Presented by Frontstretch.com
The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Oct. 31, 2014
Volume VIII, Edition CXCII
FRONTSTRETCH AT THE TRACK:
What to Watch: Friday
compiled by Phil Allaway
Time Telecast Network
by Phil Allaway and Justin Tucker
Vickers Fastest in Sprint Cup Practice
It seems like yesterday that Kevin Harvick was making his first Sprint Cup Series start at Rockingham Speedway just one week after the death of Dale Earnhardt. Fast forward 13 years and 499 starts later, Harvick is set for a career milestone as he makes his 500th career Cup Series start this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Read more
Brendan Gaughan, Richard Childress Racing Renew For 2015
Johnny Sauter put his No.98 Smokey Mountain Snuff / Curb Records Toyota in a familiar spot on top of the speed charts as the Camping World Truck Series hit the track for two practice sessions at Texas Motor Speedway in preparation for Friday night's WinStar World Casino & Resort 350. Read more
INDYCAR Reveals 2015 Schedule
The Verizon IndyCar Series revealed its 17-race 2015 schedule on Thursday morning. Two brand new venues will highlight the schedule that features six ovals, six road courses and four temporary street courses. 14 markets from the 2014 season will return in 2015, however one of the most noteworthy changes is the season finale moving to Sonoma Raceway on Aug. 30. Read more
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Frontstretch Folio: AAA Texas 500
by Brad Morgan
The Sprint Cup Series travels back to Texas Motor Speedway for the 34th race of the 2014 season on Sunday, November 2. Television coverage of the AAA Texas 500 begins at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN; your local Performance Racing Network (PRN) affiliate or SiriusXM Radio Channel 90 will have the radio broadcast. Drivers will compete for at least 334 laps (501 miles) before the checkered flag waves.
Records and Facts
Joey Logano led a race-high 108 laps and beat out Jeff Gordon in the Duck Commander 500 here in April. Logano's four career win was his first of 2014 and gave him an inside track to an eventual Chase berth.
Jeff Gordon is the NSCS Iron Man at TMS. Gordon is the only driver to have competed in each of the track's 27 Cup races. Gordon also leads all drivers in laps completed with 7,990 and number of races before a victory with 12 (in comparison with the other 12 active Cup winners).
Casey Mears has competed in the most TMS races without a DNF (20).
Track Length: 1.5-mile quad oval
Pit Road Speed: 45 mph
Degree of Banking: 24 degrees
Frontstretch: 2250 ft., 5 degrees of banking
Backstretch: 1330 ft., 5 degrees of banking
Grandstand Seating: 122,377
Practices: Friday, October 31, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Saturday, November 1, 11:00 - 11:50 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Happy Hour: Saturday, November 1, 2:00 - 2:50 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2
Qualifying: Friday, October 31 at 6:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
Grand Marshal: Harlem Globetrotters
Command to start engines: Harlem Globetrotters
Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: David Tiger, AAA Texas
Honorary Pace Car Driver: Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland
National Anthem: TBA
Race Day Forecast
Sunday: Mostly Cloudy
Precipitation: 70 percent
They Said It:
"The track has a lot of speed and you can be aggressive. But what I like about the track – and why it seems to be a good one for this Drive to End Hunger team – are the multiple grooves. The tires give up and the track 'widens' out, and you can start searching the track for a line that might work better for your car." - Jeff Gordon
"Obviously, it would be great to get another win at Texas this weekend. Although it's a fast, intermediate track that has been a weakness of our team this year, Texas has good tire fall off and really plays into the hands of drivers that have a good handling car over the course of long runs. Earlier this year, when I felt like we didn't have the speed to compete with some of the top cars, we drove up and led laps at Texas, but didn't get the finish to show for it. We need another solid day with no mistakes to put ourselves in position to advance to the final four. Certainly, our hope was to get a better result at Martinsville last Sunday, but we're still in the thick of things. This segment of the Chase will require top-five finishes and hopefully we can achieve that this weekend." - Denny Hamlin
"I've never been to Victory Lane on the Cup side. I've won a ton of races there in the Nationwide and Truck series as a driver and an owner. We had a really, really fast car there in the spring and had a crazy, freak motor problem. Our mile-and-a-half stuff has really been our bread and butter this year, so I'm looking forward to getting back there and trying to get to Victory Lane. That would really be the best spot to end up." - Kevin Harvick
"This is as a championship-caliber effort at Team Penske. This is who we are, and this is what we do. I am going to make the most of this opportunity to win races and to win this championship. We've done that with race wins and we're doing what we have to earn the championship, but our opportunity and our capabilities as a group are so much higher than that and I don't want to miss out on it, so it's very, very important to me personally to live up to this opportunity that I'm so fortunate to have right now with this team and this organization." - Brad Keselowski
"With NASCAR changing some rules and letting us know at this point what they are going to be for next year, we know that we are not going to get a lot of on-track time before next season. So if the team wants changes made or has ideas, it's probably in everybody's best interest to make moves now so that things can start off on the right foot for 2015 instead of starting Sent from my iPhone
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Keepin' It Short: A Weekend of Civil Wars
People north of the Mason-Dixon line have moved on since the checkered flag flew over the Civil War in May of 1865. There are seldom events of any kind that take place in 'The North' that are billed as Civil Wars or North-South battles. Whether it is the spoils of victory or just the fact that Yankees have assumed the country is unified, it doesn't apply in 'The South'. There are always events going on in the South that mention Civil War and North South Shootout. There are still people walking around today that seriously believe the Confederacy is going to rise again and successfully secede from the United States.
