Did his lack of success over recent years stunt NASCAR's growth? Maybe, it was his continued presence that kept it from sliding further down the tubes. In fact, the champion has only taken the Most Popular Driver award six times in the season they won the championship. The last was Bill Elliott nearly 30 years ago. So much for Harvick's theory.
It all began early Sunday morning along the coast of Monte Carlo and the Monaco Grand Prix. I am not a big fan of driving fast and little passing, but Monaco is a different breed. Fabulous architecture and big expensive craft that fill the marina are the background for a street race that has the competitors driving just a bit above the recommended speed limit for you and I. Simply put, they go fast on a road not built to go fast, be it alone or among 20 other speed demons.
One of the most memorable All-Star races occurred in 1992 when Davey Allison and Kyle Petty were contending for the win along with Dale Earnhardt who was in the lead. During the closing laps, Petty made contact with Earnhardt, who spun, setting up a battle between Allison and Petty.
NASCAR is losing steam. Surprise! It is not exactly news, but this week comments made by the top brass yet again reminded us of what has been going on for about a decade now. NASCAR got its big TV contract in 2001 to bring the action nationwide. It lost one of its legends in that opening race, then his son became part of a very compelling and riveting story line, and a fad was born.
One day they are going to make that movie. It will feature a young Dale Earnhardt Jr. growing up in the shadow of his legendary father. We will see his daddy’s pride as his namesake begins his racing career. That first Tier II win at Texas in 1998. The two Tier II titles that came that year, and the next.
On Feb. 18, fans young and old remembered the loss of NASCAR legend, Dale Earnhardt, who was killed in a last-lap crash at Daytona international Speedway in 2001. However, few fans realize that there were fatalities before Earnhardt, that occurred at Daytona. These were drivers also wanting victory at one of the greatest tracks of all time. Let's take a moment and remember those drivers as well.
In the middle of what should have been an amazing weekend for Tony Stewart, Smoke has shown that he is had enough and Homestead can't get here soon enough for him. Coming off his solid run in Michigan, Stewart was running in the top-five in practice at Sonoma when he came up on slower cars heading into turn 11 and it set off the fireworks.
Let me be clear. Any race format that artificially moves entries from behind to plop them up front is a dumb one. I do not care if it is NASCAR’s All-Star Race or one that allows me to charge ahead of the Kentucky Derby field while wearing sneakers and a propeller hat. Dumb is as dumb does.