NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Favorite Racing Moments

1. The finish in the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 is an easy pick for my favorite race, but not for the reasons most would think. The racing on track between Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch is etched into the mind of any race fan who witnessed it, but it’s what happened after the checkered flags had flown that I focused on it.

So many times lately, we have all been treated to a lot of incredible moments in racing. I would venture to say, some of those incredible moments aren’t good ones that fans can feel very proud of. Fights, name calling, dirty driving, yes, they are part of the sport. Just once though, I would like to see the sportsmanship and love of racing shine through the way it did when Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch were interviewed after that epic race.

Here’s that exciting finish, and my favorite moment ever. -John Douglas, Contributor

2. Back in 1913, Mack Sennett was looking for unique content for the silent short films he was making at his Keystone Studios. One choice was the relatively-new sport of automobile racing, so Sennett took a camera crew to Corona, Calif. where a 250-mile event was being run on the road course that surrounded the city. In order to make the race relevant to audiences, Sennett added a melodramatic romantic storyline involving the innocent Mabel Normand and her two daring suitors: Stutz driver Earl Cooper, the “good guy” and “Terrible” Teddy Tetzlaff, known for his “checkers or wreckers” approach to racing.

Adding to the mayhem was Mabel’s father, played by Ford Sterling, who wanted his daughter to marry the honorable Cooper. The film features screwball comedy and really awkward acting by the racers, but, to its credit, offers authentic footage of the actual race, complete with a pit stop for new tires. It also included a cameo by Barney Oldfield, who was, at the time, the most famous race car driver in the nation. For my choice, I present The Speed Kings (1913, Keystone Picture Company). –Mark Howell, Senior Writer

3. I’m not sure if this is truly appropriate but the drunk ESPN Brad Keselowski interview with his giant glass of Miller Lite when he won the championship was a pretty good moment. –Danny Peters, Senior Writer

4. I’d say the general consensus among long time Cup fans would be (in no particular order)

1) Earnhardt Sr. winning his first and only Daytona 500

2) Richard Petty wins his 200th victory on the Fourth of July with the POTUS in attendance.

3) Bill Elliott wins the Winston Million in the ’85 Southern 500

4) The finish of the 1976 Daytona 500

Number five is up for grabs. Considering a lot of fans/readers hadn’t been born for any of the above, maybe toss in Jeff Gordon winning (presumably) his last race under a setting autumn sun last year at Martinsville the day after Halloween. Seems like something else rather notable occurred during that race as well involving Matt and Joey too but… –Matt McLaughlin, Senior Writer

5. My favorite racing moment ever is when Bobby Allison won the Daytona 500 and his son Davey finished second, and they celebrated together. –Toni Montgomery, NHRA Editor

 

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rg72

The finish of the 2003 Darlington spring race embodied what was right then.
There was no fake debris caution and ensuing double-file G/W/C restart. The race ran to its natural conclusion with a 52 lap race-ending green flag run, about 51 laps too long for the tires on the old Darlington surface.
Neither Craven nor Busch made a “miraculous” comeback from laps down because they caught free passes and wave arounds. In fact, there were only ten drivers on the lead lap at the finish.
Lastly, no mention of Craven punching his ticket to the Chase that day.

capt spaulding

So what you are saying, NASCAR used to have real racing before they hired script writers…..amazing. As a 30 year fan I totally agree with you, as I also have seen some stinkers, but when you watched a race as you mentioned, one could only savor the excitement and tension to the finish, and in this case I didn’t care for either driver, but enjoyed the race.

Bill B

Good points. I agree with you as well. Having a high number of cars on the lead lap means nothing with respect to how good a race is.

Bill B

It’s hard to argue with drunk Keselowski. It worked on so many levels.

As soon as I saw that on the list I started cracking up. Thinking about it makes me smile.

DoninAjax

I’d put in the 1980 Southern 500 I was at. Anybody who could predict the winner during the last few laps.should have bought a lottery ticket. There’s the Southern 500 again.

DoninAjax
Mike

A real race at a real race track with real race cars driven by real men. Those were the days…

DoninAjax

It’s a concept Brian will not comprehend. The days BB (Before Brian).

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