Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Procter & Gamble Returns to NASCAR

Presented by
The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Aug. 17, 2016
Volume X, Edition CXL
What to Watch: Wednesday

- We've got racing today at Bristol Motor Speedway as the Modifieds and the Camping World Truck Series take to the high banks.  We'll see what happens.  Weather is not really NASCAR's friend, but it should be interesting if it can get started.  We will have practice and qualifying recaps at Frontstretch today, as well as a race recap tonight.


Wednesday's TV Schedule can be found here.

Top News
by the Frontstretch Staff

Matt Kenseth, Tide Partner for Southern 500

On Wednesday, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Tide will be making their return to Sprint Cup as the primary sponsor of Matt Kenseth's No. 20 at Darlington.  It will be tide's first Cup primary sponsorship since 2006.  Read more

Entry List: 2016 UNOH 200

Later today, the Camping World Truck Series will compete for 200 laps at Bristol.  36 trucks (originally 37) will battle for the 32 starting spots.  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
Giving the Ultimate Gift
Professor of Speed
by Mark Howell
As a teacher and a parent, I can attest to the dictate that the best-learned lessons are those that come with ready and relevant examples. We can accentuate someone's education by adding the power of a quick narrative. It is through the use of such a story that we can often change how a person behaves or what a person believes.

It is through narrative that my wife and I educate our children, as is the way most (if not all) parents do their jobs in this regard. The same can be said when educating the students in my various classes; a lesson only goes so far without an example of some sort to add significance and meaning.

It was the aftermath of Bryan Clauson's death in Kansas last week that got me to thinking about the power of examples. It was reported, just a few days after his tragic accident and eventual demise at the Belleville Nationals USAC Midget race, that the 27-year old dirt-track star was an organ donor. It was Clauson's personal wish to help others in need that led the 2010 USAC national champion to give the ultimate gift.
Bryan Clauson's donation of his organs allowed five people to have an opportunity to enjoy a longer, better, and healthier life.

Maybe Clauson's story struck me personally because I, too, am an organ donor. So is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and many, many others who have decided to make such a pact so that other people – usually total strangers – might enjoy the benefit of having another chance at living. Becoming an organ donor is wildly simple, once you come to terms with the idea that what you have, and often take for granted, will be of no use to you once you die.

As the old adage goes:  you can't take it with you. So why not leave it behind to help those unable to help themselves?

Stories like Clauson's provide a good example when trying to persuade others to take the steps necessary to become an organ donor. Not everyone is willing to fill out an application and submit it to their Secretary of State's office. I have used the case for organ donation in my public speaking classes at the college where I teach. Since the subject is often met with varying levels of disagreement and disgust, I encourage my students to utilize an example of just how donation works. It's one thing to disagree with a subject when you have little understanding of precisely how it functions, but it's often another thing entirely when you demonstrate the benefits and advantages to be gained by making such a powerful decision and following it through.

In the scholarship of public speaking, we call this prompting your audience to take "immediate action".

For over a decade now, I have used the story of a colleague at my college as a "real life" example in support of organ donation. This man was a beloved and respected philosophy instructor. Jim began his career as a priest, only to leave the church and follow a life of scholarship and education. He earned a number of advanced degrees, got married, and was hired to teach at the college where we both worked.

In was during an especially dark time at our college when I discovered the power of giving oneself, literally, to others. Another professor at our college had passed away suddenly from a heart attack. On the morning of the professor's funeral, Jim sat down to breakfast, suffered a brain aneurism, and died. Jim, however, was an organ donor, so his brain-dead body was kept on life support until people on the national recipient list could be identified and notified.

Long story short:  Jim's choice to be an organ donor resulted in the saving of eight lives. Not only were adults provided with much-needed help, but so was a teenager whose diagnosis was terminal until the receipt of Jim's final gift.

That narrative was often effective in its power to persuade, mainly because I could point to Jim's name or refer to him as a friend and his legacy resonated with students. The situation with Bryan Clauson carries the same potential for influencing those who question the propriety of organ donation. Even though, in Clauson's case, I did not know him as a friend, I can attest to his young age, his many accomplishments, his high regard amongst the finest drivers and car owners in the sport, and the generosity of his greatest gift:  the gift of life that Bryan wanted to share with those in need.

It's quite a story of selflessness. It's also a good example of just what we can do to better the lives of others. It's a lesson of triumph out of Bryan's tragedy. I hope people learn that the greatest gift is in the act of giving.

Dr. Mark Howell is a Senior Writer for Frontstretch.  He can be reached via e-mail at

as told to Zach Catanzareti

by Dustin Albino

by Amy Henderson

compiled by Aaron Bearden


Q: Ernie Irvan earned his first career Winston Cup win in the 1990 Busch 500 at then-Bristol International Raceway.  The 1991 edition didn't go quite as well since Irvan was caught up in someone else's mess.  What happened?

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

Tuesday's Answer:

Q:  If you look at the 1990 Busch 500 on Racing-reference, you'll see that Kyle Petty is listed as having failed to finish due to fatigue.  To be fair, it appears that have been a very hot night in Bristol.  What happened to him that night?

A: Petty ended up crashing on the frontstretch after contact from Hut Stricklin.  It took a while for Petty to get out of his Peak Antifreeze Pontiac following the crash, but he was generally ok.  The crash can be seen here.

Petty took a while to exit his Grand Prix because he had burned his feet earlier in the race.  Just moving was likely a very painful activity for the SabCo Racing driver and going head-on into the inside wall did not help things at all.

In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll have any news that breaks in the world of NASCAR, plus a look at tonight's UNOH 200 broadcast in the Critic's Annex.

Toni Montgomery returns with her weekly look at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Nitro Shots.
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