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SPORTS
March 16, 2011
NASCAR drivers are a restless breed. They often complain about the long grind of the season, yet when they have a chance to make it a Blockbuster night and wind down with friends and family, they end up chasing more speed. Isn't that right, Kurt Busch ? Busch competed in the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. over the weekend, and managed to put a scare into the field of veterans who do this kind of thing for a living. Busch, competing as a professional drag racer for the first time, nearly pulled off a huge upset against veteran Erica Ender, who edged Busch by half a car length on the quarter-mile drag strip Sunday.
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SPORTS
By George Diaz | March 2, 2011
Short of Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning the Daytona 500 — a scenario that would have prompted Tony Kornheiser and others to scream "Shenanigans!" — NASCAR could not have scripted a better way to start the 2011 season. A refreshing new face popped out of the cluster of cars to win the Daytona 500. And a revered old one took a big step toward relevancy the next week in Phoenix. Trevor Bayne and Jeff Gordon represent a nice link to NASCAR's present and past. Bayne is among the new generation of rising, marketable stars.
SPORTS
February 23, 2011
A year ago, people from all over the world were looking at Daytona International Speedway and laughing. It wasn't a chuckle that resonated warmly in the corporate offices. A pothole made a mockery of the track and the signature NASCAR event of the season, the Daytona 500. Fast-forward to this week: NASCAR is all abuzz because a 20-year-old kid rumbled into Victory Lane, driving fast and hard on a new asphalt surface that cost $20 million. It was money well spent. The new surface — with much more sticking power that allowed for faster speeds — was a big hit, though it was overshadowed by Trevor Bayne's improbable victory.
SPORTS
February 22, 2011
It's too soon to tell George Diaz Orlando Sentinel It's awfully tempting to jump on the Trevor Bayne bandwagon — restrictor plates in place, of course — and celebrate a new era in stock car racing. And that would be truly preposterous. You want to root for the kid and his team, the iconic Wood Brothers. It's easy to see why many media members broke protocol and cheered as Bayne's Ford crossed the finish line Sunday. But the morning-after reality is this: Bayne isn't even scheduled to run a full Sprint Cup season (although that could change)
SPORTS
By George Diaz | February 16, 2011
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR is an odd sport if you spend some time away from the garage, covering your basic ball-and-stick sports. Imagine baseball changing the distance from home to first base by a few feet a few days into the season. Or the NFL widening the goal posts right before Week 1 kicks off. NASCAR's burden is that it is a sport driven, no pun intended, by technology. And so the rules of engagement are an evolving process. It leads us to the unveiling of the 2011 season and, already, a conundrum for NASCAR.
SPORTS
February 9, 2011
Don't expect a great deal of change when it comes to NASCAR and its start times. Although there has been a push from its TV partners to look at shifting starting times, NASCAR is sticking to its mixed bag for the next season. Regular-season points races in the Eastern and Central regions of the country will start at 1 p.m.; West Coast events will begin at 3 p.m.; and night races will begin at 7:30 p.m. Once the 10-race Chase playoff format kicks in, six of the first seven races will start at 2 p.m. and the last three races, including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, will begin at 3 p.m. Fox Sports Chairman David Hill recently suggested moving starting times in the fall to avoid conflicts with the NFL. That switch would benefit ESPN much more than Fox because ESPN picks up the broadcasts in the second half of the season.
SPORTS
February 2, 2011
Big brothers always like to pick on little brothers. Just ask the Busch boys, participants in some brotherly hijinks during Kyle's marriage ceremony Dec. 31. Set in Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral, Kyle and fiancee Samantha Sarcinella were in a blissful moment as Kyle kneeled in front of the priest for the first time. That's when the chuckles started in the pews, filled with 300 or so family and friends. Older brother Kurt had written "HELP ME" on the bottom of one of Kyle's shoes.
SPORTS
January 26, 2011
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Fox Sports Chairman David Hill isn't shy with words or opinions. He has offered both in bunches during the NASCAR media tour, sharing his perspective on what it will take to get NASCAR out of its doldrums. A few things come to mind: Ditch the homogenized Car of Tomorrow, make the focus on drivers and shorten race times. "The Car of Tomorrow became the biggest red herring in the history of this sport," Hill said. "It took the emphasis away from the heroes.
SPORTS
January 24, 2011
Handle with care George Diaz Orlando Sentinel Change ultimately will be a good thing for NASCAR, as long as it simplifies the criteria in the chase for points. You know your sport has a problem when some drivers aren't sure of where they stand until they look at the final race stats. It shouldn't be so complicated. Speculation swirls that NASCAR wants to use a scoring system that would award 43 points to the race winner and one point fewer for each ensuing position down to one point for the 43rd-place finisher.
SPORTS
By George Diaz | January 19, 2011
Got a secret? Please don't tell anybody associated with NASCAR. Your secret will go viral shortly after it leaves your lips. Consider two significant changes on the horizon that haven't been announced "officially" but have been all over Twitter and the rest of cyberspace for the last few weeks as NASCAR prepares to kick off its 2011 season: •Expect a change in the points system to determine the Sprint Cup champion. •And all those "bushwackers" who love to double-dip on Saturdays and Sundays now must decide whether they want to compete for a Nationwide title or a Sprint Cup title because they can't do both.
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