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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | June 27, 1999
When I go to Winston Cup races now, I see so many women working. They are reporters, photographers, public relations representatives, lawyers and television producers.There weren't always so many women covering racing. It used to be a man's world.Not long ago, Humpy Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, referred to me as a pioneer in the covering of Winston Cup racing. And when I started back in 1976, working for The Evening Sun, there were only a few women who would be seen regularly on the beat.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | May 28, 2005
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - About 17 years ago, a frustrated race driver named Janet Guthrie said this during a preseason Winston Cup media tour: "Do you realize that Winston Cup racing and Indy Car racing are the only top-level major sports in this country that meet the Aryan Nation's exclusively white and male laws? "If you think there is an absence of women and blacks in the top echelons of racing because there is an absence of women and blacks with talent, you better re-examine your thinking.
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June 21, 1996
Ed and Melissa "Missy" Berge are the latest area residents to present a plan for a multi-purpose auto racing track near Baltimore.Last night, at a meeting of the Speedway Citizens' Advisory Committee at the Riverwood Family Center on Back River Neck Road, the Berges and their consultant and general manager, Joe Mattioli III, presented a new plan for a 1,000-acre property in the Essex/Middle River area."
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | September 21, 2003
DOVER, Del. - Racing to the start/finish line when a caution flag flies in NASCAR Winston Cup racing is a tradition as old as the sport. Until now, not even a driver's death could put a stop to it. But today, in the MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway, that tradition will become history. When a yellow caution flag appears on this one-mile speedway, drivers will be compelled to reduce their speed and line up single file behind the leader. No driver is allowed to improve his position during the caution, and anyone who tries to will be penalized.
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By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | May 5, 2000
RICHMOND, Va. -- Don't expect Geoffrey Bodine's return to Winston Cup racing at Richmond International Raceway to be a cameo appearance. "I'll go the distance," said Bodine, who returns to action for today's practice and qualifying for tomorrow night's Pontiac 400. "I've been working out really hard for the past six weeks. I've got good endurance, and I don't see any problem. I was in pretty good shape before the accident, and I'm close to where I was." "The accident," of course, was the harrowing crash in a Feb. 18 NASCAR Truck series race at Daytona in which Bodine suffered a number of injuries but remarkably survived a sheet-metal shedding tumble through the front stretch.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | June 16, 1996
LONG POND, Pa. -- Everyone keeps telling Winston Cup racer Kenny Schrader to be patient. They tell him he is going to start winning again soon, maybe even here today in the $1.3 million UAW-GM Teamwork 500 at Pocono International Speedway. They tell him that once the winning starts, it will continue because it is being developed on solid footing.But patience is a virtue Schrader is a little short on these days -- and for many days past. When he picked up a dog food company as an associate sponsor for his car last season and learned the company would donate $1 for every Winston Cup point he earned to various greyhound rescue programs, he empathized.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | February 15, 1996
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Terry Labonte has gone about his Winston Cup racing career as quietly as anyone can in a sport that thrives on the noise of racing engines.Methodically, race day to race day, he has suited up, climbed into his car and roared off in pursuit of the ever-beckoning checkered flag.When he won the Winston Cup championship in 1984 while driving for Billy Hagan, it wasn't because he was always the fastest or always the best on a single day. It was because he was persistent, consistent and resolute.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | July 8, 2000
New Hampshire International Speedway was the site of another racing death yesterday. This time, it was Winston Cup driver Kenny Irwin, 30, who was killed in a "horrendous" crash during practice for qualifying for tomorrow's New England 300 at the Loudon, N.H., race track. The accident occurred not more than a few yards from the spot where Busch Series driver Adam Petty, stock car racing's first fourth-generation driver, hit the wall May 12 and died shortly thereafter of head trauma. Yesterday's incident stunned the motor-racing community, which took several hours to compose itself before answering questions and issuing statements.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | July 11, 1999
If you want to get Bob Kersee animated, just suggest to him that his venture into Winston Cup Racing should be designed for the pure benefit of minorities in a sport that is nearly snow white."
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | October 10, 1999
Tennis pro John McEnroe. The New York Yankees' Paul O'Neill. New Orleans Saints coach Mike Ditka.All good at what they do, but, at times, out of control.Tony Stewart is the newest member of their club.It's a funny thing about Stewart. Winston Cup racing needs his spirit and vitality, and yet, his lack of ability to control his emotions can be detrimental. Although Stewart acknowledges his outbursts undermine his desire to be a role model, he has little patience with the scrutiny that comes with success.
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By SANDRA McKEE | April 20, 2003
Where's the hottest-growing spot in the country for Winston Cup racing? It's right here. According to the folks at Fox TV, through last Sunday's race at Martinsville, Va., Baltimore is averaging a 5.0/11 rating/share, which is a 35 percent increase over last year's mark of 3.7/8 to this same point in the season. The rating is the percentage of television households watching a broadcast, and each point represents 1,055,000 homes. The share is the percentage watching a program among those households with televisions on at the time.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | September 26, 2002
Winston Cup drivers are usually positive people, but sometimes history can fill one with self-doubt and cynicism. Mark Martin is the one. All season, the series points race has been close. Now, with eight races to go, it is even closer. But despite finagling one win and 17 top-10 finishes into first place with two months left in the season, Martin isn't optimistic. "When it comes to competition and getting your heart broken, I'm an eternal pessimist," said Martin, who stretched a six-point lead to 30 on Sunday by finishing second to Jimmie Johnson at Dover International Speedway.
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By Sandra McKee | June 30, 2002
This is an off-weekend for the Winston Cup Series. Nothing much going on. Nothing much went on last week, either, aside from a regular weekly points race. But fans who opened their mailboxes last week or hit the magazine stands found the cover of the July 1 Sports Illustrated featuring NASCAR. There was Dale Earnhardt Jr. sitting on top of his race car beside a headline that read: "Dale Earnhardt Jr. Leads NASCAR Nation." How stunning. How frightening! NASCAR Nation. It sounds like a foreign country.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | April 12, 2002
Former Winston Cup champion-turned-television commentator Darrell Waltrip always could spin a good yarn. So when he recently decided to get back on a track and actually race, he didn't mention anything about the longing he feels for competition when he comes to the track each week for a telecast. He told wife Stevie, NASCAR chairman Bill France and Fox executives it was for the good of his broadcasting career. "I don't ever want to get to the point to where people say I'm stale or don't know what I'm talking about," he said.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | February 17, 2001
Ricky Craven can sit on the wall along pit road at Daytona International Speedway and hardly anyone notices. His car owner, Cal Wells, can walk through the garage area and people notice, all right, but few go out of their way to speak to him. Craven, in the minds of many, is a has-been at age 34. A driver who was considered a rising star, he fell by the wayside after suffering head injuries in a crash at Texas in 1997. And Wells is considered a "carpetbagger," an owner whose moves when making the transition from open wheel to stock car racing were considered ruthless by several drivers and owners.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | February 13, 2001
Burnout. It happens. To aging players. To longtime tormented coaches. To teen-age tennis players who already have worked six years in the business. But to hear Dale Earnhardt Jr. say he felt it last year, in his first Winston Cup season, is startling. "I got a little burnt out. ... You get sick of going," he said of the second half of the season. "I just lost a lot of motivation to go back to the racetrack. The last four or five races, I was just trying to get the year over with." Earnhardt Jr., 26, is the son of Dale Earnhardt, the seven-time Winston Cup champion.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | October 1, 2000
In the movie, "2001 A Space Odyssey," a computer named Hal becomes power crazy and begins a massive takeover. In the real world next year, it is NASCAR Winston Cup racing that will be taking over your TV screen. It is also taking over and dominating the lives of the people in the sport - and possibly the sports fans. Overall, the Winston Cup Series will have three - count 'em - three weekends off - Easter, Mother's Day and July 1. Beginning in 2001, it will be Winston Cup racing all the time.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | February 13, 2001
Burnout. It happens. To aging players. To longtime tormented coaches. To teen-age tennis players who already have worked six years in the business. But to hear Dale Earnhardt Jr. say he felt it last year, in his first Winston Cup season, is startling. "I got a little burnt out. ... You get sick of going," he said of the second half of the season. "I just lost a lot of motivation to go back to the racetrack. The last four or five races, I was just trying to get the year over with." Earnhardt Jr., 26, is the son of Dale Earnhardt, the seven-time Winston Cup champion.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | October 1, 2000
In the movie, "2001 A Space Odyssey," a computer named Hal becomes power crazy and begins a massive takeover. In the real world next year, it is NASCAR Winston Cup racing that will be taking over your TV screen. It is also taking over and dominating the lives of the people in the sport - and possibly the sports fans. Overall, the Winston Cup Series will have three - count 'em - three weekends off - Easter, Mother's Day and July 1. Beginning in 2001, it will be Winston Cup racing all the time.
SPORTS
By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | July 8, 2000
New Hampshire International Speedway was the site of another racing death yesterday. This time, it was Winston Cup driver Kenny Irwin, 30, who was killed in a "horrendous" crash during practice for qualifying for tomorrow's New England 300 at the Loudon, N.H., race track. The accident occurred not more than a few yards from the spot where Busch Series driver Adam Petty, stock car racing's first fourth-generation driver, hit the wall May 12 and died shortly thereafter of head trauma. Yesterday's incident stunned the motor-racing community, which took several hours to compose itself before answering questions and issuing statements.
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