Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Ryan Reed to Attempt Talladega

Presented by
The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Sep. 29, 2016
Volume X, Edition CLXXI
What to Watch: Thursday
- Its parking day at Dover International Speedway for the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series.  No on-track activity for the two National-level series is scheduled for today.

- Meanwhile, in Georgia, the race weekend gets into full swing at Road Atlanta as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has three practices scheduled for today.  The IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge also qualifies later today for their season finale.
Thursday's TV Schedule can be found here.

Top News
by the Frontstretch Staff

Ryan Reed to Attempt Sprint Cup Debut at Talladega

On Wednesday, Roush Fenway Racing announced that Ryan Reed, who currently drives for the team in the XFINITY Series, will attempt to make his Sprint Cup Series debut at Talladega in October.  He will drive a fourth entry for the team sponsored by Lilly Diabetes.  Read more

Josef Newgarden Confirmed Out at Ed Carpenter Racing

On Thursday morning, Ed Carpenter Racing confirmed that Josef Newgarden will not return to the No. 21 in 2017.  This may open Newgarden up for a move to Team Penske.  Read more

Trent Hindman Fastest in Opening Road Atlanta CTSC Practice

On Wednesday, the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge held their opening practice session at Road Atlanta for Friday's Road Atlanta 150.  Trent Hindman was fastest overall with a lap of 91.396 seconds (100.048 mph).  Read more

Hindman, Foss Continue Dominance in CTSC Road Atlanta Happy Hour

Thursday morning saw Trent Hindman continue his dominance of the timesheets, turning in a lap of 90.806 seconds (100.698 mph) to top the charts by six-tenths of a second.  Eric Foss for Murillo Racing was fastest in ST.  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: 300
by Phil Allaway

Last weekend, the XFINITY Series had their final standalone race of the 2016 season at Kentucky Speedway.  The race was quite the doozy, but how did NBCSN do with it?

As you all know, Saturday night was the first race of the XFINITY Series Chase.  Still don't believe it should exist, but I don't really think it affected the action that we ended up getting.  To that end, there was a lot of discussion about how the drivers should approach the first round.  Viewers also got interviews with most of the Chasers.

However, that was not all.  There was also a feature about Matt Tifft's recovery from his brain tumor (and the open brain surgery required to remove it).  Here, viewers got to see the uplifting, positive attitude that Tifft maintained throughout the ordeal.  Benign or not, open brain surgery is most definitely "a thing."  It is possible that complications could have occurred and he might not have been the same afterwards.  Tifft's perseverance through this should earn him some fans.

During the race itself, you had a much different feel than with a normal XFINITY Series race.  Kyle Busch wasn't around to try to hoard trophies like he's Gollum.  As a result, viewers saw a much more competitive race than normal.  Yes, Ryan Blaney was still there and quite competitive, but he wasn't destroying the field by any means.

NBCSN did a decent job in showing viewers the action through the field.  As a result, the race was more enjoyable for me to watch than some recent events.  I could have done without the wrecking, but those are legitimate cautions.

I did have a couple of issues with the broadcast.  One was the fact that viewers weren't really notified that there was going to be a Competition Caution on lap 25 until lap 15 of the race.  I've stated this multiple times in the past, but if there's going to be a competition caution, it needs to be stated on-air before the start of the race.  Of note, the decision was made for purely man-made reasons; track crews at Kentucky Speedway washed the track after the ARCA race on Friday night.

The third yellow flew just as Ryan Reed was going to pit due to an unwound tire.  The coverage of Matt Waltz's fire on pit road briefly pre-empted the tire issue, but this was an outlier as no one else of note had tire issues Saturday night.  However, NBCSN still did a pretty good job covering the issue.  Looking back, that yellow saved Reed's tail.  He would have been stuck a lap or more down otherwise.

Post-race coverage was relatively brief since the race went over its slot by quite a bit.  That happens when you have 12 cautions.  As a result, viewers only got interviews with the top two finishers (Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez) and Ty Dillon, who crashed out late with Erik Jones.  There was also a check of the points before NBCSN left the air.

Yes, there was still a fair amount of focus on the Chase, but not as much as we've seen on Cup broadcasts.  The result was a far more enjoyable race to watch that was focused more on the actual racing.  There were still a couple of issues here and there, but it was much more enjoyable than what we've been getting on Sundays recently.

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: Michael Annett Trying to Prove Himself on the Track

"The biggest thing is even though we're frustrated and not having the performance we want, we have a lot of fun. This team is like a family to me. I wouldn't say it's been a bad year because of the people that I'm surrounded with but the performance isn't where we wanted it." - Michael Annett tries to put a positive spin on his 2016 season

by Sean Fesko and Michael Finley

by Huston Ladner

by Joseph Wolkin

by Bryan Gable

by Beth Lunkenheimer

by Toni Montgomery

Q: Road Atlanta, the site of this weekend's Petit Le Mans, has pit lanes on both sides of the pit straight.  Why is this so?

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

Wednesday's Answer:

Q:  In the 1994 SplitFire Spark Plugs 500 at Dover, Jeff Burton was one of the best drivers on track until he blew a tire and crashed hard on lap 190.  He wasn't the only rook that was a contender that day as Joe Nemechek was also very quick.  Unfortunately, he couldn't keep it up all day.  What happened to put Nemechek out?

A: Nemechek had been leading up until a round of stops on lap 216.  He rejoined a ways down the order, but with a very loose car.  Nemechek eventually spun and hit the wall hard in turn 2.  The crash can be seen here.

Unfortunately, the crash put Nemechek out on the spot.  He was not a happy camper afterwards, smacking the roof of his Chevrolet Lumina in disgust..
In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll preview the Sprint Cup Series' Citizen Solider 400 while also providing news from Thursday.

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