Race Weekend Central

Beside The Rising Tide: Solving NASCAR’s Problem … Simple as 1, 2, 3

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Okay, perhaps that’s a bit bold. But starting to solve NASCAR’s problems could indeed be as simple as 1,2,3. Problem solving 101 teaches us the first step to solving a problem starts with admitting there is in fact a problem. While our dear buddy Brian France is well….um, away, dealing with his “problems” (congenital idiocy …

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Beside The Rising Tide: And Now For Something Completely Different

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

NASCAR is perhaps unique in mainstream sports in that they schedule their biggest event of the season as the first event on the calendar. As such the connection between success in the season-opening Daytona 500 and the rest of the nine month long grind that makes up the whole rest of the schedule is tenuous …

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NASCAR and the Pumpkin Eaters

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Many of us were caught off guard by the recent announcement of NASCAR’s tough new policy towards drivers and teams whose cars are found to be cheated up…or shall we be politically correct and say “legally challenged” after a race victory. For those of you haven’t been following the latest racing news (and admittedly with …

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Does the Daytona 500 Still Matter?

(Photo: Rusty Jarrett/NKP)

Since its inaugural running in 1959, the Daytona 500 has always been circled in red on the annual NASCAR schedule. (Though it’s now the season opener, the 500 didn’t become the first points-paying race of the season until 1982.) From the 1960s onward, the Daytona 500 (the highest-paying race of the season), the Southern 500 …

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Beside the Rising Tide: A Ruse By Any Other Name

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. -William Shakespeare Secondary education in the United States certainly has changed since it was the bane of my existence back in the 1970s. While officially, English is still our most-spoken language outside of some 7-Elevens and Dunkin’ Donuts, I’m told that they aren’t making kids …

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Beside the Rising Tide: That Ain’t No Way to Have Fun

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

I’ve seen so many things, I ain’t never seen before, Someone turn out the lights, I don’t want to see anymore. –Three Dog Night There are tons of colorful stories about the ultimate showman and circus owner P.T. Barnum, some of them apocryphal. One I’ve heard quite often involves a circus he ran out of …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Free-Falling Back

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

After about 25 years of writing about NASCAR racing, I have my rituals for the night before an event down to a science. Print the starting lineup. Print the points standings. Dig out the sheet that shows what points the various positions pay. Make sure there are adequate cigarettes to get through the day and …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Rambling, Gambling Man

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

I’ve never been much on gambling. Perhaps that’s because I’ve lived most of my adult life in the suburbs of Philly. Our professional sports teams are notorious for failing to live up to expectations.  Even with success seemingly imminent, those teams will find a way to wrest defeat out of the jaws of victory and …

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Beside The Rising Tide: And Then, There Were Four NASCAR Races Left

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

A couple weeks ago one blustery and cool evening, I went to put some laundry into the back of my Jeep. A gust of wind slammed shut the Cherokee’s door, trapping my right thumb and index finger between the door frame and the whole rest of the truck. To make things that much more special, …

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Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR Making the Rules Up as They Go… Again

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Let me start by saying I cannot summon up my normal degree of rage when I disagree with calls NASCAR has made from this weekend. Anytime a restrictor plate race concludes and I don’t have to start working on a driver obituary or try to gather information on fans injured in the grandstands (like after …

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