Race Tales: Celebrating Ten Years of NASCAR Memories (2001)

Here, in its unedited entirety, is "Race Tales," a story I wrote in late 2001. On this page, you will find out more about my NASCAR fandom than you ever would care to know; it surprises me in hindsight! I have yet to revise it at all since then, but while I might update it later on, I felt the need to post it in the meantime. All 23 segments are included and presented to be read from top-to-bottom, including ten race reviews and the original side-notes written to aid its flow.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Author's Introduction

The year 2001 marks my tenth year as a fan of NASCAR Winston Cup racing, dating back to the first time I watched a race on television in 1991. Just like any other sports fan, I can recall some definitive moments in the sport that reinforce my support. For some Winston Cup fans, these moments are when their favorite drivers win a hard-fought race while others best remember stunning finishes to intensely competitive races. For me, the races that I remember best are those that keep me interested as they happen and leave me in awe after the checkered flag drops. I believe that the best races are also ones where even the best drivers have to race for the victory all the way to the end, be it offensively or defensively. I have never been a fan of races with "dominant performances," nor the drivers who frequently do; I watch Winston Cup races in hopes of watching intense but safe competition from beginning to end. Consequently, all of my favorite drivers have rarely won.

I must also explain that this list includes races that I first remember watching as they happened, not on replays or tape delays after the race was completed. I believe that this discrepancy is important as my state of mind at the time they happened has influenced how I remember these races. Basically, I remember all ten of these events best because they have both greatly affected my opinion of the sport and gave me many reasons for supporting it all these years.

Here is a list of the ten Winston Cup races I remember best since 1991, listed chronologically with my recollection of each race as I saw them. These descriptions become more and more detailed as the events become more recent simply because as my interest in the sport has matured, so too has my ability to remember details. In between, I have included a handful of memories separated into short stories to tie the race histories together. These tales are unique from any of the ten races, so I have treated them separately. Through describing these various memories as well as races and the intricate ways they are linked together, I hope to retrace how both the sport and my perception of it has changed over the years. Also, for those who may not understand this sport, I hope these tales will show what fans like myself have been talking about!

--Brock Beard
August 27, 2001


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