O'Reilly Pit Blog

This Worked

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

NASCAR has tried a lot of different things over the years; looking to increase interest.  And who can blame them?  What's the old saying about the definition of insanity…doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Leaving a Void

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The contrast among the three drivers that walked away from full-time rides in the Cup series Sunday is quite amazing.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Not a Bad Way To Go

Friday, November 17, 2017

There are very few perfect exits from sports.  Rarely does an athlete win a championship and "drop the mic".  Part of that is because of exactly what made them successful in the first place; their competitive drive.  It's hard to give up the adrenaline kick they get from competing.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Doubling Up

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Brian France's stated desire with the NASCAR playoffs is to finish the season with a Game 7 moment.  And, he has created that in the Homestead finale…all or nothing.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

An Improvement

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

And that's why Talladega didn't need to be an elimination race.  Fourteen cars running at the finish?  The majority of the 26 on the sidelines were there due to no fault of their own.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Crank Up the Heat

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I believe that Round Two of the NASCAR Playoffs is the most intense.  It has to do with expectations and perceptions. 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Loss of a Legend and More

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The drivers and crew chiefs tend to be the stars of our sport, but they don't have success without the help of guys like Robert Yates.  Engine builders may be like the offensive linemen of NASCAR; you only hear about them when things go wrong.

               

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Different Opening

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I'm looking forward to next year when the playoffs will begin in Las Vegas.  I think there's going to be a different level of excitement than we've had in Chicagoland.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

We're Not Alone

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I am constantly asked about the state of NASCAR.  Why is attendance down?  We see the tracks taking out seats.  When I answer that NASCAR is far from alone in this decline, I'm occasionally looked at like I've got three heads.  But, it's true.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Best Place for Trucking

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

There has been a lot of talk the last few weeks about the future of the Truck series.  With Brad Keselowski pulling out, there is a possibility that there won't be any Ford trucks running next year.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Everyone Needs a Bad Guy

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

There has been a lot made of Kyle Busch egging the crowd on after his Saturday night win at Bristol.  I'm going to be honest with you; I loved it.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

What Exactly is Bristol?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Will it be the old Bristol or the new Bristol?  Frankly, there have been so many changes and tweaks to Bristol Motor Speedway lately, I'm not really sure what the "old Bristol" really was.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It Can Be Done in Two

Thursday, August 3, 2017

After a couple of races, Indy and Pocono, with the two-day format for the Cup teams, I have to say that I like it.  And, the deal at Pocono, with qualifying and the race on the same day, seemed like a success.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Were They Really That Good

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I've found it interesting how many folks have jumped on Brad Keselowski's comments about the current Cup car, and immediately pointed at Martin Truex, Jr.'s Kentucky as the shining example of exactly what he was talking about.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Near Miss

Thursday, July 6, 2017

We all knew Daytona could be a wildcard, but I don't think anyone was prepared for how close it came to turning the Playoff race upside down.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

As we hit the unofficial halfway point of the season, it's a good time to take a look at how the major format changes are playing out.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

No Wine for the Ringers

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My how times have changed in the world of NASCAR road course racing.  It wasn't that long ago that guys like Jeff Gordon would walk into the garage at Sonoma and know that they really only had to beat, maybe, eight other drivers.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Not Moving

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I used to look at this stretch from the Coke 600 to the Brickyard as NASCAR's equivalent of the PGA Tour's Moving Day.  In golf, that's the Saturday round, when you put yourself in position to go for the tournament win.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Winning is the Only Thing

Thursday, June 1, 2017

I shouldn't be surprised, but I still am amazed by the reaction of some fans to Kyle Busch's post-race press conference.  For those that missed it, Kyle was asked if he was surprised that Austin Dillon made it to the end of fuel, and Busch's response was, "I'm not surprised by anything.  Congratulations."  He then dropped the mic and left.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Stop the Madness

