Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: No Penalty for Martin Truex, Jr.'s Confiscated Part at Talladega

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The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Oct. 27, 2016
Volume X, Edition CXCI
What to Watch: Thursday
- Today is pull-in day for the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series at Martinsville Speedway.  While the 37 truck teams entered will have opening inspection today, there is no on-track action scheduled.  Regardless, we'll have news for you as it breaks today at Frontstretch.

Thursday's TV Schedule can be found here.

Top News
by the Frontstretch Staff

No Major Penalties After Talladega

Wednesday afternoon, NASCAR released their weekly penalty report.  Only warnings were assessed in Talladega as no major infractions were discovered. In addition, the confiscated part from Martin Truex, Jr.'s No. 78 did not draw any further consequences.  Read more

Audi Pulling Out of World Endurance Challenge at End of 2016

Wednesday, Audi Sport announced they will be completely pulling out of the FIA World Endurance Championship at the end of the 2016 season.  They will replace their prototype program with a factory team in the FIA Formula E Championship.  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: Bonneville 71
by Phil Allaway

Greetings, everyone.  I was unsure if I'd be able to write about the second season premiere of Beyond the Wheel on NASCAR RaceHub this week.  I thought I was going to miss it and the lack of a repeat RaceHub airing meant that you only got one chance for now.

However, I did catch it yesterday and I'm going to give you my impressions.  Anyone who's read my previous Annex pieces knows, I love historical pieces and this segment was every bit of one.

The backdrop for Bonneville 71 was the arms race that had become NASCAR's Grand National Series in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Aerodynamics were all the way in and speeds were up.  Shortly after now-Talladega Superspeedway was opened, a test session was held there in which Buddy Baker was credited with turning in the first stock car lap at over 200 mph (In Peter Golenbock's book, Miracle: Bobby Allison and the Saga of the Alabama Gang, Bobby Allison takes issue with that, claiming that he did it first).

The piece starts off with a explanation of just who Isaac was.  Not a lot of people know a lot about him.  Like quite a few drivers of his era, Isaac didn't have all much education.  He appears to have quit school after sixth grade; doing that led to illiteracy rumors, but these were untrue.  What was true is that Isaac likely resented that move later in life, much like how Dale Earnhardt looked back unfavorably on his own decision to quit school.  He was a rather quiet person as well, which probably allowed for those rumors to spread outward.  Former crew member Ken Troutt described Isaac in the piece as being timid and "not a people person."

The decision to go to the Bonneville Salt Flats was made after NASCAR banned the Dodge Daytona in 1971.  Team owner Nord Krauskopf didn't want to totally give up his investment, so the team came up with the idea of tackling the salt flats.

A good chunk of the film was based around Harry Hyde, the team's crew chief at the time.  Troutt (who was living with him at the time of the speed records) claims that Hyde was all business during the day and would get crazy when the work was done.  Once at the salt flats, there were rules... to a certain extent.  Buddy Parrott claims the team went through two-and-a-half cases of beer while chasing the speed records.  With Isaac at the wheel, the team did a series of trials, including a ten-mile circular lap to set their records, including a run at nearly 217 mph.

Tim Wellborn currently owns the No. 71 Dodge from the speed trials and has restored it to its former glory (the car was in the NASCAR Hall of Fame for a time).  Wellborn had the car driven out to the Salt Flats in order to run there for the first time in 45 years.  For Troutt and Parrott, the experience brought back a lot of memories.

I came into this piece already knowing a fair amount, but I did find it interesting.  The K&K Insurance team appears to have had a real outlaw mentality at the time that you don't see much in NASCAR these days.  I've personally seen this philosophy when I covered the Banned in the Backyard BMX jam in 2012 for Collateral BMX.  This speed trial involved about as much beer per capita as the BMX jam did, but much less of everything else.  As far as I know, no one got branded in Bonneville, despite the heat.

Yes, I do agree that a number of fans don't really know much about the sport's history, which was a small theme in the piece.  That's a shame as there are museums which have plenty of NASCAR's history on display.  The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte is just one example, while the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega Superspeedway is another.  When I went to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame last month, it was a very quiet Tuesday with barely anyone there.  In that case, I guided my own tour of the property at my own pace.  I just wish the library was open that day and I found plenty of content and history of racing to explore.

With only 15 minutes to work with, by comparison in this segment it's hard to cover everything.  I would have liked more content about Isaac, and (if possible) maybe a little more about the actual trials.  The stock footage from the time of the record assault was pretty cool to have.  Just going out there had to have been a culture shock to the K&K Insurance guys. 

In conclusion, we had good content once again from this segment but it's clear the full potential of this idea has not quite been fully reached yet.

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: Jeffrey Earnhardt Explains Why Late Grandfather is His 'Superhero'

"The MMA thing was huge, huge deal for me as far as a character builder went. I got one of my best friends Nick [standing behind the camera] to thank for that. He's the one that convinced me to step in a cage and fight somebody..." - Jeffrey Earnhardt, on his decision to try Mixed Martial Arts

by Sean Fesko and Michael Finley

by Joseph Wolkin

by Aaron Bearden and Matt Stallknecht

by Huston Ladner

by Beth Lunkenheimer

by Bryan Gable

by Toni Montgomery


Q: In 1999, Jeff Gordon held off Dale Earnhardt to claim victory in the NAPA AutoCare 500 at Martinsville Speedway.  What was significant about this win?

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

Wednesday's Answer:

Q:  Short tracks often mean short tempers.  The 1986 Goody's 500 at Martinsville was no exception.  Ricky Rudd had a decent run going before it came to a halt just before the five-eighths' mark of the race.  What happened?

A: Rudd was racing for fifth with Kyle Petty when he went to the inside exiting turn 2.  Petty appeared to move down the track and had contact with Rudd's Motorcraft Ford.  Then, Petty hit Rudd in the right rear, resulting in Rudd spinning and hitting the wall entering turn 3.  The crash can be seen here in this clip from the SETN broadcast.  Eli Gold and Dr. Jerry Punch are on the call.

The crash put Rudd out on the spot, while Petty eventually finished a lap down in sixth.  Needless to say, Rudd wasn't pleased.
In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll preview the Sprint Cup Series' Goody's Fast Relief 500 while also providing news from Thursday.

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