Monday, July 25, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Kyle Busch Shows Everyone Who's Boss at Indianapolis

Presented by
The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Jul. 25, 2016
Volume X, Edition CXXIII

What to Watch: Monday

- Today is a work day back at the shops prior to this weekend's action at Pocono Raceway.  If anything of note breaks, we'll have it for you at Frontstretch.

Monday's TV Schedule can be found here.
Top News
by the Frontstretch Staff

Kyle Busch Powers to Second Brickyard 400 Win

On Sunday afternoon, Kyle Busch destroyed the field, leading 149 laps on the way to his second straight weekend sweep at Indianapolis.  Matt Kenseth was second, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.  Read more

Jimmie Johnson Happy to Finish Third After Rough Streak

For Jimmie Johnson, its been a struggle recently with a number of wrecks and mediocre finishes.  Sunday saw Johnson get lapped on lap 120.  However, with the help of a wavearound and some incidents, he was able to charge all the way up to third by the finish.  Read more

Late Crashes Shakeup Chase Picture at Indianapolis

Sunday's race was marked by a number of late crashes that kept the field bunched up. Those crashes also caused some chaos around the Chase cutoff as Ryan Blaney and Jamie McMurray were wrapped up in them.  Read more

Ryan Ellis Fulfills Family Name With Brickyard 400 Start

For Ryan Ellis, Sunday wasn't really about winning.  Ellis made his first career start at Indianapolis Sunday, fulfilling a goal that his grandfather set back in the 1950's. Ellis' No. 93 was the only one of the three BK Racing Toyotas to finish the race, coming home in 32nd.  Read more

Kyle Busch Flies to Third XFINITY Win at IMS

On Saturday, Kyle Busch was effectively untouchable at Indianapolis.  He led his heat race flag-to-flag, then led all but one lap in the feature on the way to his seventh win of the year.  Kevin Harvick was second, followed by Paul Menard, XFINITY Dash 4 Cash winner Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler.  Read more

Starworks Motorsport wins Northeast Grand Prix

On Saturday, Starworks Motorsport got their No. 8 out in front on a round of stops.  Driver Renger van der Zande was able to hold Tom Kimber-Smith at bay and take his third win (along with co-driver Alex Popow) of the season.  Kimber-Smith and Robert Alon were second, followed by Kyle Marcelli and James French.   Corvette Racing had a 1-2 in GTLM with the No. 4 of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin winning, while Magnus Racing's Andy Lally and John Potter won GTD in their Audi.  Read more

Conor Daly Enjoying NASCAR at IMS, Talks 2016 IndyCar Plans

Taking advantage of the Verizon IndyCar Series' off-week, Dale Coyne Racing's Conor Daly took in last weekend's Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  He seems to enjoy the action despite never being able to go.  The future is a bit unclear for him, though.  Read more

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

Chasing the Chase: A Surly Kevin Harvick Adds to his Lead
by Phil Allaway

Kevin Harvick made a mistake early on.  Thinking that he had a flat tire, he made an unscheduled pit stop and got himself a lap down.  From there, he charged back up and finished sixth.  That was enough to maintain and even grow his points lead to 24 points over Brad Keselowski, who got a piece of one of the late crashes and finished 17th.  Kurt Busch is still in third, but he lost some ground after finishing 16th.  Joey Logano finished seventh after dropping back on the final GWC.  That performance was still enough to boost him one place to fourth in points.

Kyle Busch's complete domination of the weekend allowed him to move up to fifth in the standings.  Teammate Carl Edwards' late crash dropped him two places to sixth in points.  Martin Truex, Jr. had a chance at a top 5, but dropped to eighth late.  The performance was enough to keep Truex seventh in points.  Jimmie Johnson's charge from a lap down to finish third moved him up to eighth in the standings.

Matt Kenseth's second-place finish maintained the ninth spot in points (Note: Kenseth dropped to ninth after his penalty last week).  Teammate Denny Hamlin is just three points back in tenth.  Chase Elliott is 11th after starting and finishing 15th on Sunday.  Austin Dillon is 12th in points.

