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Holding A Pretty Wheel

Holding A Pretty Wheel: The Magic Number Is… Not Four

Holding A Pretty Wheel: The Magic Number Is… Not Four

And the number shall be three. Maybe Monty Python was onto something when it came to counting. Three might have been the magic number on which to release the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, but it also seems to be the magic number for race teams. You’d think that a successful three-car organization could easily become a successful four-car organization if the sponsorship and talent were in place, but it doesn’t often work that way. Even the powerhouse teams like ... Read More »

Holding A Pretty Wheel: The Man Nobody Remembers

Holding A Pretty Wheel: The Man Nobody Remembers

One more night and it’s over. NASCAR’s so-called regular season will be on the books, the Chase field set, and the two-and-a-half dozen-or-so teams who don’t make it will be virtually forgotten for the rest of the year. In the final 10 races, it will be all Chase all the time, as teams vie for NASCAR’s highest honor, the Sprint Cup championship. For a few minutes after the race, one man will stand alone on top of the points. Either ... Read More »

Rising Smoke: Stewart’s Return From Tragedy

Rising Smoke: Stewart’s Return From Tragedy

If it were possible to turn back the clock, a tragedy could be avoided. A young man, hot under the collar, would stay in his car; a wily veteran who used to be that kid would be looking for an angry driver. If it were possible to turn back the clock, the young man might still be alive and looking forward to racing this weekend on a late summer evening. The veteran might not be left to forever second-guess his ... Read More »

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Bringing the Lady Back Home

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Bringing the Lady Back Home

According to SIRIUS XM Jim Noble’s report, NASCAR will take a small step back in time next year, moving Darlington Raceway’s lone Sprint Cup race to Labor Day weekend, the date of what was once the sport’s oldest race. The Southern 500 predated the Daytona 500 and along with the Great American race was one trophy that racers coveted most. More prestigious than even Indianapolis and Charlotte’s Coca-Cola 600, the Southern 500 was known as a test of man and ... Read More »

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Canandaigua Death a Reminder of Racing’s Human Cost

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Canandaigua Death a Reminder of Racing’s Human Cost

Sunday morning at Watkins Glen dawned sunny and warm, the perfect summer day for racing. Indeed, the Sprint Cup Series was in town, prepping to run under that blue New York sky. AJ Allmendinger won the race, the first victory of his career, earning a long-awaited redemption and cementing his postseason hopes. But racing was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind, even as the color and sound of race day hung thick in the air. Racing was the furthest thing ... Read More »

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Sponsors Finding Value in NASCAR’s Small Teams

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Sponsors Finding Value in NASCAR’s Small Teams

This week’s big announcement came from National Guard, and as most fans are aware by now, it wasn’t what they wanted to hear, as the Guard has decided to leave motorsports sponsorship after deciding that advertising on racecars in both NASCAR and IndyCar didn’t result in enough recruits to justify the cost. As sponsorship get harder to find for many teams, even among the sport’s elite, it seems like the news hasn’t been good in recent years. But it’s not ... Read More »

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Is There Room for Innovation in Today’s NASCAR?

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Is There Room for Innovation in Today’s NASCAR?

It’s happened a few times in recent years: a team finds what they think is a gray area in the rule book, only for NASCAR’s response to be completely black and white when a penalty is handed down. Actually, that’s happened throughout the history of NASCAR. Teams look for every advantage, and NASCAR looks to keep them on the straight and narrow. One by-product of bending the rules has been new rules. As teams find different things, NASCAR might let ... Read More »

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Everyone’s Got An Achilles’ Heel

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Everyone’s Got An Achilles’ Heel

It seems as though the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season started just last week, but suddenly it’s midsummer and the countdown to the Chase is in the single digits and clicking lower. It’s been a quirky season — teams who looked unbeatable early faded, teams who looked out to lunch surged into the spotlight. A few who have issued nary a peep in the past have made their presence known, while some who were at the top of their game ... Read More »

The Frontstretch Five: Defining Moments

The Frontstretch Five: Defining Moments

Welcome to the Frontstretch Five, a brand-new column for 2014! Each week, Amy Henderson takes a look at the racing, the drivers, and the storylines that drive NASCAR and produces a list of five people, places, things, and ideas that define the current state of our sport. This week, Amy has five NASCAR moments that stand out…and a challenge for all of you. If anyone likes to peruse YouTube, you know that there is some fantastic (and  interesting) NASCAR content ... Read More »

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Everything Has Changed

Holding A Pretty Wheel: Everything Has Changed

There’s a commercial for NASCAR which talks about how everything in the sport has changed, but in the end, how nothing has really changed at all, because the spirit of the sport remains unchanged. Drivers, after all, still want to win races more than anything, and fans still want to find their racing heroes on the venues on which they race. Nothing has changed, NASCAR says, and for just a second, you want to believe it. If only that were true. ... Read More »