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Garage Sweep
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CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY: Truck Series races usually kick off race weekend, and fans gather underneath the lights in Joliet, Ill., on a hot summer night in August as Kyle Busch edges out Todd Bodine to claim his fourth Truck Series victory of the season.

Fueled by devotion is the three-hour morality play that evolves in fast forward every weekend. Cheer the hero. Boo the villain. (And in many cases, that's interchangeable, depending on your favorite.) Who will fate smile on this week? Will it be the favorite? The underdog? Will it be a rout or a last-lap shootout? The storyline is different every time the green flag falls, and yet it plays out in a comfortably familiar way, no matter if it's the Daytona 500 or the night race at Bristol.

PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: Fans gather under the setting sun on a hill overlooking PIR in Avondale, Ariz., in April. Mark Martin led 157 laps and gave the fans plenty to cheer about, beating Tony Stewart to win the Subway Fresh Fit 500.
TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY: Constructed in the 1960s in place of the abandoned Anniston Army Airfield, Talladega is the largest oval track on the Cup Series. With seating for more than 175,000 spectators, these fans had no problem finding a spot to cheer on their favorite driver during the Truck Series' Mountain Dew 250 in October. ... MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: Sometimes fans attire is as unique as their personality, proven here by the Amp Energy drink adorning a bald head during the Carfax 400 in August.
BRISTOL: Prior to the start of this year’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in August, tens of thousands of fans joined together, holding signs to show their appreciation for Mark Martin, who made his 1,000th NASCAR start.

Throw the stereotypes out the window when it comes to today's NASCAR. The fans who follow NASCAR are as unique as snowflakes, as varied as shades of green on a tree. For every one who drives a pickup truck to the track, there's another who got there on a private jet. For every two-man tent pitched in the infield, there's a million-dollar motorhome parked next to it.

Fueled by devotion is understanding the sometimes odd and incomprehensible lexicon of NASCAR. Loose. Tight. Stagger. Drafting. Aero push. Coil binding. Pass-through penalties. The lucky dog. Taking a round out of the track bar. Adding a half-pound in the right rear.

A NASCAR race is an assault on the senses. The smell of burning rubber. The taste of a Martinsville hot dog. The rumble that shakes every cell of your body when the pack roars by at Daytona. The kaleidoscope of color that flashes past the grandstands so quickly that you can't stare straight ahead and make out anything but a multi-hued blur.

PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: Love for country and racing weaves itself throughout the stands as a common thread that ties together so many of NASCAR’s fans. A fan and his flag hammer home the point before the start of the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 in November.
LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Fans hold a United States flag in Concord, N.C., prior to the Nationwide Series' Dollar General 300 in October. The national anthem, the fly-bys, the command of "gentlemen, start your engines" -- all are always memorable moments before a race.

Fueled by devotion is about the sound. The excitement of the public address announcer during the pre-race driver introductions. The national anthem. The fly-bys. The command of "gentlemen, start your engines!" And then the engines. For 500 miles, iron and steel comes to life and propels the driver -- and the fan -- along at a breakneck pace, on the knife's edge of control, lap after lap. There's a reason why the seats at a NASCAR race rarely get used.

MEMPHIS MOTORSPORTS PARK: Brad Keselowski celebrates with a burnout for the fans after winning the Nationwide Series' Kroger On Track for the Cure 250 in October.
ELDORA SPEEDWAY: Sometimes a connection with a driver and fans can turn into a real moment. After winning the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway in September, Tony Stewart and his team took to climbing the fence to celebrate with those that cheered him on.
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: During practice for the Shelby 427 in February, fans reach through the fence in the garage area to attempt to capture photographs of their favorite drivers.

Some claim fans come just to see the wrecks. But it's more likely they come to see common men do uncommon things, to escape imminent danger with the flick of the steering wheel, the touch of the brakes, the feathering of the accelerator. It's the opportunity to watch the most accomplished artists perform high-energy choreography from the center stage, whether that's in person or from the comfort of the couch. And the show never loses its ability to astound or amaze.

