Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Chase Format Left NASCAR Schedule Behind

Change. It’s a word that many NASCAR fans loathe. After all, it’s been in the name of change that fans have endured racecars that don’t handle when they race, limited innovation, beloved short tracks replaced by cookie-cutters and a championship system that poll after poll has shown they don’t want. A lot of the changes …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: The Grand Jury Got it Right, But Now It’s Time to Heal

2014 Atlanta CUP Tony Stewart press conference CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. Copyright 2014)

After weeks of speculation, the first questions have been answered in the Tony Stewart–Kevin Ward, Jr. tragedy. In case you somehow missed it, Stewart hit and killed Kevin Ward, Jr. during a sprint car race in New York State on Aug. 9 of this year. Ward, apparently angered at Stewart for spinning his car out, …

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

2014 Indianapolis CUP Jeff Gordon Alan Gustafson Rick Hendrick selfie CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

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 …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: The Man Nobody Remembers

2014 Atlanta CUP Steve Letarte Dale Earnhardt Jr CIA

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 …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Bringing the Lady Back Home

Fans in the stands for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway

(Photo Credit: Yvonne Leonard, Frontstretch)

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 …

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

2014 Loudon I CUP pack racing III CIA

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 …

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

2014 Daytona II CUP Dale Earnhardt Jr car CIA

(Credit: CIA)

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 …

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

Denny Hamlin

(Credit: CIA)

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 …

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

2014 Kentucky CUP Jimmie Johnson car CIA

(Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

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 …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Everything Has Changed

2014 Daytona II CUP Aric Almirola spraying champagne CIA

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 …

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