All posts by Brian Berg Jr.

Brian has been attending NASCAR races for over 15 years. Brian has taken his passion for NASCAR to a new level. In August of 2011 Brian started writing news and commentary about NASCAR for a national media company. In January of 2012 Brian was accepted into the NASCAR Media. Brian has covered races as part of the media. He is the Editor and Lead NASCAR Writer for Behind Pit Row.

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is upon us. Last year was the inaugural year for Monster Energy and stage point racing in NASCAR. Martin Truex Jr. took advantage of the stage wins (19) and was able to use them to vault himself to win his Championship. The big question is will the other drivers give more respect to those stage wins and make racing even better in 2018?

NASCAR has made some significant changes to the schedule. The Brickyard 400 will end the regular season. The Playoff opener will no longer start in Chicago; it will kick off in Las Vegas. This will be followed up at the ¾ mile short track at Richmond VA. But that is nothing though compared to NASCAR taking the third race in the Playoff to the road course of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Not only will this be the first road course race in the playoff but also the first run at Charlotte.

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

Date Location Network Race Start Radio
11-Feb Daytona 500 Qualifying FOX 12 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
11-Feb The Clash at DIS FS1 3 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
15-Feb The Duel Qualifying Races at DIS FS1 7 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
18-Feb DAYTONA 500 FOX 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
25-Feb Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX 2 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
4-Mar Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
11-Mar ISM Raceway (Phoenix) FOX 3:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
18-Mar Auto Club Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
25-Mar Martinsville Speedway FS1 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
8-Apr Texas Motor Speedway FS1 2 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
15-Apr Bristol Motor Speedway FOX 2 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
21-Apr Richmond Raceway FOX 6:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
29-Apr Talladega Superspeedway FOX 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
6-May Dover International Speedway FS1 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
12-May Kansas Speedway FS1 8 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
19-May All-Star Open at Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 6 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
19-May All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 8 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
27-May Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX 6 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
3-Jun Pocono Raceway FS1 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
10-Jun Michigan International Speedway FOX 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
24-Jun Sonoma Raceway FS1 3 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
1-Jul Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
7-Jul Daytona International Speedway NBC 7 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
14-Jul Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
22-Jul New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
29-Jul Pocono Raceway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
5-Aug Watkins Glen International NBC 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
12-Aug Michigan International Speedway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
18-Aug Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
2-Sep Darlington Raceway NBCSN 6 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
9-Sep Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. ET IMS/SiriusXM
16-Sep Las Vegas Motor Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
22-Sep Richmond Raceway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
30-Sep Charlotte Motor Speedway NBC 2 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
7-Oct Dover International Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
14-Oct Talladega Superspeedway NBC 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
21-Oct Kansas Speedway NBC 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
28-Oct Martinsville Speedway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
4-Nov Texas Motor Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
11-Nov ISM Raceway (Phoenix) NBC 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
18-Nov Homestead Miami Speedway NBC 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM

Check out the schedule and make your travel plans to attend a race or two. Don’t forget to check out to see if there is a companion event for the XFINITY or Camping World Truck Series. Hope to see you there.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 352951 (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series Schedule

The 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series season is starting. Last year, the inaugural year for stage racing, added some drama to the races. William Byron was able to win the Championship in his rookie year further solidifying that this series is about new and future stars of NASCAR.

Like the Cup Series the Xfinity Series also has some changes to its schedule.  The playoffs will begin again at Richmond Raceway then goes on to Charlotte Motor Speedway instead of Chicagoland. Chicagoland moves back to the end of June and Indianapolis moves to the beginning of September.

2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series Schedule

Date Location Network Race Start Radio
17-Feb Daytona International Speedway FS1 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
24-Feb Atlanta Motor Speedway FS1 2:00 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
3-Mar Las Vegas Motor Speedway FS1 4:00 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
10-Mar ISM Raceway (Phoenix) FOX 4:00 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
17-Mar Auto Club Speedway FS1 5:00 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
7-Apr Texas Motor Speedway FOX 3:00 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
14-Apr Bristol Motor Speedway FS1 1:00 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
20-Apr Richmond Raceway FS1 7:00 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
28-Apr Talladega Superspeedway FOX 3:00 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
5-May Dover International Speedway FS1 1:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
26-May Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 1:00 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
2-Jun Pocono Raceway FS1 1:00 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
9-Jun Michigan International Raceway FOX 1:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
17-Jun Iowa Speedway FS1 5:00 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
30-Jun Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
6-Jul Daytona International Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
13-Jul Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 8:00 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
21-Jul New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 4:00 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
28-Jul Iowa Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
4-Aug Watkins Glen International NBC 3:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
11-Aug Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course NBCSN 3:00 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
17-Aug Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
25-Aug Road America NBCSN 3:00 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
1-Sep Darlington Raceway NBC 3:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
8-Sep Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBCSN 4:00 p.m. ET IMS/SiriusXM
15-Sep Las Vegas Motor Speedway NBCSN 5:00 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
21-Sep Richmond Raceway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
29-Sep Charlotte Motor Speedway NBCSN 3:00 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
6-Oct Dover International Speedway NBCSN 3:00 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
20-Oct Kansas Motor Speedway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
3-Nov Texas Motor Speedway NBC 3:30 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
10-Nov ISM Raceway (Phoenix) NBC 3:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
17-Nov Homestead-Miami Speedway NBCSN 3:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM

Check out the schedule and make your travel plans to attend a race or two. Hope to see you there.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 352932 (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule

The 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season is starting up but where do we pick up from last year? Christopher Bell won his first Championship by one point over the veteran and year before champion Johnny Sauter. Will we see another dual of young further NASCAR stars versus the veterans or will one or the other run away with it? This series, racing in the most diverse tracks in NASCAR never disappoints.

