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

Planning Ahead And Looking Back

At Charlotte’s UAW-GM 500, the very next race after Rudd’s Martinsville victory, Derrike Cope won his first career pole position, finishing well in the race even as veteran Mark Martin scored the victory. I then watched the remaining races of the 1998 Winston Cup season, the best of these being the Coca-Cola 500, an exhibition race in Motegi, Japan where Mike Skinner edged 1998 Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon for the victory. It was then that I prepared for the 1999 season, writing to NASCAR to ask what address I could find Jerry Nadeau’s fan club address. I received back a complete list of all of the 1999 fan club addresses for each driver.

From this, I signed on to Ricky Rudd and Jerry Nadeau’s clubs while Miles sent out applications for those of Dale Earnhardt and Sterling Marlin. To our surprise, we were sent back a fascinating array of materials from each of the clubs within only a matter of weeks.
1999 also marked the first time that I became interested in NASCAR history, having both heard much about it during the series’ fiftieth anniversary the year before and through watching old races on our newly added television channel ESPN Classic. Such races this channel featured included the 1992 Save Mart Supermarkets 300 and Hooters 500, races mentioned on this list.

It was during this year that I was also able to find out through an Internet search that 1991 was when Rick Mast’s Oldsmobile crashed at Talladega; my earliest memory of the sport. It was because of this that 1991 became my favorite Winston Cup season and have since researched that year’s events. My interest in that season even extended to a hobby of mine of updating details of "paintable" cars I downloaded from the Internet for the computer game "NASCAR Racing 2" to accurately reflect the cars and stars of the time, similar to when one paints toy soldiers to represent soldiers in a specific battle. In addition, I decided to try and watch as much of 1999's Winston Cup races as possible, starting with the Daytona 500.


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