Ryan Newman lost one place after getting involved in two of the late crashes Sunday and finished 31st.  Jamie McMurray was in the hunt until he made an aggressive move on the first GWC and spun in turn 1.  A blown tire from the spin that ripped apart the left front fender dropped McMurray to a 19th-place finish.  Kyle Larson's top 5 moved him up to the last spot in the Chase.  Kasey Kahne is the first one out, ten points behind Larson.

Point Standings (1-16): 1) Kevin Harvick 671, 2) Brad Keselowski -24, 3) Kurt Busch -44, 4) Joey Logano -65, 5) Kyle Busch -70, 6) Carl Edwards -78, 7) Martin Truex, Jr. -98, 8) Jimmie Johnson -119, 9) Matt Kenseth -126, 10) Denny Hamlin -129, 11) Chase Elliott -146, 12) Austin Dillon -151, 13) Ryan Newman -164, 14) Jamie McMurray -175, 15) Kyle Larson -199, 16) Kasey Kahne -209.

Outside the top 16, but Chase-eligible: 27) Tony Stewart -354.

Race Winners: Denny Hamlin (Daytona-1), Jimmie Johnson (Atlanta, Auto Club), Brad Keselowski (Las Vegas, Talladega, Daytona-2, Kentucky), Kevin Harvick (Phoenix), Kyle Busch (Martinsville, Texas, Kansas, Indianapolis), Carl Edwards (Bristol, Richmond), Matt Kenseth (Dover, Loudon), Martin Truex, Jr. (Charlotte), Kurt Busch (Pocono), Joey Logano (Michigan), Tony Stewart (Sonoma)
Phil Allaway is the Newsletter Manager and a Senior Writer for  He can be reached via e-mail at

Letter of the Race: Sunday's Crown Royal Presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 was presented by the letter L for Lackluster.  In recent years, Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis have really not been all that exciting.  Having a one-groove track is one thing, but having the leader run away and hide is another all together.  The races have effectively been rendered uncompetitive.  - Phil Allaway


Quotes to Remember: Crown Royal Presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400
compiled by Phil Allaway

"No, I guess I didn't. I hoped it would be like that and be that good. This Skittles Camry was awesome, I can't thank everyone from Skittles enough and everyone from M&M's and their 75th anniversary year this season with us. Of course Interstate Batteries. This Toyota was awesome today, it was just so fast and able to get out front and stay out front. Not even some of my teammates could challenge. This was hooked up and on rails. I can't say enough about Sprint and everything they've done for our sport. Of course the fans – thank everyone for being here and everyone watching on TV – you guys are awesome. We appreciate all of our partners at Joe Gibbs Racing. Adam Stevens (crew chief) and these guys are a phenomenal group and I'm proud to be with them. It's fun to come out here and have such a dominant piece at Indy. They don't come along often so I was just hoping I didn't screw it up." - Kyle Busch, race winner

"It didn't seem like it. We never got in front of him all day and the clean air is always really big here. It was a great day for our Dollar General Camry. We did not have a good Friday, did not have a good Saturday and pretty respectable Sunday, so I have to thank all my teammates for helping us out. Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) made some great changes. We were pretty competitive all day, just never got quite to the lead to see what we had." - Matt Kenseth, finished second

"It says a lot. We've been working really hard to get our cars where they need to be. We're still not happy, but we're getting closer. I'm very proud of the effort today. Unfortunately a mistake on my part in that second segment, trying to get in the pits I got dinged for speeding and then rallied from like 24th back. So, I'm just very proud of this race team and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports and I'm very proud to run this red car and represent all the men and women who work in Lowe's stores all around the country. We got third but I wish we would have gotten a win." - Jimmie Johnson, finished third

"I don't know that I was expecting much more than a Top 5 really. I didn't know we'd have that speed in our car. And we were probably a fifth or seventh-place car. But I was able to get some good restarts there at the end. It was just a solid day for the whole Target team. The Energizer Chevy was good from the start, which helps. We qualified good for once, and it was just a solid weekend. It was a good one." - Kyle Larson, finished fifth

