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CP MOTORSPORTS: TOM HIGGINS: A MEMORABLE SOUTHERN 500 WITH JUNIOR

 

Junior Johnson didn’t hesitate when asked what he planned to do with the victor’s winnings from the Southern 500 on Sept. 3, 1962, at Darlington Raceway.

“I’m going to build some more chicken houses,” said the popular

Johnson, a folk hero and former moonshine hauler who was also a poultry producer who drove race cars very fast.

But even as Johnson envisioned carpenters hammering nails on his Wilkes County farm, some rivals were hollering “foul!”

X-FINITY SERIES - MCDOWELL GETS FIRST NASCAR WIN AT ROAD AMERICA

 

Michael McDowell drives the #2 Rheem Chevrolet poses with the trophy after his victory at the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Michael McDowell drives the #2 at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.)

Michael McDowell’s Twitter handle is @Mc_Driver.

After Saturday, he may want to consider changing it -- to something like @Mc_Winner.

McDowell led 24 of the final 25 laps of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville for his first victory in 94 series races.

NASCAR TRUCKS - BRETT MOFFITT BEATS RED HORSE TEAMMATE TO CHECKERS AT MICHIGAN

 

Brett Moffitt, driver of the #11 Red Horse Racing Toyota, races during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 27, 2016 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

In five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, Brett Moffitt had never led a lap.

But in Saturday’s Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway, Moffitt picked the perfect time to take the point for the first time.

 

CP MOTORSPORTS – MONTE DUTTON: ROSIN, RESIN, TOMATOES, TOHMAHTOES

Rain is awful.

At this point, someone is reading this and thinking, ah, but we need it.

I don’t like a drought any more than the next guy. If it didn’t rain, I couldn’t mow the lawn. I’m just not fond of the recent timing. They don’t need the rain in Louisiana right now. They didn’t need the rain in Bristol. That was a great race strung out over a night, a day and another night.

CP MOTORSPORTS: TOM HIGGINS: BIG DALE JARRETT WINS BIG

 

As Dale Jarrett’s career as a second generation NASCAR star progressed, he gradually gained a reputation for being at his best in the biggest events.

This was punctuated into stock car racing lore on Aug. 4, 1986, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

As the Cup Series teams gather once again at the world’s most famous track, standing out in memory is Jarrett’s clutch pass of Ford teammate Ernie Irvan six laps from the finish to win the third running of the Brickyard 400.

CP MOTORSPORTS - HARVICK WINS RAIN-DELAYED SPRINT CUP RACE AT BRISTOL

 

Past Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick outlasted both the soggy weather and his opponents en route to a victory in Sunday's rescheduled Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. 

The win for Harvick, who finished 1.933 seconds ahead of second place finisher Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., is his second victory of the 2016 season and his second career victory at Bristol. Harvick's other triumph at Bristol came all the way back in the Spring of 2005. 

CP MOTORSPORTS: TOM HIGGINS: IT'S A HEATWAVE

 

Imagine getting in your personal car on the hottest day of summer, rolling up the windows, turning the heater on high and driving from Charlotte to Philadelphia.

That's how the late NASCAR Hall Of Fame nominee Buddy Baker once described what it was like to run in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on sultry South Carolina Labor Days during the 1950s, '60s and '70s before "cool suits" and such came along.

The issue of racing when the thermometer is teasing 100 degrees comes to mind because of the heat wave presently scorching much of the nation.

There were times during summer races a few decades ago at Charlotte, Daytona Beach, Dover and Talladega when searing weather conditions seemed to be as much of a threat to the drivers' health as being involved in a wreck.

CP MOTORSPORTS - NASCAR ROYALTY WINS FIRST TRUCK SERIES RACE IN BRISTOL

Ben Kennedy made his 63rd career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in Wednesday night's rain-delayed UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kennedy's win is significant in the NASCAR community because the driver of the No. 33 Jacob Industries Chevrolet is the great-grandson of NASCAR's founding father, Bill France, Sr.

The triumph left the graduate of the University of Florida speechless in victory lane.

CP MOTORSPORTS – MONTE DUTTON: SONGS IN THE KEY OF NASCAR

I don't get much inside information. A colleague drops by the house every month or so. Sometimes I meet someone for lunch while he's driving to Atlanta or Talladega. I talk on the phone with NASCAR chums. I swap the occasional smart-alecky texts. I’ve even succumbed to the stray Facebook message.

I bumped into Andy Petree at a local gas station. His daughter Jonnie plays softball at Presbyterian College. Carl Edwards called me on the phone a couple years ago. He asked how I was doing. I told him fine.

CP MOTORSPORTS: TOM HIGGINS: THERE WAS ONLY ONE "TINY" LUND

 

Aug. 17, 1975. “It’s a date that forever will be draped in black in NASCAR history.

That’s the day that one of stock car racing’s most colorful and popular characters, Tiny Lund, lost his life in a crash at Talladega Superspeedway. The accident happened just eight laps into the Talladega 500 at the 2.66-mile track then known as Alabama International Motor Speedway. There was contact between cars in heavy traffic coming off the 33-degree banking of the second turn. Suddenly, eight of the cars were spinning and colliding in a cloud of dust and smoke.

"Tiny came by me backwards," said J.D. McDuffie, tragically destined to lose his own life in a wreck on Aug. 11, 1991 at Watkins Glen, N.Y.

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