NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Happiness Is… Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Finales

2015 CWTS Texas Erik Jones Burnout Beth Lunkenheimer

(Photo Credit: Beth Lunkenheimer, Frontstretch)

This weekend is the culmination of what sometimes feels like the endless NASCAR season. The Truck, Xfinity and Cup series all take their championship titles to Homestead undecided. The Truck and Xfinity series have done it the traditional way, with a season-long championship, and ones that have the second-place driver only about half a race …

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Happiness Is… Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Phoenix

2015 Darlington CUP Kyle Busch Clint Bowyer CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

We’re getting to the end of another long season in NASCAR, and it seems that one of the key ingredients is the question of rules and regulations. This ongoing mix of how the sport is policed continues to bring about elements of confusion – for fans, drivers and teams. The adjudication of driver penalties is …

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Happiness Is… Martinsville, Wonderboy & the Left Coast

hamilton china gp

(Photo: Getty Images)

This week in NASCAR has been a non-stop focus on the Matt Kenseth–Joey Logano happenings. What happened at Martinsville could be considered a fascinating case study in both driver etiquette and NASCAR management.   Let’s start with one of the big aspects of this whole brouhaha: the driver’s code. Apparently there is one, which means …

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Happiness Is… Paperclip, Scheduling, Surprises

2015 Martinsville I CUP Sam Hornish Jr car II credit Amy Henderson

(Photo Credit: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch)

The Chase has been a flawed concept from the get go. That’s not to say that some kind of encouraged late-season drama isn’t welcomed. (Whether it was really needed is still a point for debate.) Any sort of postseason that still has the regular season participants is at best a curious one and at worst …

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Happiness Is… Racing, America, and Business

KS NSCS Logano Kenseth 101815

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

It’s time to do the Talladega Tango once again. You know, that dance when a driver hangs around with a bunch of friends and then gets shuffled out of the order only to end up staring at everyone’s backsides. Or maybe it’s the dance when a driver tries to get close to someone they like …

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Happiness Is… New 2016 NASCAR Rules Package

The NASCAR Sprint Cup field races during the 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway

(Photo Credit: Yvonne Leonard, Frontstretch)

Editor’s Note: P. Huston Ladner is off this week. In his place steps our king of sarcastic wit, Matt McLaughlin, who puts a positive spin on some NASCAR news as of late. Happiness Is… A New 2016 NASCAR Rules Package: Looking across the desolate landscape of modern day stock car racing through the thick black …

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Happiness Is… R.A.S, Regulars, and Sochi

2015 Cup Dover Pack Racing CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Another week, another sense that the sky is falling on NASCAR. The stands this past weekend showed a less than stellar crowd in attendance. Whether that can be credited to the threat of rain and overall gloomy weather, the popularity of football, or the fact that Dover is not what it once was, it doesn’t …

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Happiness Is… Sayonara, Hurricane Joaquin, and Money

2015 Chicago CUP Tony Stewart helmet II CIA

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

The changing of the calendar comes across as an appropriate thematic concept for what is currently happening in NASCAR. With October letting its presence be known again, it marks the beginning of the sunset of the season as just eight races remain on the Cup schedule. So for all of our collective griping, enjoyment, haranguing, …

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Happiness Is… Handling, Wussiness, and NASCAR’s B-Series

2015 Chicago CUP Matt Kenseth racing CIA

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Anyone else underwhelmed by the first round of the Chase, er, playoffs?   The race drew just a 1.8 rating, which means somewhere in the neighborhood of three million fans tuning in to enjoy the action. On a positive note, that number also put the race as the most-watched sporting event that wasn’t football (Reminder …

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Happiness Is… Records, Chicagoland, and Smog

2015 Richmond II CUP grandstand CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Out like a lamb and in like a lamb. That description feels apt for the end of the Cup Series’ regular season and the beginning of its Chase – or is it playoffs? In many ways, there is nothing surprising about the regular season wheezing out as few can remember anything significant happening in that …

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