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Bettin’ The Horsepower: Texas-Sized Gamble Not To Put $$ On Hendrick/Roush

Bettin’ The Horsepower: Texas-Sized Gamble Not To Put $$ On Hendrick/Roush

For two races, NASCAR’s new spoiler has done little to influence the outcome of competition. But in our first trip to the Lone Star State this season, expect many teams’ days to be “spoiled” by the way it makes these cars handle on an intermediate. The speeds down south will approach 200 miles an hour, throwing a curveball we haven’t seen on the short tracks of Martinsville and Phoenix to date. Teams will be forced to utilize notes from the Charlotte test in March, showing us who made the most of NASCAR’s gift of extra time and who made the mistake of goofing off. But there’s a certain group of cars that should expect a little extra edge based on stuff they’ve done inside the race shop. Who are they, and how will it affect your betting? Read More »

Time To Let The Young Guns Grow Up

Time To Let The Young Guns Grow Up

I am not a very patient person, especially when it comes to NASCAR. I can’t wait for the pre-race ceremonies to be over, for the five dollar footlong song to enter its final verse, and for the pace car to get out of the way to start the race. And I know I’m not alone. As fans, we are men and women who thirst to know what will happen the next lap, the next pit stop, the next race... like reading a book we can’t put down. More than anything, we want the immediate realization of our own particular visions of a “perfect NASCAR,” whether that be a sport where Dale, Jr. is back to pre-2005 status or a sport where every race ends with a photo finish. Read More »

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

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

_Editor's Note: Matt McLaughlin is off today. Vito Pugliese filled in ... look for Matt's thoughts on the race to pop up a little later this week!_ *The Key Moment:* On a green-white-checkered restart in overtime (Lap 507), The No. 11 car of Denny Hamlin on four fresh tires tagged the back of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet of Ryan Newman, then the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet of Jeff Gordon – and then the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford of Matt Kenseth, clearing the way for him to take the lead and the victory. Teammate Joey Logano scooted by behind him, coming home in second for a one-two Joe Gibbs Racing Finish. Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: IndyCar Blues & Fast Track To Nowhere… Er, Fame

Talking NASCAR TV: IndyCar Blues & Fast Track To Nowhere… Er, Fame

Hello, race fans and welcome to the weekly critique, my 55th. Since NASCAR's three major series were off last weekend, it makes picking out something to look at just that much harder. However, the Izod IndyCar Series had their season opener on Sunday in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Since I like all kinds of motorsports and not just NASCAR, I naturally gave it a watch. I had heard great things about their broadcasts last season and wanted to see whether that success would carry over to 2010. Read More »

A Tale of Two Seasons: NASCAR Teams Struggling To Gauge Where They Stand

A Tale of Two Seasons: NASCAR Teams Struggling To Gauge Where They Stand

In a world that thrives on instant analysis, it’s so easy to fall into the two-race trap of choosing who’s a true Chase contender. Ryan Newman? DNFs mean forget it. Denny Hamlin? Looking shaky at best. Kevin Harvick? Leading the points and in perfect position to challenge Jimmie Johnson … right? But in a year with a giant monkey wrench in the middle, one simple word tears every expert prediction to shreds. Spoiler. “You can’t gauge where you stand right now [because of] what’s coming,” said Jeff Burton Friday. “Anybody that tells you that spoilers aren’t going to make any difference, they don’t know what they’re talking about.” Read More »

Dialing It In: Making Sense of The Gatorade Duels

Dialing It In: Making Sense of The Gatorade Duels

The 150-mile Gatorade Duel qualifying races showcase some of the best racing during the entirety of Speedweeks at Daytona. In one of the most unique and complicated qualifying processes in all of sports, the front row for the 52nd Daytona 500 was set on Sunday, but the rest of the field will race for their spot on the grid during their respective Duel race. Adding to the confusion and excitement, seven drivers in each race will be vying for just four open starting spots in Sunday’s 500. Let’s try to make sense of the process. Read More »

Fantasy Racing Insider: Daytona 500

Fantasy Racing Insider: Daytona 500

Welcome one and all to Frontstretch.com’s Fantasy Racing Insider. This week we’ll take a look at the drivers everyone knows does well at the Daytona 500, and also some that have great success yet fly under the radar in fantasy leagues. We’ll also look at a few big names you DON’T want on your team this week and answer a question from one of our loyal readers. So without further ado, here’s the lineup you'll want for this Sunday’s Daytona 500. Read More »

Mirror Driving: Plate Power, Pointless Duels, And Earnhardt’s Potential

*After seeing the bump drafting rule changes in effect during the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday, will they make for a more engaging Daytona 500?* Phil: I think the race will be fine. It's not like it's going to be the 2000 Daytona 500. Handling is still going to play a role in the race. Matt T.: I don't know that it will be much different from what we've seen at Daytona in the past. The track is too bumpy to get carried away with bump drafting. Read More »

Restrictor Plate Demons Hamper Martin, Hamlin’s Title Hopes

Restrictor Plate Demons Hamper Martin, Hamlin’s Title Hopes

Jimmie Johnson has Bristol and the road courses; Jeff Gordon has Texas. Nearly every driver has a track or a type of track on their list of weaknesses – one where they can never seem to turn the perfect lap around. It's a place that becomes a Bermuda Triangle for them, no matter the racing series, where they spend the weekend somewhere between dazed and confused. Read More »

2010 Season Preview: Can NASCAR Really “Loosen Up?”

2010 Season Preview: Can NASCAR Really “Loosen Up?”

Today's Season Preview Topic: During the preseason media tour, NASCAR officials went out of their way to claim they'll "loosen up" during the upcoming season, allowing drivers to be themselves. But will people actually showing their personalities make a dent in declining ratings and fan attendance? And will sponsors actually allow their drivers to follow those rules? Kurt Smith, Happy Hour (Fridays): Lack of personality isn’t NASCAR’s problem; lack of leadership is. There is a band-aid rule change almost every week now trying to get the ratings back, when the things that caused them to drop in the first place — cookie-cutter tracks and Chase-inspired points racing — are not. Read More »