NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR’s Crap Sandwich

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Way back when, in an era when the Earth was still cooling and the war in Vietnam was still heating up, there was a less than charming saying that went, “Life is like a crap sandwich. The more bread you have, the less crap you have to eat.” Of course, the word “crap” was typically …

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Beside the Rising Tide: If You Build It…

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

“If you build it, they will come.” Such was the tag line to Field of Dreams, a much-awarded movie that was a hit back in the late ’80s. Coincidentally, that was the beginning of NASCAR’s soaring popularity as well. And the mindset at NASCAR corporate headquarters and in the boardrooms of other corporations or networks looking …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Practice Makes Perfect

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Few of you need me to remind you that all of us are living in extraordinary times right now. By “extraordinary,” I don’t mean to imply this is a great time to be alive, though being alive right now still beats the alternative. Man, it’s summertime, AKA, “the sweet, sweet, summertime, summertime” of Bob Seger’s …

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Beside the Rising Tide: For NASCAR All-Star Race, 2 Out of 3 Ain’t Bad

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

As our long-time friend Michael Lee Aday (aka Meatloaf) used to tell us in one of his operatic, overly bombastic, teenage testosterone-fueled hits, two out of three ain’t bad. NASCAR’s annual All-Star event has fallen out of favor with most of the race fans I communicate with regularly. If the All-Star Race was to continue on …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Ball of Confusion

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In many ways more consequential than the sport of auto racing, the world is currently a bit topsy-turvy. Yes, meteorologically speaking we have reached summer, but the living is far from easy. The COVID-19 virus has everyone on edge. One school of thought has it that the virus will magically disappear one day soon. Another …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Twin Sons of Different Mothers

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

For better or worse, the first NASCAR doubleheader Cup weekend races are now in the rearview mirror, presumably closer than they might appear. Given the novelty of the idea of hosting two Cup races at the same track in a single weekend, it seemed that NASCAR and their network “partners” went out of their way …

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Beside The Rising Tide: Daytona Lowering? NASCAR Superspeedway Rule Changes Ignore Larger Problem

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(Photo: Christian Koelle)

At least partially due to the severity of Ryan Newman’s last-lap wreck in this year’s Daytona 500, NASCAR made several tweaks to the rules package run at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. I’m an old guy. I still call Talladega and Daytona International Speedway the plate tracks. And over the years, I’ve developed a decidedly poor …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Only On a Need to Know Basis

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

There are some statistics and numbers NASCAR types prefer to keep to themselves. Starting in 2014, NASCAR information services stopped giving out attendance figures for the races. Suspiciously, those numbers had been declining at an alarming rate in the seasons leading up to the decision to withhold the information. The attendance numbers that used to …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2020 Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Editors Note: What in blazes am I doing here? Yeah, Matt, what’s up? You write on Tuesdays, having given this column up years ago. Yep. You recall correctly. Bryan Keith, who took over this column when Mike Neff stopped doing it, has been doing a fine job with the race recaps under whatever title he’s …

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Beside the Rising Tide: 3rd-Rate Rendezvous

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(Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

Well campers, what should we talk about this week? I mean there’s nothing going in our insular little racing world across these vast United States of America, is there? Well quite obviously there is, of course, as all of us find a way to cope with an ongoing pandemic that has made a quick trip to …

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