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NASCAR requires drivers to use head-and-neck restraints in its top three series.
Bill France Jr., NASCAR's chairman since 1972, hands the reins to his son, Brian. Bill dies in '07 after a long battle with cancer.
Brian France introduces the Chase for the Cup, a 10-race playoff that includes 10 (now 12) drivers based on regular-season performance.
After 33-year run as sponsor of NASCAR's top series, R.J. Reynolds's Winston brand bows out. Nextel (then Sprint, in '08) steps in.
NASCAR inks an eight-year, $4.5 billion deal with Fox, ABC/ESPN, TNT and Speed Channel, ensuring every Cup race gets airtime.