Race Weekend Central

Beyond the Cockpit: Matt Crafton On His Start, Short Tracks And Menards

_Matt Crafton has been competing in the Camping World Truck Series since his debut race in 2000 in a Duke Thorson owned Truck. This past weekend he set the record for consecutive starts in the series with his 297 run, still in a Thorson truck. All but 25 of Crafton’s record setting starts have been in a ThorSport truck. He spent the 2004 season in a Kevin Harvick Truck before returning to his long time owner and friend Duke Thorson._

_Crafton has garnered two wins in the Truck Series during his impressive streak and has also had a myriad of teammates in 13 years of driving for ThorSport. While Crafton stays focused throughout the Truck season, he knows how to have some fun in the off-season. He runs a sand rail around in the desert, not far from his home in the Southwest but also loves running on some of the most historic tracks. He sat down with Mike Neff at Rockingham to discuss a vast assortment of things pertaining to racing and not so much._

Happiness Is … A Packed Weekend In April

There was a full slate of racing last weekend: Nationwide, Cup, F1, Trucks. It was more than enough of a gamut to give gearheads their fill. The stories have been punched out, so now it’s time to go through some of the highlights that make motorsports so much fun right before the next weekend sneaks up upon us. Without further hubbub…

*Happiness is… night racing.*
Short tracks claim that when Nationwide or Cup run on weekend nights that their attendance dwindles. Got it. But there’s something to be said for racing at night and for encouraging more of it from the national series. To start, and this may seem banal, but the cars just look cooler. For all of the reshaping that has taken place in the past couple years, these two series now feature cars that ‘resemble’ something like everyday cars. Resemble is used loosely. Under the lights the cars shine and all of the work that goes into styling them becomes evident.

In The Face Of Great Tragedy, NASCAR Shines Its Brightest

There are few things more sobering in life than learning of the tragedies we sometimes face as a nation. This was no less true over the past week when Massachusetts suffered a horrific tragedy with a bombing at the Boston Marathon and shooting at MIT in Cambridge that took a family member of one of NASCAR’s own.

Officer Sean Collier, brother of Hendrick Motorsports machinist Andrew Collier, died tragically in a standoff with the suspected Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It turned a tragic situation into downright heartbreaking knowing that the NASCAR community was so horribly affected. Now, it was personal.

Matt Kenseth Wins Pole in Kansas

While it initially looked like Fords might dominate Friday afternoon at Kansas Speedway, it was a Toyota that took the top spot. Matt Kenseth, driving his No. 20 Toyota Camry, took the top spot from former teammate Carl Edwards. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was third followed by Sam Hornish Jr. Kyle Busch rounded out the top …

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Buescher Leads Final Truck Series Practice

James Buescher swept both practice sessions on Friday at Kansas Speedway. Though overall speeds dropped by two seconds, The Turner Scott Motorsports drivers—Buescher, rookie Jeb Burton and Miguel Paludo—swept the top 3 positions as they prepare for Saturday morning’s qualifying session. Joey Logano and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top 5. The session was slowed …

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Fords Stand Out in First Sprint Cup Series Practice

If Friday afternoon’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice is any indication, a Ford will be in Victory Late at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Carl Edwards paced the field at a speed of 192.055 mph in 28.117 seconds followed by teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in second. Nationwide Series regular Sam Hornish Jr. was third. Martin …

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Buescher Leads First Practice

James Buescher Leads First Truck Series Practice James Buescher led the first Camping World Truck Series practice session at Kansas Speedway with a fast lap of 178.873 mph. In the nearly three-hour practice, Buescher ran 53 laps and sat atop the leaderboard for the majority of the time. The only other driver to break through …

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Brother of Hendrick Motorsports Machinist Killed In Boston Bomber Shootout

The Boston Marathon bombing took a turn towards a NASCAR connection Friday, when the brother of a Hendrick Motorsports employee was killed during a shootout with the alleged bomber.

Sean Collier, who was killed in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Thursday night, was an MIT police officer on routine duty when the two bombing suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev confronted him. While the details remain unclear, Collier was caught in some sort of shootout with the suspects, hit with bullets multiple times and pronounced dead upon arrival at Massachusetts General Hospital just after 10:30 PM. He was 26 years old.

IndyCar In Depth: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Preview

After beginning the season on the East Coast, with races at St. Petersburg and Barber Motorsports Park, the IndyCar Series jaunts West to the familiar Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This event is the longest tenured “street” race in the United States, having begun in 1975. (For more information on its history, “go here).”:https://frontstretch.com/tmontgomery/42832/ The race is on April 21, at 4 ET, and can be found on the NBC Sports Network.

Brendan Gaughan Driver Diary: The Rock, Family, And Downtime

We used the time off to do some testing. We did one of our official tests at Texas Motor Speedway. Shane and I know each other pretty well, so when we were trying to decide where to go test, we just looked at each other and went, “Texas.” It’s been a while since I’ve run well there, and that was big.

Then, we had a surprise 70th birthday party for my dad. It was funny, because right before we sprung it on him, he looked at my mom and said, “I’m so glad you didn’t throw me a $%#&$* surprise party.” My mom was awesome. She had three planes. She had our plane and two planes she had rented, and we had people everywhere. She worked hard for that party, and my dad had a great time.

Frontstretch Foto Funnies: Just Turn Left Already!

_Welcome to the Frontstretch Foto Funnies! Ever see a photo that’s just begging for a caption? We see them all the time! Each week, we’ll pick a few, then let our staff give it their best shot. We’ll post the best ones for you!_

_Want to get in on the fun? Each week, we’ll also designate one of the photos for fan captions. Leave your best ideas in the comments below or on our “Facebook page.”:https://www.facebook.com/Frontstretch We’ll choose our favorite one and reprint the photo next week with its new caption! Then, at the end of each month, we’ll randomly choose one winner from the four winning captions, and that person will receive a free weekend rental from our friends at FanVision during any Sprint Cup race weekend in 2013! What could be better than that? In order to be eligible, comments must include a valid email (nobody can see it but us, and we promise we’ll only use it for notification purposes!) Note while you can post as many captions as you like, you aren’t eligible for the monthly prize if you’ve won a contest from us in the last 90 days._

Formula 1 Friday: Sport and Politics

George Orwell, ever the forward thinker, once mused, “I am always amazed when I hear people saying that sport creates goodwill between nations, and that if only the common peoples of the world could meet one another, at football or cricket, they would have no inclination to meet on the battlefield.” Seldom have we felt the reality of these words more than after the painful events that unfolded at the climax of the Boston Marathon last weekend (and our sympathies from this side of the pond are extended to you on this tragedy – how callous to target those who are more than often running to help others).