Thursday, May 25, 2017

There's an old saying, "there's no greater burden than high expectations".  That certain applies to NASCAR's All-Star race.There's an old saying, "there's no greater burden than high expectations".  That certain applies to NASCAR's All-Star race.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Emotional Outburst

Thursday, May 18, 2017

There has been a lot said about Danica Patrick's post-wreck interview at Kansas.  I'm not going to get into what she said, the important thing to me is that she said it.  And, that's what makes this sport different from just about any other.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Circle of Life

Thursday, May 4, 2017

This sport is in a three-year period in which it's losing a lot of star power with the retirements of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, and now, the most popular driver in the game, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.  Many are ready to call in the priest to perform last rites.  Apparently, those folks haven't been around very long.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Staging Success

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I know we're not that far into the season, but the more I see of the stage racing, the more I like it.  As the teams are beginning to see the importance of the stage points and the playoff point you can earn by winning a stage, we're beginning to see some different strategies play out.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Once a Texan…

Friday, April 14, 2017

New pavement, new layout, new faces in Victory Lane.  Or maybe not.

Isn't it interesting that despite all the changes to Texas Motor Speedway, the guys who ended up wearing cowboy hats at the end of the weekend, were just adding to their collections.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Making the Right Call

Thursday, April 6, 2017

If you wanted college basketball's championship game this week, you saw what can happen when the officials take over a game.  It gets ugly and nearly unwatchable and leads to a product that satisfies no one.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Tick Tock

Friday, March 31, 2017

There are many truths in life and one of them is that, eventually, Father Time will win.  While there are advantages that come with age, sooner or later the deterioration in skills will override the advantage that wisdom and wiles provided.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Everything's great.  Really?  Does it have to be?

That's what Kyle Busch said…repeatedly…after his NASCAR-brokered meeting with Joey Logano.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Plenty of Power

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

While most folks are happy to see Daytona in their rear view mirrors, there is one family that will do so with a tear in their eye this year.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Having a Short Memory

Monday, February 27, 2017

There isn't any argument that the Daytona 500 is the most prestigious race of the NASCAR season.  And, with it being the season-opener, it is the one that teams have seemingly spent the majority of their off-seasons preparing for.  And, it will forever change the way the winner is introduced.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Is There Good Here?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

It has taken NASCAR awhile to get here, but I'm glad they finally have.  We have been calling for years for the sanctioning body to provide a traveling medical staff that, not only knows the drivers and their history but also is a familiar face in the medical center.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It's Only a Matter of Time

Thursday, February 9, 2017

One of the key elements of NASCAR's new "enhancements" has been the united front that has been presented from all the stakeholders.  The sanctioning body, TV networks, track operators and drivers have all been sitting around the campfire together holding hands singing Kumbaya.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Sane Move

Thursday, February 2, 2017

What's the old saying about the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?  NASCAR has now tried something different.  We'll find out later if it will bring a different result.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Exit This Way

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I admire Carl Edwards.  To recognize that he didn't have quite the passion he once did for this sport and to subsequently make the decision to walk away even though he could still contend for championships, took a lot of toughness.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Long and Short of It

Thursday, January 12, 2017

It's interesting, the emotions that a new year can bring, especially in sports.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

I wish I had nothing better to do than sit around and do 7 years worth of math.  But, apparently that's what a number of old school Petty and Earnhardt fans have been doing since Sunday in an effort to discredit Jimmie Johnson's 7 Cup championships.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Welcome to the Real World

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I am absolutely floored by the number of people who have enraged over NASCAR's decision to end a Chase race short of the scheduled distance because of weather.  These people need to return to Earth and join the rest of us in reality-land.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

I don't have any problem with what Joe Gibbs Racing did at Talladega.  It was a strategic move.  Strategic moves don't always work out; this time it did.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Getting to Know You

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I, admittedly, was not a fan of the Chases for Xfinity and Trucks.  But, now that they're here, I have to admit that I'm liking them more than I thought I would.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Not Measuring Up

