NASCAR Race Weekend Central

SMI Acquisition of New Hampshire Serves to Benefit Sport, Fans

I’m not an advocate of another 1.5-mile speedway elbowing a date out of a unique 1-mile paperclip, but I know change is just part of growth… and growth can be good. Seriously, whoever thought New Hampshire was the optimal site for a keynote race that should be one of the biggies? The joint is flat, having not taken the much-needed step of installing variable banking; it’s got one, and only one, racing groove which makes it difficult (if not impossible) for the Car of Tomorrow to pass; it has yet to discover that lights, as any 3/8-mile short track in the rural parts of our country will tell you, are a good thing; and lastly, and with no offense to the fine residents of Loudon, N.H. – it’s in Loudon, N.H. That’s OK for race No. 17; not OK for race No. 26.

Passion Fuels Michael Waltrip’s Past, Present & Future

The year was 2002. It was my 27th birthday. My father was receiving the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for community service. Darrell Waltrip was there too, accepting the award for excellence in sports. Each recipient stood and spoke and, while I was very proud of my father and felt him to be more than deserving, it was Darrell’s speech that spoke directly to me. “Find your passion,” he told us that night. Whether that be ballet or racing, teaching or writing, the path to being happy and successful is to zero in on what you do well and follow it.

Ginn Racing’s 5-Year Plan Failing at Protecting Even Its Biggest Assets

Earlier this week in the Frontstretch newsletter, I wrote a brief commentary asking readers to understand the harsh reality of Bobby Ginn’s decision to cut loose the popular veterans Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek into the world of NASCAR free agency. While everyone has their varying opinions about what’s gone down in the last week or so, I felt it was necessary for fans to take a step back and consider the difficult position the rookie car owner was placed in. In essence, I made a move to protect Bobby Ginn, protect a man who I felt was painted into a corner and forced to make some difficult decisions. But 24 hours after my plea to the NASCAR community, everything that most people, including myself, thought was true about Ginn’s “restructuring plan” was proved false… with even members of the team itself still digesting a thought process proven to be nothing more than a bad sequence of broken promises.

Too Early to Worry? Not Necessarily

I love studying the points standings at the beginning of the NASCAR season. The first five or six races are intriguing in that unheralded drivers often float to the top of the rankings by running steady, not necessarily great, and avoiding early pitfalls that can start a team in the hole, if not derail their …

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NASCAR, Start Your Engines Already!

At 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, it’ll all be behind us. Manifolds, illegal substances, aerodynamic enhancements, failed shock mounts; the fines, suspensions and point-dockings. Then, once we get past FOX’s frenzied, frivolous and flighty pre-race show, one that will once again highlight all the craziness of this past week, the main event will finally, finally take …

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Jeff Burton Once Again a Victim of Corporate Insanity

Jeff Burton, veteran driver for Richard Childress Racing, may be feeling a little singled out by corporate America as it becomes more and more likely that he will lose his primary sponsorship from Cingular Wireless through no fault of his or his team. The latest saga in Burton’s sponsorship woes centers on AT&T’s recent acquisition …

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Dedicated Safety Teams: The NASCAR Debate Continues

For a good five years now, the debate has gone on about NASCAR safety and medical workers. With wrecks and mechanical failures forever ingrained in the culture of the sport, having a solid medical staff in place is necessary to ensure the safety of all competitors. But, what type of medical crew would best serve …

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