NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Waid’s World: In The Past Junior Johnson Dominance on Short Tracks – Even Bristol – Was Routine

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Graphic: Jared Haas

During the decade of the 1970s, NASCAR was a much smaller, less complicated regional sport confined, mostly, to its birthplace south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Stock car racing certainly did not have the coast-to-coast recognition it has today. Fans were far fewer in number, although intensely loyal, and media presence was sparse. Prior to the …

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Waid’s World: How Near-Revolution at Darlington Spurned Reform – And Lifelong Friendship

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Graphic: Jared Haas

If you will allow, I would like to tell you the story of how a friendship began at Darlington Raceway during one of the most controversial and tense periods in NASCAR’s history. In what has become a part of NASCAR lore, the 1976 Winston Cup season was marked by revolution. It was so intense that …

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Waid’s World: Richard Petty’s Decision Sparks ‘Southern Invasion’ of Michigan

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Graphic: Jared Haas

Something monumental happened during the 1978 NASCAR Cup Series season. In fact, it was so monumental it shook the entire racing world. It was on a scale of, say, the New York Yankees trading Mickey Mantle at the pinnacle of his career. Richard Petty, who, with his family-owned Petty Enterprises, had been a famous standard-bearer …

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Waid’s World: 1986 – A NASCAR Name Change, The Glen Comes Back & the Rise of Tim Richmond

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Graphic: Jared Haas

The first NASCAR Cup race at Watkins Glen International was held on Aug. 10, 1986, and remains a significant event because, for stock cars, it marked a return to the venerated road course that was once the home of Formula One’s United States Grand Prix. NASCAR had held three races at The Glen many years …

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Waid’s World: NASCAR Needs the Driver Who Wears the Black Hat 

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Graphic: Jared Haas

A few years ago I interviewed former NASCAR Cup driver Ricky Craven. One of the questions I asked him was what he thought a very important element would be in sharpening fan interest in competition. I thought he might go through a litany of NASCAR rules and policies that should be improved or dropped altogether. …

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Waid’s World: A Bit of Atlanta History – From Changes to Confusion Over a Race Winner

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Graphic: Jared Haas

Every track on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule has its own unique history. But I daresay none has one more convoluted than Atlanta Motor Speedway. Born in 1960 and located in Hampton, Ga., (which, given the traffic, is a good hour away from Atlanta), the 1.5-mile speedway has gone through so many changes over the …

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Waid’s World: Larson Has Triumphantly Risen From What Could Have Been Career End

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Graphic: Jared Haas

Kyle Larson has become something of a phenomenon. But then, you probably already knew that. Unquestionably, he’s the hottest driver in NASCAR Cup racing this season. He just won his third consecutive race of the year at Nashville – on the heels of victories at Charlotte and Sonoma – and has compiled four wins in …

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Waid’s World: Surprise, Unheralded Winner Is Just 1 Part of All-Star Race Lore

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Graphic: Jared Haas

The NASCAR Cup Series’ All-Star Race scheduled for Texas Motor Speedway this weekend is an exhibition event that is designed to produce a combination of excitement and mayhem. To that end, it has undergone many format and rule changes to make it more challenging for the drivers and teams and more interesting for the fans. …

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Waid’s World: Charlotte Motor Speedway Is Product of a Visionary & ‘The P.T. Barnum of Racing’

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Graphic: Jared Haas

Early in my motorsports career, I used to confuse Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Howard A. “Humpy” Wheeler with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Cale Yarborough. Sounds ridiculous, I know. But consider this: They were about the same height, had similar stocky builds and sandy blonde hair. At a function where both wore suits and ties, I …

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