Monday, October 17, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Kevin Harvick Comes Back to Claim Kansas Victory, Advancement

Presented by
The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Oct. 17, 2016
Volume X, Edition CLXXIX

What to Watch: Monday

- A number of teams stayed overnight in Kansas after Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 to participate in a Goodyear tire test.  Martin Truex, Jr.'s No. 78 Toyota, along with representatives from Stewart-Haas Racing, Team Penske and Hendrick Motorsports will take to the 1.5-mile tri-oval to try out new compounds.

Monday's TV Schedule can be found here.
Top News
by the Frontstretch Staff

Kevin Harvick Comes Through in the Clutch, Wins at Kansas Speedway

Kevin Harvick stayed out while a number of drivers pitted, then passed Carl Edwards with 30 laps to go to take the lead at Kansas Speedway.  From there, Harvick pulled away to take his fourth win of the season and lock himself into the Chase's Round of 8.  Edwards was second, followed by Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch.  Read more

Kyle Busch Wins Kansas NXS Race, Several Chase Drivers Involved in Accidents

Saturday, Kyle Busch won the Kansas Lottery 300 to earn his ninth XFINITY Series win of the season. Busch 150 of 200 laps but had to get a Lucky Dog at one point to fight back to the front.  Elliott Sadler was second followed by Daniel Suarez, then Cup regulars Joey Logano and Kyle Larson.  Read more

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

Chasing the Chase: Jimmie Johnson Remains at Top, Adds to Lead in Kansas
by Phil Allaway

Jimmie Johnson may have already been locked into the Chase's Round of 8 entering Kansas. However, that didn't stop him from having a great day on Sunday.  Johnson didn't exactly qualify well, but charged to the front and finished fourth after briefly flirting with the lead.  That was enough to maintain an eight-point edge in the standings over Matt Kenseth.  Kenseth led bunches of laps early in the race, starting from the pole, but never recovered after hitting the wall just past halfway.  Regardless, Kenseth still finished ninth and heads to Talladega with the best cushion of any playoff contender who hasn't clinched a spot in the next round (+29).  

Kyle Busch remains in third, just two points behind his teammate.  However, Busch was rather perturbed at fourth-place Carl Edwards for how he was raced late in the event.  As for Edwards, his second-place finish boosted him up two places to fourth in the points. Edwards had a fast car late but wound up just short at his hometown track.

Kurt Busch had to start at the rear of the field Sunday in a backup car with no practice.  However, he was able to stay out of trouble, rising up to 13th at the finish and hold onto fifth in the standings.  Martin Truex, Jr. meanwhile dealt with a fueling issue all day that forced him to pit early.  Luckily, the way cautions fell appeared to work in his favor, managing to keep the No. 78 car on the lead lap for most of the day.  Truex was eventually able to finish 11th, moving up one position in the standings.  

Kevin Harvick is locked into the next round via his victory on Sunday, allowing him to relax a little.  The performance moved him up five places to seventh in points.  Joey Logano and Austin Dillon are now tied for eighth, three points behind Harvick.  Logano gets the spot by virtue of the better finish in the round (third on Sunday) although both drivers had strong performances (Dillon - sixth) to drive them back into Chase contention.

Denny Hamlin dealt with splitter issues that cost him significant time early in the race.  He would eventually recover, but fell back to finish 15th.  Hamlin now sits tenth in the standings, six points out of a transfer spot heading to Talladega.  Hamlin still passed Brad Keselowski, who crashed out of the top 10 on lap 190 then blew an engine Sunday after coming out of the garage.  The 38th-place finish dropped him to 11th, one point behind Hamlin.  

Chase Elliott rounds out the top 12 after another miserable day due to wall contact.  He's 25 points out of eighth and would need his first career win or a bit of a Talladega miracle Sunday to advance. 

Outside the Chase, Tony Stewart is the best of the rest in 13th with a 11-point lead on Kyle Larson, who had contact with the wall at Kansas and finished 30th.  Chris Buescher ran 21st and moved up one position to 15th while Jamie McMurray crashed and finished 37th, dropping to 16th.

Chase Point Standings: 1) Jimmie Johnson 3082, 2) Matt Kenseth -8, 3) Kyle Busch -10, 4) Carl Edwards -13, 5) Kurt Busch -20, 6) Martin Truex, Jr. -24, 7) Kevin Harvick -34, t-8) Joey Logano -37, t-8) Austin Dillon -37, 10) Denny Hamlin -43, 11) Brad Keselowski -44, 12) Chase Elliott -62.

