Turn 2 Blog: NASCAR did it right and the racing was excellent in Darlington

*Turn 2 Blog is a regular feature on InsideCircleTrack.com. Here, site operators Michael Moats and Richard Allen take turns offering their thoughts on the NASCAR and pavement short track racing topics of the day. Richard: It’s often easy to criticize NASCAR and virtually everyone who follows the sport has done so from time to time. However, now is the time to give credit where credit is due after this past weekend. NASCAR became the first major sport(I don’t care what UFC and PBR say) to return to action on Sunday when they contested ‘The Real Heroes 400’ at the Darlington…

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The Ingredients are in Place for Really Entertaining Racing in Round 2 at Darlington

A NASCAR Cup Series race can actually take place without qualifying or practice? I’m sure there have been instances of such a happening when weather has been involved but in Sunday’s ‘The Real Heroes 400’ at Darlington Raceway that was the plan all along. In order to keep person-to-person contact to an absolute minimum, both of those NASCAR racing rituals were scraped well ahead of the time teams were scheduled to arrive at the track. As a result, drivers were kept separate from their teams and literally walked straight to the starting grid, got in their cars, and took off….

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Darlington with no practice: This could get interesting quickly

After weeks of strictly racing on simulator rigs in virtual iRacing events, NASCAR Cup Series drivers will return to action on Sunday afternoon for their first race in actual cars since the checkered flag fell on the Fan Shield 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 8, 2020. And not only will the drivers and crews be back on track for the first time in over two months, but they will be taking on perhaps the most difficult of challenges on the entire circuit. Darlington Raceway with its narrow racing groove and worn surface has rightfully earned the moniker of “Too…

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Rich’s Ramblings: We might just realize there’s a better way of doing things

(For those who would prefer to listen rather than read you can click on the play button below to hear the spoken version of this story) The NASCAR Cup Series is finally set to return to action this Sunday, May 17th at Darlington Raceway and with that return comes an entirely new way of doing things. Significantly reduced numbers of crew members being allowed on the property, no practice, no qualifying, fewer media members to report what is happening, social distancing regulations being enforced to the point that a team member who fails to adhere could be removed from the…

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Fans Ready to Return to Race Tracks Despite Potential Risks

It’s not exactly a secret that frustrations are growing as social distancing restrictions remain in place over many parts of the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic. And perhaps as much as anywhere, those frustrations are being felt in the world of sports. Among those who are missing their previously taken-for-granted doses of sports entertainment are fans of auto racing. Even though some forms of racing have returned to action in made-for-PPV events such as last Friday’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drinks Sprint Car Series race at the storied Knoxville(IA) Raceway shown by DirtVision.com along with numerous Dirt…

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NASCAR’s hectic upcoming schedule is not without precedent

After weeks of doing little more than competing on the iRacing.com platform, NASCAR drivers in all divisions are about to return to racing. After weeks of being locked out of their shops due to social distancing measures in North Carolina, NASCAR team members have recently gone back to work on the machines that circulate around racing facilities at high speed. It seems as if it was a lifetime ago when the NASCAR Cup Series last took the green flag in the FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway back on March 8th. Finally, however, the sport is ready to go back into…

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Matt Kenseth a perfect choice for Ganassi

Since Kyle Larson was removed as the driver of the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 there has been speculation as to who might replace the embattled former driver in that Chevrolet. On Monday that speculation was laid to rest as former NASCAR Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth was named as the new driver of that car for the remainder of the 2020 season. The 48-year-old Wisconsin native was the 2003 champion and has accumulated a total of 39 wins in NASCAR’s top division. Among those wins are two Daytona 500 triumphs along with crown jewel victories in the Coca-Cola 600…

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Chip Ganassi Racing made the only decision it could regarding Kyle Larson

Racing is a business, first and foremost. And more than that, it is a very expensive business. It takes millions of dollars to run a top-flight racing organization in NASCAR, IndyCar, or Formula 1 and there are very few people in the business of racing who have so much money that they can afford to lose it by the millions. That’s exactly what was about to happen with Chip Ganassi Racing had they opted to stick with Kyle Larson as a driver. After the 27-year-old racer used a racial slur during an internet broadcast of an iRacing event that has…

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Kyle Larson’s use of a racial slur could prove very costly

During a virtual racing event on Sunday NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson was heard among those participating in the event as well as others watching via the internet using a racial slur. The “N-word” was clearly audible with the driver quickly being told by someone else that “everyone can hear you, Kyle” shortly after the inappropriate remark. First of all, there is no excusing the use of the word. It’s hard to believe that anyone, particularly a person with such a high public profile as a star NASCAR driver, even has that word in their vocabulary. And it doesn’t…

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Will shutdown cause team owners to play it safe in free agent market?

Coming into the 2020 season it was known that one of the most prolific classes of free agents in the recent history of the NASCAR Cup Series would be in the process of either renegotiating with their current teams or ironing out deals with new teams as the season played out. However, the emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent postponements of races at least through the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway(if not even further) has almost certainly created some uncertainty among the ride seekers and the ride givers. The likes of Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski,…

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