Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson Penalized for Flunking Laser Inspection

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The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Sep. 8, 2016
Volume X, Edition CLVI
What to Watch: Thursday
- Today is pull-in day for the Sprint Cup and XFINITY series teams at Richmond International Raceway.  No on-track action is scheduled.  Stay tuned to Frontstretch for continued updates.

Thursday's TV Schedule can be found here.

Top News
by the Frontstretch Staff

Penalty Report: Ryan Newman and Kyle Larson Docked 15 Driver/Owner Points

On Wednesday, NASCAR released their official penalty report.  In it, Ryan Newman was given a P3 penalty for failing the post-race laser inspection in Darlington, significantly hurting his chances of making the Chase.  Richard Childress will not appeal.

Kyle Larson was among several others who also were hit with violations.  Read more

Death Wish Coffee to Sponsor Ty Dillon at Dover

Richard Childress Racing announced on Wednesday that Death Wish Coffee will serve as primary sponsor on the No. 95 Chevrolet for Ty Dillon that will be run under the Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing banner at Dover.  Read more

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

Editor's Note: Potts' Shots will return soon.
The Critic's Annex: VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200
by Phil Allaway

Last Saturday, the XFINITY Series took on Darlington Raceway as part of throwback weekend.  Like the Sprint Cup broadcast Sunday night, it was all about the throwback theme, which I fully admit that I like.  It was just a different feel.  No throwback announcers or anything like that.

Pre-race content was relatively thin, to be honest.  Viewers got three pre-race interviews and a fair amount of discussion of the special schemes in play.  For what its worth, I did like the throwback schemes.  Even some of the smaller squads such as Mike Harmon Racing had good ones (Note that Harmon's scheme recalled the No. 75 that Neil Bonnett drove full-time for RAHMOC Motorsports in 1983 with sponsorship from Warner Hogdson, not 1981).  However, the goal of a show like Countdown to Green should be to preview the race.  I felt like I really didn't get that.  Instead, we got NBC fawning over paint schemes and historical significance.  That technically should be taking a back seat to the race itself.

The race itself was fairly clean as far as cautions go, but it wasn't clean.  There was a bunch of wall contact that damaged a number of cars.  At least two drivers (Timmy Hill and Harmon) are actually listed as having retired from the race due to crashes that did not cause cautions.  We did not see either one of these, or even hear that both drivers were behind the wall.  I know for a fact that Hill did retire due to wreckage because Carl Long noted in his weekly Facebook post that Hill pancaked the right side.  According to a tweet Harmon sent, his brakes caught on fire and ended his day.  His car had damage, but that was likely from when he collided with BJ McLeod and hit the wall in turn 2.  That was 40 laps before he retired from the race.

Honestly, one of the best things that I can say about ESPN's coverage (especially when Marty Reid was still doing play-by-play) was that there was never a question of when someone went to the garage.  Today, its guess work at best.

During the race, I found that NBC did a decent job showing on-track action for position.  There were a number of side-by-side periods where multiple battles were taking place.  There was some talk about tire wear and drop-off, but like on the Cup telecast, there really wasn't any raw data to quantify that.

During pre-race, stage commentators Krista Voda, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett mentioned that there was going to be a fair amount of commentary about those that are fighting to get into the Chase.  In practice, that really didn't come to pass.  There was some dap through the way of Jeremy Clements, who picked up a well-deserved top 10 finish.  Next to nothing on Blake Koch (other than talk about his Darrell Waltrip throwback during Countdown to Green, which I admit that I liked) and Ryan Sieg, let alone Dakoda Armstrong during the race.  Maybe that'll change next week.

Post-race coverage was relatively brief.  Viewers saw interviews with the top 2 finishers (Elliott Sadler and Denny Hamlin), a check of the points, then a brief post-race show that basically wrapped up everything that was just said, including a second interview with Sadler.  I honestly wanted a little bit more than that.

Overall, Saturday's race seemed to drag a little bit.  It seemed like it was a three-man race between Sadler, Hamlin and Kyle Larson.  Outside of that trio, there wasn't that much going on outside of people beating their cars up.  I think the broadcast made the race look quite a bit more boring than it probably really was.

Phil Allaway is the Newsletter Manager and a Senior Writer for  He can be reached via e-mail at
Frontstretch Line of the Week
From Beyond the Cockpit: Mikhail Aleshin Had No Second Thoughts of Racing in U.S.

"The doctors told me not to race so much next year [2015] but I raced" - Mikhail Aleshin on last year with SMP Racing in the European Le Mans Series.  Simple and to the point, this just shows Aleshin's drive to succeed and the drive to compete, no matter what.


by Sean Fesko and Beth Lunkenheimer

by Huston Ladner

by Joseph Wolkin

by Bryan Gable

by Toni Montgomery

Q: The 2000 Pontiac Excitement 400 saw the return of Geoff Bodine to the driver's seat from the injuries suffered in his infamous crash in the Daytona 250 in February.  Bodine qualified fourth and finished 13th in the Joe Bessey-owned No. 60 Chevrolet.  However, it was a rather interesting adventure to earn that finish.  How did it come about?

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

Wednesday's Answer:

Q:  Ken Squier described the weather at the 1990 Pontiac Excitement 400 as being "perfect for ice skating." Naturally, some quirky things happened that day, and not just the 46-point penalty given to Mark Martin after the race.  What happened to Butch Miller before the green even flew?

A: Due to cold temperatures at the start, NASCAR ran the pace laps at an elevated pace to help warm the cars up.  Butch Miller spun out on one of these pace laps entering turn 3.  He did not hit anything, but did pit to check over his car before the start.  The incident can be seen here.  Miller would eventually crash out and finish 28th.
In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll preview the Sprint Cup Series' Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond International Raceway, while also providing news from Thursday.

We'll have Four Burning Questions for you to think about heading into this weekend's action in Richmond.
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