Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: Headed Out to Pasture 

Photo: Danny Peters

It would seem the generation(s) that came after mine haven’t embraced the automobile with the rabid obsession of me and my contemporaries. I have several nieces and nephews who, though in their mid-to late 20s, still don’t have a car … or a driver’s license for that matter. I got my learner’s permit the day …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Curious and Curiouser 

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

NASCAR’s Gander Outdoor Truck Series often provides the best racing of any given weekend’s slate. But if you go by the ratings and attendance at the truck events, the series seems to be teetering on the precipice of obscurity few envisioned when the series made its bombastic debut back in 1995. After all, the three …

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Besides The Rising Tide: The 1973 Daytona 500 – A Father’s Day Tribute

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Editor’s Note: This article was originally run on the Father’s Day weekend of 1996, and Matt runs it again every year at this time in memory of his Dad. A belated Happy Father’s Day to one and all … The 1973 Daytona 500 probably doesn’t top most fans’ lists as the greatest running of the …

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Beside the Rising Tide: A Long Time Coming (Back)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Last week, someone (Bill B) asked in the comments section below my column if that particular column about Pocono had run a week late. Uh, no Bill, that one was fresh off the grille. (And yes, the crash at Pocono that ended Bobby Allison’s career was in 1988, not ’89 as I stated. My apologies.) …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Pocono, NASCAR’s Problem Child Speedway

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Say what you will about Pocono Raceway and the “unique” challenges it offers both racers and meteorologists, but I’ve never heard it called a “cookie cutter” layout like all those 1.5-mile tri-ovals modeled after Charlotte that now dominate the Cup schedule the way dandelions take over a spring time lawn. I’ve been following this sport …

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Beside the Rising Tide: A Smorgasbord of Racing and the Reasons We Remember

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Editor’s Note: Yes, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is one of the highlights on my schedule annually. Even the most gluttonous race fan can batten down on three major races, all shown practically back-to-back-to-back in one day. But amidst all the noise, speed, drama and danger the racing serves up, it behooves us to …

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Beside the Rising Tide: 1313 Turkey Court

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Editor’s Note: Matt McLaughlin’s off this week. Enjoy one of his classic columns with NASCAR racing at the track he speaks of, Pocono Raceway, just a week-and-a-half away. While I enjoy stock car racing at Pocono, race weekends at the track are also tinged with a bit of melancholy. For more years than I care …

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Beside The Rising Tide: Curses, Foiled Again

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

While it was a short week in the NASCAR world with Dover moved to Monday and Kansas run on Saturday night, there was a lot of chatter among the ranks of fans. Unfortunately, little of it had to do with racing, and a lot of what was eventually said about racing wasn’t very positive. I’m …

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Beside the Rising Tide: The Real Dover Monsters

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Over the weeks and months, stories worthy of comment pass over my desk, and many if not most of them are not significant enough to warrant a column of their own. Thus, occasionally, I feel the need to do a little light housekeeping and gather all these Post-It notes I’ve scrawled into a bundle and …

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Beside The Rising Tide: Hey Kids, Let’s Put On a Show

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

NASCAR has now been staging large professional level automobile races for over seven decades. Still some weekends a careful observer can’t help but feel the sanctioning body is just winging it while hoping for the best. Coming into this weekend, there was much discussion that for the first time since 1988 the Cup cars at …

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