"Yeah, I thought I had a flat tire and the car was just really tight.  I am kind of disappointed there at the end I was in a pretty good spot and on the restart the pace car was consistently going way too slow.  It's unfortunate they can't correct small problems like that.  I just couldn't get going and got the No. 78 (Martin Truex, Jr.) and the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) in front of us and wound up on the outside and then we were just treading water from there.  But, all-in-all everybody did a good job, we are definitely off a little bit." - Kevin Harvick, finished sixth

"It just was not good. I had a decent restart the first time, and the second one I probably had just as good of a restart, but the 20 got underneath me and I was kind of stuck from that point and kind of fell into the clutches of the tires behind me.  I was trying to stay down and be where I needed to be to get in front of them, but they just kept turning underneath me.  I hate that we finished seventh, but it's probably where we deserved to finish from a speed point of view.  I thought our execution went very well today to give us an opportunity to win, but we couldn't quite get it done when it mattered." - Joey Logano, finished seventh

"I really did the team wrong here.  I got a penalty on the last stop and that is a green flag stop that turned into a yellow and got us a lap down.  But we fought and got our lap back and I don't know where did we end up 11th? So, fought back and got something respectable out of this.  Didn't leave anything out there.

"It was cool. I knew when we got the checkered we just didn't want to come in just yet.  I wanted to run one more lap and Jeff was around us and before that last green run I told my spotter to go get his spotter and said after this thing is over, we need to go a lap around here together because most likely is the last time we'll both get a chance to do that. I couldn't think of a better guy to share that moment with than Jeff." - Tony Stewart, finished 11th

"It was better than last year. It didn't go very well and it was a fight. Wow. The challenges to be out there against the best, especially on those restarts; I got my butt kicked on those restarts. It was embarrassing. While I will fill-in for Dale Jr., and I hope he's doing good, I needed a fill-in on restarts. It was pretty bad. Other than that, I thought it went really well. I really liked working with Greg (Ives, crew chief) and this whole No. 88 team. It took us a little while to get the balance right and the adjustments came to us, he made an awesome pit call to come in early one time. And he called it right as I was going into Turn 4 and that made up a lot of spots for us because we had a fast race car. We just couldn't get the track position. It was pretty tough to pass. And I didn't want to see those cautions there at the end. But, I'm going to need some practice on restarts for Pocono anyway. We finally actually there on that last one, got the car where it was decent on the outside. It was so loose on the outside before that and made up a bunch of spots off of Turn 4. On one-hand I'm relieved that this is over and on the other hand I would have liked it to have gone a little bit better. I'm looking forward to going to Pocono. Thank you to Tony Stewart. What a class act he is. It meant a lot to me that he invited me to come and make that last lap with him. It was a special moment." - Jeff Gordon, finished 13th

"It was a long, hard day.  We just weren't quite as fast as the Gibbs cars, but we were competitive.  I had a shot at it at the end when we came in and put tires on, but got caught up when the 19 spun out.  I thought we actually had a shot at winning it and kind of stealing one on tires, but when that wreck happened it took away any shot we had.  There was too much damage, but that's just part of it.  There was nowhere to go, but that's definitely not the result we wanted for sure." - Brad Keselowski, finished 17th

"It felt like I just got tight down there. I had a little trouble there on the starts and I got down there, we were fighting really hard for the bottom and it felt like I got tight with whoever was on the outside of me. If indeed that is what happened, I apologize, that's pretty frustrating. I don't know if he came down or if I came up. It felt like I got in there and just scrubbed that right front. Hopefully a Toyota wins. I hate it for Stanley, Joe Gibbs Racing and everybody that was caught up in that wreck. It's frustrating." - Carl Edwards, finished 35th (Crashed out)

"I didn't really see much. I unfortunately got back there, and I didn't see who got together. I thought I was by it and then the 31 spun out and I didn't have anywhere to go. I'll have to rewatch it on replay, but it stinks. I thought we had a decent car. We kind of put ourselves in a hole and we were trying to fight back from that and this just made a bad day worse. We'll just go to Pocono next week and try to get better." - Ryan Blaney, finished 36th (Crashed out)

