Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: All-Stars, Super Stars and Fast Loud Cars

2021 SRX Stafford Podium L-R Greg Biffle, Doug Coby, Tony Stewart (Credit: Tom Morris Racing Photography)

(Photo: Tom Morris Racing Photography)

On a weekend literally jam-packed with auto racing and classic car auction-related programming, a newcomer tried muscling its way up to the Formica McBar and grabbing some attention, or at least a free drink. Open-wheel racing had a scheduled doubleheader at Belle Isle as well as companion sports car racing. NHRA was hosting an event …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Random Summer Notes

NASCAR Cup Series cars at Sonoma Raceway, June 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Ah, yes. It’s that time of year again. Or in this case, I guess I should say it’s that time in an 18-year cycle again. Here in the Western Suburbs of Philadelphia, the 18-year hatch of the cicadas took place Saturday morning around Dawn O’clock. For small bugs, these things are incredibly noisy especially given …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Something Old, Something New

NASCAR race cars under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the 2021 Coca-Cola 600. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

There still may be some debate (somewhat more muted than in days past) whether the Indy 500 or the Daytona 500 is a bigger deal, but there’s no debating that Memorial Day weekend brings us the greatest weekend of auto racing here in the Americas. The day kicks off in Indianapolis with the traditional Indy …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Drive to Survive

(Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202105090592 // Usage for editorial use only //

Pity the poor internal combustion engine. Once upon a time, it was seen as a loyal servant of middle-class America. Starting in the early 20th century, it was a marvel of American manufacturing and ingenuity. Prior to the development of the Model T by Henry Ford, if your siblings or other family members moved 25 …

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Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR’s Green-White-Wreckers Finishes

Brad Keselowski leads the field at Kansas Speedway, May 2021. Photo: Getty Images via NASCAR

(Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

It could simply be a coincidence, but it’s been happening routinely enough lately that what starts as a coincidence becomes a trend. Most fans found the conclusion of the Kansas race a couple weeks ago less than compelling. It was the errant tire that found itself marooned on the grassy area between the track and …

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Beside the Rising Tide: All Stars Over Texas

Participants in the 2017 NASCAR All-Star race. Photo: NKP

(Photo: John K. Harrelson / NKP)

When considering a new concept for an event, it’s generally agreed that the simpler the concept is, the more likely it will be to succeed. The fewer words that have to be used to explain what’s intended to take place, the easier potential fans can grasp and embrace it. In case you haven’t gotten the …

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Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR Random Notes, Late April 2021

Chase Elliott leads a pack of NASCAR race cars at Daytona International Speedway, February 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

If the lingering pandemic has done nothing else, it certainly has increased the amount of spare time I have on my hands Fridays and Saturdays. I’ve been at this NASCAR writing gig now for going on three decades, and it’s my strong preference to develop an outline for my Tuesday column by Saturday morning, start …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Outlining a Potential NASCAR 2022 Schedule

Denny Hamlin leads the NASCAR Cup Series pack at 2021 Martinsville Speedway spring race, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

FOX has been touting the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season to date as the “best ever.” Sorry, I’d give that honor to 1992 and wouldn’t even provide 2021 to date a spot on my top-10 list of modern-era Cup seasons. As far as the year itself, it’s shaping up to be another Annus Horriblus in …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Are Short Tracks Making a NASCAR Comeback?

Martinsville Speedway as seen from atop the grandstands. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

After a couple decades of having become almost an asterisk or footnote in NASCAR news (and sadly many of them falling by the wayside), it seems NASCAR’s short tracks are muscling their way back into the spotlight. To avoid any confusion, let’s look at what the traditional definition of a short track is. Any race …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Into the Great Wide Open

ARCA cars race in a blur at Bristol Motor Speedway

(Photo: ARCA Racing)

Into the Great Wide Open – Into the great wide open Under them skies of blue Into the great wide open A rebel without a clue … – -Tom Petty- Well, here goes nothing. Hold my beer. Hey ya’ll, watch this. Depending on how closely you still follow the sport of stock car racing such …

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