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Huston Ladner

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 »

Pace Laps: Eight In, Sadler Success, and Laguna Seca

Pace Laps: Eight In, Sadler Success, and Laguna Seca

Did you see all of the race action this weekend? Or, like a lot of busy fans, did you miss a late-night adventure, a Friday controversy, or a juicy piece of news? If you did, you’ve come to the right place! Each week, The Frontstretch will break down the racing, series by series, to bring you the biggest stories that you need to watch moving forward. Let our experts help you get up to speed for the coming week no ... Read More »

Pace Laps: JRM Shines, RFR Fails to Impress and Hunter-Reay Silences Long Beach Critics

Pace Laps: JRM Shines, RFR Fails to Impress and Hunter-Reay Silences Long Beach Critics

Did you see all of the race action this weekend? Or, like a lot of busy fans, did you miss a late-night adventure, a Friday controversy, or a juicy piece of news? If you did, you’ve come to the right place! Each week, The Frontstretch will break down the racing, series by series, to bring you the biggest stories that you need to watch moving forward. Let our experts help you get up to speed for the coming week no ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Franchises, Barber, Work and Wrigley

Happiness Is… Franchises, Barber, Work and Wrigley

So it was an off week in NASCAR. Did anyone miss it? Aww, c’mon, a little break never hurt. Of course, the difficulty in writing anything worthwhile about the sport becomes problematic when, you know, nothing really happened. But wait, something did. The demise of Swan Racing has taken center stage in the news cycle — which tells you that either A) nothing actually happened or B) it’s actually worth writing about. OK, it’s not to pick on the drivers, crewmen, ... Read More »

Open Wheel Wednesday: Controversial Moves, Long Beach Crowds, and Being a Fuddy Duddy

Open Wheel Wednesday: Controversial Moves, Long Beach Crowds, and Being a Fuddy Duddy

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) Toni: First thing I think we should discuss is the Long Beach race. There’s a couple aspects that come to mind: Hunter-Reay’s move and the criticism of it, Mike ... Read More »

Pace Laps: Swan Racing’s Future, Fast Females and Dropping Out

Pace Laps: Swan Racing’s Future, Fast Females and Dropping Out

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 week, 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…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors

Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors

It’s a NASCAR-free weekend. What will the ratings be for that? Much has been made of TV ratings so far this season; for NASCAR, IndyCar and even F1 have all been showing poorly thus far. (In fairness to the F1 series, the live races have been at strange hours for Americans, unless you’re in Hawaii, and the rebroadcasts have sometimes come in opposition to NASCAR races). The dell knell has sounded and now fans are watching, with a rubber-necked intrigue, to see the sport ... Read More »

Happiness Is… The DVR, Will Robinson, Not Mercedes & Long Beach.

Happiness Is… The DVR, Will Robinson, Not Mercedes & Long Beach.

One of the easy ways to fill space in a NASCAR column for the past couple years has been to debate the role of Cup drivers in the Nationwide Series. The oft-used comparison in this argument is that drivers who dabble in Nationwide are like Major League Baseball players dropping down into the minor leagues. First, let’s ignore the fact that too many writers feel the need to compare the sport to so-called stick-and-ball sports. Second, let’s also ignore the fact that ... Read More »