"We just blew a left rear tire and slapped the wall. We were okay. We never just could get the track position. I felt like we had a top-25 car. We raced there in the mid-to-high 20s and just without a lot of cautions – a lot of opportunities to work on our race car – we were just kind of stuck. It's really hard to pass here and felt like our Brandeis Toyota was okay. We could race around some decent cars, but just never could have the track position to really see what we could do. We gambled early and did a wave around and I think that paid off for us and we had good tire wear all day long – must have just run over something. Ran over something and cut a tire on the front straightaway. Tried to get it slowed down and just couldn't slow it down quick enough." - David Ragan, finished 37th (Crashed out)

"Yeah, I mean just started off tight, which we were afraid of getting too loose.  We kind of fought tight all weekend.  We started off tight and the first adjustment under green wasn't very good it kind of got me tighter.  I learned some stuff at the end of the run I thought and we started making a little bit of time back.  We had a good restart there on that second one and whatever the adjustments we made were really good there.  The No. 6 car was just kind of slow off Turn 4.  I was trying to time it.  He was just kind of in the way, so I just tried to time it a little bit and make the pass.  I just nicked him as I went by with my right-front.  Honestly, I didn't think anything of it and evidently it poked a hole in the radiator when it did it.  Barely had any damage to the car so I'm not sure why it got the radiator so bad, but lost water pressure and it blew up.  That last … whatever the adjustment was the car was really fast.  That was something I could really work on.  I think there are positives.  I think we can get the back of our cars really good when we focus on that.  Got to keep working on the front of the car.  It would have been fun.  I was finally having fun there working on the race car." - AJ Allmendinger, finished 38th (Cooked the Engine)

"We blew a right-front tire and went straight into the fence.  We were either real loose or real tight, and we just couldn't get the balance right.  We've just got to get them to turn a little better." - Greg Biffle, finished 39th (Crashed out)

Phil Allaway is the Newsletter Manager and a Senior Writer for  He can be reached via e-mail at



Thinkin' Out Loud – Kyle Busch Tames Sprint Cup Field at Indianapolis
by Mike Neff

by Bryan Gable


Q: For a couple of years in the 1980s, this weekend's Pennsylvania 400 was known as the Like Cola 500.  What was Like Cola?

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

Friday's Answer:

Q:  The 1993 Kroger 200 was the one and only career victory in the Busch Grand National Series for Tracy Leslie.  Leslie was more or less the beneficiary of some insanity.  What happened at the very front of the field that put him in position to win?

A: With 30 laps to go, Robert Pressley and Todd Bodine were fighting for the lead when they approached the slower Buick of Troy Beebe.  Pressley and Bodine tried to split Beebe, but ended up colliding with him, putting all three cars in the wall.  Steve Grissom, Ricky Craven and Larry Pearson were all collected.  The crash can be seen here.

Joe Nemechek, who was fourth prior to the crash, swept around Tommy Houston and avoided the crash to take the lead.  Leslie moved up to third behind Nemechek and Ward Burton.

However, Ward Burton's brakes were going away.  That led him to get in the back of Nemechek and put both cars into the turn 3 wall.  That allowed Leslie to pass and take the win.


In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll have breaking news from Monday, Tom Bowles gives you a stats breakdown of Indianapolis in Numbers Game and S.D. Grady returns with Sitting In The Stands: A Fan's View.

Danny Peters returns with Five Points to Ponder following Sunday's action in Indianapolis.
Talk back to the Frontstretch Newsletter!
Got something to say about an article you've seen in the newsletter? It's as easy as replying directly to this message or sending an email to We'll take the best comments and publish them here! 

Feel free to forward this newsletter if you have any friends who loves
NASCAR and great NASCAR commentary. They can subscribe to the Frontstetch by visiting
If you want to stop your Frontstretch Newsletter subscription, we're sorry
to see you go. Just send an email to from the address that you
recieve the Frontstretch Newsletter.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "The Frontstretch" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to
For more options, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment