Race Weekend Central

NASCAR and #BlackLivesMatter, 1 Year Later: Brandon Thompson

Brandon Thompson, NASCAR VP of diversity and inclusion

Brandon Thompson, NASCAR VP of diversity and inclusion (via NASCAR)

This week will be a “surreal” one for Brandon Thompson. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Thompson will get a “NASCAR homecoming” when he and family attend Sunday’s (June 20) inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. The 1.3-mile track, which hosted the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series from 2001-11, is where Thompson received …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas

2021 Texas all Star Race Kyle Larson Burnout NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

What happened? Kyle Larson won the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas on Sunday (June 13) after a bold pass for the lead in the final round. Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-five finishers. YUNG MONEY LARSON.@KyleLarsonRacin wins for the third week in a row, winning the #AllStarRace for …

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The Underdog House: Numerous All-Star Aspirations Fade in Open

Michael McDowell

Michael McDowell on track at Texas for the All Star Race (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The Setting All three NASCAR series headed to the Lone Star State for dates at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. This time, however, things felt different. TMS has typically held the first weekend in April, but this year NASCAR shifted the schedule around. While the track’s fall playoff date remained intact, the usual spring points …

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Frontstretch 2-Minute Drill: All-Star Open & All-Star Race at Texas

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Texas may have lost one of its points-paying dates, but it gained one of NASCAR’s landmark events for 2021 in the form of the June 13 All-Star festivities. Eligibility for the annual race, long held at Charlotte Motor Speedway before moving to Bristol Motor Speedway in 2020 and then to the Lone Star State, is …

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NASCAR and #BlackLivesMatter, 1 Year Later: Part 5

Fans hold a sign in support of Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Cash App Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on August 02, 2020 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Was it worth it? A year later, was NASCAR’s condemnation and banishment of the Confederate flag on June 10, 2020 worth the short-term controversies, confusion and the “Defund NASCAR” banner seen flying over Talladega Superspeedway? Was it worth alienating hard core fans in an effort to invite an audience of minorities that previously wouldn’t have …

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NASCAR and #BlackLivesMatter, 1 Year Later: Part 4

Vivian and RIta pose in front of the 23XI Racing merchandise hauler at Phoenix Raceway.

What comes to mind when you see the Confederate flag? Is it the Civil War that tore the United States of America in two for five years? Is it Southern pride? Do you see the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard? Or are you reminded of the NASCAR races Darlington Raceway held under the “Rebel” …

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NASCAR and #BlackLivesMatter, 1 Year Later: Part 3

Bubba Wallace at Martinsville

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The following story is based on an email interview with a 23-year-old Black female NASCAR fan who wishes to only be identified by her first name, Bria. Before 2020, Bria wasn’t aware of having an active aversion to NASCAR. “It’s like when you ask a kid, ‘How do you know you don’t like something if …

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5 Points to Ponder: Kyle Larson, King of NASCAR, is a Thing That is Happening

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Kyle Larson as championship frontrunner is simply wild One of the silliest parts of sports punditry is the “if the season ended today … ” syndrome, simply because the season does not, in fact, end until it ends. But the concept persists because it’s fascinating, and never more than right now in the NASCAR …

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NASCAR and #BlackLivesMatter, 1 Year Later: Part 2

Renae Mitchell attending her first ever NASCAR race.

Prior to 14 months ago, NASCAR was not on Renae Mitchell’s radar at all. While Mitchell played soccer and basketball in college, the only time NASCAR crossed her path was as a ninth-grade student in Virginia. “My chemistry teacher was a huge Dale (Earnhardt) Sr. fan,” Mitchell told Frontstretch in May. “She came in (wearing …

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NASCAR and #BlackLivesMatter, 1 Year Later: Part 1

Bubba Wallace at Atlanta Motor Speedway supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement. (Photo: Getty Images)

Bubba Wallace before the June 7, 2020 NASCAR Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“I still contend that our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay.” — Martin Luther King Jr., 1968 During June 2020, nothing happened and everything happened all at once. On June 1 the U.S. death toll in the COVID-19 pandemic, which claimed the lives of 345,000 Americans by the end …

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