Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: Roll With NASCAR Changes

NASCAR racecars at Michigan International Speedway, August 2021. Photo:NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

NASCAR had already announced some changes to the sport prior to next season. This week, it released more potential changes for 2022 and beyond, and some of them were ground-shaking. I can’t tell you what the 2023 Cup schedule will look like, but based on comments by NASCAR President Steve Phelps this week, we’re potentially …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Flying Jets in a Gymnasium

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

(Photo: NASCAR Media)

A long time ago, in days of yore, Kyle Petty once compared racing NASCAR Cup Series cars at Bristol Motor Speedway to flying jet fighters in a gymnasium. The inestimable Mr. Petty also recommended Bristol be flooded, stocked with trout and used to host a fishing tournament.  The phrase occurred to me again this week …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Tap Dancing in a Minefield

2021 Daytona 500 Last Lap Crash Involving Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Austin Cindric

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

As hard as it is to fathom with much of the nation in the maws of record heat, or in the case of the west coast, ablaze, and New England at risk of its first hurricane in 30 years, NASCAR’s “regular” season comes to a close next weekend — at Daytona no less. I’m not …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Born Under a Bad Sign

William Byron leads a pack of NASCAR Cup Series race cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, August 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Let me start by admitting I can write everything I know about designing a racetrack on the head of a pin with a Sharpie magic marker. But I’ll add that if you find yourself unexpectedly tasked with designing a racetrack, you should spend many hours studying the new road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Short Takes After a Couple Weeks’ Break

2021 Watkins Glen NASCAR Cup race, Martin Truex Jr.'s car (front view) pack racing, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

OK. I get it, or at least this break helped me recall the allure of a summer vacation. It’s been a long time since I had two consecutive weekends off, at least prior to the winter solstice. NBC called for the timeout and NASCAR naturally granted it. NBC had after all paid huge bucks to …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Warning, Warning, Extreme Danger

2021 Eldora Srx Tony Stewart Win Celebrate Mike Arning True Speed Pr

Photo: Mike Arning (True Speed PR)

If you ended up ignoring the sport of stock car racing even a few hours this week (and I highly recommend you do so occasionally), you’ve probably read breathless stories this week how misinformation being spread across high-tech platforms like Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, any form of online discussion forum and others are “killing” people. Says …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Random Notes & Reckless Abandon

2021 knoxville Trucks pack racing Carson Hocevar Chandler Smith James Gilbert Getty Images

(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

Friday night’s (July 9) NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race had a somewhat slapdash jury-rigged feel to it even before the racing commenced. Nope, they don’t run many touring series races on Friday nights any longer, though for a few years as more and more Cup Series races were moved to Saturday nights the companion …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Was That a Good Race?

2021 Cup Charlotte Pack Racing - Erik Jones, No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet (Credit: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

All right then. Was that a good race? Well, in this instance since this is being written several hours before the Road America race is scheduled to go green, I can’t answer that. But such is the question every week there is a race across Twitter, on countless message boards and forums and Monday mornings …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Setting the Record Straight

2021 Pocono Kyle Larson flat tire down James Gilbert Getty

(Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

Something unusual happened in these parts Saturday afternoon (June 26): NASCAR held a race and Kyle Larson did not win. Officially, Larson was going for his fourth consecutive NASCAR Cup Series win. And he damn near got it, until a flat tire exiting the final turn on the final lap dropped him to a ninth-place …

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Beside the Rising Tide: And Then There Were 9

Denny Hamlin takes the checkered flag at Pocono Raceway, July 2020.

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

With Nashville solidly in the rearview mirror there are now just nine Cup races left in the “regular season” prior to NASCAR’s “all-singing, all-dancing, all–live, all-nude, only a quarter” 10-race playoffs that will determine this year’s Cup champion. Fans have embraced the new method of crowning a titlist with all the warmth and passion of …

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Beside the Rising Tide: All-Stars, Super Stars and Fast Loud Cars

2021 SRX Stafford Podium L-R Greg Biffle, Doug Coby, Tony Stewart (Credit: Tom Morris Racing Photography)

(Photo: Tom Morris Racing Photography)

On a weekend literally jam-packed with auto racing and classic car auction-related programming, a newcomer tried muscling its way up to the Formica McBar and grabbing some attention, or at least a free drink. Open-wheel racing had a scheduled doubleheader at Belle Isle as well as companion sports car racing. NHRA was hosting an event …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Random Summer Notes

NASCAR Cup Series cars at Sonoma Raceway, June 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Ah, yes. It’s that time of year again. Or in this case, I guess I should say it’s that time in an 18-year cycle again. Here in the Western Suburbs of Philadelphia, the 18-year hatch of the cicadas took place Saturday morning around Dawn O’clock. For small bugs, these things are incredibly noisy especially given …

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