NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: If They Ain’t Cheering They Better Be Booing

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Hey Boy Blue, can’t you hear all the noise? It’s for you, all the town’s waiting there. – Jeff Lynne It seems like ancient history now, but last week at Charlotte, Chase Elliott finally broke through with his first Cup win of 2020, shortly after edging out Kyle Busch for the Truck Series win at the same …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Disqualified, The 6-Ton Elephant in the Room and Other Observations 

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Photo: Danny Peters

Early in my career Ben Blake, one of the great all-time writers in NASCAR history, taught me that the only thing worse than rain at a racetrack is rain at a racetrack with lights. I’d later add my own corollary that the only thing worse than rain at a racetrack with lights is rain at …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Matt McLaughlin Thinks Out Loud After Darlington 2020, Round 1


(Photo: Getty Images/NASCAR Media)

In a Nutshell: For years I wrote on a Sunday night deadline (that sometimes stretched to the point my alarm clock was going off while I was still trying to clean up the punctuation) for at least a half-dozen websites in various forms and under various titles. At Frontstretch, that column continues on in an updated …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby

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(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Back in the late 1960s Marvin Gaye, backed by Tammi Terrell, scored an AM radio hit with a song entitled, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby. In the same era, one of the big cola companies had a marketing campaign using the same tag line.  Say what you will about this invitational NASCAR iRacing …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Beware the Ides of March

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(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

It’s been an interesting week both inside and outside the insular little media niche focused on NASCAR racing. A tempest in a teapot unexpectedly broke out over the lowly lug nut. We learned that Daytona Speedweeks is a thing of the past, at least in the plural sense of “weeks.” We’re four danged weeks into …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Fire on Gander Mountain


(Photo: Randy Lanning)

NASCAR’s third level touring division, a.k.a. the Truck Series, came into being in 1995. It was a kinder, gentler era for the sanctioning body, when it seemed that they could do no wrong. It seemed if NASCAR had sanctioned a series for fat kids racing Marx Big Wheels around suburban supermarket parking lots, tickets to …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Counting on a Miracle

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(Photo: Rick Lunkenheimer)

For a sport based on high speed and non-stop action, NASCAR racing can be incredibly frustrating sometimes. It is positively soul-sapping to watch two lines of race cars sitting tucked away under their covers in a heavy downpour, especially when it occurs just before the long-delayed start of our sport’s equivalent to the Super Bowl. …

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Beside The Rising Tide: 2020 NASCAR Changes in Latitude


(Photo: Christian Koelle)

For the last couple weeks, we’ve been discussing changes that lay ahead in NASCAR in this space. In most cases, those modifications won’t take place until 2021. (The new cars, the new tires, the new schedule, etc.). But there, in fact, are some notable adjustments to this year’s 2020 schedule, including at least one high-profile …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Fixing a Hole in the Ocean 

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Photo: Danny Peters

Quite a few fans seem to have been perplexed this weekend as their attention returned to NASCAR racing. They’d apparently heard that there were big changes in store for the NASCAR touring series this year. What they saw on Saturday and Sunday looked awfully familiar, other than the wrecking on restarts stuff.  It was a …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Ready, Set, 2020…

2019 Daytona Clash CUP track overhead NKP

(Photo: NKP)

I fear calling this time of year “late winter” might be overly optimistic when it comes to continued cold snaps and snow, but I have it on expert what remains of winter will be brief. If you can’t trust a groundhog, who can you trust? Let’s just say we’re in that brief period of time …

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