Garage Pass Blog

He was just a kid the first time I saw him at the racetrack. Now, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a full grown man only a couple of days away from ending his Monster Energy Cup Series career.  The Junior Nation may be dreading it, but he's not.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

Heading into Phoenix three drivers have already confirmed they have booked a great Championship Four meal at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Unfortunately, five others have made reservations, but there's only a table for one.      

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Posted by Mark Garrow

NO APOLOGIES NECESSARY

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

When the opening race of the Playoff's third round was over a number of drivers were mad at each other and the frozen fans at Martinsville Speedway were booing so hard the steam coming out of their mouths hovered over the track like fog.  They were boiling despite the plummeting temperatures and I was loving every minute of it, having watched the finish from the grandstands.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

THEY DID WHAT RACERS ALWAYS DO

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Being called a "racer" in this business is the highest compliment you can give someone and for those who don't follow this sport the "racer" mentality is something they really can't comprehend or fathom.  That's why insiders could cheer how the Furniture Row Racing team dealt with a tragedy competing in Kansas last weekend while some outsiders couldn't understand why they didn't pack up and go home.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

DALE JR.'S GOING TO BE A DADDY

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Everything Dale Earnhardt, Jr. does is big news to the Junior Nation and the world at large.  Some of it is his last name and some of it is because many of us have watched him grow up in front of very own eyes.  That's why people like me can stand from afar and think isn't it great Junior has found a great wife, has a great life, and now the two are expecting their first child.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

TRUEX CARRYING A HEAVY LOAD

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

At times, NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series race drivers seem larger than life, but we shouldn't forget they're human and subject to the same emotions all of us go through when life punches you in the gut. As it is for all of us… sometimes it's just too much to handle.  

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Posted by Mark Garrow

NASCAR AND THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Given the recent controversy over some NFL players kneeling or sitting during the national anthem, it's interesting some have tried to paint NASCAR as politically incorrect for their stand on honoring the United States of America before every race.  What they don't understand politics has really nothing to do with it. 

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Posted by Mark Garrow

BRAD AND KYLE - WHAT CAN YOU SAY?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Just as the Monster Energy Cup Series playoff was getting underway last week, Brad Keselowski fired another shot at Toyota, claiming they had an unfair advantage. In response, Kyle Busch dropped an "F-bomb" and the war of words was really on

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Posted by Mark Garrow

AMBULANCE ARRIVES BEFORE THE CRASH

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Usually, you find ambulances responding to wrecks, not causing them. But that's what happened at Richmond and, while unfortunate, it just goes to show that no matter how hard NASCAR works human error can undo any carefully laid out plans.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

One of the most confusing things to explain to new fans of NASCAR, and even some old ones don't completely understand, is a driver on the Monster Energy Cup Series having an "encumbered" win, one that shows up on his stat page in the record books, but in others ways doesn't count at all.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

THEY WERE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

When Rick Hendrick popped the question to Chase Elliott if he'd take the number 9 to be his lawfully wedded racing wife, for better finishes or worse crashes , in sickness of engines and cherishing of checkered flags, the 21-year-old was immediately ready to tie the knot. 

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Posted by Mark Garrow

CHEERING FOR CLEMENTS

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Was it unprofessional? Yes, but I was by myself.

Did that still make it wrong? Yes, I guess it did.

Is confession good for the soul? Yes, absolutely.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

When Brad Keselowski decided he needed to shutter his Camping World Truck Series team at the end of the season it was not good news for a lot of people. In the end, however, he hopes it leads to a happy ending and many more years in the sport after he decides to hang up the helmet.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

DID THAT REALLY NEED TO BE SAID

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Why? Was it really necessary?

That's what I keep asking myself after Kevin Harvick decided it was time to smack Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the mouth in response to a question "Happy" received on his weekly Sirius XM radio show.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

In the NFL, NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball if you're a talented free agent there is no shortage of teams to get into a bidding war for your services.  Such is not the case in NASCAR on the Monster Energy Cup Series, where several drivers, with proven track records, are just hoping they can somehow find a winning ride with fewer choices than maybe ever before.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

Have you pulled something out of the refrigerator you thought might have gone bad, but you sniff it and while not smelling fresh you convince yourself it's probably edible?  So, you decide to eat it and don't get food poisoning, but it leaves an after taste you have a hard time washing down?  

