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Beside the Rising Tide: A Few for the Road

Martin Truex Jr. spins on the Daytona road course February 2021 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Last week, we discussed the curious phenomenon of suddenly disappearing swaths of NASCAR fans. NASCAR is apparently aware of and somewhat alarmed by this trend. A tiny little virus with a kick like a mule is making this a difficult time to maintain the status quo, much less overhaul the way a business entity goes …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Hey, Where Did Everybody Go?

Cars speed past the grandstand in the 2021 Daytona 500 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

There’s an element of grim curiosity to it over the last few years, but I still search out the TV ratings for each week’s Cup race. Those rating numbers have been trending down over the last few years, and in fact, last few decades. To borrow a line from the inestimable Donald Fagen, “The time …

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Beside the Rising Tide: The Raw Emotions of Dale Earnhardt’s Death 20 Years Later

Dale Earnhardt 2

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Time flies. Tempus fugit. So my well-intended, if not nearly constantly intoxicated freshman Latin teacher taught me back when I attended a prep-school on Philadelphia’s well-heeled Main Line. Well, time didn’t seem to fly when you’re sitting slack-jawed with glazed over eyes wondering what sort of vengeful God was punishing you for your sins by …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Has The Busch Clash Outlived Its Use?

The Busch Clash at Daytona 2017 Photo: Nigel Kiinrade/Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Perhaps it’s related to the Chaos Theory, but left to their own devices, once simple ideas tend to become bloated, overly-complicated and less fun than they were in their original permutations. To cite one notable example, the Ford Mustang took the automobile world by storm in April of 1964. The svelte new car (which could …

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Beside the Rising Tide: The Best of Everything

2020 Phoenix NCS Jimmie Johnson Post Race NKP

#48: Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally

Welcome loyal readers to the last regularly scheduled 2020 function for Club 61; to whit, my last weekly column for 2020. In honor of the momentousness of the occasion, I have decided not to submit this week’s effort in crayon. Club 61 isn’t a place. It’s a statistical anomaly that a bunch of my longest …

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Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR’s Famous Final Scene – 2020 Edition

2020 Charlotte Road Cup Denny Hamlin Kevin HArvick racing NKP

To quote Charles Dickens; “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the …

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Beside the Rising Tide: The Home Stretch

IMG 1365 SPR19 JWA scaled

(Photo: Jay Alley)

I’ve been alive 61 years now and writing about stock car racing for the last 25 of them. I don’t know why I still get surprised late every autumn when the same changes occur. The days get shorter and the nights get colder. The passing of days and weeks and now hours turns the trees …

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Beside the Rising Tide: An Open Letter to Michael Jordan

IMG 5786

Photo: Danny Peters

Dear Mr. Michael Jordan, Firstly, welcome to the sport of NASCAR racing as a team owner. I am genuinely thrilled to have a person of your stature and instant name recognition decide to throw your lot in with us. I understand you’ve been a fan of stock car racing since your childhood. I never knew …

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Beside the Rising Tide: The 70% Solution

2020IndianapolisNCSKevinHarvickEmptySeatsNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Last week, in a rare two-part column, we looked at the changes to the Cup schedule that lie ahead in 2021. Arguably the most notable “readjustments” to that schedule were the tracks at Kentucky and Chicagoland losing their sole Cup dates.  While snagging a Cup date (which was notoriously difficult to do) once was all …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Your Regularly Scheduled Program, Part II

Daytona August 2020

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Yesterday (March 5), I hit on the major changes that were made to the schedule for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule and detailed the first part of the season. Today, we complete that journey and break down the rest of the changes being made. All told, there are six road course events on the …

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