Best of the Rest: 13) Tony Stewart 2131, 14) Kyle Larson -11, 15) Chris Buescher -41, 16) Jamie McMurray -43, 17) Kasey Kahne -1334, 18) Ryan Newman -1364, 19) AJ Allmendinger -1445, 20) Ryan Blaney -1449, 21) Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. -1451, 22) Trevor Bayne -1456, 23) Danica Patrick -1531.

Regular Point Standings: 1) Kevin Harvick 993, 2) Brad Keselowski -8, 3) Kyle Busch -49, 4) Joey Logano -60, 5) Martin Truex, Jr. -74, 6) Kurt Busch -79, 7) Carl Edwards -80, 8) Denny Hamlin -87, 9) Jimmie Johnson -126, 10) Matt Kenseth -138, 11) Austin Dillon -184, 12Chase Elliott -186, 13) Kasey Kahne -196, 14) Ryan Newman -226, 15) Jamie McMurray -229, 16) Kyle Larson -230, 17) AJ Allmendinger -307, 18) Ryan Blaney -311, 19) Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. -313, 20) Trevor Bayne -318.

Outside the top 16, but in the Chase: 26) Tony Stewart -431, 29) Chris Buescher -531.

Race Winners: Denny Hamlin (Daytona-1, Watkins Glen, Richmond-2), Jimmie Johnson (Atlanta, Auto Club, Charlotte-2), Brad Keselowski (Las Vegas, Talladega, Daytona-2, Kentucky), Kevin Harvick (Phoenix, Bristol-2, Loudon-2, Kansas-2), Kyle Busch (Martinsville, Texas, Kansas-1, Indianapolis), Carl Edwards (Bristol-1, Richmond-1), Matt Kenseth (Dover-1, Loudon-1), Martin Truex, Jr. (Charlotte-1, Darlington, Chicagoland, Dover-2), Kurt Busch (Pocono-1), Joey Logano (Michigan-1), Tony Stewart (Sonoma), Chris Buescher (Pocono-2), Kyle Larson (Michigan-2).
Phil Allaway is the Newsletter Manager and a Senior Writer for  He can be reached via e-mail at

Letter of the Race: Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 was brought to you by the Letter T, for "Track Position." While tires were crucial Sunday, Kevin Harvick proved that if you got a good enough restart, you could overcome the tire disadvantage.  That was what Harvick needed in order to win. - Phil Allaway


Quotes to Remember: Hollywood Casino 400
compiled by Phil Allaway

"I just got two good restarts against the No. 19 (Carl Edwards).  He didn't have a car quite as close to him, and I was able to break that draft before I got to the middle of [turns] 1 and 2 and get away from him, so that was pretty awesome.  I just needed to go for it and that is really the mindset we go into every race in the Chase was to go for it, and we did... I've done a poor job the first half of the year [on restarts].  We struggled with some ratios and timing.  We came up with some ratios that really fit what we were doing, and the processes and some other things and it has really paid off twice in the Chase." - Kevin Harvick, race winner

"I felt like we had the race under control if it would've kept going green. We really had something fast there and then that restart Jimmie (Johnson) got behind Kevin (Harvick) and pushed him just far enough out there that we got into turn 1 and I just couldn't hang and slow Kevin down and he just broke the draft there. And after that I ended up racing Kyle (Busch). I mean, that was a real battle and that let Kevin get out ahead. That was a pretty hard battle, but at the end of the day you're racing for every position here. I thought we raced as hard as – it was reasonable but it was pretty hard. The hard part for me is just we didn't win this race. I know we've got a points cushion going into Talladega and everything, but it is hard to lose anything, it is really hard to lose a race here but I'm really proud of how we ran." - Carl Edwards, finished second

"That was hard fought. I am still breathing hard. We just weren't very good on the short runs so I had to play defense instead of offense on restarts. After 15 laps we were equal to, not way better to the point we could make up a bunch of time. We did what we had to do. I think they told me I am eighth in points so we will be close on it racing at Talladega. We did what we had to do today. We wanted to get a solid top 5 and if we could win, that is what we wanted. We had a good effort, we just have to get our cars a little faster right now." - Joey Logano, finished third

"Yeah, I mean from a start perspective we knew we were going to have a tough task today to get to the front with the Lowe's Chevrolet, but a very solid race car.  I love that the sun came out and really made it a racy track for us.  I felt like we could have had a shot at the win, it seemed like the No. 19, the No. 4 and us were kind of equal there.  I was able to get the No. 4 by the No. 19 on that restart and just couldn't clear the No. 19 myself and slipped back to fifth.  Great performance, I think we had a shot at it.  I had a lot of fun today, that is for sure and this Lowe's Chevy is running good. We are excited." - Jimmie Johnson, finished fourth