Thursday, September 22, 2016

This whole laser inspection thing has my head just spinning.  On one hand, I want NASCAR to have some control on the guys who try and get creative with the car bodies.  On the other hand, the last thing I want to be talking about during the playoffs is lasers and microscopic measurements.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

No Talking!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It's always interesting to see how things play out when friends get mad at each other.  Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman have been pretty entertaining since Saturday night.  It will be interesting to see where things go the next few weeks.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Throwback Timeout

Thursday, September 8, 2016

In Year Two of NASCAR's Throwback Weekend at Darlington, I thought the teams really upped their games from Year One.  That begs the question, what can they do to make it better next year?

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Winner, Winner

Thursday, September 1, 2016

I am really loving this Chase format.  If you were one of those complaining that winning didn't mean enough; you can stop that now.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Just Take a Breath

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Years ago a friend who worked in the automobile industry told me of a saying (that I will clean up), "there's a butt for every seat". You see an ugly car o the road and think, 'who would buy that?', well, someone did.  In other words, there are a lot of different opinions out there.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Cool Your Engines

Friday, August 19, 2016

I've been advocating an off-week during the Chase; maybe after the first two rounds.  It would give everyone a chance to reset a little before the intensity of the final eight.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A chance to cash in

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The reaction to Chris Buescher's Pocono win is intriguing. Many of the same fans praising the underdog scoring a victory are decrying that a driver so low in the standings could make the Chase.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Back when I was your age

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sometimes it's hard to appreciate greatness, especially when you don't particularly care for the person displaying it. 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Day To Remember

Thursday, July 21, 2016

It's hard to believe it's been more than 20 years since NASCAR made its first trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  We have a whole new generation of fans who really don't understand what a watershed day it was for the sport.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Two Weeks to Watch

Thursday, July 14, 2016

If you're looking to do a little handicapping as to who to bet on in the Chase, the next two weeks may be your best chances.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Cable and satellite are a choice you make. I'm happy to make it, as are many race fans across the country. But, I find it somewhat ironic that folks are complaining about too many commercials in a sport that is basically one big continuous commercial.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Not the Right Place

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Whenever someone starts talking about adding a new track to the Sprint Cup schedule, Iowa seems to be at the top of the list.  Iowa is a great race track and does a wonderful job hosting the Trucks, Xfinity and IndyCars.  But, it's the wrong place to look if we're putting a new track on the Cup schedule.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Still A Win and You're in

Thursday, June 16, 2016

What a difference a couple of years make.  Remember the first year of this new Chase format when there was all the hand-wringing about how a win wouldn't guarantee you a spot in the Chase?

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The off-and-on drama that has followed Kurt Busch throughout his career has made it easy to forget just how good he has been and he continues to be.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Owning Up

Thursday, June 2, 2016

I am really happy to see the NASCAR Hall of Fame finally open their doors to car owners.  It's overdue.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

KISS

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The problem with NASCAR's All-Star race isn't the confusion that reigned Saturday night, it's what happened decades ago.  Simply put: this race is a victim of its own success.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

What's in a Name

Thursday, May 12, 2016

There is little uglier than family squabbles; especially when they make their way into the public.  That's exactly what we're seeing with Dale Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, continuing legal actions to keep Earnhardt's son, Kerry, from using the family name on his "Earnhardt Collection" homes.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Is It This or That?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Isn't there anything that will make you happy?

I feel for NASCAR.  How can you satisfy a fan base that doesn't appear to be satisfied with anything?

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Posted by Brett McMillan

No Orders Here

Thursday, April 28, 2016

This teammates situation we saw in Richmond last week, is a relatively new phenomenon in NASCAR.  Go back 25 years, and there were very few multi-car teams; much less 4-car operations with satellite teams.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Pay Attention

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Human nature is to be reactionary rather than preventative.  After the incident at Bristol where spectator Erin Vandyke was clipped by Kyle Busch, maybe we'll see NASCAR and the tracks crack down, once again, on Hot Pit Passes.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Time and a Place

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Do politics really need to make their way into every facet of our lives?

