Friday, October 21, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson Top Talladega Practices

Presented by
The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Oct. 21, 2016
Volume X, Edition CLXXXVII

What to Watch: Friday

- With on-track activity at Talladega Superspeedway done for the day, its a relatively quiet night for the teams.  Outside of the garage, its not so quiet.  Regardless, we'll have more articles for you throughout the weekend.


Zach Catanzareti (@ZachRacing)

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

Biffle, Johnson Fastest In Talladega Practices

On Friday afternoon, the Sprint Cup Series took on the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway for two practice sessions.  Greg Biffle was fastest in the first one with a lap of 48.133 seconds (198.949 mph).  Jimmie Johnson was fastest in the second session with a lap of 48.761 seconds (196.386 mph).  Read more

0Grant Enfinger, Korbin Forrister Lead Talladega Truck Practices

On Friday, the Camping World Truck Series teams had two one-hour practice sessions at Talladega in preparation for tomorrow's Fred's 250.  Grant Enfinger was fastest in the first session, while Korbin Forrester was quickest in Happy Hour for Wauters Motorsports.  Read more

Gray Gaulding Attempting Sprint Cup Series Debut at Martinsville

On Thursday, The Motorsports Group announced that 18-year old Gray Gaulding will drive the No. 30 Chevrolet in three of the final five races of the season, starting at Martinsville.  Gaulding will be sponsored by Feed the Children.  Read more

Frontstretch Folio: Hellmann's 500
by Phil Allaway
This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series returns to Talladega for the sixth race of the Chase and the final race of the Round of 12.  Coverage of the Hellmann's 500 begins with NASCAR America Sunday at 1 p.m, followed Countdown to Green, while the green flag should fly around 2:15.  Radio coverage will be provided by local MRN radio affiliates and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

Records and facts

The end of last year's 500 at Talladega was very controversial and likely the primary reason why we have the current overtime rules.  Greg Biffle had a 38 second lead when Jamie McMurray blew an engine and brought out a yellow with four laps to go.  On the restart, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson spun before getting to the start-finish line.  The green never came out and NASCAR considered it a wave-off.

On the second attempt, Kevin Harvick (who was having major issues with his engine) appeared to spin out Trevor Bayne, causing a multi-car wreck that brought out the yellow and ended the race.  Joey Logano was just barely ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to claim the win, his third straight.  Earnhardt Jr. was second, followed by Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards.

Among active drivers, Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (neither of whom are racing this weekend) are the winningest drivers at Talladega with six wins each.  Brad Keselowski has four victories, while Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer each have two.

All-time, Dale Earnhardt is the winningest driver at Talladega with ten victories.  Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon are tied for second with six.  Keselowski is tied with Buddy Baker, Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison with four wins.  Davey Allison, Cale Yarborough and David Pearson each had three wins.

Track Facts
Track / Race Length: 2.66-mile tri-oval, 188 laps (500.08 miles)
Banking: 33 degrees

Frontstretch: 4,300 ft., banked 16.5 degrees

Backstretch: 4,000 ft., banked 5.5 degrees

Grandstand Seating: 78,000

Pit Road Speed: 55 mph
Pace Car Speed: 65 mph
Opened: 1969




Remaining Pre-Race Schedule:

Qualifying: Saturday, October 22, 4 p.m. on NBCSN

Say What?!

"I'm excited about getting to Talladega. Speedway racing is always really stressful, but going there we've got a great Mountain Dew camo scheme – half the car is invisible (laughs) – so hopefully (No. 88 team spotter) T.J. (Majors) can still see it from the spotter's stand. Hendrick Motorsports brings such fast race cars to that racetrack, so I'm really excited. Their speedway stuff is amazing, always – especially the No. 88 – so I'm just really looking forward to having a chance to win. I'm going to sit Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) down and have a couple-hour discussion with him about speedway racing because if there's a speedway racer left in this garage, it's him, for sure." - Alex Bowman

"Yes, Talladega is, for sure. There are so many things out of your control and you want to control as many things as possible on a week-to-week basis. Sure, there have been a lot of circumstances that have taken wins out of our hands throughout the regular season. But I think, as you look at the things that can be taken out of your hands, and circumstances, you expect those things. But there are so many more things that can happen at Talladega with the odds of getting into an accident way higher. They are usually big accidents and take out multiple cars. Talladega is the one you don't want to have to deal with." - Kevin Harvick

"The fans really make that place. The campgrounds, all that stuff, make it one, big party. You see how much fun the fans are having and that makes it fun for us as drivers. It's just a unique place. The sheer size of the facility is amazing. I liked it from the first time I went there and, hopefully, we can have a good run and a good finish. The cool thing about superspeedways is that anybody can win. It's a toss-up, what's going to happen. On top of that, SHR's superspeedway cars are really good." - Danica Patrick

"You never know what Talladega is going to hold. I've left that place feeling like I love superspeedway racing, and I've left that place feeling like I never want to do it again. That's just the beauty of the sport.

"Talladega is just so wide. Handling is not nearly as much of a factor as it is at Daytona. You just kind of run everywhere. It's a little bit more of a chess match. But we know we can run well there. My best Cup finish was at Talladega a couple years back, finishing fourth, so you can look for us to be aggressive. We'll have Fr8Auctions back on our car with a new paint scheme. It'll look good running up front." - Landon Cassill

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

by Zach Catanzareti

by Tom Bowles and Matt Stallknecht

Q: The 1998 Winston 500 at Talladega was the first of two restrictor plate races in six days due to wildfires in Florida postponing the Pepsi 400 in July.  For Ernie Irvan, Talladega marked the end of his 1998 season.  What happened?

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

Thursday's Answer:
Q:  The 1990 Talladega DieHard 500 ended with Dale Earnhardt walking off with the victory.  Behind him, Jimmy Spencer finished 24th, two laps down with a decidedly secondhand Pontiac after running into trouble on the final lap.  What happened?

A: The details are very unclear since CBS' cameras did not catch the crash (the booth only briefly alluded to an incident, but didn't go into details).  However, somewhat grainy black-and-white photos indicate that Spencer rolled his Grand Prix over on the backstretch in a crash involving multiple cars.  Despite rolling the car, Spencer was able to drive the car back around and take the checkers.

In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll have recaps of the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series races from Talladega.  In addition, we'll also cover other news that breaks.

We'll have a series of post-race commentaries analyzing this weekend's action at Talladega Superspeedway.
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