Race Weekend Central

Mirror Driving: What Will Label Sin City A Gen-6 Success Story

Welcome to \"Mirror Driving.\" Every Wednesday, your favorite columnists sit down and give their opinion about the latest NASCAR news, rumors, and controversy. Love us or hate us, make a comment below and tell us how you feel about what we've said!

*This Week's Participants*:

<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy Henderson</span> \"(Mondays / The Big Six & Fridays / Holding A Pretty Wheel & Frontstretch Co-Managing Editor)\":http://www.frontstretch.com/staffinfo/351/
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff Wolfe</span> (Frontstretch Fantasy Insider)
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil Allaway</span> \"(Tuesdays / Talking NASCAR TV & Frontstretch Newsletter Editor)\":http://www.frontstretch.com/staffinfo/18439/
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer Bedgood</span> \"(Frontstretch NASCAR Senior Writer)\":http://www.frontstretch.com/staffinfo/32577/

*The Gen-6 car has received mixed reviews so far in 2013, but we’re only two races into the season. The “real test†is going to be this weekend in Las Vegas, one of the many intermediate racetracks that are currently on the Sprint Cup Series schedule. What would a successful race be for you and do you think expectations are too high?*

<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: I would like to at least six or eight passes for the lead. But really, when it comes down to the end, it would be nice to say any one of four or five drivers could win.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Like I said a couple of weeks ago, teams are still learning this car, as is NASCAR. Any time before the second race at tracks is too soon to know what it's really capable of.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I do think expectations are too high because of all the hype. Still, though, a successful race would be a variety of passing throughout.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Yes, even a lot of passing in the top 10 would be good, too.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Agreed. A successful race at Las Vegas would be one where drivers don’t just pass… they can race each other _hard_ for position.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I don't think that will happen simply because it's a long race and drivers won't race too hard regardless. But I'd like to get through one weekend without hearing the drivers say, \"You just can't pass in traffic.\" Phoenix wasn't a terrible race, but drivers were _still_ saying that. I understand that some of that is the tires and track configuration, but the car plays a role too.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> At this point, I'm confident that almost any type of car at Phoenix would create a similar race to what we saw on Sunday.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: I thought Phoenix was a decent race. There was a respectable amount of passing late in the event.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> I think expectations are too high from fans. And one thing hasn’t changed…there are passes for position, under green, all race long…but you never see most of them because the cameras are only showing a few select cars. When FOX used the stationary cams during the Crank It Up segments at Phoenix, you could see several cars racing side-by-side. The rest of the time, not so much. I was listening to team audio, so I know there was passing going on.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Like I said, it wasn't a terrible race, but I still heard drivers talking about how the car reacted in traffic. It sounded the same as the old car.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> It will be interesting to see what the cars do at Vegas. Based on what I saw during the tests at Charlotte over the winter, there was passing when they raced in small groups. However, they never raced in groups bigger than about four or five.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Yeah, but we don't see \"big packs\" at intermediates anyway. Four or five _is_ a big pack at those tracks.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Let's be honest. There were crew chiefs that talked to us and stated that they didn't really believe the Gen-6 car would race all that differently from the CoT. Seems like they might have been right.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Here's the other problem. Yes, the cars look like the street version. But manufacturers have worked so hard to make new cars more aerodynamic for better fuel mileage that if the race cars look like them, they're going to be aero dependent.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Which basically means that we have to pick our poison.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Right. Do you want a car that looks as close to stock as possible, or one that is race-specific but looks even less like the street version than the CoT?
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Basically, that means either have aero dependent cars or don't exist, considering the manufacturers would pull out. Not that tough a decision, to be honest.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I'm sure this race, like some others coming up will be a learning process. And I don't want to judge too heavily until we're at least halfway through the season. But it's hard to keep everyone happy in terms of seeing stock cars or good racing. I'm not convinced that’s at all possible. I know, I know… everyone saying, \"But racing used to be _soooo_ good back in the day.\" That's right. There's nothing I long for more than seeing cars win by laps over other drivers.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: I think they will get better as time goes on. That's always been the case, no matter what kind of cars they have.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Even if they raced stock cars off the showroom floor, they'd be aero dependent. What NASCAR needs to do is slow them down significantly… that's what would get rid of the aero dependency to some degree.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: It would also make things less dangerous. I would be totally fine with decreasing the horsepower on these cars. In a sense, wouldn't that also help some of the smaller teams?
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> How do they do that? New, smaller engines?
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> EFI. They could control speed through fuel mixture.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Or just put restrictor plates on any car at any track over a mile.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: You know, I think new fans see two minutes of highlights, then expect whole races to be like that. That’ll never happen.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I'm trying to manage by expectations for this weekend. Honestly, though, I just want to see a good race regardless of the car.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> I think we'll see an interesting race, maybe a little faster than normal.