Fueled by devotion is the bond between the man on the track and the man in the stands. Who's your driver? He may be from your hometown. He may be from another country. Maybe you chose him because of what he's done in the past, or what he'll do in the future. Maybe you like his style. Maybe you like his attitude. Maybe you like his looks. He may be a peach-fuzzed kid or a grizzled veteran, a virtual unknown hoping for his first victory or a superstar who lists Victory Lane as his home address. He may even be a she.

But once a NASCAR fan decides on a favorite driver, it's a long-term relationship, through thick and thin, happiness and heartbreak. From that point on, the world can't be viewed by anything but rose-colored glasses, or perhaps shades of blue, orange, red or green. The team is not just a driver behind the steering wheel, a crew chief on the pit box and a pit crew behind the wall. His fans are definitely a part as well. And when a driver reaches heights perhaps thought to be unattainable, his followers are there to climb up there with him.

LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Fans' flags fly in the infield before the Nationwide Series' Sam's Town 300 in February. Fans across the sport wear their enthusiasm with pride and fly their drivers’ flags as badges of honor, from the front porch to the track.
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: Dale Earnhardt Jr. signs autographs after qualifying for the Michigan 400 in August. Despite a less than perfect season, fans often stay true to their favorite drivers, through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Fueled by devotion is a tip of the cap to acknowledging the history of the sport. It's a relationship forged on a first-name basis: Lee. Buck. Fonty. Joe. Richard. David. Cale. LeeRoy. Bobby. Donnie. Dale. Darrell. Rusty. Jeff. Jimmie. Tony. Mark. Kasey. Juan. Joey. Nicknames are part of the secret code that links fans across the generations. The King. The Intimidator. The Silver Fox. The Alabama Gang. Awesome Bill. The Rapid Roman. The High Plains Drifter. Jaws. Swervin' Irvin. Wonder Boy.

Cars long since relegated to museums and junkyards remain fresh in the memories of the fans who witnessed their successes and failures. The Fabulous Hudson Hornet. The Red Devil. The Gray Ghost. The Chrysler 300. The Purple Hogs. The Black Widows. The Chrysler Hemis. The Torino. The Superbird. The AMC Matador. Thunderbird. Monte Carlo. Mercury. Buick. Oldsmobile. Pontiac.

There are moments etched in the minds of NASCAR fans that can never be erased by the passage of time, particularly in the sport's premier event, the Daytona 500. Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp in a photo-finish in '59. Richard and David in '76. Yarborough and Allison in '79. Waltrip's victory dance in '89. And Earnhardt, finally overcoming two decades of bad luck and ill fortune with his win in 1998.

PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: A view of fans' notes written on the pit wall banner for the No. 19 Dodge driven by Elliott Sadler is displayed prior to the start of the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts in November.
MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY: A father and his son sit in the stands after practice is rained out for the Sprint Cup Series' Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 in March. Rain or shine, fans are devoted followers of a sport that saw it’s fair share of delays due to weather this season.
O’REILLY RACEWAY PARK: During a summer night in July, fans and members of the media stand on the top of the grandstand during the Nationwide Series' Kroger 200 Benefiting Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

NASCAR has evolved from the dusty dirt and clay bullrings of yesterday to the speed palaces of today. The names alone conjure images of doorhandle-to-doorhandle battles and thrilling victories: The Beach Course. The Rock. The Lady in Black. The Monster Mile. Atlanta. Charlotte. Pocono. Bristol. Talladega. Daytona. Each is special in its own right, with unique characteristics and histories. And the fans who flock there every season understand that, and cherish their chance to witness history up close.

As long as there are fans fueled by devotion, NASCAR will continue to exist. Who knows? Some future fan, one perhaps not even born, may discover some future driver and the bond will be forged anew.

NASCAR : NASCAR Drivers, Race Standings & News | NASCAR.com

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Driver News

Car Driver Team
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David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing
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Mike Bliss Tommy Baldwin Racing
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Casey Mears Tommy Baldwin Racing
Kevin Conway Front Row Motorsports
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Juan Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
A.J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports
J.J. Yeley Whitney Motorsports
Marcos Ambrose JTG-Daugherty Racing
Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
Michael McDowell Prism Motorsports
Martin Truex Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing
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Mike Bliss TRG Motorsports
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Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing
Scott Speed Red Bull Racing Team
Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team
Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports
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Scott Riggs Keyed-Up Motorsports
Paul Menard Richard Petty Motorsports
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