Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: Keep it Simple, Stupid

Jeff Gordon, one of just two drivers to capture the sport's Winston Million. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

The other night, I attended an informal dinner party with some close friends. They all know what I do for a living and yet they let me in anyway as long as I show up showered, shaved, and wearing shoes. Almost inevitably, the topic of NASCAR racing came up. (No, I didn’t broach the subject. …

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Beside the Rising Tide: The Wayback Machine

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Nestled away in Southern Virginia, the tiny town of Martinsville is home to about 13,000 souls, though that number swells considerably two weekends a year. The town is just over 100 miles away from Mooresville, N.C. where most of the NASCAR Cup teams are now headquartered. Since 1949, the nation’s best stock car racers have …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Temporary Unreal Permanent Insanity

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

Sunday’s version of NASCAR insanity could drive anyone to drink. But, as it turns out, alcohol is the best way to shed light on one of stock car racing’s largest, lingering problems. Pennsylvania residents and visitors to the Keystone State are forced to pay an 18% tax on liquor by the bottle because of a …

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Beside the Rising Tide: A Hurricane Before I Go Insane

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Pour me something tall and strong, Make it a hurricane before I go insane, There’s only six races left to go, but I don’t care. Rain at a race track. It’s one of the biggest annoyances for race fans and one of the few that can’t be blamed on NASCAR management. The late Ben Blake …

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Beside The Rising Tide: ‘I Git A Round’

(Photo: Dustin Albino)

It’s been a tense three weeks as the first round of NASCAR’s First But Still the Best Ever Playoffs kicked off igniting a nationwide frenzy unlike anything since the Pet Rock. Tempers flared at water coolers around the country as employees loudly defended their picks to advance to the Round of 12 or belittled their …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Kind of a Drag

(Photo: Marc Gewertz/NHRA)

Back in an era when lift kits and bull bars consumed a great deal of any mental exertion I managed daily, our tribal wisdom told me that when you find yourself continuously stuck in a rut, raise your rig up higher and get bigger tires. Nowadays, it’s not as easy to escape the comfortable little …

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Beside the Rising Tide: A Formula for Success?

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Ask the average American what the most popular sort of auto racing is worldwide and most of them will respond it has to be the NASCAR Cup Series. The trick word in the question is “worldwide,” though, and on the global stage, Formula One crushes NASCAR in terms of viewership. Some will already be rolling …

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Beside the Rising Tide: The Butterfly Effect

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

In a NASCAR season full of bizarre incidents and happenstance, the incident at the entrance to pit road on lap 258 Saturday night at Richmond Raceway might have been the most unlikely. Even as race control opened pit road for a crucial series of stops, a wayward ambulance pulled to a stop, almost completely blocking …

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Beside The Rising Tide: With Autumn Closing In

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Ain’t it funny how the night moves? When you just don’t seem to have as much to lose, Ain’t it funny how the night moves? With autumn closing in…. -Bob Seger While it hasn’t quite reached the level of the Memorial Day weekend yet, Labor Day weekend offered race fans a full slate of action …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Darlington 1979

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Could it really have been 38 years already? The memory plays tricks when it comes to time but the lines I see on my face in the mirror say perhaps it really has been that long. Blame it on too many late afternoons squinting into a setting sun aboard the Harley but back in 1979 I …

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