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Sup

Friday, April 8, 2016

I find that, occasionally, those of us in the media take for-granted the access we have to the people we cover.  In fact, it's kind of funny to watch the buzz that runs through the media center when a celebrity from a different walk of life comes in; versus when a driver, crew chief or car owner comes in.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Scheduling Pain

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The fan continues to be a central focus of almost everyone involved in the sport from NASCAR officials and teams to the track operators.  One of the most difficult balancing acts these days is keeping the fan in mind while the TV networks are laying out schedules.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Appearances

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

You've heard the old expression "2 steps forward and one step back".

Well, for Kyle Busch, it's been more like 6 steps forward and one back.  But, unfortunately for him, when he takes that one back, most folks forget all the progress he's made in recent years.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Marketing Miss

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I'm really enjoying this west coast swing.  I think NASCAR has really found something here; and they don't need to be fretting about weather as they would be if they were running races in the east during this time.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

No Intimidation

Saturday, March 5, 2016

It's interesting how times and attitudes change. I remember when Jeff Gordon tied Dale Earnhardt on the all-time wins list with 76; there was a huge outcry from the Earnhardt supporters; telling us how many ways Gordon didn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as their guy.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

What Makes One Great

Friday, February 26, 2016

There are a lot of good and successful athletes, but there are only a few elite ones.  What separates them is their mindset.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Optimism Reigns

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The flowers haven't started blooming yet, but, throughout Daytona, there is optimism in the air.

It's the start of the year; a time for new beginnings; everyone gets to hit the reset button and pull even with the pack.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

You Can't Change Stripes

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tony Stewart has become as easy target for criticism following his latest injury.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Better Experience

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The new Daytona Rising has been getting rave reviews from folks who were on hand for the 24 Hours last weekend.  Certainly, it's part of the continuing evolution of enhancing the fan experience.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It's Just Different

Thursday, January 28, 2016

We are in the entertainment business.  That's always something we should remember as we evaluate new ideas aimed at increasing interest in the sport.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

All in a Nice Package

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

If it were up to me, NASCAR would not have had their season-ending awards ceremony last week.  It would have been a week and a half before.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Grade for 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Was 2015 a good year?  For me, the answer to that question begins with a question, how many of the year's biggest stories were related to what happened on the track?  In other words, were we talking about the racing or other stuff?

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Tell Me a Story

Thursday, November 19, 2015

One of the things we love about sports is the uncertainty and unpredictability.  Things rarely play out like we think they will.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

One for the Books

Friday, November 13, 2015

So often in recent years, we've heard NASCAR's stated desire to be considered mainstream; on a par with other professional sports.  Right now, there's a chance to, not only, be considered on par, but to present a storyline that would be referred to throughout all professional sports for generations to come.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Tide Has Turned

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Time heals wounds…even in NASCAR.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Throwing a Fit

Friday, October 30, 2015

There are a lot of things to be irritated about in the way the Talladega race finished.  But, none of them are bad enough to prompt throwing cans and other things from the stands.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Different Slice

Thursday, October 15, 2015

There's something to be said for taking advantage of second chances, and Joey Logano is a perfect example of how to do that.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Be Careful What You Wish For

Thursday, October 8, 2015

So you say you don't like the Chase.  Let's take a look back at Dover and take the Chase out of the equation.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Trail of Smoke

Monday, October 5, 2015

I'm torn in how I feel about Tony Stewart's pending exit from a NASCAR driver's seat.  On one hand, I hate that our time to watch him drive on a weekly basis is nearing an end; on the other hand, I'm glad he's leaving on his own terms.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Determined

Monday, September 28, 2015

For anyone who has ever claimed that things come too easy for Jimmie Johnson; or that his success is due to Chad Knaus; we have been telling you for years, how much of a competitive fire burns beneath that mild-mannered exterior.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Looking for Drama

