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Bowles-Eye View

Tony Stewart And NASCAR’s Tragic Monday Morning Reality

Tony Stewart And NASCAR’s Tragic Monday Morning Reality

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. It’s an ugly truth, one often buried in a modern reality where political correctness takes center stage. Every mistake can’t be fixed by sensitivity training or an on-screen apology. Sure, people forgive your past but they also never, ever forget when it comes back to haunt you. It’s a damning truth, one Tony Stewart grapples with Monday morning as he spends the next weeks, months, maybe years of his ... Read More »

Earnhardt Conquering Old Demons – And Closing the Deal

Earnhardt Conquering Old Demons – And Closing the Deal

Last year alone, during a winless campaign Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished second five times. If Kevin Harvick is NASCAR’s “Closer,” then Earnhardt knew how to close the door in 2013 with a museum full of missed opportunities that lingered during his climb back to respectability at Hendrick Motorsports. A driver with a career spanning more than a decade, and aligning himself with the sport’s most successful team, had skipped class on racing’s most basic philosophy: How to Win. But in the ... Read More »

Edwards Couldn’t Say “No” Twice

Edwards Couldn’t Say “No” Twice

Second chances are rare with major life decisions. Sorry, Cinderella, but if you say “no” to the guy who brings that glass slipper, he won’t be around with a ring three months later. Life is far from fairy tale perfect, unlike a constant stream of Choose Your Own Adventures where few choices ever get a “redo” button. Carl Edwards, one of the smartest men in the NASCAR garage surely understands that. It was just three years ago the athlete was ... Read More »

The Calm Before The Storm

The Calm Before The Storm

If nothing else, NASCAR enters this particular Monday morning well rested. Fresh off its last Sprint Cup off weekend, the news cycle slowed to a crawl last week as most participants were busy enjoying life elsewhere, away from the cameras on some Caribbean island. Even those who stayed at home would rather relax, mowing their yards in private during this small “vacation” stretch rather than keep hyping up a sport with a schedule that features 17 straight race weekends, zigzagging participants ... Read More »

The Fallacy Of The Fastest 43

The Fallacy Of The Fastest 43

Every American major league sport sells itself as the best of the best. The Super Bowl is designed to crown the “best” football team in the world (Canadian Football, be damned!) The Stanley Cup is fought with the “top” hockey players signed to North American contracts. On Tuesday, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game will highlight the “best” players at each position, from each league in a celebration-turned-weak competition. But even the best sales job avoids an awkward reality: that “buzz ... Read More »

NASCAR Underdogs Had Their Chances

NASCAR Underdogs Had Their Chances

“Wild card.” Fans heard that term, leading up to Sonoma, more than “wine country,” “road course,” or “Boris Said.” It’s a modern reality of the Chase format, designed to give “underdogs their day” at the select few races left where they can actually go out and compete for the win. No longer will a David Ragan victory at Talladega go unrecognized, says NASCAR! He’ll now get a spot in the postseason field, three weeks of sponsor recognition and then graciously ... Read More »

The Dynasty NASCAR Built… Or Is It Hendrick?

The Dynasty NASCAR Built… Or Is It Hendrick?

The word “dynasty” is frequently overused in sports – especially in an era where every achievement must be overhyped on Twitter, Facebook and every TV news source imaginable. So the Miami Heat, after two straight NBA titles found themselves on the verge of a “dynasty.” Your local baseball team wins nine games in a row and it’s a “dynasty in the making.” Heck, you win three rounds of neighborhood poker Friday night and suddenly, “Dynasty” gets written on your car in ... Read More »

The Return Of “Bad Brad” Hits NASCAR At Talladega

The Return Of “Bad Brad” Hits NASCAR At Talladega

Remember this January? When someone asked Brad Keselowski if he’d calm down the controversy? Late last year, his Twitter feed had begun to resemble Disney Channel standards instead of the steamy FOX News political debate he had once successfully produced? Things had gotten so G-Rated, “noted FOX Sports columnist Tom Jensen actually made a fair point”:http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/taste-of-reality-nascar-s-law-in-order-approach-quieting-bad-brad-021214 Brad had been “muzzled” by some less-than-pleasant brushes with NASCAR, his peers, and assembled press. “I don’t think it helped me,” said Keselowski back then. “Nobody wrote me any checks for ... Read More »

Raining On NASCAR’s Parade: Struggling With The Status Quo

Raining On NASCAR’s Parade: Struggling With The Status Quo

Another rain-delayed Sprint Cup race? Complete with hours of waiting until officials finally call the event? Ain’t nobody got time for that. On a serious note, with the Texas race rescheduled, NASCAR is now on pace for 15 “late starts” or rain postponements for 36 races this season. That’s an astounding number, a projection that has to lower itself over time… right? This rain cloud following stock car racing can’t stay around forever…right? At some point, a season filled with promise has to ... Read More »

NASCAR’s Career-Death Experience: A Road To (Almost) Recovery

NASCAR’s Career-Death Experience: A Road To (Almost) Recovery

In the wake of Kurt Busch’s Martinsville victory, filled with more irony than Alanis Morissette could ever sing about, it’s important to remember his comeback, nearly 80 races in the making is nothing short of miraculous in modern NASCAR. For in a world where rides, let alone sponsors were growing extinct back in December 2011 this point cannot be emphasized enough: Kurt Busch was left for dead. I bring this YouTube clip back, not to disparage Busch but to remind ... Read More »