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75 years of NASCAR next year – what are the all-time great races?

NASCAR has long been a favorite sport in the USA and for fans of high-speed racing worldwide. The intense action which unfolds on track, plus the off-track rivalries, always makes for superb entertainment. 2021’s NASCAR Cup Series is a great example of this and has served up some fabulous action during the regular season. With series playoff action set to commence soon and the season finale in early November 2021, it will be interesting to see if Kyle Larson can hold off people like Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. when racing starts again. 

For those NASCAR fans who want to get a head-start on series playoff racing, it can be fun to see who is being tipped to emerge triumphant in 2021. Checking out sports betting analysis sites is a good way to do this, as they show the odds given by sportsbooks for each driver to win. Of course, if you like to get more from NASCAR by actually placing bets, then looking at sites like this can also provide tips on which driver to back.

Although the 2021 season is heating up nicely, keen followers of this sport will know it has a long history to look back on. Actually, NASCAR is due to celebrate its 75th anniversary next year! The fact it has stuck around for so long shows just what an amazing sport this is and what a loyal fanbase it has. Of course, over these 75 years, there have been some iconic races that stick in the memory. 

But which are some of the very best?

Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 – 2015 

The simple truth is that you don’t have to go too far back in NASCAR history for some of the best racing ever. For many, the 2015 playoff race in Martinsville is the only choice when it comes to the most dramatic action ever produced. To begin with, Matt Kenseth decided to exact revenge on Joey Logano for spinning him out in Kansas by driving him into the wall! 

The resulting crash is one of the best-known scenes in NASCAR. This crash resulted in Kenseth being banned for two races, but also ended Logano’s championship hopes. As a result, Jeff Gordon and Jamie McMurray were left battling it out on the front row. After a restart with two laps left, Gordon got clear to claim a stunning victory and make it to the championship four. Jeff Gordon’s win in 2015 was his last one and this proved a fitting farewell to fans.

Cracker Barrel 500 – 2001 

Heading a little further back in time, many would agree that the 2001 Cracker Barrel 500 was a memorable event. It was also a highly emotional one for many involved with NASCAR. Only three weeks previously, racing legend Dale Earnhardt had sadly died in a high-speed Daytona 500 crash. This resulted in Kevin Harvick stepping in to take his spot when the action arrived in Georgia. 

Jeff Gordon started well and looked certain to win a second NASCAR race on the spin. Harvick came back at him though and eventually raced into the lead. In the final lap, Gordon made a late dash to take it, but Harvick won by just 0.06 of a second. After winning, he drove around the track backward with three fingers aloft in a tear-jerking tribute to Earnhardt.

Talladega 500 – 1984

For a lot of NASCAR followers, this 1984 cracker in Talladega is hard to beat. But what makes it so special still today? For starters, you had an insane line-up of some of the best drivers ever to jump behind the wheel. For example, the top seven spots included Dale Earnhardt, Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison, Harry Gant, Terry Labonte, Darrell Waltrip, and Cale Yarborough.

The star names on offer did not disappoint and the high-octane action saw the lead change a massive 68 times across 16 different drivers. Eventually, Earnhardt took the victory to extend his Winston Cup lead at the time. This did not last though because he finished in fourth behind Labonte, Gant, and Bill Elliott in the standings eventually.

Top racing in 75 years of NASCAR history

The above are certainly some of the best NASCAR races ever and show what makes this sport so magical. It is not only the high-speed driving or cool cars but also the drama, emotion, and characters it contains. With Kyle Larson crowned 2021’s regular season champion after some excellent racing and a 75-year celebration on the horizon, there is no doubt that the future of the sport is in good hands.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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