Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: Insanity Rains

2015 Phoenix International Raceway Nscs Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kevin Harvick Pit Road Rain Credit Nascar Via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

For whatever reason, the annals of great rock and roll songs involving rain are too numerous to choose from so I won’t even try. Yeah, rain makes for some great songs, but in real life it’s often an annoying, if occasionally necessary, climatic condition that can throw the best laid plans of mice and men …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Practice Makes Perfect

2015 Cup Michael Annett Car Credit Phil Cavali

(Photo: Phil Cavali)

To a troubling extent, the outcome of Sunday’s race and several drivers’ chances at a championship were decided not by events during the 500-mile race, but by what happened on Friday afternoon and early on Saturday morning. It rained. Yep, that’s going to happen time to time, and, since all NASCAR events take place on …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Accidents Will Happen

2015 Martinsville Ii Cup Matt Kenseth Crash Damage Cia

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)­

Accidents will happen, We only hit and run, I don’t want to hear it, Because I know what I’ve done. -Elvis Costello- There’s nothing so wrong with the new NASCAR that an old racetrack can’t fix it. There’s only one track left on the schedule that was a part of NASCAR’s inaugural 1949 “Strictly Stock” …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Now I Try To Be Amused

2015 Talladega Ii Cup Jimmie Johnson Kyle Larson Spin Cia

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)­

Oh, I used to be disgusted, Now I try to be amused. Since their wings have gotten rusted, The angels wanna wear my red shoes -Elvis Costello- Yep, sometimes it’s impossible not to be amazed by how consistently NASCAR’s sharpshooters can shoot themselves in the foot. Click those red shoes together, Dorothy, ’cause I don’t …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Round and Round

2015 Kansas Ii Cup Joey Logano Trophy Cia

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

For most of Sunday’s Cup event at Kansas, things were about par for the course. Matt Kenseth clearly had a dominant car, able to pass at will on a track where passing was at a minimum. We’ve all become accustomed to this sort of racing on the cookie-cutter mile-and-a-half tracks with the current aero package …

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Happiness Is… New 2016 NASCAR Rules Package

The NASCAR Sprint Cup field races during the 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway

(Photo Credit: Yvonne Leonard, Frontstretch)

Editor’s Note: P. Huston Ladner is off this week. In his place steps our king of sarcastic wit, Matt McLaughlin, who puts a positive spin on some NASCAR news as of late. Happiness Is… A New 2016 NASCAR Rules Package: Looking across the desolate landscape of modern day stock car racing through the thick black …

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Beside the Rising Tide: New NASCAR Excitement Manufactured Daily

2015 Bank Of America 500 Joey Logano Charlotte Cup Mike Neff

(Credit: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

“Curiouser and curiouser” as our old friend Alice might have said during her field trip down the rabbit hole. (And trust me, me and Alice spent a lot of time together during my hard partying years. Go ask Alice.) Even while the races themselves have become as tepid as clambakes at a Tupperware sales conventions …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Nothing To See Here


Photo Credit: Zach Catanzareti, Frontstretch

In the Dark Ages, there were “scientists” determined to find a way to turn dross metals into gold, back in an era when the periodic table, the bane of high school chemistry classes, was still centuries away. What fans saw at Dover on Sunday was NASCAR’s alchemists doing their best to contrive excitement when there …

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Beside the Rising Tide: A Fine Line For Brad Keselowski On Restart

2015 Loudon Ii Cup Brad Keselowski Paul Wolfe Cia

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Down here it’s just winners and losers, baby, And don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line… -Bruce Springsteen- Be Careful of What You Wish For – Everyone from the drivers right down to us lowly fans asked NASCAR to start policing their own restart rules after some very controversial calls the last …

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Beside the Rising Tide: If I Ran the Chase

Joey Logano and crew chief Todd Gordon in conversation between practices for the myAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)­­

Is there any better way to spend a late summer Sunday afternoon that devoting four hours of the rapidly dwindling sunlit hours watching an event you know will most likely leave you alternatively bored and angry? But in contemporary NASCAR racing there’s still always room for an occasional surprise. Even given my cynical nature, I …

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Beside the Rising Tide: NASCAR S.O.S.

2015 Richmond Ii Cup Aric Almirola Pack Racing Cia

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)­

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein Hey, who knew? After the much ballyhooed and largely successful experiment with a new rules package at Kentucky, NASCAR reverted to their tried-and-true 2015 rules package which has consistently delivered substandard results and stood back as if they expected …

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Beside the Rising Tide: That ’70s Show

Kyle Larson And Ricky Stenhouse Jr Darlington Cup Retro 2015 Mike Neff 108

(Photo: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

Perhaps the most highly anticipated race of the 2015 Cup season has now come and gone; my, oh my. After a lot of races, folks need a little time to digest and contemplate what went on, and some folks will give an event a thumbs up while others will take a decidedly more negative view …

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