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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: All Stars Over Texas

Participants in the 2017 NASCAR All-Star race. Photo: NKP

(Photo: John K. Harrelson / NKP)

When considering a new concept for an event, it’s generally agreed that the simpler the concept is, the more likely it will be to succeed. The fewer words that have to be used to explain what’s intended to take place, the easier potential fans can grasp and embrace it. In case you haven’t gotten the …

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Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR Random Notes, Late April 2021

Chase Elliott leads a pack of NASCAR race cars at Daytona International Speedway, February 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

If the lingering pandemic has done nothing else, it certainly has increased the amount of spare time I have on my hands Fridays and Saturdays. I’ve been at this NASCAR writing gig now for going on three decades, and it’s my strong preference to develop an outline for my Tuesday column by Saturday morning, start …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Outlining a Potential NASCAR 2022 Schedule

2021 Martinsville I Cup pack racing NKP

#11: Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Office, #12: Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Menards/Pennzoil

FOX has been touting the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season to date as the “best ever.” Sorry, I’d give that honor to 1992 and wouldn’t even provide 2021 to date a spot on my top-10 list of modern-era Cup seasons. As far as the year itself, it’s shaping up to be another Annus Horriblus in …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Are Short Tracks Making a NASCAR Comeback?

Martinsville Speedway as seen from atop the grandstands. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

After a couple decades of having become almost an asterisk or footnote in NASCAR news (and sadly many of them falling by the wayside), it seems NASCAR’s short tracks are muscling their way back into the spotlight. To avoid any confusion, let’s look at what the traditional definition of a short track is. Any race …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Into the Great Wide Open

ARCA cars race in a blur at Bristol Motor Speedway

(Photo: ARCA Racing)

Into the Great Wide Open – Into the great wide open Under them skies of blue Into the great wide open A rebel without a clue … – -Tom Petty- Well, here goes nothing. Hold my beer. Hey ya’ll, watch this. Depending on how closely you still follow the sport of stock car racing such …

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Beside the Rising Tide: There’s Nothing Normal About NASCAR’s New Normal

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads a pack of cars in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

With little fanfare, a good deal of resentment and some limited debate on both sides of the issue, an important anniversary passed by this weekend. On March 8, 2020, NASCAR hosted a Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway. You may recall Joey Logano won that event0, his second victory in the first four races of …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Objects In the Rearview Mirror

2021 Petty Earnhardt Diecasts Brandon Reed

(Photo: Brandon Reed)

The First Law of Stuff states unequivocally that the amount of stuff you have will always be greater than the amount of room you have to store your stuff. (Expressed mathematically, St>Space-SF³.) While I downsized a few years ago, there’s no denying the laws of space. If you’ve achieved stasis, it’s only for a brief …

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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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