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Jeb Burton Driver Diary: Qualifying Success, Turkey Hunting and Moving Forward

Jeb Burton Driver Diary: Qualifying Success, Turkey Hunting and Moving Forward

Since we last talked, we've gotten three races in. Martinsville went well; we ran great all day long. I felt like we should've gotten the win there, but all in all, it was a good points day and we led a bunch of laps. Then we went to Rockingham and got another pole--that was good. In the race, we had a pretty good finish--not as good as I wanted it to be but another good points day. Read More »

Truckin’ Thursdays: Peters’ Roots, King’s Return and Newberry’s Experience

Truckin’ Thursdays: Peters’ Roots, King’s Return and Newberry’s Experience

Once again, the Camping World Truck Series sits idle while the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series head off to Darlington Raceway. And during down times like the ones that have plagued the early parts of the year for a while now, there's little going on that's worth talking about. So to help keep the Truck Series in your mind ahead of next Friday night's showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, I'm here to share some of the latest and greatest news coming out of the series. Read More »

Pace Laps: NASCAR’s Miracle Moment, Cautions Breed Controversy And “21”

Pace Laps: NASCAR’s Miracle Moment, Cautions Breed Controversy And “21”

_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 have missed, all in this edition of Pace Laps!_ Read More »

Truckin’ Thursdays: Matt Crafton On ThorSport’s Recent Success

Truckin’ Thursdays: Matt Crafton On ThorSport’s Recent Success

Just four races into the 2013 season, ThorSport Racing has visited Victory Lane in three of four events, while drivers Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter sit one-two in the Camping World Truck Series championship standings. Despite a lackluster year last season, both Crafton and Sauter have finished in the top 10 in points for six and four consecutive year, respectively, making their organization the closest thing to "dynasty" you can get in one of NASCAR's lower divisions. So what is the key to their success and longevity in the sport? I sat down with Crafton at Kansas Speedway almost two weeks ago, after the Truck Series' final practice session, to talk a little about just that. Read More »

NASCAR Mailbox: Bristol, Trucks, And Weather Gone Nuts

I have a confession to make: I’m addicted to social media. Even when I’m not posting and updating my various blogs, pages, and, of course, tweeting, I’m usually perusing through the latest updates from friends, family, and just about anyone who will let me view their page. I love knowing what’s going on in the world and, probably more so, hate feeling left out. So when I’m quietly browsing Twitter and suddenly I see non-NASCAR or sports related accounts tweeting about Jeff Gordon, I have to take a closer look. This week, a video with the four-time champion was sweeping the Internet, and everyone seemed to be getting quite a kick out of it. The video featured Jeff Gordon going to a used car lot while undercover, and taking a test drive in a Chevy Camaro. He then proceeds to give this supposed used car salesman the ride of his life by making all kinds of crazy maneuvers. It’s hilarious to watch the salesman’s reaction and, let’s be honest, the moves are awesome! But, perhaps _too_ awesome. After all, Gordon may be a four time NASCAR champion, but that’s not the same thing as being a skilled stunt driver. Also, the way they immediately jumped in the Camaro even when Gordon said he didn’t want it was odd. As funny as it was, it just seemed too, well staged. Turns out it was. The driving was done mostly by a stunt driver and around 75 people were involved in the project. It was staged. However, it was still freaking hilarious and Pepsi did a great job by generating some buzz. If you still haven’t seen it, you can watch it \"here.\":https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=video&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CEIQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dq02BXGDSDkE&ei=EihBUaHuHeTh2QXy_oGACA&usg=AFQjCNGDgwxrb6ykUddXHjz8DpcObwP4WA&sig2=wYjcdXK2N9h3XoUboU8_2Q&bvm=bv.43828540,d.b2I Now, onto your questions: _“What is the best thing and worst thing you like about racing at Bristol?â€_ _Brian_ That’s hard to answer. Personally, I enjoy the fact that the cars are so close together. Bristol is about as close as you can get to a flushing toilet bowl. They can’t get “spread out†or have large gaps between cars. Even if the first place car is much faster than the second place car, he’ll still have lapped traffic to deal with. It makes the race fun to watch, and you never know what is going to happen. However, the downside of that little racing room is that it’s extremely difficult to pass. It’s difficult to pass in the generation of cars that they had previously been racing as it was - though with this car, it remains to be seen. Add in a half-mile racetrack and very little racing room from the apron to the wall and suddenly you have a recipe for single-file racing. Though some reconfigurations to both the track and the car at times changed that, it’s still harder to pass at Bristol than, say, Texas, Kansas, or Atlanta. <div style=\"float:right; width:275px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/10474.jpg\" width=\"275\" height=\"174\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">Will a new car coupled with the reconfiguration from 2012 have an effect at the track that prides itself on \"Racin' the Way it Oughta Be\"?</p></div> In fact, for the longest time, the only way to pass was with a technique known as the “bump and runâ€â€”which I hate. If the only way for you to pass is to knock the other guy out of the way, maybe you shouldn’t be passing. I’d rather see the drivers race based on skill than playing bumper cars. It just feels like we’re being cheated when that’s all that is happening. Still, I prefer Bristol to mile-and-a-half racetracks and I’m really looking forward to this weekend. What about you? _“Is NASCAR trying to fix the break between truck races? 6 weeks is far too long of a gap.â€_ _Brian_ Yes, for those wondering, we did have two Brian’s with questions this week. I agree that it’s too long, but right now even adding Eldora and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park was a complete shock. NASCAR really isn’t focused on giving the development series a full schedule when the other two series are racing all but two months of the year. I’m not saying they wouldn’t _like_ to, but it’s certainly not at the top of their to-do list. Based on their recent changes, it appears that adding diversity to the series and test driving ideas like dirt track racing and going across the border is more along their lines of interest. Part of the gaps that we see in the schedule are NASCAR’s attempt to line up the beginning and the end of the season. Because there are so few races in the Truck Series as opposed to the others, there are bound to be gaps. However, I think it would be much more productive to maybe have an on again, off again schedule rather than “race, _gap, gap, gap, gap, gap_, race, _gap, gap_….†kind of schedule that we have now. <div style=\"float:right; width:275px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/15437.jpg\" width=\"275\" height=\"183\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">After intense superspeedway racing, the Truck Series puts it in park for almost two months. Time to tighten up the schedule!</p></div> Hopefully this season goes well for the series and it eventually becomes a priority to add more races. “Is it going to snow in Bristol on Thursday and over the weekend?†_Jeff_ ... Read More »

