NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Tag Archives: Dale Earnhardt

Thompson in Turn 5: Richard Childress Rightfully A Hall Of Famer

Always a straight-shooter, but with a kind and down-home demeanor that makes the man easy to like, Richard Childress is a bonafide American rags-to-riches, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy success story. Though losing his father at the tender age of five years old and knowing poverty first hand, Childress has become unimaginably wealthy and resides in one of the most impressive homes in Davidson County. His charitable deeds and contributions to his community are considerable and are accomplished in a manner that fits his personality--humbly and with little fanfare.

Read More »

Bowles-Eye View: Having A NASCAR Villain To Hate Never Felt So Good

Moments after taking his first career Darlington win, Kyle Busch got out of his car, hopped on the roof, and took a bow as if he were the hero. It was the culmination of a burnout performance worthy of his Indiana Jones paint scheme. Too bad the fans thought it was the equivalent of a standup comedian telling five straight minutes of awful jokes. The sold-out crowd showed their appreciation – or lack thereof - in all sorts of different ways: beer cans, boos, and giving him the middle finger. And so it goes for NASCAR’s resident villain these days.

Read More »

Driven To The Past: Tommy Houston

One of the wildest accidents I've ever seen happened in the 1987 Kroger 200 at IRP. It was the first time Dale Earnhardt came up there to run it. At the practice session the day before, I had Tommy Houston set up for an interview with an Indianapolis TV station, when the reporter came over and said his producer called and wanted him to do an interview with Earnhardt instead.

Read More »

The Yellow Stripe: They Come In All Shapes And Sizes – Ranking The Types of NASCAR Tracks Across America

Can you imagine how mind numbing it would be to watch 36 races in a row at Fontana, or a season composed entirely of 500-mile Sunday afternoon races at Pocono – about a third of which would probably be blighted by poor weather? Even the best tracks in that scenario would get dull awful quick. Fans across the country would be turning off in droves after watching week after week of “The Big One.” And they’d be equally bored with 10 months straight of high-banked half-mile racing at Thunder Valley, regardless of how much beatin’ and bangin’ there was on offer. Variety, as the old cliché goes, truly is the spice of life.

Read More »

Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Bread and Circuses

Friends, Romans, and countrymen, lend me your ears. It’s time to put an end to this restrictor-plate madness at last, before some other driver pays the ultimate price. It has been nearly two decades since NASCAR implemented the plate rules as a “temporary fix” at Talladega and Daytona. Tuesday would have been Dale Earnhardt’s 57th birthday were it not for the last lap tragedy at Daytona in 2001; let's ensure that we learn something from that death, and those of many others.

Read More »

Happy Hour: “Our” NASCAR? Nice Try, Brian

NASCAR commercials deliberately focus on the sport's tradition and history. They remind us that in every era of NASCAR, there have been great finishes, great victory celebrations, and great rivalries. When I say "nice try," it isn't meant to be sarcastic or critical. It is actually meant as a compliment. NASCAR had at least finally noticed that their unwelcome innovations in recent years have been Chasing (pun intended) traditional fans away from the sport. For recognizing that, they truly do deserve credit. But ultimately, a full-force marketing campaign and any number of speeches isn't going to undo the damage done to NASCAR's old-school fanbase during the Brian France era.

Read More »

Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Debunking The Theory Of Green Flag Passes For The Lead

NASCAR statistics claim that there were 16 passes for the lead at Texas on Sunday. 16? Was I daydreaming about black Pontiacs with birds on the hood and V-Twin motorcycles in springtime when all these alleged passes took place? Had in fact drifted off for a nap, as I felt I might during the entire second half of the race, as Carl Edwards put a hurting on the field? To check, I fired up the DVR, armed with NASCAR statistics as to when these 16 passes for the lead took place. I went back and reviewed the entire race--Here's what I found.

Read More »

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Convenient Crashes – Karma or Coincidence?

How many times did your mother tell you to treat people the way you want to be treated? You probably laughed and stuffed your little brother in the laundry chute anyway. Maybe you went outside to play in the yard a few days later, and stepped right where the same brother walked the family dog after a particularly large dinner. Ever see something like this happen to our favorite driver? He gets a little rough with some guy and runs over debris a few laps later, popping a tire and losing a lap fixing it. Maybe he gets caught with some "creative engineering" and spins out in qualifying two weeks later. You sometimes have to wonder if greater forces are at work.

Read More »

Racing at the Beach: Tragedy, Triumph & Controversial Finishes, 2001-07

The 2000 edition of the Great American Race wasn't very good, but come 2001 NASCAR thought they'd developed a solution to ensure good racing at Daytona. A small spoiler called the "taxicab strip" was added to the roof of the Cup cars; NASCAR officials hoped the cars would punch a bigger hole in the air with the strip, allowing for more passing despite the restrictor plates. Whether the strip actually made for better racing is highly debatable; what was of greater importance was how drivers quickly reported the strips made the closing rate on a car ahead frighteningly fast. That led to some dangerous and ultimately tragic racing that unforgettable February afternoon.

Read More »