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Posted by Mark Garrow

With his back against the wall, Kasey Kahne came up big at Indianapolis, showing the skill and the will that were the reasons behind Rick Hendrick signing him to race for his organization five years ago.  Was it enough, though, to save his job? The easy answer is maybe, but there's a good chance maybe not.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

NOT WHERE GIBBS WANTED TO BE

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Joe Gibbs has one of the best organizations in NASCAR racing because "Coach", like an offensive coordinator in football, is a long term, strategic thinker. He's always ready to call the next play, but he always has an eye on the end of the game as well.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

Matt Kenseth walked into the media center at Kentucky Speedway last Friday morning and I figured it was just going to be a garden variety press conference, but the 45-year-old driver had other ideas. Kenseth picked up the microphone and dropped a bomb.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

Hate to say I told you so, but back in May when Rick Stenhouse, Jr. went to victory lane at Talladega for his first Monster Energy Cup Series win, I wrote he would not be a "one hit wonder". More specifically on May 3rd I said, "Stenhouse will have more make out sessions in victory lane with Danica Patrick and it surely won't take him another 158 starts before he's waving around a checkered flag again."

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Posted by Mark Garrow

DANICA'S DEMONS

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

They say the odds of winning the lottery are about the same as getting struck by lightning.  So, if you think shaking hands with Danica Patrick then going out and buying a PowerBall ticket is the way to change your life, you'd better plan on a flash of bright light and electricity curling your hair.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

LARSON LEADING THE WAY

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Kyle Larson is doing a lot of leading these days. He's grabbed two wins and five runner-up finishes in the opening 15 Monster Energy Cup Series races. He's led over 700 laps already and following his trip to victory lane at Michigan for the second straight time Larson is back on top of the regular season point standings, where he's been the majority of the year.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

YOUNG DRIVERS HAVE TO WIN

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

With a number of the top Monster Energy Cup Series drivers in the forties and in the twilight of their careers, it is important NASCAR find and fertilize a new crop of future stars to take their place.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

Have you ever stopped to ponder we are in the midst of greatness, that we are blessed to live in a time and a place where we can watch, perhaps, the best driver in NASCAR history ply his trade week in, week out?  That's where I think we're at with Jimmie Johnson.  In an era where there are more potential winners taking the green flag, the 7-time champion towers above the competition, the tallest of the redwoods in stock car racing's elite forest.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

GREAT TO SEE "3"

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Most of the 58th running of the Coca-Cola 600 was not very exciting and there really wasn't much to write home to mom about.  The ending, however, dripped with drama and something happened we hadn't seen in 592 Monster Energy Cup Series races - a black number "3" Chevrolet rolled into victory lane.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

GREEN TIRES…RIGHT DIRECTION

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Honestly, it's not very sexy to talk about tires, but they're the key to unlocking better racing on the 1.5-mile tracks and last Saturday night's Monster Energy All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway went, at least, a little ways down the road in proving it.    

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Posted by Mark Garrow

I've been around racing since I was an infant when my mom and dad would carry me to our local race track in Claremont, NH where he was the flagman and she was one of the scorers. I traveled to other modified races all over New England every chance I got and sat in the grandstands for hundreds of races before I ever began broadcasting Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events back around 1982. My opinion as to what makes a good race comes first from a fans perspective.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

Stenhouse no one hit wonder

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In the music industry the "one hit wonders" are the groups or singers who have that one song that rockets up the charts and when they can't come up with a second hit their whole career centers around the same words, the same notes until even they don't want to hear it anymore.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

Dale Jr's Next Chapter

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I've got to admit it was strange for me to watch Dale Earnhardt, Jr., perfectly dressed in a suit, delivering such a thoughtful and sincere monolog as he laid out his retirement plan. It struck me there it was for everyone to see just how far he had come from the kid kicking around the track with his dad, to the young, partying NASCAR superstar, to finally just a normal guy who's become really comfortable in his own skin.

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Posted by Mark Garrow

The Old Bristol is Back

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

At Bristol, it took two 20-something NASCAR newbies to bring back a little "old school" racing and the fans who witnessed the closing laps of the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 Xfinity Series race loved it as Erik Jones drove through, instead of around, Ryan Blaney to claim his second win at the world's fastest half-mile.

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Posted by Mark Garrow