Friday, November 18, 2016

The Frontstretch Newsletter: Follow All The Homestead Action!

Presented by
The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Nov. 18, 2016
Volume X, Edition CCVII


What to Watch: Friday

- Today is a very busy day at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  All three of NASCAR's National Series are supposed to be on-track, culminating with Sprint Cup qualifying and the Camping World Truck Series season finale tonight.  By 10:30 p.m. or so, we'll know who the 2016 Camping World Truck Series Champion will be.


Dustin Albino (@DustinAlbino)
Phil Allaway (@Critic84)
Tom Bowles (@NASCARBowles)
Zach Catanzareti  (@ZachRacing)
Joseph Wolkin (@JosephNASCAR)

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

William Byron Tops Opening Truck Series Practice at Homestead

Friday morning, William Byron showed that he could easily be a spoiler to the Championship 4 by turning in the fastest lap of the session at 31.411 seconds (171.914 mph).  The six-time series winner was knocked out of the battle for the title after seeing his engine go up in smoke at Phoenix.  Kyle Larson was second fastest, followed by Johnny Sauter (best Chaser), Cole Custer and Matt Crafton.  Read more

TRG Returns to IMSA Full-Time in 2017

On Thursday, The Racers Group announced that they will compete full-time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's GT Daytona class in 2017.  The team will field a Porsche 911 GT3-R starting in Daytona.  This organization is also the same one that fielded the No. 71 Cup program for a few years featuring David Gilliland, Bobby Labonte and Andy Lally, among others.  Read more

Frontstretch Folio: Ford EcoBoost 400
by Phil Allaway
This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series wraps up the season with Ford Championship Weekend..  Coverage of the Ford EcoBoost 400 begins with NASCAR America Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on NBC Sports; the green flag should fly around 2:45.  Radio coverage will be provided by local MRN radio affiliates and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

Records and facts

Last year's Ford EcoBoost 400 had a circus-like atmosphere.  Since it was (at the time) going to be Jeff Gordon's final career race, a number of notable figures including Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton descended on Homestead-Miami Speedway for the event.

Rains pushed the start of the race back.  But once it got going, competition was fierce, a back-and-forth affair between a number of drivers.  Late in the race, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch battled amongst themselves for the top spot, but Kyle Larson was by far the fastest on long runs.  A late caution for debris, though took Larson out of contention.

That left a frantic battle for the lead on the final restart. Kyle Busch got past Keselowski with seven laps to go, then held on to take his first career win at Homestead over Kevin Harvick.  With that win came his first Sprint Cup Championship.

Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart each have the most victories all-time at Homestead-Miami Speedway with three.  Chaser Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin each have two victories, while seven other drivers have a win apiece.

Track Facts
Track / Race Length: 1.5-mile oval, 267 laps (400.5 miles)
Banking: 18-20 degrees

Straightaways: 1,760 ft., banked 4 degrees

Grandstand Seating: 46,000

Pit Road Speed: 45 mph
Pace Car Speed: 50 mph
Opened: 1995 (first Cup race in 1999)




Pre-Race Schedule:

Practice No. 1: Friday, November 18, 12:30 - 1:55 p.m. on NBCSN

Qualifying: Friday, November 18, 6 p.m. on NBCSN

Practice No. 2: Saturday, November 19, 10 - 10:55 a.m. on CNBC

Happy Hour: Saturday, November 19, 1 - 1:50 p.m. on NBCSN

Say What?!

"I couldn't have dreamed this big. I never even thought I could win one race or one championship, and here we are poised for a shot at a seventh title. Nothing is guaranteed in this sport and you never know when your last win will be. It's incredible to be in this position with this No. 48 Lowe's team and to have a shot at it. We have some serious competition, and we know what we need to do. I've never had to go to Miami in the position to win it. With the other formats I either knew what I needed to gain points or defend a lead. This Chase format is intense and we are focused on the goal." - Jimmie Johnson

"I would say the biggest thing about Homestead is just trying to stay disciplined. It seems like over the past couple of years it's easy to jump that line and make a mistake. Obviously running around that close to the wall, like you do there, I think that makes for a fine line of jumping it and hitting the wall. Once you hit the wall in these cars, it's really hard to recover. It's definitely going to be a learning process never having run a Cup race there before. I think it will be interesting. The XFINITY Series cars are a little more forgiving when it comes to hitting the wall and being able to continue. The way the Cup cars are and the way the fender curves around the tire, a lot of times you get tire rubbing issues as soon as you hit it. It's a big risk versus reward but I think it will be fun. I watched the race from the spotters' stand down there last year and I got to see Jeff (Gordon) run his last race, at the time, which was really cool. I'm excited to get back and give it my best shot." - Chase Elliott

"The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Homestead is the racetrack itself and how great it is.  Run it right by the fence.  It has really gotten to be almost where you have to be on the edge every lap right against the fence to be fast.  You know, you can make things happen on the bottom for a couple laps, but by the end of the run, you better have your car setup to run inches off the wall." - Austin Dillon

"I love racing [at Homestead], I love being right up against the fence on the outside and just a fast racetrack.  You have many different options through [turns] one and two.  In [turns] three and four you have much less of an option.  It's a good racetrack.  The weather is usually really nice when we go down there and looking forward to heading back there." - Chris Buescher

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

by Aaron Bearden


Q: Here's an interesting one. Which series champion had the worst finish at Homestead while still walking away with the title?

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

Thursday's Answer:
Q:  In 2004, Keith Coleman Racing debuted in the then-Busch Series with Jennifer Jo Cobb racing a Vassarette-sponsored Chevrolet.  However, this debut for the team that gave Brad Keselowski his start in the series did not last long.  What happened?

A: Cobb had battled a tight condition all weekend and it appears that the KCR crew went too much the other way prior to the race.  The car was so loose that Cobb couldn't really drive the No. 50 Chevrolet.  She lost control while fighting for position with David Stremme and backed into the wall in turn 3.  The crash can be seen here.

Cobb drove the Vassarette Chevrolet back to the garage under its own power, but that ended up being it for her debut.  She would be credited with a 43rd-place finish.

In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll have recaps of the Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series races from Homestead.  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 Homestead-Miami Speedway.
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