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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Why Fans Are Fans & the Error of NASCAR’s Ways

2014 Texas II NNS fans CIA

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Why do fans become fans? That’s an important question and one that’s important to ask. Why do people follow NASCAR (or any form of motorsports) and why do they stick around for the long haul? NASCAR (and if you check out this week’s Open-Wheel Wednesday and Nitro Shots, you’ll see they’re not alone in this) …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson Looking for Redemption

2015 Phoenix I CUP Jimmie Johnson helmet credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: Getty Images)

A year ago, they were reigning champion and runner up, coming off a 2013 season where they had a combined 13 wins. Both drivers were heavily favored to vie for the title again in 2014, even with a format that perhaps favored short-term success over long-term excellence. What nobody expected was the wheels to fall …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Front Row Motorsports On Path to Improvement

2015 Martinsville I CUP David Gilliland car credit Amy Henderson

(Photo: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch)

There’s a different world on the backside of the Sprint Cup garage. That’s where the sport’s smaller teams usually reside. Teams are assigned to the garage based on points, so while one side — the side where the big, powerful teams are parked — is often a circus of fans and media on top of …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: NASCAR Rules

2015 Fontana CUP Kurt Busch pit stop credit NASCAR via Getty Images

Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

There are a lot of very descriptive words that get bandied about in NASCAR. Some of them aren’t even fit to print. But it seems that one word has come to the forefront in recent weeks, and it’s only mildly dirty: rules. Actually, if you’re following them, it’s not so much a dirty word as …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Getting On Track(s)

2015 Fontana CUP Jamie McMurray car credit NASCAR via Getty Images

Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

Five weeks into the 2015 NASCAR season, the racing has been… well, just OK. There’s action deep in the pack, if the broadcast cares to show it, and there have been some good battles. But for the most part, fans have expressed disappointment in the product on the track. There’s talk surrounding the new rules …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: 1 Shining Moment

2015 Phoenix I CUP Tony Stewart Greg Biffle racing credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

The Game 7 moment. That one perfect, shining, elusive minute of perfection. It’s got excitement, it’s got hope, it’s got everyone on the edge of their seats. It’s what NASCAR has tried to create with the Chase, the restart rules, the green-white-checkered finishes, the well-timed debris cautions. But it’s hard to capture and impossible to …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Brian Vickers is 2015’s Comeback Kid

2015 Las Vegas CUP Brian Vickers credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

With the news of the week surrounding Kurt Busch‘s return to the racetrack following a suspension for a suspected domestic incident, the racing community is divided on how to feel. Some feel he got off too easily considering the nature of the allegations against him. Others feel he never should have had to serve a …

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Kurt Busch: The Consequences of Acting Too Soon

2014 Loudon II CUP Kurt Busch helmet CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Two weeks after a Delaware judge issued a restraining order against Kurt Busch following allegations of domestic abuse towards his former girlfriend, prosecutors in that jurisdiction handed down what was ultimately the final criminal ruling. Citing insufficient evidence, prosecutors declined to file any criminal charges against Busch, effectively ending any chance of a conviction. In other …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Now Is No Time for Complacency

2014 Chicago CUP pack racing CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2014)

Look around at any race track and you’ll see it: a number of innovations in the area of racing safety. From SAFER barriers ringing the track to the design of the racecars themselves, the sport has seen huge strides in safety in the last 15 years. The purpose? Simple, yet important: keep drivers from getting …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: The Triumph & Pain of the Budweiser Duels

Duels racing 2

(Photo: CIA Stock Photography)

There’s always tension surrounding the qualifying races for the Daytona 500 – after all, at stake is inclusion in the season’s biggest and first event. Under the current rules, few teams are 100 percent safe, and for some of the smaller teams hoping to make the show, it’s downright nerve-wracking. At the end of the …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Richard Petty Motorsports, Wood Brothers Racing Exemplify NASCAR’s Growing Middle Class

2014 Daytona II CUP Trevor Bayne car CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

In recent years, NASCAR’s Sprint Cup environment has been one of haves and have-nots. The elite teams, like Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and Roush Fenway Racing dominated the landscape with a smattering of underfunded one- and two-car teams struggling to survive in a cutthroat environment. The big …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Stewart-Haas Racing Has Obstacles to Overcome In Repeat Title Bid

2014 Richmond II CUP Tony Stewart CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

It’s hard to argue the success of a race team which includes the reigning Sprint Cup champion. Indeed, Stewart-Haas Racing has a pair of titles in the last four seasons, with team co-owner Tony Stewart hoisting the Cup in 2011 and Kevin Harvick adding to the hardware in 2014. Harvick, who won five times en route …

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