Thursday, September 17, 2015

You can try to create Game 7 moments, but that doesn't guarantee that you'll get them.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

One and Done

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I thought the whole Throwback Weekend theme at Darlington was pretty cool.  There were some good looking paint scheme that took me back and the radio and TV partners brought back some old voices as well.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This week, NASCAR will try to remedy one of the biggest insults they've ever hurled at long-time fans. They'll return to Darlington on Labor Day weekend.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

What Happened?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The demise of Michael Waltrip Racing is sad on so many levels.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

See You Later, Buddy

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Even though we knew the end would come sooner rather than later for Buddy Baker, the news of his passing this week has still be tough to deal with.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Dose of Reality

Thursday, July 30, 2015

There has been a lot of debate about whether or not trying new aero packages in the middle of the season is a good thing. 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It Ain't Over…

Friday, July 24, 2015

This has not been the year Jeff Gordon envisioned when he announced it would be his last.  After missing out on the championship finale (and a possible 5th title) last year by a hair, just about everyone figured he'd be right in the title hunt again.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It's Time

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I wanted to take a minute to send prayers Buddy Baker's way as he battles lung cancer.  I've known Buddy for more than 35 years and consider him a friend. 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Money Talks

Friday, July 10, 2015

Never underestimate the power of TV in today's sports landscape.  That power was on full display in Daytona last weekend.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

What a difference two weeks makes.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It Happens Naturally

Monday, June 22, 2015

We've heard a lot from Brian France over the years about wanting to create Game 7 moments in the Chase.  And, with the new format, there's a pretty good chance that's going to happen.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Opportunity Lost

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I was really looking forward to watching Kyle Busch make a run at 30th in points and a spot in the Chase over the next couple of months.  But, after Michigan, I'm pretty confident that's not going to happen

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Gut Check

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Now the tough part begins for Furniture Row.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

He's Growing on You

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I sense the tide is turning.

It wasn't that long ago that, whenever Jimmie Johnson won a race, there was angst throughout the NASCAR universe.  "When will somebody else win?"

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Get Real

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I find the Hall of Fame debate regarding car owners interesting.  There is no doubt that the likes of Rick Hendrick and Richard Childress belong in the Hall, but there are two very distinct positions on this subject and until the "No" side budges.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Win is Not Enough

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I like that this new Chase format allows drivers to be more safety conscious and not have to climb in a car with a broken leg or their eyes taped open in order to stay in the championship hunt.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Lucky Thirteen

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Here we go again. When someone wins a race, we, in the media, say that he's got a spot in the Chase.  Well, again this year, that isn't setting well with some fans who are quick to point out that, until they win that second race, nothing is locked in.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Easy Does It…Or Not

Friday, April 24, 2015

This driving race cars at the highest level isn't easy.  Just in case you were having doubts.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It struck me, thinking about the upcoming events at Texas, how dramatically the roster of home towns has changed in the last two decades.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Realty Check

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sports are supposed to be entertainment and an escape. But, for those of us in the NASCAR universe, we are in a second straight year of the real world smacking us in the face.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Do It Again

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I liked the west coast swing.  I know that it didn't, totally, eliminated crews going back-and-forth to the east coast, but the whole idea made sense and seems to have gone well.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The New Normal

Thursday, March 12, 2015

There was a healthy crowd on hand at Las Vegas last weekend.  The stands were probably 80%-85% full.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

New Year New Attitude

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I understand that we're only a couple of races into the new year, and, to quote investing ads, "past performance does not guarantee future success".  But, I couldn't be happier to see the success that Martin Truex, Jr. is having.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Something is Missing

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kyle Busch is one of the lightening rods in this sport.  He is among the most talented drivers we have and his level of success in the Trucks and Xfinity are unmatched.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

What Really Matters

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Virtually no one gets out of Daytona without finding something to complain about. At the very least, once the 500 is over, some drivers will just shrug their shoulders and say, "it's just the way things are here", while standing by their wrecked race car.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Kiss 'em Goodbye

