NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Beside The Rising Tide: And Now For Something Completely Different

2019 daytona500

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

NASCAR is perhaps unique in mainstream sports in that they schedule their biggest event of the season as the first event on the calendar. As such the connection between success in the season-opening Daytona 500 and the rest of the nine month long grind that makes up the whole rest of the schedule is tenuous …

Read more

Friday Faceoff: Should the Daytona 500 Remain the Season-Opening Race?

2019 Daytona Clash CUP Ryan Blaney Brad Keselowski pack racing NKP

(Photo: NKP)

The Advance Auto Parts Clash has taken some criticism over how difficult it was for drivers to pull out of line and make a pass. How do you see this playing out over the remaining Speedweeks events? Isolated issue or recurring problem? Clayton Caldwell: It’s an issue we’ll see throughout Speedweeks. This package has been …

Read more

NASCAR and the Pumpkin Eaters

2019 Daytona Clash CUP Kevin HArvick car NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Many of us were caught off guard by the recent announcement of NASCAR’s tough new policy towards drivers and teams whose cars are found to be cheated up…or shall we be politically correct and say “legally challenged” after a race victory. For those of you haven’t been following the latest racing news (and admittedly with …

Read more

Does the Daytona 500 Still Matter?

7ba8a503d0718e7ec31e248922c9177e 11

(Photo: Rusty Jarrett/NKP)

Since its inaugural running in 1959, the Daytona 500 has always been circled in red on the annual NASCAR schedule. (Though it’s now the season opener, the 500 didn’t become the first points-paying race of the season until 1982.) From the 1960s onward, the Daytona 500 (the highest-paying race of the season), the Southern 500 …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: A Ruse By Any Other Name

2018 Chicago CUP pack racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. -William Shakespeare Secondary education in the United States certainly has changed since it was the bane of my existence back in the 1970s. While officially, English is still our most-spoken language outside of some 7-Elevens and Dunkin’ Donuts, I’m told that they aren’t making kids …

Read more

Friday Faceoff: Who Is Most Likely To Win It All At Homestead?

Kevin Harvick CA500

(Photo: Christian Koelle)

1. The Championship 4 is set, and it consists of arguably the four best cars over the course of the season. Who do you see claiming the title next week? Wesley Coburn: Kyle Busch wins because, even though Kevin Harvick has the best average finish of the four championship drivers at Homestead-Miami Speedway, either he …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: That Ain’t No Way to Have Fun

2018 Michigan I CUP pack racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

I’ve seen so many things, I ain’t never seen before, Someone turn out the lights, I don’t want to see anymore. –Three Dog Night There are tons of colorful stories about the ultimate showman and circus owner P.T. Barnum, some of them apocryphal. One I’ve heard quite often involves a circus he ran out of …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: Free-Falling Back

2015 fans photo credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

After about 25 years of writing about NASCAR racing, I have my rituals for the night before an event down to a science. Print the starting lineup. Print the points standings. Dig out the sheet that shows what points the various positions pay. Make sure there are adequate cigarettes to get through the day and …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: Rambling, Gambling Man

5be2e3236ccbb3640d4f437e1822e914 11

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

I’ve never been much on gambling. Perhaps that’s because I’ve lived most of my adult life in the suburbs of Philly. Our professional sports teams are notorious for failing to live up to expectations.  Even with success seemingly imminent, those teams will find a way to wrest defeat out of the jaws of victory and …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR Making the Rules Up as They Go… Again

2017 Chicago CUP Kurt Busch helmet BArry Cantrell NKP

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Let me start by saying I cannot summon up my normal degree of rage when I disagree with calls NASCAR has made from this weekend. Anytime a restrictor plate race concludes and I don’t have to start working on a driver obituary or try to gather information on fans injured in the grandstands (like after …

Read more

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from