No Monster Energy Cup race was run over the weekend. Easter is the last of the sacred holidays. Mother’s Day weekend was once thought taboo. When another year rolls around, Daytona Beach won’t have the Fourth of July (or thereabouts), and NASCAR will try once again to jumpstart the Brickyard by giving it an encore to Memorial Day.
No race? It’s almost a relief to have a damned good reason for empty grandstands.
Ye gods. I reckon I’m going to have to write about Darrell Waltrip.
I like him. He’s a charming man. Back in his heyday as a driver, he was viewed by many in the media in almost the same way they later saw Jeff Gordon, now a partner of Waltrip in the Fox booth.
Waltrip, even though he was Southern, homespun and folksy, had media savvy, and it wasn’t just the simple friendliness of Richard Petty. D.W. would stir things up. He’d play with other drivers’ minds. He was good copy. In his early years, he was far better liked in the media centers than the grandstands.
NASCAR today announced the 2020 schedules for both the NASCAR Xfinity Series™ and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series™, and both include a return to race tracks that were part of the original schedule for each series – venues that have been absent from the respective slates for more than a decade.
For the first time since 2006 – and only the second time in the last 25 years – the Xfinity Series will race at Martinsville Speedway, and the stakes have never been higher. Expect tempers to flare, and emotions to boil over. With a final chance to lock up a spot in the Championship 4, Martinsville will serve as the final Playoff cutoff race in all three national series. The Gander Trucks will race at The Paperclip on Oct. 30 under the lights, with the Xfinity Series making its return on Oct. 31.
Darrell Waltrip entered the 1992 Bojangles’ Southern 500 on a hot streak and was looking for more.
The three-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion and owner of 83 career victories (at the time) traveled to Darlington Raceway that summer for the annual Labor Day Southern 500 weekend festivities with momentum after winning at Bristol Motor Speedway and posting a second-place showing at Michigan International Speedway the two races prior.
Little did Waltrip know that after winning the Bojangles’ Southern 500 for his 84th career win, it would be the last time he visited Gatorade Victory Lane in NASCAR’s top series. It was also his first and only Bojangles’ Southern 500 victory (his other four wins at Darlington were in spring events).
A champion crowned in the desert. The Last Great Colosseum becomes a postseason factor. A tricky doubleheader. The birthplace of NASCAR bookends the regular season.
NASCAR today announced significant, dynamic changes to the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, with intriguing shifts during both the regular season and the Playoffs.
Most notably next season, NASCAR’s championship will transition from the beaches of Miami to the desert near Phoenix, Arizona, following the renovation and reconfiguration of ISM Raceway. These recent changes delivered a new and exciting form of racing just a few weeks ago, reinforcing it as the perfect stage for the 2020 championship finale. As part of the new schedule, a champion will be crowned on Sunday, Nov. 8 – a week earlier than in previous seasons.
I don’t believe NASCAR will ever be able to mess up Martinsville. The Lords of Daytona Beach haven’t been able to run it out of business, not that they don’t own most of it.
When International Speedway Corporation took over after decades of owning stock in it, attendance immediately fell by 30,000 fans. The stands were still packed. It’s just that ISC immediately let everyone know the track never held the 90,000 fans the Earleses and Campbells claimed.