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hear that? That is the sound of silence.  For race fans, this is the last time for a while that we'll be spending a weekend listening to this.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Right Age

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's a good time to be a young driver who is showing potential, as we are about to have one of those "generational" shifts in NASACAR.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Perception is Everything

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Recently, there have been a lot of pictures coming out of the deconstruction grandstands.  They are stands that were built when times were good and the sport was in a growth mode.  Those days are gone and won't likely return.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Important Things

Friday, December 19, 2014

Take some time this holiday season to count your blessings and give your loved ones big hugs. And, remember what's really important.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Wrap it up Quickly

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I've now watched another year of Championship Week activity and I am still left with one wish: finish the season in Las Vegas and have the banquet on, say, Wednesday.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It Wasn't the Butler

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This new Chase format changes everything; when it comes to trying to predict next year.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Million Dollar Payout

Thursday, November 20, 2014

After watching the end of the first version of the Elimination Chase play out, I was reminded of a conversation I had when the Winston Million was announced back in 1985.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

No Room for Error

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I was wrong. From the time this new Chase format was introduced, I talked about how I didn't like the winner-take-all finale, but did like the three race segments.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Fifth in Sight

Friday, November 7, 2014

Jeff Gordon is frustrated and aggravated. And, it's not just because Brad Keselowski bumped him at Texas.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Missing the Exit

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Steve Letarte has missed a great opportunity.  We know that this is his last year as Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s crew chief before he heads to the NBC booth; so why not go ahead and leave now?

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Prepare to Disappear

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I have seen the future; and it doesn't include NASCAR. 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Chasing Excitement

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I don't know if this new Chase format is going to bring many new fans to the sport; but I do know that it's energized the current fan base.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Instantly Boring

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Every once in a while, I hear someone calling for the use of instant replay in NASCAR.  Please, NO!

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Heat is On

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I'm really interested to see how the next three races in the Chase go.  So far, it's been pretty much according to plan.  Three teams that have been among the strongest all year, won the races.  And, for the most part, the folks you expected to make it into the top 12, did.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Enjoying the Fruits of Victory

Thursday, September 25, 2014

There's nothing quite like watching someone really enjoy themselves in Victory Lane.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

…and Toto too!

Friday, September 19, 2014

We talk often about how the company of Sprint Cup drivers is an elite one. And, that how they are among the best in the world at what they do. I have been trying to remember the last time a Sprint Cup driver voluntarily gave up a full-time ride to go race somewhere else. It doesn't happen much.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Excitement: No Guarantee

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Two of the most often-repeated statements in recent years have been Robin Pemberton's "have at it boys" and Brian France's, "Game 7 moments". The one of those we've scrutinized the most is France's. 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

All in the Family

Thursday, September 4, 2014

There may not be team orders at Hendrick Motorsports, but there certainly is a team feel to the organization.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Carl Edwards hopes to become the latest driver to find out that the grass is, indeed, greener on the other side of the fence.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Of all the changes that NASCAR has put in place over the last decade or so, nothing has alienated the long-time fans more than moving the Labor Day date away from Darlington. It was one of the great traditions in the sport.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward, Jr. situation has shined a light on two of the ugly parts of the media today.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It may be a pipe dream, but I would still love to see a road course in the Chase.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Sometimes the stars just align.

Yes, there is a grassy knoll at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the only shooter on it is holding a 5-iron; as it's the 7th hole of the golf course.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

As much as I've loved the "winning is the only thing" mentality we've seen so far this year, I'm going to be curious to see how (or if) it changes over the next 7 races.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

I've made my feelings pretty clear about the winner-take-all finale at Homestead. I don't like it.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Halfway home

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Halfway home, what have we learned?

