## Besides The Rising Tide – NASCAR Martinsville: Hey, You, Get Off My Cloud… Err, Lawn

At the risk of repeating myself, there’s nothing so wrong with the new NASCAR that an old racetrack can’t fix it. Over the last 70 years, Martinsville has earned its reputation as consistently one of the finest on the circuit. If we are to take into account the “Matt Factor” for determining a good race, …

## Beside the Rising Tide: Fit For a King or Strictly Busch League?

First this week: A brief (and rare) personal note.  Friday Nancy Buckwalter went home to the loving arms of her Savior. Nancy was the sister of my friend Creig Ballantine and mother of local 410 Sprint Car ace Timmy Buckwalter. She was the beloved Matriarch of the Buckwalter Racing team. I was privileged to have …

## Beside The Rising Tide: What’s A Good Race?

Discussion as to whether last week’s Vegas Cup race was a good one or a poor one did something that the race itself failed to do. It evoked passion. As we discussed last week the hype about the (one of the new) race packages might have had some of our (and I include myself in …

## Beside The Rising Tide: NASCAR’s Great Expectations

Some weeks a topic for my weekly column is self-evident and screams for attention. Some weeks (Hell, most weeks) I hear more of a whisper….or the sounds of silence. Thus this week I present some random notes based on topics I scribbled down in my notebook over the course of the weekend. In Summation: The …

## Beside The Rising Tide: Solving NASCAR’s Problem … Simple as 1, 2, 3

Okay, perhaps that’s a bit bold. But starting to solve NASCAR’s problems could indeed be as simple as 1,2,3. Problem solving 101 teaches us the first step to solving a problem starts with admitting there is in fact a problem. While our dear buddy Brian France is well….um, away, dealing with his “problems” (congenital idiocy …

## Beside The Rising Tide: And Now For Something Completely Different

NASCAR is perhaps unique in mainstream sports in that they schedule their biggest event of the season as the first event on the calendar. As such the connection between success in the season-opening Daytona 500 and the rest of the nine month long grind that makes up the whole rest of the schedule is tenuous …

## NASCAR and the Pumpkin Eaters

Many of us were caught off guard by the recent announcement of NASCAR’s tough new policy towards drivers and teams whose cars are found to be cheated up…or shall we be politically correct and say “legally challenged” after a race victory. For those of you haven’t been following the latest racing news (and admittedly with …

## Does the Daytona 500 Still Matter?

Since its inaugural running in 1959, the Daytona 500 has always been circled in red on the annual NASCAR schedule. (Though it’s now the season opener, the 500 didn’t become the first points-paying race of the season until 1982.) From the 1960s onward, the Daytona 500 (the highest-paying race of the season), the Southern 500 …

## Beside the Rising Tide: A Ruse By Any Other Name

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. -William Shakespeare Secondary education in the United States certainly has changed since it was the bane of my existence back in the 1970s. While officially, English is still our most-spoken language outside of some 7-Elevens and Dunkin’ Donuts, I’m told that they aren’t making kids …

## Beside the Rising Tide: That Ain’t No Way to Have Fun

I’ve seen so many things, I ain’t never seen before, Someone turn out the lights, I don’t want to see anymore. –Three Dog Night There are tons of colorful stories about the ultimate showman and circus owner P.T. Barnum, some of them apocryphal. One I’ve heard quite often involves a circus he ran out of …

## Beside the Rising Tide: Free-Falling Back

After about 25 years of writing about NASCAR racing, I have my rituals for the night before an event down to a science. Print the starting lineup. Print the points standings. Dig out the sheet that shows what points the various positions pay. Make sure there are adequate cigarettes to get through the day and …

## Beside the Rising Tide: Rambling, Gambling Man

I’ve never been much on gambling. Perhaps that’s because I’ve lived most of my adult life in the suburbs of Philly. Our professional sports teams are notorious for failing to live up to expectations.  Even with success seemingly imminent, those teams will find a way to wrest defeat out of the jaws of victory and …