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Thinkin’ Out Loud

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Charlotte-2 Race Recap

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Charlotte-2 Race Recap

*What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week* *Thank God for the SAFER barriers and the HANS device.* Jimmie Johnson’s wreck looked horribly similar to a certain last lap wreck in the 2001 Daytona 500. In the aftermath of Johnson’s wreck, *a large percentage of the crowd on hand erupted into cheers.* I’ve never really been comfortable with folks cheering any driver’s misfortune, particularly a wreck that involved that hard a hit. At least wait to see if that driver has been hurt before applauding. "AMY HENDERSON: FANS CHEERING DEATH - AND THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW IT":http://www.frontstretch.com/ahenderson/36000/ *To what degree has Kyle Busch’s ego swollen?* He noted over the radio during the Nationwide race that NASCAR ought to be able to see his Toyota was at a horsepower disadvantage because he wasn’t leading and Charlotte is his best track. Busch then repeated the contention during his terse post-race comments. So, let’s see... Busch has won eight of the twenty Nationwide races he’s entered this season. It’s kind of hard to argue he’s at too bad a disadvantage. Read More »

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Kansas-2 Race Recap

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Kansas-2 Race Recap

*The Key Moment* – Jimmie Johnson easily aced Kasey Kahne on the green-white-checkered restart to score the win. *In a Nutshell* – Toto, I don’t think we need to go to Kansas anymore. *Dramatic Moment* – Ummm… well. Define drama. By my definition, this race was utterly and totally devoid of any drama. Read More »

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Dover-2 Race Recap

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Dover-2 Race Recap

*The Key Moment* – Kurt Busch got enough of a jump on the final restart, with 35 laps remaining that he was easily able to hold off Jimmie Johnson for the win. *In a Nutshell* – Wow, what a race! Two leaders battling wheel-to-wheel, side-by-side for over twenty laps at the end. A five-car pack still in contention for the win with five laps to go and ten cars within a second of the leader. Oops! Sorry, I just described the IndyCar race at Kentucky. Oh, well; at least the Cup "show" wasn’t decided on fuel mileage. *Dramatic Moment* – You know there was a good race wanting to happen between Busch, Edwards and Johnson in the final laps but the aero-push phenomenon kept it from gelling. Read More »

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: New Hampshire-2 Race Recap

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: New Hampshire-2 Race Recap

_Staff Note: Welcome back, Matt!_ *The Key Moment* – With two laps to go Clint Bowyer ran out of fuel, handing the lead and the win to Tony Stewart. *In a Nutshell* – Turnabout is fair play. Last Fall, Stewart ran out of gas heading to the white flag at NHMS and Bowyer was able to capitalize on the error to take a win. *Dramatic Moment* – Well, if you like watching people run out of gas you must be orgasmic after the last two races. Read More »

Bowles Thinks For Matt: Chicagoland Race Recap

Bowles Thinks For Matt: Chicagoland Race Recap

_Editor's Note: Matt McLaughlin is still suffering from health-related issues. As soon as we have a firm date on his return, you'll be the first to know! In the meantime, please continue to send your "Get Well" messages to matt.mclaughlin@frontstretch.com; we know how much he appreciates your support as his recovery continues._ *The Key Moment:* Tony Stewart had the pit crew to give him track position on his final stop of the race, the speed to get past Matt Kenseth on the restart and a little extra Sunoco to survive when almost all his rivals ran out of gas. Read More »

Bowles Thinks For Matt: Richmond-2 Race Recap And Analysis

*The Key Moment:* Kevin Harvick caught a late caution, creeped in front of Jeff Gordon on pit road, then held off an assault by Cheez-It Crackers (err, Carl Edwards) to win one of the most bizarre short track races in recent memory. *In A Nutshell:* The almanac says a full moon over Richmond happens tonight. That, my friends, would be the second in 72 hours. Need I say more? *Dramatic Moment:* At times, we were at Kardashian-like levels. Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch sure lit the night on fire, trying to wreck each other out although the No. 48 clearly got the short end of that stick. But perhaps the biggest drama happened eight laps in, when Clint Bowyer lost it under David Reutimann, spun and collected nearly a dozen drivers. Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. were among the victims, Chase contenders forced to sweat it out with cars more suited for your local junkyard the rest of the race. Read More »

Bowles Thinks For Matt: Atlanta Race Recap & Analysis

*The Key Moment:* With two laps left, a slip-sliding, hard-charging Jimmie Johnson misjudged turn 4 just enough to break loose. He kept the car in one piece, but Jeff Gordon scooted away to score his 85th career NASCAR victory – good enough for third all-time behind Richard Petty and David Pearson. *In A Nutshell:* Old mentor teaches former student a thing or two, the last twist in one of the more action-packed races held on a 1.5-mile oval in recent memory. Read More »

Bowles Thinks Out Loud For Matt: Bristol Night Race Edition

Bowles Thinks Out Loud For Matt: Bristol Night Race Edition

_Editor's Note: Matt McLaughlin continues to be out with health-related issues, so our Managing Editor Tom Bowles filled in for him this week. Want to send Matt a get well note? "Click here,":http://www.frontstretch.com/contact/14348/ fill out the contact form and Matt will be sure to see it as he heals up!_ *The Key Moment:* Brad Keselowski beat Jeff Gordon off pit road during the race’s final caution, blew by two-tire Martin Truex, Jr. on the final restart and made the rest of the Bristol field look like they were the ones driving drunkenly impaired on Miller Lite. Gordon tried to catch him, but alas, Bristol is the new half-mile Fontana: fresher tires made little difference while aero and track position took center stage – even at 15 seconds a lap. Read More »

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Michigan-2 Race Recap

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Michigan-2 Race Recap

_Editor's Note: Matt McLaughlin's under the weather this week, so our Vito Pugliese filled in. Cross your fingers, send him a get well note and hopefully he'll be happy, healthy and writing again by Thursday!_ *The Key Moment* – *Kyle Busch* chose the outside lane on a green-white-checkered restart to keep Jimmie Johnson at bay. He cleared him within the first ten seconds under green and... that was it. The outside line is now the preferred line on speedways, just so long as the car in the right lane clears the inside one before he gets sucked around. Add in a little aero push for Johnson, some horsepower under the hood for Busch and the No. 18 cruised to Victory Lane. Read More »

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Watkins Glen Race Recap

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Watkins Glen Race Recap

*The Key Moment* – On the first green-white-checker restart, Kyle Busch overdrove turn 1, was unable to keep his car in the preferred groove on exit, and opened the door for Brad Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose to slip by. That left the two of them to settle the win amongst themselves; through the bus stop, Ambrose pounced, making the pass and riding off into the sunset for his first career Cup win. *In a Nutshell* – After months of anticipation following a Sonoma race that had everyone and their mother dubbing road racing “the new Bristol,” the Cup Series' annual trip to the Glen ended up being a fast-paced stroll through the hills of New York. At least until... Read More »