Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR’s Endless Summer & Bobby Allison’s Missing Victory

2017 Fontana Nxs Pack Racing Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

How do you define summer? Meteorologically speaking, summer begins June 21st and ends September 22nd. For younger folks, “summer” is that magical period when school is closed from sometime in May or June until early September. For beachgoers, airlines, and yes, stock car racing fans, summer tends to be defined as the period starting on …

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Beside the Rising Tide: For Everything, There Is a Season

2017 Charlotte All Star Cup Kyle Larson Pack Racing Lesley Miller Nkp

(Photo: Lesley Miller NKP)

A bit belatedly, NASCAR finally released the 2018 schedules for its top three touring series last week: Cup, XFINITY and Trucks. Naturally, the release of said schedule caused frenzied fans to launch into action, clogging track phone lines and nearly crashing the internet as folks frantically tried to get their hands on tickets before they were sold out …

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Beside the Rising Tide: The Last Circus

2017 Charlotte All Star Cup Martin Truex Jr Chase Elliott Ryan Blaney 3 Wide Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

It’s hard to believe but the Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey Circus performed for the last time this weekend. Not for the last time this season… for the last time ever. And after this weekend’s abomination of an “All-Star” race, one must consider how long it might be before the clowns at NASCAR are taking their …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Superstar

2016 Charlotte All Star Cup Joey Logano Trophy Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Who on earth do you think you are? A superstar? Well right you are! But we all shine on… -John Lennon- The Winston, NASCAR’s All-Star race, started with a simple, easy-to-understand idea. Most great endeavors do. On May 25, 1985 twelve drivers, all of whom had won a race during the 1984 Winston Cup season, …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Up In Smoke

2016 Kentucky Cup Pack Racing Sunset Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Author’s Note: Long-term readers know occasionally I’ll write a rather self-indulgent column only tangentially related to NASCAR and some that take their good sweet time getting to any mention of the sport at all. Today’s effort, or lack thereof, is one of them as I reflect on the death of an old friend I haven’t seen …

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Beside the Rising Tide: New Kid in Town

2007 Charlotte Ii Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr Nigel Kinrade Autostock

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/Autostock)

I think most NASCAR fans were stunned last week when Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced his retirement from Cup Series racing at the conclusion of this season. In many cases, those fans might have felt a degree of relief mixed with surprise, as it appears Earnhardt will indeed leave the sport on his own terms. It was …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Making The Call

2016 Nscs Bristol Kyle Busch Rain

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

Rain at a race track. It’s never much fun but sometimes it’s inevitable, like ants at a picnic, right wing lunatics with wild conspiracy theories, or English sports cars rendered immobile by electrical gremlins. (Let us all give thanks our friends at AMC never offered an electric or even a hybrid Gremlin.) As long as …

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Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR 2017 So Far

2017 Fontana Nxs Pack Racing Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

For some it feels like the 2017 Cup season is just getting underway. For others it already feels like it’s been going on a very long time. (It’s 87 degrees outside as I write this Easter Sunday afternoon. It was 22 the day of the Daytona 500.) Mathematically, six races into a 36 race season …

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Beside The Rising Tide: Alan Kulwicki, Running Down A Dream

Alan Kulwicki 1

Though it was not all that long ago in the grand scheme of things, the Winston Cup circuit was very different back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Back then, almost all the star drivers were still Southern-born and bred, most of them having started their careers racing late models on one of those …

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Beside The Rising Tide: Start And Stop, Parking Lots, And Raceway Park

2017 Martinsville Trucks Zach Catanzareti Grant Enfinger

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Something of note happened on Saturday and I’m not talking about April 1st being a day set aside for Brian France and folks of his ilk. NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series returned to action for the first time in almost a month. (The CWTS last ran on March 4th at Atlanta.) Having now completed their …

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Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR Goes West, Ratings Head South

2016 Fontana Nxs Pack Racing Ii Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Go west young man, haven’t you been told? California’s full of whiskey, women and gold -Toby Keith (Should’ve Been a Cowboy) It had to be tempting to a young man back in the mid-19th century. For those who worked as a longshoreman, apprentice, mucking stables or endless hours at the family store, tales of streams …

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Beside The Rising Tide: Anger Management

Kurt Angry

Talk about a tempest in a teapot. The way the media and some elements of NASCAR fandom have focused on the Joey Logano-Kyle Busch brouhaha after the Vegas race you’d have thought both players would be behind bars awaiting the latest “Trial of the Century.” My guess is that most first-grade teachers assigned playground duty …

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