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Welcome Back Smoke–Not

What happened on Thursday? Words fail me. In the morning, in a surprise announcement, Tony Stewart made public that he was coming back to drive at Richmond International Speedway. Just a few hours later, he was fined $35,000 for saying things that NASCAR deemed unfair criticism toward the sanctioning body. Welcome back, Tony.

Not Much Has Changed, Even if the Car Has

For NASCAR, the news is good. Ratings for the Daytona 500 were up 30% this season. That’s good for the sport and better for the bottom line. Final ratings are not out, though. We shall see.

Is Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Retirement the End of NASCAR?

Will the retirement mark the end of NASCAR? Of course not. We may see a shift of loyalties (mostly to another driver at Hendrick Motorsports, maybe Chase Elliott) and some fans staying away, but just as was the case when other drivers retired, I don’t think this change will really change the landscape of the sport.