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Remembering our history

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I recently had a visit to Yankee Stadium and was, once again, struck at how effectively the team embraces its' history. No, it's not the original Yankee Stadium, but you still feel the history of the franchise while walking around the stadium and during a game.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It wasn't that long ago that NASCAR fans enjoyed watching drivers turn right about as much as they enjoyed seeing a Busch brother win. But, that has changed. Big time.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Ten winners and holding

Thursday, June 5, 2014

We are now halfway to the Chase and we're at 10 winners and holding. All the talk about how a win won't necessarily get you in the Chase is dissipating. I continue to feel confident that we will not see six new sinners in the next 13 races.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

I'm not sure I had ever heard Kurt Busch get cheered at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But, that was exactly the reaction he got when he hopped out of the helicopter on the infield less than an hour and a half after he finished 6th in the Indy 500.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Jamie McMurray won't go into the NASCAR record books as one of the greatest of all-time. In fact, many may make the case that he didn't really live up to the expectations that come when you win in your second Cup race.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

I'm trying to figure out where the time has gone. I mean, isn't Jeff Gordon supposed to still be a kid; Boy Wonder as Dale Earnhardt used to call him?

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Posted by Brett McMillan

There's nothing quite like a restrictor plate race. They're riveting entertainment; watching the cars run almost constantly nose-to-tail and often doing so two, three or four wide.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Can't we all just get along? I'm not talking about what went on on-the-track at Richmond, I'm talking about the fan reaction.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

I Love Darlington

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I love Darlington; and I the fans at Darlington. Much like Bristol, Darlington is the anti-major league location of the 21st Century. It's not in a major metropolitan area (or even that close to one), it's in a small TV market and, unless you're traveling up and down the east coast on I-95, you don't just happen by there.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Laurel and Hardy Handshake

Thursday, April 10, 2014

This has been a tough year to be a NASCAR fan. Five of the first seven Cup weekends have had weather issues at least one of the days. The 2014 season has turned into the NASCAR Drought Relief Tour. Or, as our friend Jim Utter opined, the NASCAR green initiative is apparently about growing grass.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

One Last Chance

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I've been covering NASCAR for more than 35 years, and I can't recall a story like Kurt Busch's.

We've seen drivers mature on the track, going from a scrap heap of wrecked cars to championship wins. We've also seen drivers recover from serious injury to return to Victory Lane.

But, Kurt's journey has been a unique one.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Quick Study

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What was Chip Ganassi thinking? That's what we all were wondering when he signed up Kyle Larson to run in the Cup Series this year.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Is This the End?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I'm beginning to believe this could be Jeff Gordon's last year.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Future is Now

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The rookie class in Cup is the most promising its' been in years.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

No Guarantees

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Of all the changes to the Chase, the one that concerns me most is the one race/winner-take-all for the title.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

TGIF

Monday, February 3, 2014

I love the changes to qualifying. Even though we don't know exactly how the strategies will play out when it begins for real, it has to be better than what we've had.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Batter up!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

There's nothing quite like the feeling the first time you hear the cars crank up. After a couple of months of silence

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Ready for HIstory

Monday, December 2, 2013

7 is coming and maybe 8 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Butterfly Effect

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Even the smallest action can affect a result many times greater.

 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Butterfly Effect

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Even the smallest action can affect a result many times greater.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Not Too Lame

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

You shouldn't have to praise professionalism, Joe Average's show it every day at our workplaces. But, in sports, it doesn't often show.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Where's the Reward?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Do you know who was leading the points when Richmond ended? 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Chasing Controversy

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This week, NASCAR did something I never thought I'd see when they moved Martin Truex, Jr. out of the Chase and Ryan Newman in. For the folks who won't take a win away from a driver whose car failed post-race inspection, this was an unprecedented move.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Chasing History

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

When NASCAR expanded the Chase field from 10 to 12, I was against it. A spot in the playoffs should be hard to come by; and should be a reward for a good season. This isn't college football where everyone who has won half their games gets a bowl trip.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Is Youth Served?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Let's break out the latest line-up card. Mark Martin, who is 54, has found a relief role to fill in for Tony Stewart for the rest of the year. Whether or not this leads to an opportunity next year remains to be seen.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Cash-in While You Can

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When NASCAR's new TV deal was announced, the most often asked question surrounded ESPN's departure and what that will mean for NASCAR on SportsCenter. I fully expect that with the exception of a few major events, it will disappear.

