Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Things to Watch During the Cup Series’ Off Week

1. This weekend’s races

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series may not be in action this week, but the XFINITY and Camping World Truck series are. The 24 Hours of Le Mans will also see some TV time on both Saturday and Sunday. NHRA is in Bristol and if you want close finishes, you’ll likely see several of them all rolled into one. There’s racing to be had, and plenty of it. But in case you need something to watch between races, here are a few suggestions.

2. Races “back in the day”

Pick a year. Pick a track. Pick a racing series. Hit YouTube and check it out—there are both highlights and full races available from just about any time and place you want. New fan? Check out some old races at tracks NASCAR doesn’t race anymore, like this one at North Wilkesboro in the late 1980s. Refresh your memory on what racing was really like in the good old days and the cast of characters involved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwC22vpdtjg

3. Your favorite driver’s first win

First wins are always special. Why not relive your favorite driver’s first trip to Victory Lane? Here’s an abbreviated version of future Hall of Famer Tony Stewart’s first win at Richmond in 1999 to get you started in honor of his impending retirement. He looks so young … he was so young. Whoever you follow, check out some footage of that memorable first-time feeling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjKuSLAY7UQ

4. Today’s superstars before they were superstars

Everyone has to start somewhere, and there’s plenty of footage of today’s big names before many race fans knew who they were or what kind of racers they’d become. You can find footage of just about anyone racing in NASCAR’s lower series or in other types of cars or racing series entirely. Here’s one you’ve probably seen before, of a then-Busch Series rookie taking a big hit. Not many people paid much attention to the driver of an underfunded car then. Now, you can call him six-time.

5. Something a little different

Simply put, there is some cool footage out there for the intrepid race fan to find. No matter what kind of racing or drivers you follow, there is truly something for everyone, from the interesting to the plain absurd. Here’s one of an older, wiser Jimmie Johnson talking Indianapolis Motor Speedway with another driver who knows a thing or two about racing there: four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears. The conversation is worth a listen. Check it out and then see what else is out there. And if you find something great, share it with the rest of us!

About the author

Amy is an 18-year veteran NASCAR writer and a five-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) writing award winner, including first place awards for both columns and race coverage. As well as serving as Photo Editor, Amy writes The Big 6 (Mondays) after every NASCAR Cup Series race. She can also be found filling in from time to time on The Frontstretch 5 (Wednesdays) and her monthly commentary Holding A Pretty Wheel (Thursdays). A New Hampshire native living in North Carolina, Amy’s work credits have extended everywhere from driver Kenny Wallace’s website to Athlon Sports. She can also be heard weekly as a panelist on the Hard Left Turn podcast that can be found on AccessWDUN.com's Around the Track page.

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