The mountain backdrop was more impressive than the race track, which reminded me at first of a large high school’s football stadium. Even at age seven, it occurred to me that the half-mile race track was twice as large as a quarter-mile track around a football field, so, appearances aside, this was larger than a football stadium.
Besides, this was NASCAR, and NASCAR was big.
The way into those grandstands was a long incline at both ends. In the 1960s, men were men and ice coolers didn’t have wheels on them. Ralph Barnes, sons Steve and Marty and adopted son Mooney Mims, took turns hoisting the cooler, which contained beverages I was 11 years removed from being able to quaff legally. Ralph may have remembered to pack a couple RC Colas, or Nugrapes, for me.
The first I met Brian Zachary France, I pegged him for a bull shooter, which is a term that has been transformed over time into more colorful and vulgar usage.
The scion of the NASCAR empire was being groomed for leadership not long before the century turned, and I was invited out to dinner so that I could get to know the future emperor. He tried too hard to impress. He told me he was negotiating with BET (Black Entertainment Television) for the rights to carry occasional NASCAR races, and he said it with the tone of a man who felt he could say anything and people would nod and say, “How fascinating.”
“We are aware of an incident that occurred last night and are in the process of gathering information. We take this as a serious matter and will issue a statement after we have all of the facts.” - NASCAR
For 33 years, Tom Higgins was The Charlotte Observer’s voice in the motorsports world. It was the way he handled his newspaper beat, however, that endeared him to the motorsports community, specifically NASCAR.
Higgins truly cared about the sport and its people. He never viewed them as a rung on his career ladder. To report on devastating news, such as the death of Neil Bonnett, Alan Kulwicki or Davey Allison was difficult for him, but he executed it professionally with compassion. And it was that compassion that separated him from other reporters; that made him one of the best storytellers in the business.
Following a national talent search and annual combine event in May, NASCAR® and Rev Racing today announced the latest participants in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program.
Seven former collegiate athletes were selected based on strong, individual performances during a series of crew member assessments and strength and agility drills at the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Combine in Concord, N.C. on May 25.
NASCAR Drive for Diversity provides opportunities for multicultural and female athletes to “go pro” in NASCAR following college careers in football, basketball, track and field, and other sports.
We who have spent our lives consigned to the ranks of the scribes know well the fire that occasionally consumes the readers. When times are bad, readers get angry when we write it.
The job isn’t to write what is positive. The job isn’t to write what is negative. The job is to write what happens. This morning, when I awakened, I looked out the window and saw that it is raining. When it’s raining, sunshine doesn’t get equal space.
One of the late Yogi Berra’s many knuckleheaded witticisms was: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
Three of the past four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races have been rabble rousers. Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson traded metal licks at Chicagoland Speedway, where Busch was the winner, on July 1. Six nights later, Erik Jones survived Daytona International Speedway’s crash-filled Coke Zero Sugar 400 for the first win of his career. After Martin Truex Jr. dominated a snoozer in Kentucky, Kevin Harvick pulled off an invigorating bump-and-run to best Busch in New Hampshire.
Richard Petty Motorsports and STP today unveiled a historic look for NASCAR's throwback weekend. The scheme will take fans back to the beginning of one of NASCAR's longest partnerships. Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. will race the first-ever STP scheme during the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend. The car was unveiled at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Since the time Hall of Fame driver and crew chief, "The King" Richard Petty and Dale Inman, created the famous Petty Blue color, the No. 43 machine raced primarily in that shade of blue throughout the 1960's. In the beginning of 1972, STP became Petty's first major sponsor, and thus serious discussions about the new look of the famed "43" began. Petty was insistent of the Petty Blue while STP boss Andy Granatelli insisted on the Day-Glo STP red.
A certain percentage of the NASCAR fan base wants to see and hear no evil. These fans cry out for positive news. They want no talk of crowds and ratings. They deem coverage only appropriate if it’s promotional in nature.
Sorry. The job is to spread the news of what happens, whether it’s Trump and Putin in Helsinki or Busch and Larson in Chicagoland.
Driving a race car that ran like a thoroughbred at Kentucky Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. claimed his fourth victory of the season and his second straight at the 1.5-mile track.
It was a perfect weekend for Truex in the Bluegrass state. He not only won the race, he qualified on the pole, won the first two stages and collected the seven maximum playoff bonus points. He remains third in both overall driver points and playoff points.