidence than after the Sprint Cup race at Michigan.  How’s that?  Because Hendrick engines powered nine of the top 13 cars.  That’s nearly 70% of the top of the order.  Throw in Danica Patrick’s 17th-place ... 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 »

Open Wheel Wednesday: Good Ratings, Good Crowd For GP Now To The 500!

Open Wheel Wednesday: Good Ratings, Good Crowd For GP Now To The 500!

Welcome to the IndyCar Round Table! Several times throughout the season, your favorite writers will get together to discuss the latest IndyCar news, rumors and so much more! This Week’s Participants: Toni Montgomery (Frontstretch IndyCar Editor / NHRA Pace Laps) Matt Stallknecht (Frontstretch IndyCar Writer / NASCAR’s Four Burning Questions) Huston Ladner (Frontstretch IndyCar Writer / Happiness Is) Huston: FYI for you both, the ratings for the GP: Overall, the national rating for the race was 0.9, which means about 1 million households tuned in to the broadcast, ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Comics, Geeks and a Prelude to a Big Weekend

Happiness Is… Comics, Geeks and a Prelude to a Big Weekend

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is 11 races old, nearly a third done already. So it’s worth mentioning that this stretch is the latest Jimmie Johnson has gone in a season without winning since, well, he invented the sport. Where has the golden horseshoe gone? It’s hard to argue that it’s been lost, as Johnson still benefited from a timely caution at Kansas to launch him from the teens to a near-upset race winner. Johnson’s laps led total (527) is actually ... Read More »

Grand Prix of Indianapolis: Pagenaud ekes one out after a rough start to the race

Grand Prix of Indianapolis: Pagenaud ekes one out after a rough start to the race

Grand Prix of Indianapolis In a Nutshell: Simon Pagenaud and his team worked fuel and pit strategy better than any other team. After the wreck to start the race (more on that below), the race passed by in an orderly fashion until the first caution at Lap 42, which lead to three more yellows by Lap 55. The differing decisions of when to pit during that stretch led to the final finishing order. Ryan Hunter-Reay managed to conserve enough fuel to take second, who ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Cornucopia, The Draft & Congress

Happiness Is… Cornucopia, The Draft & Congress

Happiness Is is more than happy to put that lackluster display of racing, aka Talladega, down to memory. While the continued goal here is to find the positive side of motorsports, it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so with the superspeedway in Alabama. The fact that the Cup race made sure to end with a debatable finish just adds to the fun. Ugh. The interesting positive that came from Talladega was qualifying. In fact, some might argue that Cup qualifying ... Read More »

Open Wheel Wednesday: Good for Indy

Open Wheel Wednesday: Good for Indy

This column is about the inevitable, wonderful, frightening, confusing concept of change. Simple definitions for change use words like alter, modify, or become transformed. Those are all well and good. But the concept of change is something that is unavoidable and necessary. In this paradigm, change is akin to evolution, which is what ensures an entity’s relevance in the world. The idea that sports should evolve often endures a backlash from its followers, ones who grew up with it and ... Read More »