Truckin' Thursdays: Meet The 2013 Rookie Class, Part II

_Author's Note: Welcome to Part II of our Rookie Class Preview for the 2013 season. Did you miss the first part? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Just \"click here\":http://www.frontstretch.com/blunkenheimer/42514/ to read Part I where we featured Ryan Blaney, Jeb Burton and Brennan Newberry._ *German Quiroga* <div style=\"float:right; width:240px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/15539.jpg\" width=\"240\" height=\"299\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">German Quiroga looking GQ in those white sunglasses. Wait a minute…I think we just coined a nickname.</p></div> *2013 Ride:* No. 77 Red Horse Racing Toyota *2013 Teammates:* Timothy Peters and Jon Wes Townley *CWTS Starts (Prior to 2013):* Six (two in 2011, four in 2012) *Best Finish:* Eighth at Talladega (2012) *Daytona Result:* 25th (Running, three laps down) German Quiroga made his Camping World Truck Series debut with Kyle Busch Motorsports in late 2011, behind the wheel of the No. 51 Telcel Toyota Tundra, in a deal that was meant to determine whether the NASCAR Mexico champion even had any interest in pursuing the Truck Series. Fast forward to 2013 where, just days before the season opener at Daytona, Quiroga has signed on to run the full season with Red Horse Racing. \"I am very happy to join Red Horse Racing,\" Quiroga said after his signing was announced. \"I looked around the RHR shop back in December and was very pleased with the entire organization and how well they support each other.\" While a 25th-place result at Daytona isn't all that exciting, Quiroga had run well prior to being collected in a wreck not of his own making. However, in his limited starts last season, Quiroga has shown promise and will definitely be on to watch in the upcoming season. *Victory Lane This Year?* Red Horse Racing managed to visit victory lane five times last year with all four drivers that made starts with the organization. While Quiroga has just limited experience in the Truck Series, he's a three-time NASCAR Mexico champion and will likely snag a victory later this year. *Darrell Wallace, Jr.* <div style=\"float:right; width:250px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/14528.jpg\" width=\"250\" height=\"381\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">With a Nationwide Series pole in just his fourth career start last year, is a win that far off for Darrell Wallace, Jr. in the Camping World Truck Series?</p></div> *2013 Ride:* No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota *2013 Teammates:* Joey Coulter and Kyle Busch *CWTS Starts (Prior to 2013):* none *Best Finish:* N/A *Daytona Result:* 12th Having never made a Camping World Truck Series start, Darrell Wallace, Jr. joined Kyle Busch Motorsports during the offseason to run full time this year. The Joe Gibbs Racing development driver will pilot the No. 54 Toyota throughout the season and has another young driver right alongside him in Joey Coulter. ... Read More »

