Tag Archives: History

Hogs, Horns and a brief history of fandom

It’s a good thing Y2K was a bunch of hot air, otherwise the memories of my first time watching college football wouldn’t be of the 2000 Cotton Bowl meeting between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas Longhorns. Continue reading

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40 years later: A look at ‘The Indy 500: An American Institution Under Fire’ by Ron Dorson

“Under Fire,” written at the time by a 29-year-old Dorson, is quite simply, a perfect time machine. It takes you back to a time when the Indianapolis 500 was truly considered a one of the marquee sporting events of the year, before the NFL was the NFL, before NASCAR stormed onto the national stage in 1979 and when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway put a butt in every seat for Pole Day. Continue reading

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A Month of NASCAR, Day 4: 2001 Cracker Barrel 500

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VA-x0tE-hyE

Both on and off the track, 2001 was a year for tears of pain and joy.

Part of the pain came from the death of Dale Earnhardt Senior on Feb. 18 at the Daytona 500. On that day NASCAR as we knew came to an end. There had been other deaths in the recent years, Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin in 2000, but it was the death of the Intimidator that shook the sport to its core.

But the pain was relieved pretty quickly when Steve Park, one of Dale Earnhardt Inc’s. drivers won at Rockingham on Feb 25 and once again two weeks later when Kevin Harvick, the driver who replaced Earnhardt, grabbed his first career win at Atlanta by defeating Jeff Gordon in a finish eerily similar to the #3’s win in the same race a year before.

Atlanta has see some great finishes in the last decade, but this one topped them all. Everyone in the crowd was cheering not just for Harvick, but for Earnhardt and the sport. NASCAR needed this race to help move on and those wounds would disappear a little more later in July when Dale Jr went to Victory lane at Daytona.

It’s been 11 years since this race and I couldn’t help but tear up during the the post race celebration as Harvick did a polo victory lap with three fingers lifted into the sky. There have been few days where an entire fan base could rally around one team or person, but March 11, 2001 was one of those days.

What do you remember about the 2001 Cracker Barrel 500?

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