Not much more than a year ago, the state of wellness at Richard Childress Racing (RCR) had become a legitimate concern. The Cup teams were languishing in points and its premier driver, Kevin Harvick, was rumored to be ready to flee the organization. Richard Childress, despite being a six-time owners’ champion, was a man who had seemed to have his best days behind him in as much as being a competitive NASCAR team owner was concerned.
When driver Paul Dana lost his life last weekend during IRL practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway, race fans not only took the time to remember Dana, but also other famous drivers who have lost their lives on the racetrack.
Former NASCAR Champion and television broadcaster, Benny Parsons, passed away today at the age of 65. On July 13, 2006, Parsons was diagnosed with lung cancer, but in October, he announced that the doctors told him it was gone.
“Benny Parsons is not only the person I owe my NASCAR career to but he was a true friend to me from the day we met. I will always appreciate his friendship and what he did for me. Knowing he’s not going to be there to come up and ask me how things are going when I walk into the garage at Daytona is probably the hardest thing to accept.”
This Sunday at Michigan, cars will gather and the field will roar off, 43 of the best drivers in the world putting on a great show at one of the series’ greatest tracks. But that day will also mark a near-tragic anniversary that will be on the minds of several fans who have followed the sport for quite sometime.
During the Busch test at Charlotte on Tuesday, there was a press conference to celebrate a special anniversary. This year is the 30th anniversary of one of the first woman drivers in NASCAR, Janet Guthrie, participating in the World 600 (now the Coca-Cola 600). Guthrie was in attendance, and took a couple of laps around the track to help commemorate the occasion.
Thoughts on the passing of Bobby Hamilton. What will you remember about him the most?
There you go. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said the unpleasant incident wasn’t intentional, and there is no reason to believe otherwise. Anytime a driver with a reputation for racing clean says that he did not make contact intentionally with another car, that driver’s explanation should be taken at face value considering his established history. And make no mistake; Earnhardt Jr. is one of the “clean drivers” in the sport.
Fontana, Calif. – With the possibility of her job on the line, 37-year-old California Speedway president Gillian Zucker is poised to take drastic measures in an effort to sell out the Fontana Speedway as soon as possible. Zucker is the fourth person to hold the title of president at the facility since it started hosting NASCAR Cup events in 1997.
Truth be told, Paul Dana was not a household name in motorsports; at least, not yet. Putting aside his former career as a journalist to pursue his dream, the 30-year-old was preparing for just his first full season on the IRL circuit, quietly landing a deal with one of the best teams in Rahal Letterman Motorsports. He’d be teammates with budding superstar Danica Patrick and Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice, even with a resume of just three previous IRL starts.