*Jimmie Johnson made a fuss about Carl Edwards’ late race restart that eventually helped Edwards win the race. Did he have a case to make and, if so, did NASCAR need to react?*

<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: No and No. The leader always gets the jump on the restart, that's part of his reward. It's been that way for years at all different levels and types of racing. Jimmie would've and has done the same thing.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Personally, I don't think Jimmie's got a point here. Carl led them down slow. Keselowski might have jumped the start, if anything.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Jimmie's a whiner. Carl Edwards didn't do anything wrong. I agree with Jeff. He was the leader, he gets the advantage. I think Johnson got bamboozled and he didn't like it.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Exactly. The leader always sets the pace on restarts. I've seen a lot worse than what Carl did.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Edwards didn't do anything wrong. He had a huge shove from Keselowski from behind.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: And as far as if NASCAR should have done anything, absolutely not. The more NASCAR can let these guys just freaking race, the better. It wasn't obvious enough for them to react.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> I have no problem with what happened here. In fact, it wasn't even really noticeable to me.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Me neither during the race.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> The green flag was out when Edwards went. If anyone jumped, it was Keselowski, but since he didn't pass anyone, it's all good.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Edwards said he thought Johnson was trying to out-do _him,_ which - if you watch the restart - he was.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> As he should have, Summer. As they _both_ should have.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: That's what they should do. It's nothing but completely irritating when a driver bitches about another driver trying to beat him. What the hell do you think you're there for???
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> That's why it's called racing.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Edwards is experienced enough to see that and not get taken advantage of.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: It might have worked on a rookie driver, yes, but you're right. It's not like Edwards is new at this. If Edwards had crowded Johnson out of his lane or something like that, he'd have a reason to be upset. Otherwise, Jimmie needs to shut up and race.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> \"Quit your whining and have at it,\" is what I'd say to Johnson here. It was going to be tough for him anyway because he was on the outside.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Edwards wasn't about to let a desperately needed win slip away. I think it was just a little politicking by Jimmie. Not really a big deal. The Hendrick drivers are perceived to get enough breaks as it is.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Mind games. That makes sense. At the same time, does it really intimidate drivers when he whines?
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> No, it just irritates them.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> If Johnson has issues with anyone, it would be Hamlin, who might have wrecked the 48 and the 2 if Keselowski hadn't gotten out of the way. The three of them had some great racing at the end, though. Watching Keselowski and Johnson race each other is just fun.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Jimmie a great driver, but no Intimidator.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> He doesn't need to be.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: No, he really doesn't. He's done well enough without being aggressive.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> He is aggressive. He's just not overaggressive. Usually, anyway. They all have their moments.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I know, but in general, Johnson will race you fairly. He's not someone you watch creeping up on them and saying, \"Oh, he's gonna wreck him!\"
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> I really hope Johnson and Keselowski are racing for position near the end of a lot of races this year, though.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> I agree, Amy. Those two seem to have a lot of respect for each other, even if Johnson seems to think that Keselowski is a little immature.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Regardless of Jimmie's motives, in this case though, he needs to hush. Just because he's a five-time champion doesn't mean he gets to tell everyone how to race.

*One story that has been making its rounds—so to speak—in the mainstream media is the NRA’s sponsorship of Texas Motor Speedway’s spring race in April. It’s a controversial move, but is it really that big of a deal?*