In that vein, this weekend will see two different races that bill themselves as battles between the North and South. The All-American 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and the North-South Shootout at Caraway Speedway. The All-American this year is a 300 lap Pro Late Model race with a 100 lap last chance qualifying race to make up the 400 laps. On Friday the local divisions will be competing and crowning their season champions. The local divisions include Dwarf Cars, Road Runners, Legends, Limited Late Models, Open Wheel Modifieds, Pro Modifieds, Pure Stocks, Super Street and Sprotsman. The North-South is a full day of racing with the PASS Super Late Models joining the feature class of Tour Style Modifieds. The event will be rounded out with Southeast Limited Late Models and USAC Midgets. Friday at Caraway will have qualifying, Southeast Limited Late Model Challengers, Mini Stocks, Street Stocks and Hornets.
The All-American has gone through many iterations since its inception in 1981. No matter who the sanctioning body or venue for the race, some of the best drivers in racing have tried their luck at winning the prestigious race. The event has been sanctioned by ASA, CRA, and PASS. It started at the fairgrounds, it was held at the Music City Motorplex for three years and then came back to the fairgrounds. It was not held in 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2011 but is back and better than ever at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
The North-South Shootout is similar to the All-American. It started in 2003 at Concord Speedway before being moved to Caraway Speedway in 2011. The race has seen the best Modified drivers in the country travel to North Carolina to determine the best in the discipline. John Blewett III won the original race in 2003. Blewett passed away in a racing accident at Thompson International Speedway in 2007 and the North-South has been named in his memory ever since. The race also honors Charles Don Kepley and Ollie Grey 'Josh' Jenkins Jr. Since Blewett's win, Donny Lia, Matt Hirschman, Burt Myers and Ryan Preece have taken the win. Hirschman has been the king of the event with five wins, including the 2013 race.
The winner's list from the All-American includes the names of Butch Lindley, Bob Senneker, Jim Sauter, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip, Butch Miller, Gary St. Amant, Jeff Purvis, Mike Garvey, Chuck Barnes, Jr., TJ Reaid, Ross Kenseth and Chase Elliott.
If you are looking for great racing in South this weekend, head to Asheboro, NC or Nashville, TN to be a part of the continuing history of the Civil Wars on wheels.
The Weekend's Racing Schedule can be found here.Mike Neff is a Senior Writer for Frontstretch. Feedback can be sent to email@example.com.
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TODAY ON FRONTSTRETCH:
Q: Early in the 2005 IROC race at Texas Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch was one of the fastest drivers on the track. However, trouble stuck late while leading that ended his evening. What happened?
Check back Monday for the answer, here in the Frontstretch Newsletter!
Q: For a couple of years, the American Le Mans Series held races on Texas Motor Speedway's infield road course. The last of those races in 2001 saw Corvette Racing dominate the GTS class with their Corvette C5.R's. While the No. 3 shared by Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell won the class and finished seventh overall, the No. 4's day ended early. What happened?
A: Kelly Collins was driving the No. 4 Corvette C5R through turn 4 of the quad-oval when he suddenly blew a right rear tire. Collins attempted to correct the car, but the car caught and turned Collins head-on into the wall. The car caught significant air before coming back down, hitting the wall again, then crossing the track and coming to rest in the quad-oval grass. The crash can be seen here.
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Coming Monday in the Frontstretch Newsletter:
-- AAA Texas 500 Race Recap by Justin Tucker
-- Never Fear, The Underdogs Are Here by Amy Henderson
-- Sidebar Stories: Texas by Phil Allaway
-- Links to your favorite Frontstretch Columns and More!
This Weekend on Frontstretch:
Four Burning Questions: Texas by Matt Stallknecht
Matt covers all the big stories and questions heading into the final SMI race on the schedule.
Tracking the Trucks: Texas by Beth Lunkenheimer
Amy has all the post-race analysis you need following Friday's Truck Series race from Texas.
Monday on Frontstretch:
Thinkin' Out Loud: AAA Texas 500 by Mike Neff
Mike covers all the details and post-race analysis from Texas.
Big Six: AAA Texas 500 by Amy Henderson
Amy tackles the who, what, when, where, how and why from Texas.
Pace Laps: All Racing Series by the Frontstretch Staff
Our staff keeps you posted on all the racing action that occurred over the weekend.
Bowles-Eye View by Tom Bowles
Tom returns to tackle one of the most important storylines post-Texas.
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