The Frontstretch Newsletter: See Who's Advocating For Changes In The Chase

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Nov 17, 2016, 5:21:20 PM11/17/16
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THE FRONTSTRETCH NEWSLETTER
Presented by Frontstretch.com
The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
Nov. 10, 2016
Volume X, Edition CCI
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What to Watch: Thursday
 
- Today is Championship 4 Media Day at the Lowe's Miami Beach Hotel in Miami Beach.  The four championship contenders for the Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series will participate in media functions today starting at 1 p.m.  We've got you covered there, to say the least.

FOLLOW THE FRONTSTRETCH THIS WEEKEND AT HOMESTEAD THROUGH OUR COLLEAGUES:

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!

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Thursday's TV Schedule can be found here.

Top News
by the Frontstretch Staff

Erik Jones: Chase Should Rotate

Erik Jones, one of the XFINITY Series championship contenders spoke out Thursday about the future of NASCAR's playoff. The youngster wants to see a rotation of tracks featured in the postseason going forward after schedules within the top three series have focused on consistency in recent years. Read more

Mazda Unveils First DPi Prototype at LA Auto Show

On Wednesday, Mazda Motorsports unveiled the new RT24-P prototype to the general public for the first time.  It is the first car built to IMSA's new DPi regulations to be shown.  It will make its racing debut in the Rolex 24 in January.  Read more

Have news for the Frontstretch? Don't hesitate to let us know; email us at phil.a...@frontstretch.com with a promising lead or tip.
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Editor's Note: Potts' Shots will return soon.
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The Critic's Annex: Ticket Galaxy 200
by Phil Allaway

On Saturday, the XFINITY Series took to Phoenix International Raceway for their second-to-last race of the season.  Kyle Busch kicked tail again, but that really shouldn't surprise anyone.  He's been nearly unbeatable in NASCAR's second-tier division lately.

Instead, the focus was on the Chase and who was going to be able to lock themselves into the Championship 4.  The points were all-important since all three races in the Round of 8 were won by Cup regulars.

Prior to the race, NBCSN's finest segment was a piece with Elliott Sadler and co-car owner Kelley Earnhardt Miller.  Here, the two talked about their past racing against each other back in the 1990s (Kelley was apparently quite good in a late model, much better than her much-heralded younger brother, but gave up racing to go to college).  There were also discussions centered upon the family atmosphere that Sadler has discovered at JR Motorsports this season.  The piece provided part of the reasoning for Sadler making the move to JRM (sponsorship was the other) and why he generally appears to be happy at the moment.

During the race itself, there was heavy focus on the Chase.  It ultimately was a fallback since there was absolutely nothing going on up front for much of the night (Kyle Busch led all but ten laps).  That said, there was some good racing for amongst the Chasers that we did get to see as they battled to make the final cut.

I felt going into Saturday's race that Blake Koch getting into the Championship 4 was a longshot.  Definitely a great story, but getting it done was unlikely in my opinion.  However, the analysts thought he could pull it off.  I thought that Koch did a great job to finish seventh on Saturday night, but that NBCSN gave him too much coverage during the race.  Its nothing against Koch; I like him.  I've interviewed him and he's a very engaging kind of guy.  What's interesting here is I think the aggressiveness that he felt was required to advance may clash with his personal beliefs to some extent (by that, I mean that Koch is a very religious man and that philosophy doesn't really jive with the evangelical mindset). It just seemed like the story here was blown up to be more than it could have ever been.

Outside of the Chase, I felt that tires were one of the big stories of the race.  Four of the six cautions were caused by blown Goodyears for Alex Bowman, Jeff Green, Ray Black, Jr. and Brendan Gaughan, respectively.  I think that NBCSN should have given this particular story a little more airtime, maybe shown what the runs were doing to the tires.  I know that we talk about this type of miss every week, but it is important.

Post-race coverage on Saturday was quite detailed.  As you know by now, the big post-race story was Sadler's car being found with two loose lug nuts.  That led to a fine that was announced yesterday along with an immediate crew chief suspension.  NBCSN had this story covered.  Viewers got an official suspension announcement from NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller as well as close-ups on all four of Sadler's wheels.  From what I could tell, the right rear lug nuts looked just a little bit suspect to me, but the others looked fine.  Then again, I wasn't in Arizona.  

Viewers saw interviews with Sadler before and after the suspension was announced.  There was a noticeable change in tone between the two. Kudos for NBCSN for going back around once the suspension information was received.

Overall, I found the broadcast to be OK.  There were some good moments, especially after the race.  However, the Chase focus was a bit much.  Kyle Busch won, but his win was deemphasized in favor of the Chase.  Also, I'm all for showing action for position during the race.  I've probably said it 157 times since I've been writing this column.  However, that doesn't just go for Chasers.  It goes for everyone else as well.

Phil Allaway is the Newsletter Manager and a Senior Writer for Frontstretch.com.  He can be reached via e-mail at ashl...@mail.com.
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Frontstretch Line of the Week
 
From Timothy Peters Eying Championship Despite 1-year Winless Drought

"We’re always working hard toward [finding sponsors].  There isn’t a minute that goes by that we’re not doing some sort of work on sponsorship. It’s a lot of work in progress right now and hopefully we’ll have some news sooner than later.

“I hope I’m right here at Red Horse Racing in 2017. I love it here. I’ve been here since 2009, Tom [DeLoach, team owner] and everyone are family to me. I’ve been able to have success here so I want to continue that." - Timothy Peters on his current situation at Red Horse Racing

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TODAY AT FRONTSTRETCH:

by Sean Fesko, Bryan Gable and Beth Lunkenheimer

by Huston Ladner

by Bryan Gable

by Beth Lunkenheimer

by Toni Montgomery

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FRONTSTRETCH TRIVIA:

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?

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

Wednesday's Answer:

Q:  In 1998, Terry Cook qualified in sixth for ThorSport Racing at Homestead.  However, he didn't even make it to the end of the first lap before heck went down.  What happened?

A: Cook went down the backstretch on the outside and prepared to enter turn 3.  However, his throttle stuck at the end of the straightaway.  As a result, Cook's Chevrolet went straight into the turn 3 wall.  The crash can be seen here.

Cook's Silverado was heavily damaged, ending his day.  He ended up 38th with zero laps completed.
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COMING TOMORROW
In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll preview the Sprint Cup Series' Ford EcoBoost 400 while also providing news from Thursday.

On Frontstretch.com:
We'll have Four Burning Questions for you to think about heading into this weekend's action in Homestead.
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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 edi...@frontstretch.com. We'll take the best comments and publish them here!
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