Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Modifying Bodies Seems Popular, to the Detriment of Many

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The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Jun. 23, 2016
Volume X, Edition CI
What to Watch: Thursday
- Today is pull-in day for Sprint Cup teams at Sonoma Raceway.  No on-track activity is scheduled there.  Meanwhile, Pirelli World Challenge teams have pulled in at Road America.  The Touring Car teams have a race this afternoon that can be seen at  If any news of note breaks, we will have it for you here at Frontstretch. 

Thursday's TV Schedule can be found here.

Top News
by the Frontstretch Staff

Iowa Winner Sam Hornish, Jr. Among Teams Penalized by NASCAR

On Wednesday, NASCAR released their weekly penalty report.  In it, six separate teams from multiple series were penalized for body modifications, including the race-winning No. 18 of Sam Hornish, Jr. in the XFINITY Series.  In addition, John Hunter Nemechek's No. 8 was docked ten points for failing post-race laser inspection.  Read more

Entry List: Drivin for Linemen 200

NASCAR has released the entry list for Saturday night's Drivin' for Linemen 200 at Gateway.  34 trucks are currently entered for the race, meaning that two will fail to qualify.  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
Joe Gibbs Racing Continues XFINITY Series Dominance
Potts' Shots
by John Potts

Very interesting XFINITY race at Iowa last Sunday afternoon.

Over all the years I've been following and officiating motorsports, there have been many times when somebody or some team figured something out and preceded to blow everybody else away until people caught up with them. 
There have been the Kiekhaefer teams way back in the 1950s, progressing to the Wood Brothers, the Pettys, Junior Johnson, and so many others at one time or another. I'm sure I'd forget someone if I tried to mention all of them.

At times, it was NASCAR that caught up with them like Jeff Gordon's "T-Rex" Chevrolet at the Winston so many years back. Apparently, that car was right up against the end of the rule book but fit the letter of the rules. They were allowed to run it, but were instructed not to bring it back.

Then, of course there were Smokey Yunick's famous escapades including the one where they took the entire fuel delivery system, including the tank, off the car and then told him he couldn't run it.

According to the story, Smokey fired it up and drove the car all the way back to his shop.

This "tug of war" has happened in nearly all racing series of any kind at one time or another. Take the domination of the two Ken Black Camaros in NHRA's Pro Stock division. Since the sanctioning body went from carburetors to electronic fuel injection for the 2016 season, nobody but Jason Line or Greg Anderson has had so much as a smell of first place.

Obviously these guys and Ken Black were working on it all winter, came up with the answer and it's been dominance ever since. Anderson admitted last week that everybody else is getting closer but it's been a long, hard pull for them to catch up.

What impressed me about last week's XFINITY race was that it put a big stamp on the prevailing opinion that Joe Gibbs Racing has figured something out in NASCAR that nobody else knows -- that's why they're kicking everybody else's tails in two series. 
They took a driver in Hornish who hadn't been in a race car for over six months and that driver didn't just win the race, he completely dominated it.

Agreed, Sam Hornish is one terrific wheelman – an Indy 500 and three IndyCar titles to his credit - but there has to be some reason he's been out of a ride in NASCAR for a while. He jumped in that JGR car and right off was the class of the field. No one else was even close.

So what is it that JGR has figured out, and just who figured it out?

Who knows – maybe Kyle Busch thought it up while he was watching the races from the couch over the first part of last season. But whatever it is, the rest of NASCAR's got a long, hard pull ahead to reel JGR back into view.

John Potts is a Senior Writer for Frontstretch. He can be reached via e-mail at
Editor's Note: The Critic's Annex will appear tomorrow.
Frontstretch Line of the Week
From Beyond the Cockpit: Kyle Larson Smarter Now Than in Rookie Season

"I'd love to have gotten the win a long time ago. Coming up short and close so many times, it's just going to make that first win, whenever it does happen, that much more special. I would've loved to have won a Cup race in 2014, came close a few times. But it'll feel great and it'll be a big relief off our shoulders when we do finally get that win."  - Kyle Larson on whether he'd prefer winning quickly or earning his first victory over a long period of time.

by Sean Fesko and Joseph Wolkin
by Bryan Gable
by Toni Montgomery

by Tom Bowles

Q: The 1991 Banquet Frozen Foods 300k is best known for the controversial finish where Ricky Rudd crossed the line first, but was given the black flag for spinning out Davey Allison coming to the white flag (Allison ended up winning).  Before the controversial ending, Richard Petty behind them was having a middling day, still on the lead lap but it came to an abrupt end.  What happened to end Petty's day?

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

Wednesday's Answer:

Q:  Sonoma has quite the reputation for unusual wrecks, especially before recent renovations.  1994 saw John Krebs and Derrike Cope lock wheels in turn 5, resulting in both cars going through a tire and Krebs front-flipping off a hill.  That wasn't the only rollover that weekend in Cup.  There was another one in practice.  What happened?

A: During one of the practice sessions, Rich Woodland, Jr. got off course in turn 10 and basically went through the tire barrier, over the simple wall at that time and outside the track.  Woodland's Chevrolet came to rest upside down outside of turn 10 in what looked like a parking lot.  Woodland was ok, but he did not qualify for the race.
In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll preview the upcoming Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350k from Sonoma Raceway.

Zach Catanzareti answers Four Burning Questions heading into this weekend's action in Sonoma.
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