Friday, July 01, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: NASCAR Cup Qualifying Delayed

Presented by
The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Jul. 1, 2016
Volume X, Edition CVII


What to Watch: Friday

- Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been delayed by rain down in Daytona Beach. When the session does run NBCSN will provide the coverage.


Phil Allaway (@Critic84)
and our own Twitter page, @Frontstretch as well for updates!

Also, don't forget to follow our Twitter page, @Frontstretch as well for updates!

This weekend's TV Schedule can be found

Top News
by The Frontstretch Staff

Brian Scott Leads Friday Daytona Practice

It's been a difficult rookie season for Brian Scott but the Richard Petty Motorsports driver hopes Friday's practice signals the start of a change. The driver of the No. 44 Ford clocked in with the fastest time this morning after rain delayed the start of Cup practice by a day. Kyle Busch, meanwhile will move to a backup car after a hard wreck sent his No. 18 Toyota into the SAFER Barrier. Read more

Multimatic Motorsports, Scott Maxwell Earn Pole For Watkins Glen

Multimatic Motorsports and Scott Maxwell made an early statement in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship Series at Watkins Glen. They won the pole for tomorrow's event, beating out C.J. Wilson Racing in a spirited competition. Read more

DEWALT Expands Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Partnership

Thursday, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Stanley Black & Decker has signed a contract extension with the organization.  Under the extension, DEWALT's number of primary sponsorship races on the No. 20 will increase from six to ten this year, then to 15 next season.  Read more

Chevrolet Getting New Look in XFINITY Series

Thursday, Chevrolet announced that teams running the Camaro in the XFINITY Series will receive a new body style during the 2017 season to match the new Camaro.  It will consist of a new nose and new decals.  Read more

Trent Hindman Fastest in Opening Watkins Glen CTSC Practice

Thursday, the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge held their opening practice at Watkins Glen International ahead of Saturday's Continental Tire 150 at the Glen.  Trent Hindman was fastest in Grand Sport while Spencer Pumpelly was fastest in Street Tuner.  Read more


Frontstretch Folio: Coke Zero 400
by Phil Allaway

This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series returns to Daytona for the first of their "return trips" to tracks this season.  Coverage of the Coke Zero 400 can be seen on NBC Sports with the green flag flying around 7:45 p.m. Saturday night.  The race can also be heard on MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

Records and facts

In last year's race, rains delayed the start of the event for four hours.  Finally, around 11:45 p.m., the green flag flew.  Amid a multitude of incidents, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. dominated.  The redheaded Carolinan led 96 of the 161 laps and held off the snarling pack to take the win.  As the cars crossed the finish line, a massive chain reaction occurred that resulted in Austin Dillon being launched into the catchfence.  Luckily, Dillon was OK despite the sudden stop.

Amongst active drivers, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Tony Stewart have the most victories at Daytona with four apiece.  Michael Waltrip, who is not entered this weekend but still active, has three along with Jimmie Johnson.  Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth have two each.

All-time, Richard Petty is the winningest driver in points races at Daytona with ten career victories, including seven wins in the Daytona 500.  Cale Yarborough has nine wins, followed by David Pearson with eight, Fireball Roberts with seven, then Jeff Gordon and Junior Johnson tied with six.  Note that win statistics for drivers such as Junior Johnson, Roberts and Pearson are slightly inflated because the races now known as the Can-Am Duels were point races up until 1971.  Also of note, Dale Earnhardt had 34 victories at Daytona in seemingly everything except the Rolex 24.  However, only three of them were in Cup point races.

Track Facts
Track / Race Length: 2.5-mile oval, 200 laps (500 miles)
Banking: 31 degrees

Frontstretch: 3,800 ft, banked 18 degrees in tri-oval, 6 degrees in chutes

Backstretch: 3,400 ft., banked 3 degrees

Grandstand Seating: 101,000
Pit Road Speed: 55 mph
Pace Car Speed: 70 mph
Opened: 1959




Remaining Pre-Race Schedule:

Qualifying: Friday, July 1, 4:10 p.m. on NBC Sports Network

Say What?!

"We looked at some of the things we were doing on the plate car this year that we didn't have last year – some new ideas and new theories on how to get the car to be fast, and we think that has compromised how the car handles. Last year, we finished in the top two or three in every single plate race and we were the best car at Daytona and Talladega, hands down. So, we're going to go back on our setup to 2015, and hopefully that is going to give me the confidence and the comfort that I need to drive the car and be aggressive with it in the draft. I'm looking forward to Daytona and getting back to our winning ways there." - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

"I'm looking forward to Daytona. The car we've had at superspeedways this year has been the best drafting car that I've driven. I feel like the Fords run really well at the speedways, too. We ran really well at Daytona in February, and we ran well at Talladega but didn't get the finish we wanted. I think it just shows our potential. This is a really resilient race team that works really hard and puts me in a position to lead 20 laps at Bristol and to finish 11th at Talladega and run up front. To have legitimate runs like that, once we hit on what we need to hit on, I'll think you'll see us up there consistently." - Landon Cassill

"Daytona will probably be wild like it normally is. We will be running three and four-wide for much of the night, but hopefully our AdvoCare Ford will be just as strong as it was in Talladega earlier this year and we can be up front when it counts. It would be really special to win the 400 here. This place means a lot to me and will always be special to me since our 500 win in 2011. I'm just ready to go." - Trevor Bayne

"Daytona is a pretty special place to every racer. It's been a good place for us and I'm honored that I could be part of its history. I'm proud of what we have done there. I can't think of anything better than to win Saturday night. As much as you want to go win that thing, it's crisis management more than anything, I think, because if we can get through that, I feel like our performance is good enough to get us the rest of the way there. We've just got to take care of ourselves to get through there. The thing about the July race is it is so much warmer when you get down there. The track is hot, so handling is more important. It seems like, when you are there in February, everybody has an even shot at it. In July, it separates the good cars and teams from the rest of the field because handling is so much more of a premium. In February, it is more of a chess match and, in July, while it's still a chess match, handling becomes such a big factor." - Tony Stewart

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

by Sean Fesko
by Aaron Bearden

by Aaron Bearden

Q: Watkins Glen has a long history with sports car racing.  Unfortunately for New Zealander Steve Millen, his career was effectively curtailed in the Esses in 1993.  What happened?

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

Thursday's Answer:
Q: The aforementioned 1987 Pepsi Firecracker 400 saw an important rule change implemented for the race.  What was it?

A: This was the first race at Daytona after Bobby Allison's crash into the catchfence at Talladega.  In response, NASCAR made the first of many moves to slow the cars down.  For Daytona and Talladega, NASCAR mandated 390 cfm carburetors.  This adjustment cut the pole speed down to 198 mph at Daytona.
In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll have recaps of the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races from Daytona, in addition to the Sahlen's Six Hours at the Glen.  

We'll have a series of post-race commentaries analyzing this weekend's action in Daytona.

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