Race Weekend Central

Fanning the Flames: Joey Logano’s Debut, Kyle’s Karma & Tony’s Ravioli

Here’s to hoping the 10 Chase races are as cool as the one we saw in Richmond. It’s a long shot, I know… but here’s to hoping.

Q: Matt, my question last week was about Joey Logano and how you thought he would do in his first race. Well, like you alluded to God and Tropical Storm Hanna prevented that, so I’m going to ask again. The debut will be at New Hampshire instead of Richmond now. How do you think that will be different, and do you still think we can only expect a 20th-place finish? – Nate Paulsin

A: Thanks for the follow-up, Nate. I wouldn’t expect Logano’s mindset to be any different. He’s still going to have to watch his Ps & Qs around the Chase guys (and instead of three or four shooting to just get into the Chase, he’ll now have to keep his eyes peeled for all 12 that suddenly believe they have a shot at a title). But no, I don’t think his debut will be much different in that respect.

I do believe New Hampshire will provide a much tougher test for him than Richmond. There’s only one real groove in Loudon, while those boys were slingin’ it all up near the wall – and maintaining speed – at RIR. I’d say his bumper will be beat all to hell by race’s end, and he still comes in about 20th at best.

This next one I saw coming about lap 200 last Sunday:

Q: KARMA! And it came at Richmond of course! Nothing so sweet as to see Kyle Busch skidding across the track and the No. 88 right up under him! First Carl Edwards at Bristol, now Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Richmond. How’s those short tracks taste, Kyle? – Jonathan Hembry

A: Well, I suppose you’re on to something with the karma comment – and that’s coming from a guy who actually kinda likes Kyle’s style (save for the shades). Nevertheless, his six top-five finishes at the short tracks over the last two seasons (11 races) tells me “short track” tastes like ribeye to Kyle.

Q: Hey Matt! Reports are saying Reed Sorenson may leave Ganassi Racing before the end of the year. I think that is pretty logical. My question is who is being discussed to take the No. 41 ride for next year? Thanks! – Brad Lundholm

A: And my question is, who would want it? Honestly, I don’t know. Shoot, throw Jeremy Mayfield in there. If he couldn’t get along with Roger Penske or Ray Evernham, just imagine the stuff we’d have to discuss while he’s driving for Chip Ganassi!

Q: Your thoughts on the Tony Stewart article in Rolling Stone? I thought it was a poor excuse to fill empty page space. Real nice of the author to not mention any of Tony’s good qualities. You know, all the charitable causes he supports and all. Rolling Stone should stick to drugged-out rock stars and burnt-out pop princesses and let the pros who cover NASCAR stick to that. – Terri G.

A: Yeah, I’m not real sure where the article was going, other than to highlight the vices of a highly visible personality. St. Anthony of Columbus he may not be, but I agree that the author seemed more interested in delving into tabloid-esque territory than writing a balanced piece. And you know the most offensive part of the whole article? The visual presented of Tony sprawled on the floor of his motorcoach in tightey whiteys eating ravioli. I mean, who needs to see that? It’s kind of perverse, ya know? And to pull us in involuntarily… thanks a lot.

OK, that’s it for this week. Love it or hate it, it’s playoff time – NASCAR style. Let’s hear what you’ve got to say.

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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