 
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Posted by Brett McMillan

Who are These Guys?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stewart has called racing sprint cars his "golf game". It's his chance to get away and relax. It's also something he really enjoys. If you take away these respites, is there a greater negative effect on the person than the risks of injury? 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Staying Beats Leaving

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The benefits of NASCAR running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway far out-number the negatives that come largely from lack of side-by-side action.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Too Much Family and Friends

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It's all about the motorcoach lot.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Unsung Star

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lost in the celebration is one of the best crew chief performances in the game the last couple of years.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Don't Go Anywhere

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We have given Kurt Busch a lot of grief over the years; much of it a result of his own implosions. But, one thing we've never dinged him on is his driving ability.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Grass is Greener

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I don't think anyone expected that Kenseth would be the series leader in wins at the halfway point.  Much less have four wins.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Raw Emotion

Friday, June 28, 2013

There's a reason you hear Sprint Cup drivers referred to as the "best in the world"…in many cases, they are…or, at least, the most driven.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

One For the Road

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

If once is a fluke and twice is a trend…what's 6?

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Posted by Brett McMillan

It's Moving Day

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I see this stretch that started with the Coca Cola 600 and runs through New Hampshire, as NASCAR's version of Moving Day. 

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Shorter is Better

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The day and age of a race having to be 500-miles to be big time is long gone.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Too Much Too Soon?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

For the first decade and a half of NASCAR's All-Star race…it seemed like we had a signature moment about every other year.  For a while, that was a good thing.  But now that we're in a long stretch without one, interest is waning.

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Why We Love This

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why do we watch sports?  Easy...they're unpredictable. We are just a uqarter of the way into the NASCAR season and look at what has already happened (most of which we didn't see coming).

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Posted by Brett McMillan

A Fine Start Regardless

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Regardless of the big fine, Matt Kenseth will be a force all year.

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Posted by Brett McMillan

Let 'em Fight

Monday, April 15, 2013

I've pretty much had it with the constant pressure for political correctness...everywhere.  A perfect example of it is going on right now in NASCAR.  We are fascinated with making sure everyone is getting along.  The first question that Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers will face this week in Texas is, "have you guys talked?"

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Posted by Brett McMillan

The Joy of Short

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I really enjoy weeks like this.  I enjoy the action we get on the short tracks like Martinsville and Bristol.  Part of that may be, because we don’t get it much anymore. I wouldn’t want a steady diet of it.  But I wouldn’t mind a couple more races like them during the course of a season.

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What's the Wait?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I find it amazing that, in 2013, we have tracks that still have walls that don’t have SAFER barriers.  A couple of years ago, Jeff Gordon had a monstrous hit on the backstretch at Las Vegas…on the infield side of the track.  At the time, it was said that no one ever hit there before.

Well, now somebody had.  And we shouldn’t have to see a driver seriously injured before we identify potential trouble spots.  After that Gordon wreck, “no one has ever hit there before” ceased being an excuse.

But, that’s exactly what they’re telling us at California.  A spokesman for the track was quick to point the finger of blame at everyone BUT the track.  He said that no one had ever hit there before…and, “All SAFER barrier recommendations are based on past history.”  That’s the kind of thinking that forced hair dryer manufacturers to put warning labels on their  product…”do not use in a bathtub”.

My favorite from the track, though, was that they’ll do whatever NASCAR tells them to do.

Really!!!  No superspeedway should be waiting for NASCAR to tell them anything about how to improve driver safety…especially when it comes to where they should be putting up SAFER barriers.  We’ve lobbied long and hard to get the leaders of this sport to be pro-active rather than re-active.  Obviously, there are some holdouts.

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