Truckin' Thursdays: Meet The 2013 Rookie Class, Part I

_Once again, the Camping World Truck Series boasts several drivers all hoping to take home the coveted Rookie of the Year title in November. But other than their names, what do you really know about each of those rookies, including their past experience, who they're driving for and what to expect from them this season? Read on as we take a closer look at each of the newest faces in the series, profiling the 2013 rookie class._ *Ryan Blaney* *2013 Ride:* No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford *2013 Teammates:* Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ross Chastain and Dave Blaney (sharing No. 19 Ford) *CWTS Starts (Prior to 2013):* 9 (all in 2012) *Best Finish:* 1st at Iowa Speedway *Daytona Result:* 8th Ryan Blaney made his Truck Series debut at Bristol last season after Brad Keselowski Racing parted ways with driver Parker Kligerman, and he impressed straight out of the gate with a solid sixth-place finish. Then, in just his third series start, the 20-year-old led 50 laps en route to his first career victory at Iowa Speedway. Aside from two DNFs due to crashes late last season, Blaney posted finishes no worse than 11th. Look ahead to this season, and Blaney has signed on to run full-time for the same team he scored his first career victory with. <div style=\"float:right; width:273px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/15505.jpg\" width=\"273\" height=\"400\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">Ryan Blaney is leading the next wave of second-generation Cup drivers. His Keselowski connection has him paired with Penske by proxy – not a bad place to be in for a 20-year-old driver who already won in his \"pre-rookie\" year of 2012.</p></div> Blaney also made seven starts for Penske Racing last season in the Nationwide Series, recording five top 10 results, including a runner-up finish at Texas Motor Speedway. Add in the six events he ran for Tommy Baldwin Racing, and you've got some pretty impressive numbers for such a young driver: seven top 10s in 13 starts. *Victory Lane This Year?* Yes. While Blaney already has one Truck Series victory to his name, the pure talent that this driver shows proves that he will visit victory lane this season–and likely multiple times at that. *Jeb Burton* *2013 Ride:* No. 4 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet *2013 Teammates:* James Buescher, Miguel Paludo and Ryan Truex (Daytona) *CWTS Starts (Prior to 2013):* 5 (all in 2012) *Best Finish:* 8th at Charlotte Motor Speedway *Daytona Result:* 5th Jeb Burton made his debut last season at Martinsville Speedway with Wauters Motorsports in hopes of running full-time for Rookie of the Year honors. Unfortunately, the young driver's Truck Series career was put on hold when sponsorship woes sidelined him, just five races in. But it wasn't the end of Burton's hopes to race in the Truck Series–having talked to Turner Scott Motorsports and sharing mutual interests, the 20-year-old signed a two-year deal with the organization. <div style=\"float:right; width:275px; margin: 20px; border: black solid 1px; padding: 3px;\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/15469.jpg\" width=\"275\" height=\"412\"/><p style=\"margin: 3px; text-align: left; font-weight:bold;\">Jeb Burton, son of 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton finished fifth at Daytona. Could that be a harbinger of things to come for the Turner Scott Motorsports driver?</p></div> \"I'm really proud that I can race for Turner (Scott) Motorsports over the next two years. This team has had so much success, and I'm happy to have the opportunity to work with such a team,\" Burton said. \"We all have high expectations for the 2013 season. It's clear that Turner Scott Motorsports is a growing organization that believes in young talent.\" ... Read More »

Is Second Place Already the First Loser in the Truck, Nationwide Series?

Is Second Place Already the First Loser in the Truck, Nationwide Series?

Ironically (or perhaps not surprisingly), it’s the two NASCAR national touring series that don’t have a Chase system that are currently enjoying tight races atop the standings as the 2012 season hits the summer stretch. The Nationwide ranks is playing host to Sadler vs. Stenouse Redux, featuring Austin Dillon, while the Truck ranks see four regulars all within nine markers of each other heading into Iowa. The commonalities between the two are numerous. Richard Childress Racing has a presence in both. Both feature a Dillon brother. And both now have a second-place driver facing the first major uncertainties of their respective seasons. When Austin Dillon takes to the track this Saturday at Loudon, it will be without crew chief Danny Stockman, who has been suspended after his No. 3 team was penalized for rules violations each of the last two race weekends. And when Justin Lofton leaves Iowa, the No. 6 team faces an uncertain sponsorship situation, following the announcement this week that backer CollegeComplete.com was departing. Read More »