Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Does NASCAR Need Saving By Danica Patrick? 5

Posted on February 12, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Is Danica Patrick what NASCAR needs?

Is Danica Patrick what NASCAR needs?

It seems like only yesterday that NASCAR was emerging on the national scene as a sport that could rival baseball, basketball and maybe even football as one of the most popular sports in the United States. Now, as the sport enters the second decade of the century, NASCAR finds itself suddenly struggling economically and simply battling to remain nationally relevant.

Few things illustrate how things have changed in recent years more than the circumstances surrounding the start of the 2010 season.

Just days after NASCAR announced a 10 percent purse reduction for 2010, the season is kicking off not with fanfare around its greatest stars, but instead around an IRL import who will not even be competing in the prestigious season opening Daytona 500 or the primary Sprint Cup Series.

To most Americans, Danica Patrick is probably better known for her GoDaddy commercials and straight dark hair than she is for her performance on the racetrack.

In five seasons driving in the IndyCar Series, Patrick has one victory in 81 races. She was the 2005 Rookie of the Year after finishing fourth at the Indianapolis 500. Read the rest of this entry →

Darrell Waltrip 5

Posted on October 11, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Darrell Waltrip

Darrell Waltrip

In recognition of NASCAR’s current battle for the Sprint Cup Championship, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Week a popular driver who won the championship three times during his career.

Though now recognized by a generation of NASCAR fans for his colorful commentary, Darrell Waltrip was one of NASCAR’s more colorful and outspoken stars during his nearly 30 year career. Nicknamed “Jaws” by Cale Yarborough, Waltrip was notorious for his trash talking and flamboyant personality.

Read the rest of this entry →

Waiting For The Weekend: A September Smorgasbord 0

Posted on September 18, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Waiting for the weekend

This is the time of the year when the sports world offers a venerable smorgasbord of opportunities for sports fans to feed their hunger for action.

Whether it is the NASCAR Chase, the playoff push in baseball or the heating up of action in college and professional football there is something for everyone. And, to add some dessert, the WNBA Playoffs are starting, the hockey exhibition season has just begun and in just a couple weeks NBA teams will be starting training camp.

The Chase for the Cup
Having grown up in Southside Virginia less than an hour from the track where Jeff and Ward Burton cut their teeth in South Boston, I have always enjoyed NASCAR.

In the days before every race was wire to wire on live TV, I remember listening to NASCAR on the radio and visioning in my mind the battles between Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker and the other great drivers of that era.

Even today, I still believe that NASCAR is more compelling to listen to than to watch as you lose the monotony of watching the drivers make continual left hand turns and instead are paying close attention so you are ready when the announcer suddenly blasts out “And we’ve got trouble in turn three.”

So, NASCAR is now starting its version of the playoffs, the 10-race “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”
Read the rest of this entry →

David Pearson 1

Posted on August 16, 2009 by Dean Hybl
David Pearson

David Pearson

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week was the hottest racer in NASCAR 40 years ago.

Between 1966 and 1969, David Pearson won three Grand National (now Sprint Cup) Championships and 44 total races.

Interestingly, those three seasons were the last during a 27-year career that spanned from 1960 through 1986 in which Pearson, known as the “Silver Fox” completed a full NASCAR schedule.

Read the rest of this entry →

Sports Memories: Fireball Roberts 1

Posted on July 02, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Fireball Roberts won the first Forecracker 400

Fireball Roberts won the first Forecracker 400

Much fanfare is being made this week regarding the 25th anniversary of Richard Petty’s record setting victory in the 1984 Firecracker 400. While Petty is certainly worthy of being honored, let’s also not forget the accomplishments of the man who won the first Firecracker race 50 years ago: Glenn “Fireball” Roberts.

When the Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, the big summer race at the speedway was originally scheduled to be an open wheel (Indy car) race. However, after a flurry of accidents at an April event, open wheel racing was permanently barred from the track.

That left an opening for a second NASCAR event to go with the season opening Daytona 500.

Originally called the Firecracker 250, the race was 100 laps until being expanded to the current 400 miles (160 laps) in 1963.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Current Poll

    Live Sports Are Back, Which Professional Sports Season Are You Most Excited to Watch?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top