Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Kyle Larson's Team Hit with Second Consecutive P3 Penalty

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The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Jun. 16, 2016
Volume X, Edition XCVI
What to Watch: Thursday
- Today, the World Endurance Championship will hold their final two qualifying sessions for Saturday's 24 Hours of Le Mans.  By 6:05 p.m. ET we'll know who will start where for the big race.  The sessions can be seen live on FOX Sports GO and we'll have a recap at Frontstretch. Note that rain will likely play a role in Thursday's on-track action.  

Thursday's TV Schedule can be found here.

Top News
by the Frontstretch Staff

Kyle Larson Penalized Again; 20 Others Cited by NASCAR

Wednesday, NASCAR released their weekly penalty report, easily their most lengthy of the season.  In it, they announced that Kyle Larson's team committed a P3-level penalty when they failed post-race laser inspection.  As a result, Larson was docked 15 points and the team 15 owner points while substitute crew chief Phil Surgen was fined $25,000.  Read more

Brad Keselowski Makes IndyCar Debut Late in Road America Test

For some drivers, off weeks are times to take vacations and relax.  Others work in the shop.  But for Brad Keselowski, he traveled to Wisconsin in order to have at it in Simon Pagenaud's Dallara DW12-Chevrolet.  Read more

Have news for the Frontstretch? Don't hesitate to let us know; email us at with a promising lead or tip.

Today's Featured Commentary
Potts on Texas Rain Coverage
Potts' Shots
by John Potts

The best part of last weekend, for me (pardon me, Eddie Gossage) was Saturday evening's rain delay and eventual postponement of the IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway.

There were times several years ago when a race was delayed by weather and the old ESPN crew stepped up and got all kinds of great conversations going.

Lately, the networks covering major motorsports have relied on replays of old races and other programming. There was some of that on Saturday, but for the most part the NBC Sports Network crew did a fantastic job of putting some interesting stuff on the air for us.

I hope my colleague Phil Allaway doesn't mind me stepping in to his area with some TV coverage critiquing, but I just felt this shift in philosophy was something worth commenting about.

After interviewing Gossage and several others, NBCSN lined up their pit reporters on the pit wall and had a roundtable discussion about the whole situation and how they felt things were going to turn out. (Critic/Editor's Note: This concept was pretty interesting to watch live. I hadn't seen this tactic taken before during a rain delay and it's not a bad idea for future delays.  It just can't be done every time.  Also, it was a little difficult to do because some chaps showed up and interrupted it, like Josef Newgarden.)

After interviewing a couple of drivers, somebody had the bright idea they should go up into the grandstands, sign autographs, meet people, and just be good ambassadors for the sport of racing.

This idea was one that took hold.

Before long there were quite a few drivers up there, all of them surrounded by adoring fans who were just happy to be talking with their heroes.

After a conversation on Facebook the next morning, I found out that Terry Lingner was calling the shots, in charge of most aspects of the television coverage.

Good job, old friend. I got to know Terry and most of his bunch when he was doing the old "Thursday Night Thunder" events at Indianapolis Raceway Park back in the late 1980s. He is nothing but a pure professional who isn't afraid to try anything to present a good show.

It was Lingner Group Productions who first planted a camera actually in the track at IRP (Critic/Editor's Note: This was the "Cave Cam"), which made for some outstanding TV and eventually an Emmy award.

I recall once before the NASCAR Busch Series race when we decided to capitalize on the "pass in the grass" at Charlotte.  We had Bill Elliott in a white limo, Dale Earnhardt in a black one for driver introductions, and put them at the end of the line.

We then talked the situation over with Dick Hunt, the owner of Yellow Cab and the limousine company supplying cars. Dick jumped at it, saying he'd drive the black one and his son, Robin, would drive the white car.

We didn't tell Elliott or Earnhardt, but we did go to Lingner and tell him to pay attention to the last two limousines in driver introductions. We also told the PA announcer, Larry Nuber, to pay attention.

They started out in Turn 3, with the white car in front. In the middle of Turn 4, the black car shoots down to the inside and passes (in the grass, naturally) as they came onto the front straightaway.

Nuber came completely unglued: "What's happening here? The black limo is passing the white one in the grass!"

Both cars came to a stop at the start/finish line, and I rushed to open the doors. Earnhardt came out of the black car with a smile as big as all outdoors and the crowd went crazy.

Then Awesome Bill got out, looked me in the eye, and said, "You guys are crazy."

Lingner, of course, loved it.

I knew he would. Once for the old ASA crossover lineup at Milwaukee, he put a cameraman right behind me.

John Potts is a Senior Writer for Frontstretch. He can be reached via e-mail at
Editor's Note: The Critic's Annex will return next week.

"I didn't think he was crazy. I was extremely excited because I saw what he has done with LeafFilter Gutter Protection over the last 11 years and what he has turned this company into. He told me, 'Dude, we're going to figure this out. It's going to be a sweet race team and we're going to win races.' I believe him. As long as LeafFilter is strong, which it is, we're in good shape. To sum it up, I didn't think he was crazy. I was extremely excited, and you can see why now because look what he's done in 11 races.."  - Blake Koch, on his thoughts on Matt Kaulig starting Kaulig Racing.
by P. Huston Ladner

by Dustin Albino and Sean Fesko
by Beth Lunkenheimer
by Toni Montgomery
Q: Le Mans has some relatively strict rules in regards to assistance.  The exception is if you spin out and end up in a sand trap (marshals can pull out and allow you to resume). Five-time 24 Hours of Le Mans overall winner Frank Biela found this out the hard way in 2003.  What happened?

Check back Friday for the answer, here in the Frontstretch Newsletter!

Wednesday's Answer:

Q:  The Porsche Curves are one of the more dicey parts of the Circuit de la Sarthe.  In a live chat at Jalopnik on TuesdayScuderia Corsa's Jeff Segal proclaimed it the best section at Le Mans, claiming that "Huge balls [are] required."  For this year, there's a new change in the barriers.  What has been added?

A: That would be the SAFER Barrier, in one of its first usages in Europe.  Run-off, especially early in the Porsche Curves, is limited.  While installing the SAFER Barrier takes away the same 30 inches of room at Le Mans as it does here in the United States. It's better than the alternative, which is crashing into a concrete wall.
In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll preview the upcoming Camping World Truck and XFINITY Series from Iowa.

Mike Neff talks to NASCAR's Gene Stefanyshyn about the various rule packages in play in Tech Talk.
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