"This M&M's Camry was really awesome today. We've had really good short run speed, we just didn't have long run speed. I hated that we weren't able to go up there and race the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) and get more out of it, but we just had to fade gracefully there towards the end and I didn't have enough to chase those guys down. I wish we did. Our car was fast all through practice and everything this whole weekend, we just missed it here for the race. We just didn't get our race adjustments right." - Kyle Busch, finished fifth

"We wanted a top 5, we missed it by one position.  We were running that No. 18 down pretty hard there at the end.  I'm proud of my guys.  They brought me a really good race car. Currently in the Chase, so, go to Talladega, have a good run and we don't have anything to worry about.  We just have to have a good run there.  It will be tight all the way down to the wire, but I'm just proud to have this position going into Talladega." - Austin Dillon, finished sixth

"Taking away last week, just outright speed I thought we had, that was, it felt like the best 1.5-mile race we put together there.  Good, solid top-10 car all day.  I made a mistake and sped on pit road and got us behind a little bit.  Just kind of tough call there at the end.  You don't know how many people are going to pit, we had good track position and everybody behind me came.  I was pretty happy to hold most of them off.  I felt like we had about a fifth or sixth-place car and we finished eighth with it.  Just a solid day.  We need to keep doing work like this and keep building off of it." - AJ Allmendinger, finished eighth

"We had a good car and not sure how I did it, but I hit the wall getting into turn 1 and then in the middle of the race I started losing some handle a little bit when the track changed. I lost track of where I was and hit the wall. It was an uphill battle from there and then at the end, I thought we still had a shot at a top 5 out of it but the No. 88 (Alex Bowman) just hung a left as hard as he could and knocked our right fender off and then I was just dead in the water." - Matt Kenseth, finished ninth

"Terrible. I mean just everything went wrong. Just stupid stuff and then penalties when we shouldn't have them and just another year of the same stuff. So, thanks to FedEx and thanks to Toyota for getting on the car and getting us on the racetrack, but just wish we could make things happen a little bit better. I mean, there's not much else I can do." - Denny Hamlin, finished 15th

"We really don't know. I don't know if we got the left rear getting up on the racetrack, or something and it got into the fender and cut it down. I don't know what to do man, we were trying as hard as we can. We had such a good car today again, and…I don't know what to do.  Just keep after it and try to move on." - Chase Elliott, finished 31st

"My guys busted their butt on this Miller Lite Ford to get it back out. They were working like crazy, there was a fire at one point. They worked their guts out. If my team keeps putting up this kind of effort, I don't worry about today. We will win another race. We will win Talladega and other races and be fine. That is the first thing, I want to thank my team for that effort. As far as what happened on the track, I don't know. I spun and got in the grass and tore the nose off. I probably could have raced less hard with a big points gap coming in. With this format, it is probably the smart thing to do but I don't want to race like that. I want to race my guts out and go for wins. I don't want to points race. I don't care what the damn format is, I am going to give it my best." - Brad Keselowski, finished 38th (crashed out)

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



by Mike Neff


Q: The 1996 DieHard 500 was delayed for hours due to rain (the race ended up being tape-delayed because the race didn't start until after CBS' timeslot ended).  Once it did start, Rick Mast managed to end his chances at contention in an unusual way.  What happened?

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

Friday's Answer:

Q:  Much like Fuji's first F1 race in 1976, F1's return in 2007 was marred by heavy rains and fog.  However, that particular event is probably best known for a collision between future teammates.  What happened?

A: The race was already under the Safety Car due to a previous crash for Fernando Alonso.  Lewis Hamilton was leading at the time in his McLaren, followed by Mark Webber and Sebastien Vettel.  Hamilton suddenly sped up, forcing Webber and Vettel to reciprocate.  Hamilton then suddenly backed off.  Knowing that you cannot pass under the Safety Car, Webber slowed down.  Vettel couldn't avoid him and plowed into the back of the Red Bull (Vettel was driving a Scuderia Toro Rosso at the time).  The crash, and an explanation (in Spanish) for what happened can be seen here.

Both drivers were forced to retire from the race.  As for Hamilton, he went on to win over Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Raikkonen.

In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll have breaking news from Monday, Tom Bowles returns with Numbers Game and S.D. Grady is back with Sitting In The Stands: A Fan's View.

Amy Henderson takes a closer look at how some of the sport's smaller teams fared at Kansas in Underdog House.
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