- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
NO OTHER SPORT IS AS THOROUGHLY DOCUMENTED AS NASCAR. Turn on the TV on race weekend and you'll be treated to an array of camera angles that put you smack in the middle of the action from the first practice laps to the smoke-filled victory burnouts. Tune in a scanner at the track and capture the driver-crew exchanges or log on to NASCAR.com at home for real-time data on every car. If it happens on the track, you're there. Of course, that's just half the story. The other half happens off the track, where the action's just as compelling. The following is a quick spin through the highlights and lowlights (and Kylelights) of the season that didn't make the stats.
SMOKE KNOWS SHIH TZU
TONY STEWART has a gruff image, but he has a softer side, too. You could say his bark is worse than his bite—at least when it comes to little barkers. In March, Stewart learned of a three-year-old male Shih Tzu that had been hit by a car in Indiana and suffered a broken back. The racer, whose own Shih Tzu, Buddy, died in '07 reached out. Stewart (above, with another pawed pal) made a donation through his foundation to cover surgery and a special wheelchair for the dog, who lost the use of his hind legs. Stewart's action gives new meaning to the racing term lucky dog.
KYLE I: A TOOL AROUND D.C.
THOUGH SOME observers felt that Kyle Busch overextended himself in 2009 by driving in all three of NASCAR's top series, it's clear the Shrub simply can't get enough racing action. On March 26, heading into a Cup-truck doubleheader at Martinsville, Busch joined the crew of Washington, D.C.'s, Elliot in the Morning radio show on DC101 for something called the Smell My Face Beltway Race. Driving Toyota FJ Cruisers, Busch and morning host Flounder raced a full 64-mile lap around the D.C. Beltway in morning traffic. Online videos show some bump-drafting and paint-trading, but fortunately the Big One was avoided. In an upset, Flounder edged Busch for the trophy.
HAVING A SWINE TIME AT THE RACES
BEFORE THE Cup race at Richmond International Raceway on May 2, health officials in Henrico County, Va., urged fans at the track to take precautions in light of the recent swine flu outbreak. Said acting district health director Robert B. Stroube, "There is no reason for fans not to attend and enjoy events this weekend. However, as with any large public event, there is a risk of spreading viruses." Stroube urged anyone experiencing flulike symptoms to stay home and also encouraged everyone to wash their hands frequently and cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing.
Looks like Red Bull crew chief Ryan Pemberton (above) got the memo.
THE BACK STORY ON GORDON
IN MAY the National Enquirer ran a story reporting that Jeff Gordon's wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, was urging him to give up racing because "she's terrified [that] back spasms he's been suffering will lead to a horrifying crash." Gordon, who has been plagued by back pain for the past two seasons, declined to comment. He subsequently received a nerve-blocking injection to try to ease the discomfort and, after ruling out the possibility of surgery (not to mention retirement), maintained a stretching program throughout the season. The Enquirer, it seems, is maintaining its own stretching program as well.