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Thinkin’ Out Loud

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Phoenix Fall Race Recap

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Phoenix Fall Race Recap

*The Key Moment* – Kasey Kahne elected to pit early for his final stop. Meanwhile, Carl Edwards was leading the race but ran up on his old buddy Brad Keselowski, who was trying not to get lapped (and perhaps sending some subtle payback Edwards' way.) By the time the No. 99 abandoned the effort to pass the No. 2, Edwards had given up too much time to Kahne. *In a Nutshell* – At least the race wasn’t the wreckfest we all feared. Edwards and Stewart kept their respective fans on their feet most of the afternoon. Read More »

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

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

*The Key Moment* – Tony Stewart was able to pass Carl Edwards on the final restart. The outside move wasn’t as impressive as passing Johnson on the outside at Martinsville, but it was still pretty nifty. *In a Nutshell* – If you were watching today’s race as one tenth of the Chase, having the top two in points battle up at the front of the pack with the hunter gaining on the hunted was all you could ask for. If you were watching Sunday’s race as its own unique event, it was a long, tedious afternoon. Read More »

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

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

*The Key Moment* – Tony Stewart drove by Jimmie Johnson on the outside with less than three laps to go to claim his third victory in seven Chase races this season. *In a Nutshell* – Motorized mechanical mayhem at Martinsville. Easily the best race of the year. *Dramatic Moment* – If you’re into bending fenders, smoking tires, and frayed tempers like I am the first quarter of this race was tough to beat. Read More »

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

*The Key Moment* – Clint Bowyer out drag-raced teammate Jeff Burton out of turn four to the flag, on the final lap to win what some pundits will allege to be a race. *In a Nutshell* – Even Alice in Wonderland would be in line at the walk-in methadone clinic if she’d been forced to endure this bizarre approximation of a stock car event. Read More »

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 »