<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I really don't think it's that big of a deal. It's just sponsorship.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Yes and no. I think it's the timing that's questionable, so soon after Sandy Hook. Other than that, it's a sponsor, and the sport needs those.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I guess I could agree with that Amy. In the wake of recent tragedy, it seems distasteful. But the intent certainly wasn't behind that.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Ultimately, I say no big deal as well. Since it's Texas Motor Speedway, I wouldn't be surprised if Gossage went to the NRA himself and gave them a sweetheart deal.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: It's just because gun control is a big issue right now and some NRA statements about it have been a little controversial, or perceived that way by gun control proponents. But NRA is not some evil organization. If they want to sponsor, they should.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: The only issue I have with it is that I hate when politics and racing mix. Racing is supposed to be an escape, not a soapbox.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> I don't really care about the NRA sponsoring a race. They've got big bucks, even if they carry the threat of a whammy with them. Besides, it's not like the viewers at home are going to notice, unless the NRA buys FOX's TV ad package so that they can get their race name on TV.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> I'd love to see all the unsponsored cars run the Sandy Hook fund scheme that Michael Waltrip ran at Daytona that week.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Yeah, have a bunch of Sandy Hook cars on the track during the NRA 500. That would generate ratings and be a statement in itself.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> That said, if they or any other sponsor use their exposure to promote a political agenda, that's not cool with me, regardless of what that agenda is.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Basically, what the NRA is doing here is playing to their base. I think everyone knows that. Or what they think they are doing, anyway. I don't pretend to know for sure.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Yes, it seems a large majority of NASCAR fans are NRA supporters.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> OK, would you be against a company trying to register people to vote via a sponsorship, like Rise Up and Register last year?
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I don't think there is anything controversial about registering people to vote.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: I had no problem with that either
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> On paper, no. However, you remember how much of a travesty that turned into last year. Granted, that was more of an ESPN thing than anything else. The only one that got screwed out of that was Blake Koch.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Honestly, I wouldn't have a problem with any democratic or progressive-related sponsorship at a race either. If they want to get their name out there via NASCAR, that's fine with me.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: It's no different than buying an ad in a newspaper or popular website – just on a bigger scale for more money.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> I think it is different from buying an ad. I don't think political agendas belong in professional sports. But if it's just the name of the race and there is no further agenda flaunted, then no problem.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Oh, I bet it will be. The NRA will hold some press conference or something and the media will jump all over it. But it's not helping NASCAR's demographic issues. That's probably my biggest problem with it. NASCAR is trying to grow, they've been doing a good job in that department, and this is a step backwards.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> The NRA is all about publicity these days. This deal will appeal to the base, but it won't draw anyone new into NASCAR.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: It might shove people away instead.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> I think any sport or venue is foolish to let that happen and risk alienating a portion of their fan base. But hey, if NASCAR wants to throw more fans away, let every race be a political ad…
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: It doesn't matter if it's fair or not. People see the NRA as the big, bad guys.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: I'm afraid it will add to the stereotype of NASCAR fans a bit. But it's kind of like if you don't like us, good, we don't want you anyway.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: That's not what I mean, Jeff. We're speaking mainly of the political agendas that are spoken of in the mainstream media. Sports are supposed to be separate from that.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> True, it might. I'd argue that Gossage would have made this deal regardless, though.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Why, Jeff? Shouldn't anyone be able to enjoy the sport without fear of having someone's agenda shoved down their throat?
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Yes. Many believe that NASCAR has a closed image. That it's only open to some. There's a reason why the sport's fan base might be the most homogenous in professional sports.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Well, somebody's always got an agenda. I just hope NASCAR remembers where it came from.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I know what you're saying, but we're not talking about pleasing everyone in terms of the format of the series. We're talking about not alienating them because of political statements. Big difference.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Well, in some aspects sure, in terms of moonshining and racism. But in terms of hard racing and having guys who showed emotion when losing or winning, I hope not.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> I think it's fine as long as the NRA (or any other special interest group) isn’t allowed to use races as a political forum. That alienates fans and NASCAR can't afford to do that.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I'm OK with it in a sense. But I'm frustrated that this continues a stereotype.

*The Nationwide Series is known for its underdogs and up-and-comers. Though we’re only two races into the season, who do you think will have the most staying power?*

