NASCAR

Michael Jordan
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Denny Hamlin has joined Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan to form a NASCAR team with Bubba Wallace as the driver, a high-profile pairing of a Black majority team owner and the only Black driver at NASCAR’s top level.

NASCAR covid masks martinsville
Steve Helber / AP Photo

NASCAR has decided it will not grant COVID-19 relief during the playoffs, meaning a positive coronavirus test will end a driver's championship bid.

Greg Drumwright
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Greg Drumwright has spent most of his life in North Carolina’s Triad region. He was raised in Burlington, attended college at North Carolina A&T and then Wake Forest, and for the past 17 years has led The Citadel Church in Greensboro.

John Bazemore / AP

The owner of a North Carolina racetrack advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale in a social media marketplace just days after a noose had been found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top division, at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

NASCAR has finished its investigation and says it still doesn't know who tied a noose that was discovered this past weekend in the garage stall used by African American stock car driver Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Terry Renna / AP Photo

NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its races and properties on Wednesday, formally distancing itself from what for many is a symbol of slavery and racism that had been a familiar sight at stock car events for more than 70 years.

A Confederate flag flys outside of Darlington speedway in 2015.
Terry Renna / AP

The familiar scene of Confederate flags waved by fans at NASCAR tracks could soon be a relic of racing's good ol' boy roots.

Red racecar speeding away.
Mark Menscer

Mark Menscer likes living between worlds. The “shock nerd” might spend the day chumming it up at a race track before heading home for a solitary night spent photographing the remains of a supernova. The Fayetteville native points to his unique upbringing for sparking his curiosity and wide-ranging interests.

Terry Renna / AP Photo

Ryan Newman was released from a Florida hospital on Wednesday, two days after his frightening crash on the final lap of the Daytona 500.

Junior Johnson
Bob Jordan / AP, file

Junior Johnson, a legendary race car driver, infamous bootlegger, and iconic North Carolinian, died Friday. He was 88.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame inducts an African-American driver for the first time Friday night.

Wendell Scott drove during the Jim Crow era, and he was the first African-American to win a race at NASCAR's elite major league level. He died in 1990.

Scott's career began in 1952, and his racing team was his family. They would travel to races together from their home in Virginia, and his sons served as his pit crew.

Testifying about a request for a protective order against him, race car driver Kurt Busch told a Dover, Del., court this week that his former girlfriend is an assassin. Patricia Driscoll, who dated Busch for four years, requested the order last November, shortly after their relationship ended.

Driscoll has also filed a criminal complaint against Busch, alleging that he grabbed her and slammed her head into the wall of his motor coach at Dover International Speedway last fall. Busch denies those claims, which the authorities have been considering separately.

Jeanmarie Schubach

This week, staff members from The State of Things are sharing their favorite shows of 2014.

Producer Will Michaels joined the show in May after working as a producer for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and the North Carolina Teacher Project at WUNC.

Some of Will’s favorites included an interview with a championship track coach who grew up in the segregated South and a conversation with some of the pioneers of NASCAR.

Host Frank Stasio talks with producer Will Michaels about the conversations that stood out in 2014.

Historic Speedway Group

The pioneers of stock car racing reunite this weekend in Hillsborough, where drivers zoomed around the Occoneechee Speedway in the early days of NASCAR.

The mile-long dirt track hosted more than 30 races between 1949 and 1968. More than 100 of those cars will be on display along with some of the legendary drivers who raced them.

Historic Speedway Group

  

The Occoneechee/Orange Speedway in Hillsborough is the only surviving dirt track from NASCAR's first season. 

Annabeth Barnes
AB Racing

Annabeth Barnes knows exactly what she wants. She wants to make it to the top level of NASCAR. She'd like to be the first woman to win the Daytona 500. Her family is fully behind her and is willing to sell their home to make it happen.

Humpy Wheeler oversees Charlotte Motor Speedway construction.
The Wheeler Company

Howard "Humpy" Wheeler has been involved with car racing since it was junkyard vehicles running on old dirt horse tracks. He eventually became the president and general manager of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he became the foremost promoter of Nascar. He was known for his publicity stunts and close affiliation with Nascar and its racers. Host Frank Stasio talks to Humpy Wheeler about his life in Nascar.

Oh, the fun you can have if you’re a NASCAR driver.