Walter "Bud" Moore Jr., a decorated member of America’s "Greatest Generation" who went on to win NASCAR championships as car owner and crew chief, has died at the age of 92.
Moore, a Spartanburg, S.C., native who won the NASCAR premier series title in 1957 as crew chief for Buck Baker and car owner titles in 1962-63 with Joe Weatherly, had been the oldest living member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 2011.
It now seems as if Martin Truex Jr.’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship was a foregone conclusion. A system that was designed not to work, worked. NASCAR officials drew up their latest title format like a concept album. They put in phases, stages, circles, cycles, and a few other miscellaneous words from Willie Nelson songs, and, miracle of miracles, the guy with eight victories and 2,253 laps led actually won the championship.
I just surfed the Internet, looking at preseason predictions. No one I could find predicted Truex to be the champion. I found one seer who predicted he would make the final four. Much more common were such prognostications as:
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will make a triumphant return to Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2018, during Pole Night. The first ARCA race at Charlotte since 2004 will bring stock car racing’s future standouts to a world-class stage during the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder following qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600. The 150-mile race will provide drivers with a special opportunity to showcase their skills in front of the racing world’s most prominent teams.
ARCA, Gateway Motorsports Park and Track Enterprises today announced the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will compete at GMP in 2018. The 150-mile race will take place on the evening of Friday, June 22, one day before GMP's annual NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
The 2018 race will be the seventh ARCA event held at GMP, but the first since 2007. GMP ARCA winners include 10-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel (2001) and the late Bryan Clauson (2007). The full-size stock car series has a rich history dating back to 1953 and has served as the launching pad for many successful motorsports careers, including Benny Parsons, Kyle Petty, Davey Allison, Alex Bowman and Ty Dillon. The series is diverse and challenging because it competes on superspeedways, short tracks, dirt ovals and road courses.
Following a long and winding road, Martin Truex Jr. finally owns the biggest prize in motorsports.
The driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota capped off a dominant season in fitting fashion –by capturing the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship with a stirring victory in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Some would define going out on top as winning a championship in a final year. I guess Alan Kulwicki came closest, and he didn’t want to go out. A plane crash cost him his life. Ned Jarrett retired late in 1966 after winning the 1965 championship of the series that would one day become Monster Cup.
In other words, no one’s ever really done it, by choice or tragedy. Matt Kenseth has one race to go, but he hadn’t won all year when he took the checkered flag at Phoenix Raceway. Of course, Kenseth isn’t really retiring by choice. He’s too proud to beg for a lesser ride and just ride around for a paycheck.
Within reason, he is going out on top. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is going out on top in terms of popularity, but Kenseth won his penultimate race, and the exclamation point is that he proved Joe Gibbs -- or whichever pencil pusher who deemed him expendable -- wrong.
Mark Harris’s 1956 novel Bang the Drum Slowly (also a 1973 movie starring Robert De Niro and Michael Moriarty) tells a story of how big-league ballplayers would hoodwink fans during spring training in hotel lobbies. They drew the rubes into a card game called TEGWAR, which stood for “The Exciting Game Without Any Rules.”
Pull up a chair, buddy. Me and the boys are playing a little TEGWAR.
The expression “nice guys finish last” is based on remarks made on July 6, 1946, by Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher in reference to New York Giants manager Mel Ott. It’s a paraphrase. What Durocher actually said, reportedly, was:
“Nice guys! Look over there. Do you know a nicer guy than Mel Ott? Or any of the other Giants? Why, they’re the nicest guys in the world! And where are they? In seventh place! Nice guys! I’m not a nice guy – and I’m in first place.” After pacing up and down the visitors’ dugout, the Dodger manager waved a hand toward the Giants’ dugout and repeated, “The nice cguys are all over there, in seventh place.”
Down the stretch! That’s where the NASCAR horse race is. Four races remain in the playoffs. The next three will establish the four drivers who will remain in contention for that one, winner-take-all race within the race scheduled for Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19.
Although there is a God in heaven, it doesn’t mean that Martin Truex Jr. will win. He has won seven of the 32 races to date and could easily have won five more. Four former champions – Jimmie Johnson (7), Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick – are in the final eight. Truex, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney have never won a championship, and Chase Elliott has never won a race.