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Author Archives:

Unlucky Seven: Drivers Who Must Ramp It Up In 2013

NASCAR is a sport driven by performance. What a driver accomplishes, or fails to accomplish, on the racetrack affects not only his personal gratification but his team's -- and even his sponsor's -- bottom line. Sure, some give more leeway than others, and some drivers are more likely to get the benefit of the doubt. But the bottom line is no different than that of any other employer. If a driver doesn't live up to expectations, eventually, his job could be on the line, his failure trumpeted not just by his team but by others. Race fans can be brutal, the media can be even more relentless, and there are plenty of drivers in the garage holding pink slips and looking for work. Don't overlook that personal desire to be competitive, either; sometimes, a driver's worst enemy in trying to fix weeks worth of failure is himself. Read More »

Speedway Motorsports Incorporated Putting “Fans First”

Bruton Smith is well known for many things, but one of his more endearing features is that he has built a speedway empire by always focusing on the fans and their experience. During this week's activities on the Sprint Media Tour Presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway, the chairman of SMI held court with the heads of all eight of his racing facilities. The focus of the presentation was to announce new initiatives designed to further engage the fans, a set of goals he's entitled "Fans First." The program will have several components, but it is designed to further remind fans that they are the most important piece that keeps SMI together. Read More »

From Crazy To Crazy Good: MWR Is A Contender Now

One year ago, people were wondering just how crazy Clint Bowyer was. Bowyer, who had three top-10 points finishes in six full seasons with Richard Childress Racing, had announced that he would leave RCR for a third Michael Waltrip Racing car in 2012. Not only was Bowyer facing an uphill battle by signing on with a brand-new team, he was making a move to an organization that had never had anyone finish higher than 16th in points throughout its existence. In fact, in those five years, the organization had just two wins, noted more for its failures (think: 2007 jet fuel disaster at Daytona) and its uncertain future. There were rumors of sponsors leaving, and even if they didn't, MWR was considered capable of no better than middle of the pack -- period. Read More »

NASCAR’s Mantra For 2013: Racing To Innovate

The annual NASCAR press conference, during the Sprint Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway was held on Tuesday afternoon in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. There were several topics discussed, both during presentations and the question and answer session with NASCAR CEO Brian France and President Mike Helton. The running theme surrounding these discussions was simple, contained within the mantra for the sport: Racing to Innovate. Several initiatives, from the Gen-6 car to the new qualifying system are hitting the racetrack for the first time this year and, all parties claim have been designed to make the sport better in the long run. Read More »

Did You Notice? … NASCAR’s Sponsor Search, Martin’s “Retirement?” And Shocking Admissions

*Did You Notice?...* How many of the top teams still have races available for primary sponsors? We’ve only been through two days of the NASCAR Media tour, with several of the top programs still to go and the list that’s been accumulated is staggering. Take a look at the number of unsold races for the following teams: *Stewart-Haas Racing* *Tony Stewart (No. 14):* 9 of 36 races unsold (25%) *Ryan Newman (No. 39):* 8 of 36 (22%) *Danica Patrick (No. 10):* 3 of 36 (8%) *TOTAL FOR TEAM:* 20 races unsold Read More »

Sprint’s Limits Mean Unlimited Falls Just Short

NASCAR and Sprint announced a brand-new format for the season-opening exhibition race formerly known as the Budweiser Shootout this week. The race, rebranded the Sprint Unlimited (an admittedly shameless plug for the cellular carrier's unlimited data plans) will be similar to the old Shootout in its 75-lap, three-segment format, but from there what will happen is anybody's guess. Race fans will vote on everything from the length of each segment to the firesuit that Miss Sprint Cup will wear in Victory Lane (no, really). That includes a pit stop (or not) after the first segment, whether to eliminate the backmarkers after the second, and even how the field will be set. Read More »

2013: A Season of Redemption for Richard Childress Racing?

2012 was not a season to write home to mom about for the folks at Richard Childress Racing. For a three-car team used to competing for the postseason title, simply staying on the lead lap was the primary struggle in what came to be a year to forget. Kevin Harvick won one race, the lone victory for RCR on the Cup level and was the only driver in the stable to make the Chase. Paul Menard wrapped up the year in 16th place, virtually nonexistent at the front of the field while Jeff Burton posted just two top-5 results, both at Daytona en route to 19th in the final standings. As the 2013 season dawns, the gang from Welcome, NC looks to turn the page and get back to the top of the heap. In the Cup Series, the driver lineup remains unchanged but it's the mentality that has to be different. Read More »

The Eyes Have It!

The Eyes Have It! In this Facebook feature, we post a photo of a driver inside a helmet, and ask ... Read More »