NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: Was It Good For You?  


(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

One primary problem when race fans get together to debate (OK, argue) whether a race was “good” or not, is defining what makes for a “good” race. Plenty of passing? An unexpected outcome? And if the last three laps are nailbiters that have the majority of the crowd on their feet make up for three …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: Old vs. New


(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Wake up every one! The actual 2019 Cup season will now officially begin. Yeah, OK, it’s actually September 9 as this is written, but I’m using an artistic license that currently isn’t revoked. Yes, they’ve been racing the Cup cars since the frosty days of February into a rainy spring and into the late summer …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Indy 2018

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

A funny thing happened in Philadelphia near my home base this week.  Of course, the usually litany of not so funny things happened as well, including a huge church fire, the usual list of shootings of innocents that is totally unacceptable, the annual flocking of the shoe-bees to the shore for the Labor Day weekend …

Read more

Beside the Rising Ride: Man at the Top 2

2019 Phoenix I CUP Ricky Stenhouse Jr NKP

(Photo: NKP)

The Peter principle is a longtime cautionary career warning. It states that within a hierarchy, men or women will tend to rise to their level of incompetence. Thus, a hotshot entry level management new hire might do a bang-up job drawing notice and praise from his superiors. As such, he gets a promotion further up …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: August and Everything After

KyBu Erik Jones Bristol

(Photo:: John K Harrelson / NKP)

I’ll spare you the sleigh bells, slurred toasts and hymns sung slightly out of tune, but for longtime, hardcore stock car racing fans, the argument can be made this is in fact the most wonderful time of the year. With Michigan out of the way, the magical mystery tour that is the 2019 Cup schedule …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: Remembering Tim Richmond, Part 1

1987 Riverside Tim Richmond Credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Editor’s note: Senior writer Matt McLaughlin is off this week to celebrate a milestone birthday. Which one? We’ll let him tell it when he returns if he so chooses. In the meantime, please enjoy one of his classic columns from the past, the first of a two-part series paying tribute to Tim Richmond. It’s been …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR Saves the Universe 

2019KentuckyMENCSJoeyLoganoCarNKP 2

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

I guess I’ve gotten a bit slovenly in cleaning out my inbox at the end of every hard day’s night. Time-to-time I’ve been told I can be a bit obtuse. Well, I’ve been told I can be a bit obtuse more than I’ve been told I tend to be oblong anyway.  I’ve also been told …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: Feels Like the First Time 

39ba2ee7dae6810afc4ab75c6b08ad82 1

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Rather unexpectedly, NASCAR’s top three touring divisions have welcomed some first-time winning drivers and teams lately.  On Thursday night (July 11) at Kentucky Speedway, Tyler Ankrum drove his David Gilliland-owned Toyota to victory, a first for both the rookie driver and the team. It was only Ankrum’s 12th start in the Truck Series, as he …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: New Antiques Made Daily

IMG 20190706 200900

(Photo: Christian Koelle)

Back at the turn of the century, my sister and then-brother-in-law lived in rural Vermont. I took a lot of road trips to visit them and a lot of road trips while I was visiting, rather a necessity in that nothing of consequence was near their home unless you want to count a bad-tempered creek …

Read more

Beside the Rising Tide: Headed Out to Pasture 

IMG 5676

Photo: Danny Peters

It would seem the generation(s) that came after mine haven’t embraced the automobile with the rabid obsession of me and my contemporaries. I have several nieces and nephews who, though in their mid-to late 20s, still don’t have a car … or a driver’s license for that matter. I got my learner’s permit the day …

Read more

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

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