<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Well, I think Kyle Larson will. Granted, he's had a rather exciting couple of weeks, but we should see good things out of him.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: You've got Hornish up there and think he is a much better driver for these cars than two or three years ago. Sadler, Regan Smith and I think Austin Dillon is a newcomer who can stay in contention.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> For this year, I think Hornish will be there at the end, and Elliott Sadler. Allagier, Brian Scott, and Piquet will be top 10 in points but are unlikely to be a title threat. Smith and Dillon will be in the mix in November.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Yes, I like Larson, too. If Stewart gives him an endorsement, that's pretty good. Tony doesn't just go handing those out everyday.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I agree on Larson, but that's a little obvious. One driver that really doesn't get a lot of coverage, despite his popularity, is Nelson Piquet, Jr. He's done well.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Earlier today, ESPN's NASCAR Twitter was asking whether Larson or Alex Bowman would win first this year. I don't know about Bowman winning, but that would be cool if he did.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I think he will be a good dark hose contender.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> I like Larson, but time will tell with him. He's awfully young and inexperienced still. And everyone thought Joey Logano was well, the best thing since sliced bread…only when he got to Cup, it didn't pan out.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Put Joey Logano back in a full time Nationwide Series ride and he'll win the next 10 championships. There's a huge talent gap there.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Logano got bumped to Cup after 2/3rds of a season in Nationwide because Stewart bolted. He wouldn't have been in Cup before 2010 otherwise.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I'm not convinced that Logano won't eventually find his niche in the Sprint Cup Series. There was a time Keselowski was crappy in Cup, too.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Moving on… I have every reason to believe that Parker Kligerman could win a race this year as well.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: If Kligerman can maintain some stability, he'll be right there.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> I still think Brian Vickers has time to get back in it. He's too good not to.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Ah yes, I forgot Bayne and Vickers.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Bayne impressed the heck out of me with his Texas win in 2011. I think that being full-time will boost him to where he's a weekly contender, especially at the bigger tracks.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: It's not like the Nationwide Series is just identical cars with suckier drivers. They really are different.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> They are. It's also a lot less pressure…and some guys just don't handle the pressure of Cup well.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> I thought we were supposed to be talking about underdogs. I don't really feel like Austin Dillon, Trevor Bayne, Elliott Sadler and the like are underdogs here.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: The conversation shifted a bit. Honestly, it's extremely hard to tell this early because there is so, so much that can and will happen.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Underdogs to me are Brian Scott (on talent, anyway), Allagier, and maybe Alex Bowman. Don't know if Bowman is all talent or all money, though.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Bowman has shown that he is competitive. Couldn't do much Saturday since he got wrapped up in the Lap 2 mess.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Racing at the top level brings more pressure, sponsorship and attention. If you mess up big time in a Sprint Cup race ,everybody knows about it. Sponsors don't like negative attention for that kind of money.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I guess the difference is still that there is no points reset. What happens now technically does still matter.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> True.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Scott is an underdog, but I don't believe he'll stay where he is. Allgaier, I believe will. Bowman… no. Just, no.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> There will be a good battle for top 5 in points this year, and a decently deep top 10.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I don't think anyone other than Nationwide fanatics (do those exist?) will care about the top 10 battle.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Even die-hard fans know it's not the top tier. Only the championship matters.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> There are a lot of fans who like NNS better than Cup
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: It depends on who is in the race.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Not true, Summer. Race fans look for up-and-coming talent. The champion isn't the only driver who has it.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: I think NNS is more legitimate now with so many that can win title. And yes, up and coming talent is big. NASCAR needs new blood and it's nice to see some young guys with potential, at least.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> The guys who are there because they have money will fade. There are several who will be there at the end, and a few who won't quite be good enough to contend.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I'm watching Allgaier closely. He's an underdog in terms of all the washed up Cup drivers in Nationwide. I think there is a fair point to be made for Kligerman, too.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> All the washed up Cup drivers? You mean Elliott Sadler?
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Sadler, Vickers, Smith.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Brian Vickers is hardly washed up.
<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: I didn't mean that to sound as mean as it sounded.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> Money can only get you so far. It can get you in the room. However, you gotta bring your A-game once there.
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> He's going to be in the No. 55 Cup car next year unless something drastic happens
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Vickers definitely deserves a full-time Cup ride.

*Predictions For Las Vegas?*

<span style=\"color:magenta; font-weight:bold\">Summer:</span>: Not to sound like a broken record, but Jimmie Johnson. Why not?
<span style=\"color:dodgerblue; font-weight:bold\">Amy:</span> Matt Kenseth.
<span style=\"color:indigo; font-weight:bold\">Jeff:</span>: Edwards again. He has tendency to get hot when he gets going.
<span style=\"color:blue; font-weight:bold\">Phil:</span> I'm going with Brad Keselowski.

*Connect with Amy!*
<a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/Writer_Amy\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/6502.jpg\"></a><br>
\"Contact Amy Henderson\":http://www.frontstretch.com/contact/14352/

*Connect with Jeff!*
<a href=\"http://www.twitter.com/jeffwolfe206\"><img src=\"http://www.frontstretch.com/images/6502.jpg\"></a><br>
\"Contact Jeff Wolfe\":http://www.frontstretch.com/contact/37938/

*Connect with Phil!*
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\"Contact Phil Allaway\":http://www.frontstretch.com/contact/18440/

*Connect with Summer!*
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\"Contact Summer Bedgood\":http://www.frontstretch.com/contact/28526/

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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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