THE FRONTSTRETCH NEWSLETTER
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The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
November 26th, 2012
Volume VI, Edition CCXXXIV
Editor's Note: Remember, the Frontstretch Newsletter has scaled back to a weekly edition over the offseason! The next scheduled edition will run on Monday, December 3rd.
- This week is Champions' Week, the yearly celebration of the Sprint Cup Series and recently crowned 2012 Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski in Las Vegas, Nevada. That said, there are quite a few events that are scheduled. A full schedule can be found here. Highlights include the NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon, where multiple awards are handed out, the Victory Lap on the Las Vegas Strip and the low-key After the Lap, and the actual banquet itself.
- Also of note, Chevrolet will finally unveil their 2013 Sprint Cup Series challenger, the Chevrolet SS, on Thursday in Las Vegas. The street version of the SS will be unveiled this week at the LA Auto Show.
- Finally, for sports car fans, Mazda will officially debut their car for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series' new GX class on Friday at the LA Auto Show. Mazda has already confirmed that the car will use a new Skyactiv-D Diesel engine. Rumors over the past few months have been centered upon the new 2014 Mazda6, which debuted in Moscow earlier this year and will have a diesel engine available to buyers.
Top News From The Past Week
Burton Has Minor Wrist Surgery
On Wednesday, Richard Childress Racing announced that driver Jeff Burton recently had a minor surgical procedure on his right wrist. The procedure was undertaken in order to address a case of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is not expected to keep Burton down for any significant amount of time.
Burton is happy to get the procedure out of the way.
"After feeling some reoccurring symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, my physician and I decided [that] routine surgery would be best for this situation," Burton said. "There is no such thing as an off-season in this sport, so I wanted to get it done as soon as possible to be ready for my Caterpillar Visitors Center appearance with Richard Childress early next month. Plus, we have many test sessions planned in December with the No. 31 Chevrolet team in preparation for the 2013 season with my new crew chief Luke Lambert. I will be ready."
The appearance that Burton referenced is scheduled for next Wednesday, December 5 at the Caterpillar Visitors Center at Caterpillar's world headquarters in Peoria, Illinois. During that appearance, Burton and Childress, along with Caterpillar representatives, will unveil their 2013 Chevrolet SS. Burton and Childress will participate in a two-hour autograph session, while the No. 31 hauler will be on display all day.
For now, Burton is under doctor's orders to rest his right wrist and effectively do nothing with it. The orders even extend as far as him not being able to change the channel on his remote control with his right hand. However, he has been answering fan questions on Twitter while typing with only his left hand. On Twitter, Burton has stated that he's pain-free after the surgery.
Son of Andy Rueger Dies in ATV Crash
On Thanksgiving morning, seven-year old Bryce Rueger was killed when the ATV that he was riding with his 11-year old cousin rolled over at his home in Salisbury, North Carolina. According to WSOC, Rueger was driving the ATV at what was described as a high rate of speed when he attempted to make a sharp turn around his house. The ATV simply could not stay upright at that speed and threw both passengers off. Rueger was killed instantly while his cousin suffered a broken leg. The cousin was hospitalized in serious condition with a broken leg.
There was a wake/visitation for Rueger Sunday at the Cavin Cook Funeral Home in Mooresville, North Carolina. There is another wake scheduled for Tuesday, November 27 at the Voss Chapel in Seymour, Indiana from 4:00-8:00pm EST. The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, November 28 at 10:30am at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Seymour, Indiana, with burial scheduled for shortly afterwards at Riverview Cemetery.
Rueger is the son of Andy Rueger, who worked this past season as the gas man on Ryan Newman's No. 39 U.S. Army/Tornados/Quicken Loans/Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet. For 2013, Rueger is scheduled to move over to a similar role with the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing crew.
Rueger has set up an online memorial fund for people to help the family pay for medical and funeral expenses. The original goal for the campaign was to raise $10,000, a goal that was reached in only one day. However, if you would like to donate, you still can. People who would like to donate can leave their name and a short message for the Rueger's, or they can donate anonymously.
Keselowski Wins 3rd Quarter NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award
SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's Dave Moody reported last week that the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) announced 2012 Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski as the winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award for the third quarter of 2012. Similarly to the Driver of the Year Award, four quarterly awards and handed out, and the yearly winner is chosen between the four quarterly winners. Keselowski joins Clint Bowyer and Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg in contention for the 2012 NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award.
According to the NMPA, the Spirit Award is supposed to "recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports." Usually, the award is given to an individual that is successful on track, but also heavily involved with good works off the track. In Keselowski's case, he was nominated for his work with his own organization, the Brad Keselowski Checkered Flag Foundation (BKCFF), which awards grants to various organizations. Readers may recognize the charity as having been on Keselowski's No. 19 truck in the Camping World Truck Series earlier this season.
Past winners of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award include Kyle and Pattie Petty for their work with Victory Junction Gang Camp (Kyle also won in 2000 after continuing to race after his son Adam's death at New Hampshire), and Benny Parsons during his battle with lung cancer.
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Q: Eddie Irvine didn't exactly make many friends when he first entered Formula One. He was famously punched by Ayrton Senna after racing him inappropriately while a lap down at Suzuka in 1993. After the 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix, Irvine was suspended for three weeks. Why did this happen?
Check back next Monday for the answer, here in the Frontstretch Newsletter!
Q. In 1993, the Brazilian crowd at Interlagos was treated to Ayrton Senna's second win at the twisty road course near Sao Paulo. What happened towards the halfway point of the race to knock leader Alain Prost out of the event?
A. A sudden downpour swamped the circuit, sending everyone scurrying for cover. The teams were all racing on slick tires at the time, so the rain caused drivers to slide off the track everywhere. Senna made a quick decision to get wet tires before the brunt of the rain hit. Meanwhile, Prost stayed out too long and crashed into a Minardi on the pit straight, putting himself out of the race. Senna's stop, and the downpour can be seen at the 8:40 mark of this clip.
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Coming Monday, December 26th in the Frontstretch Newsletter:
-- Top News from Phil Allaway
-- Links to your favorite Frontstretch articles, and more ... including our 2011 Driver Reviews!
Coming Monday, December 3rd at Frontstretch:
2012 Driver Reviews by the Frontstretch Staff
Our driver reviews will start off with the Chasers from Sprint Cup. Like last year, we're covering everyone in the Sprint Cup Series, but we're also covering the top-5 in Nationwide Series points and the top-5 in Camping World Truck Series points.
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