Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Really Bad Racing Calls

Bahrain Grand Prix Practice

1. Well, yeah, we messed up, but, just deal, OK? Former journeyman driver Brett Bodine is the current lead pace car driver for NASCAR. Ironic, considering his only Cup Series victory came about because of a pace car miscue. In a race at North Wilkesboro in 1990, Bodine had led 63 laps at one point …

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The Frontstretch 5: Ways NASCAR Can Create Opportunity for Teams

2017 Indianapolis Cup Jimmie Johnson Pack Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

1. Let teams control their destiny There has been much talk about parity in NASCAR in recent years, and while it’s certainly important for teams to be able to enter the sport and establish themselves, NASCAR’s move toward spec everything isn’t working. Cost-cutting attempts have been little more than taking a couple raisins out of …

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The Frontstretch 5: Questions NASCAR Fans Should be Asking This Week

2016 Fontana Cup Trevor Bayne Pack Racing Brett Moist Nkp

(Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

1. Should NASCAR run the ROVAL again? Yes, absolutely. Sunday’s race wasn’t perfect and no race really is, but it was exciting. There was more passing than the TV broadcast made it seem, which is standard fare. Most races have a lot more going on than fans at home will ever get to see. There …

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The Frontstretch 5: Memorable Playoff Moments

Nascar Champions Portraits

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

1. Going old-school Definitely the old-school nature of Matt Kenseth punting Joey Logano at Martinsville in 2015. Logano had spun Kenseth from a certain victory earlier in the playoffs at Kansas after winning the previous week at Charlotte. Of course, that was seen as rubbing salt in the wound at the time, since there wasn’t …

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The Frontstretch 5: Disturbing Trends in NASCAR

2018 Las Vegas I Cup Ty Dillon Pack Racing Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

1. The elephant in the room The fact that looms over NASCAR these days is the decline in both ratings and race attendance; it simply can’t be ignored, explained away, or overlooked. There are pieces that can’t be fixed, like the steady erosion of American car culture. That’s outside any realm of control for any …

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The Frontstretch 5: Takeaways From a Weekend of Racing at Darlington

#2: Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Miller Genuine Draft

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Kevin Harvick v. Ross Chastain The XFINITY Series’ visit to Darlington Raceway marked the first of three opportunities for Ross Chastain to show what he’s capable of in top-notch equipment. And in his first start with Chip Ganassi Racing, all went well for the 25-year-old, who started on the pole and led 90 laps. …

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The Frontstretch 5: Great NASCAR Paint Schemes Past & Present

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Quicksilver One of the original one race paint schemes, if not the first, was the silver Goodwrench Chevy that Dale Earnhardt ran in the 1995 Winston (or whatever the race might have been called back then.) Because Earnhardt always ran the familiar black Chevys, it was quite a surprise to see him in the …

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The Frontstretch 5: Reasons Nothing is Simple in NASCAR

21 22 August, 2015, Bristol, Tennessee Usa Kyle Busch, Skittles Toyota Camry Denny Hamlin, Fedex Ground Toyota Camry ©2015, Matthew T. Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

1. Because tracks It seems easy enough: make changes to the schedules, the cars, the playoffs, even the drivers.  But NASCAR is a complex organism, and nothing is as easy as it seems, even if we think it should be. Would more short tracks/road courses/different tracks make a difference in what fans see? There’s no …

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The Frontstretch 5: Pieces in NASCAR’s Silly Season Puzzle & Where They Could Fit

2017 Atlanta Cup Kurt Busch Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

1. Kurt Busch 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Busch won’t return to powerhouse Stewart-Haas Racing next year. Each driver move creates two pieces to the puzzle, as the ride he vacates will need to be filled. In this case, it’s pretty likely that Cole Custer will take over the No. 41, so Busch …

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The Frontstretch 5: Ways to Improve NASCAR’s Inspection Process

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Auto Club 400 Qualifying

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

1. Humanize the process again Last week in Holding a Pretty Wheel, I examined the recent rash of inspection failures in NASCAR. There’s plenty of blame to go around for what’s happening, but what can be done about it? First and foremost, has the process become too dependent on technology? It’s very possible that the …

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The Frontstretch 5: Memorable Road Course Moments

2011 Watkins Glen Cup Marcos Ambrose Woohoo Tyler Barrick Autostock Usa Via Nkp

(Photo: Tyler Barrick Autostock USA via NKP)

1. Flipping out The 1999 race at Sonoma featured not just one, but two cars flipping through the air. First, Steve Park got turned around, slid backward through the grass and struck a barrier, sending the yellow No. 1 airborne, where it turned completely over before coming to rest on top of the barrier.  Later …

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Frontstretch 5: Manufacturers We’d Like to See in NASCAR

#20: Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Rheem, Winner, Victory Nascar Xfinity Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Editor’s note: Amy is sidelined this week with a wrist injury, but the column must go on. Get well soon, Amy! 1. Where could Christopher Bell end up? The Oklahoman tore through the Camping World Truck Series competition on his way to the championship last year, and he’s leading the XFINITY Series in wins this …

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