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MONTE DUTTON: – THE RUINS OF THE GREAT NASCAR STORM

Ernie Banks never said, “Let’s play 10.”

This isn’t the Chase anymore. NASCAR’s “playoffs” are off and “playing” in Joliet, Ill. If it was me, they’d be the race-offs. Racers don’t play. They race. I suppose “race-offs” has a fatal hyphen in it, and they couldn’t even brand a hyphen in Rawhide.

What I should be doing right now is figuring out how this works. I’ve read it all before, but this system requires a reference guide, and my memory isn’t what it once was. I didn’t have access to the Internet back when I didn’t need it. The Good Lord works in mysterious ways.

CP MOTORSPORTS - THEHOUSE.COM ANNOUNCES MULTI-YEAR SPONSORSHIP WITH CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY

Chicagoland Speedway and TheHouse.com today announced a multi-year agreement as the entitlement sponsor for multiple levels of NASCAR races through 2019. The agreement begins with TheHouse.com as the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, TheHouse.com 225, and the NASCAR XFINITY Series, The House.com 300, on September 15 and 16, respectively. The multi-year agreement expands in 2018 and 2019 as TheHouse.com will own the race weekend by having the rights to all three NASCAR National Series races: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

As the most brand-loyal fans in sports, NASCAR fans enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and TheHouse.com is passionate about equipping everyone from weekend warriors to outdoor enthusiasts with the best outdoor gear on the planet. At each touchpoint, TheHouse.com educates, enriches and invigorates its members to form a symbiotic relationship among cultures, sports and lifestyles for all of your family’s favorite outdoor activities.

CP MOTORSPORTS - TRUEX JR: ONE CHAMPIONSHIP DOWN, ONE TO GO

Martin Truex Jr. knows all about winning and losing in the closing laps of a race. He’s been on both sides, including on the winning side in last year’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

With five laps remaining in the playoff opener and running second to Chase Elliott a caution came out. Truex’s over-the-wall crew got him off pit road first, and when the race went green with two laps to go he hung on to score the victory.

CP MOTORSPORTS - NASCAR DRIVERS TAKE CENTER STAGE IN 2017 NASCAR PLAYOFFS CAMPAIGN


Credit: 351888Sean Gardner/Getty Images

As stock car racing’s brightest stars prepare for the grueling, 10-week road to Ford Championship Weekend, NASCAR® is showcasing all the drama and intensity of the 2017 NASCAR Playoffs with a new, integrated marketing campaign. From the first green flag to the final burnout, the 2017 NASCAR Playoffs campaign will engage fans across platforms with the rigors of the journey, the ferocity of the competition, and the thrill of victory – all from the perspective of the drivers.

Fans can visit the NASCAR Playoffs Leaderboard at NASCAR.com/playoffs and follow NASCAR on social media (#NASCARPlayoffs) for first-hand driver perspectives on navigating "Playoff Road" en route to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19.

 

MONTE DUTTON: – DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? YES!

Darlington is in the rearview mirror, and I always love Darlington like cowboys love cutting horses, but something just has to be written about one of the doggonedest racing stories I’ve ever seen.

Jeremy Clements, 32 years’ worth of where NASCAR stars used to come from and how they made it big, won the Xfinity Series race at Road America on the 27th day and fourth Sunday of August.

I have just published my second novel about a young race-car driver from Spartanburg, S.C., and Clements proved with evidence that would stand up in court that truth is stranger than fiction.

MONTE DUTTON: A TRACK TOO TOUGH TO DIE

NASCAR could learn from Darlington’s success.

All the frantic concentration on change has scrubbed too much of the grit off stock car racing. Lo and behold, the Bojangles’ Southern 500 is still unique. Its relevance in the present is derived from its past.

Meanwhile, NASCAR modernizes.

Darlington isn’t the biggest house on the circuit, but it was packed, or at least that’s the way it looked on TV.

CP MOTORSPORTS - CAPTAIN COMEBACK: DENNY HAMLIN WINS BOJANGLES' SOUTHERN 500


Photo Courtsey of Darlington Raceway

Denny Hamlin overcame a seemingly critical mistake to win the 68th annual Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Sunday night at Darlington Raceway, completing a weekend sweep of racing at the famed Track Too Tough To Tame.

Tame it he did, however. On Saturday, Hamlin won the weekend’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race after starting on the poll. Sunday marked his second victory in the Bojangles’ Southern 500, following his 2010 triumph. Hamlin also swept the weekend’s events that year.

 

MONTE DUTTON: DAMNING WITH FAINT PRAISE

Brace yourself. This week I came to praise NASCAR, not to bury it.

I take back nothing. In NASCAR as with most sports, I am a traditionalist. If I could ban the designated hitter from the ballparks, I would. If I could banish teams with losing records from post-season play, I’d do it.

That train left the NASCAR station in 2004. Now the season boils down to 10 races in the fall, and from the way some people talk, you’d think the Chase, now oh, so originally known as “playoffs” in which no one plays, had caused interest in stock car racing to explode into worldwide acclaim.

CP MOTORSPORTS - ROOKIE DRIVER JONES WILL HONOR ROOKIES OF THROWBACK ERA ON NO. 77 5-HOUR ENERGY SCHEME AT DARLINGTON

 

The unique paint scheme of the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota that 2017 NASCAR Rookie of the Year candidate Erik Jones will drive in the Sept. 3 Bojangles’ Southern 500 will honor the great rookie classes of the celebrated throwback era. The paint scheme is a photographic Who’s Who of the NASCAR Cup Series rookie drivers from 1984 to 1989, featuring Cup Series Champions, Daytona 500 winners and a couple of Hall of Famers.

Additionally, the scheme will include a photo of The 5-hour ENERGY Racing Throwback Sweepstakes winner, which gave fans the opportunity to submit their personal photos from the 1985-89 era. The winner, Rick Redpath of Greene, NY, was randomly selected among hundreds of entrants and will share the hood of the No. 77 at Darlington with some of  racing’s  royalty.

 

MONTE DUTTON: THE FORCE IS WITH LARSON

 

Kyle Larson took a while to get started. It’s because he started young. He was 21 when he debuted on what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the fall of 2013.

It took Larson 101 tries to win. Now he’s won four of the past 36 and finished second nine times during that span. Oddly, all four victories have been at two-mile tracks. The runner-up finishes have occurred at every kind of NASCAR venue except a road course. He did, however, turn in a fourth at Sonoma back in 2015.

Larson has gone from “talented, but it’s too soon” to “talented, but he’s got to learn to close the deal” to “talented, end of story, period.” No question mark.

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