Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Kansas Entry Lists Out

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The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Oct. 12, 2016
Volume X, Edition CLXXX

What to Watch: Wednesday

- Today is penalty day in NASCAR.  Look for the typical assortment of warnings to be assessed but nothing serious.  Unlike the last couple of weeks, no notable infractions were found during post-race inspection in Charlotte on Sunday.  We'll have to see what happens.


Wednesday's TV Schedule can be found here.

Top News
by the Frontstretch Staff

Entry List: Bowman Continues to Fill In for Earnhardt Jr. in the Hollywood Casino 400

NASCAR released the entry lists for this weekend's action in Kansas a little late this week.  For Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400, 40 cars are entered.  Changes include Alex Bowman returning to the No. 88 and Joey Gase in the No. 32.  Read more

Entry List: Regan Smith Returns for JR Motorsports in Kansas Lottery 300

In the XFINITY Series, there are currently 40 cars entered for Saturday's 300-miler.  However, not every full-time team is currently on the list.  For instance, Obaika Racing is missing.  Read more

Sebastien Bourdais Confirmed at Dale Coyne Racing for 2017

On Wednesday morning, Dale Coyne Racing announced that Sebastien Bourdais will return to the team to race full-time in 2017.  It is currently unclear which car (No. 18 or 19) that Bourdais will drive.  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
Setting the Stage for Seven
Professor of Speed
by Mark Howell
Sunday afternoon's Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway may have been the biggest win of Jimmie Johnson's career.

Johnson's victory in the Bank of America 500 not only gave him three wins for the year thus far, but – more importantly – it guaranteed him a place in the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Hello, Round Three; goodbye, pressure of Talladega.

Anyone who feared the collapse of Hendrick Motorsports in the wake of Jimmie's 24-race losing streak and Junior's absence because of a serious concussion suddenly felt a surge of positive energy. The No. 48 team led 155 laps last Sunday, dominating at a track where, last time around, it was all about the No. 78 of Martin Truex, Jr.

Late in the race on Sunday, Truex's chance to win went as dark as the digital display in his Furniture Row Toyota. Losing his clutch in the clutch was anything but good. Like most of the top-twelve in the Chase, all eyes now gaze in the direction of Kansas.

One thing the elimination format of the NASCAR Sprint Cup post-season has done is make Kansas Speedway a boiling point for driver anxiety. Those who fail to win races at either Charlotte or Kansas are forced to run well at Talladega. As we've seen time-and-time again, a big wreck in the tight quarters of plate racing on the Alabama high banks can turn a hero into a zero with one slip of a tire or twitch of a steering wheel.

This fact is not lost on Jimmie Johnson.

Since Jimmie won his sixth Sprint Cup title, there's been speculation regarding his chances at winning a seventh. Snagging a seventh Cup championship would put the California driver amongst some elite company. While some in NASCAR Nation have complained that Johnson is too "vanilla" to be revered as a stock car driver carved from that mythic mold that formed a Hall of Famer like Dale Earnhardt, there's no argument that Jimmie, Chad Knaus, and team have persevered themselves into their current position.

And that's what we saw last Sunday as Johnson ran upfront with his Hendrick stable mate Chase Elliott. While the competition bent sheet metal and blew up engines, the No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet stayed above the fray. When Elliott's strong run went sour, Johnson kept on doing  what he'd been doing since the drop of the green flag. Clean pit stops and a powerful motor helped Jimmie break free of his slump and earn yet another visit to Victory Lane at Charlotte.

Although this trip included that all-important punched ticket into Round Three of the Chase. No spray of champagne nor big, shiny trophy can compete with the feeling of confidence that comes with knowing you're one step closer to Miami-Homestead and a one-out-of-four shot at a NASCAR championship.

Just as Martin Truex, Jr. gave race teams reason to stop and take notice with his performances at Chicagoland and Dover, Jimmie Johnson has now swung the spotlight toward his success last weekend at Charlotte.

And now, after a week back home in North Carolina, we're off to Kansas.

Only Jimmie Johnson will be able to sleep peacefully this week.

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

compiled by Aaron Bearden

by Dustin Albino


Q: Fuji Speedway has been the site of a number of scary incidents over the years.  In 1991, the All Japan Sports Prototype Car Endurance Championship held four events at Fuji Speedway.  The third of these was a 500 mile race.  That event was marred by massive crashes with similar causes in almost the same spot.  What happened?

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

Tuesday's Answer:

Q:  This weekend, the FIA World Endurance Championship travels to Fuji Speedway.  Fuji Speedway has always been a well-known venue in Japanese racing dating back to the 1960s but has taken a back seat to Suzuka Circuit for most of the last 30 years.  For younger people here in the United States, where would they have seen Fuji Speedway for the first time?

A: If you remember the days of arcades being a big hangout, then you probably remember a game called Pole Position.  The goal of Pole Position was to qualify for, then race in a Formula 1 race.  Most of the arcade machines for the game were basic stand-up machines with a steering wheel and an accelerator pedal, but there were some where you sat down and drove (these were rare). The track used in that game was an earlier version of Fuji Speedway.  In Gran Turismo 4, this configuration was referred to as "Fuji Speedway '80s."
In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll have any news that breaks in the world of NASCAR, plus we'll take a look at Kevin Harvick's roots  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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