The 2018 Camping World Truck Series Schedule is not much different than last year. The major change is the night race at Chicagoland Speedway moved to the end of June. They wall also not be racing at New Hampshire.

2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule

Date Location Network Race Start Radio
16-Feb Daytona International Speedway FS1 7:30 PM MRN/SiriusXM
24-Feb Atlanta Motor Speedway FS1 4:30 PM MRN/SiriusXM
2-Mar Las Vegas Motor Speedway FS1 9:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
24-Mar Martinsville Speedway FS1 2:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
4-May Dover International Speedway FS1 5:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
11-May Kansas Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 PM MRN/SiriusXM
18-May Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 PM MRN/SiriusXM
8-Jun Texas Motor Speedway FS1 9:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
16-Jun Iowa Speedway FS1 7:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
23-Jun Gateway Motorsports Park FS1 8:30 PM MRN/SiriusXM
29-Jun Chicagoland Speedway FS1 9:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
12-Jul Kentucky Speedway FS1 7:30 PM MRN/SiriusXM
18-Jul Eldora Speedway FS1 9:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
28-Jul Pocono Raceway FS1 1:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
11-Aug Michigan International Speedway FS1 1:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
15-Aug Bristol Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 PM MRN/SiriusXM
26-Aug Canadian Tire Motorsports Park FS1 2:30 PM MRN/SiriusXM
14-Sep Las Vegas Motor Speedway FS1 9:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
13-Oct Talladega Superspeedway FOX 1:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
27-Oct Martinsville Speedway FS1 1:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM
2-Nov Texas Motor Speedway FS1 8:30 PM MRN/SiriusXM
9-Nov ISM Raceway (Phoenix) FS1 8:30 PM MRN/SiriusXM
16-Nov Homestead-Miami Speedway FS1 8:00 PM MRN/SiriusXM

Check out the schedule and make your travel plans to attend a race or two. Hope to see you there.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 352914 (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

What is wrong with NASCAR? – Nothing!

The last couple of years if you read any commentary about NASCAR you would read about declining attendance at the track and ratings on TV. It is sad to see the pictures of massive grand stands with very few fans. It’s also sad to see the TV ratings lower than the year before. It is easy to say there is something wrong with NASCAR and fans are leaving the sport. But are they? Can we know if they are?

NASCAR is a product of their own success; there are so many ways to keep in touch with the sport that going to the track is less important than it was years ago. NASCAR has apps, the networks have apps, we can keep in touch with the action no matter where we are. NASCAR embraced Twitter and Facebook; there are updates on the race there. Even the fans are engaged on Facebook and Twitter. If you wanted to know what was going on at a race and check in on it, you can and no one would know about it. It doesn’t show up in the ratings and you are not seen at the track. It literally looks like no one cares.

How about the racing, isn’t that what it is about. Well the racing is better than ever. Each and every week we have not one but about 15 drivers who can win a race. Sure there are some that seem to have a better shot than others but the days of 5 or fewer cars on the lead lap are over. Oh, the good old days where maybe five drivers had a shot and were on the lead lap but usually less. It’s hard to see people tweet and talk about the good old days.

Sure the “at the track” attendance is lacking. Much is said about the Xfinity and Truck race attendance being light but back in 2001 to 2005 even those series did not have great attendance unless they were at a stand-alone short track. Those series at a 70-90 thousand seat track never filled the seats. It was mind boggling going to one of those races, passing fans in the campground that were not. Now those tracks look even worse when shown on TV.

I stopped going to tracks as media because I felt I was losing touch with the sport. I don’t want to pick on any track but last year at Chicagoland Speedway I went for the first time ever as a fan for the whole race weekend. I bought the whole package and received a Fan Zone Pit Pass. On the first day, the ARCA race, I tried to go to the infield for the prerace. The security guard told me that I could not but he let me anyway but  he said you won’t be able to do that tomorrow. I did and I was the only “Fan” there other than friends and family of ARCA drivers. If you want people to think that there is a party that they need to be a part of, shouldn’t there be people on TV at the party. Why so exclusive?

On Friday for the Truck race and Saturday for the Xfinity race I could not only go to the prerace in the infield I couldn’t go on pit road and look at the trucks and cars? Again, If this should be a party you should be a part of shouldn’t we have people at the Party? TV is great at showing parties. They love that but if there is no one there then they have to fish a story. It won’t be about the party. In support of Chicagoland Speedway, they did give me access to the infield and pit road before the Cup race. It was the party I’m talking about.

This year I went to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Just like Chicagoland I was given pit passes. This time for the Xfinity race it was only good during the race. No prerace, no seeing the cars lined up before the race. For the Cup race, just like Chicagoland, it was what was expected. As I said above, why the limit, they should have a party and make it available for TV so that it appears that it is the place to be.

So what is wrong with NASCAR? Nothing is! NASCAR, the tracks and TV need to make it something you need to attend, something you need to watch. It has to be a party you have to be at.

Feature Photo Credit: 309149 Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Retires, This too Shall Pass

This week Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced that this year will be his last year driving in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. NASCARs most popular driver would no longer be driving next year.

I just wanted the opportunity to go out on my own terms.”, said Earnhardt.

Social Media and Sirius/XM NASCAR lit up with fans saying that NASCAR is over; it will never survive. Some claim that as much as 65% of all fans are Dale Jr. fans and most will not continue watching because he will not be there. We have been there before.

When Dale Earnhardt died, similar claims were made by fans. Afterword’s, I remember going to races and seeing Dale Earnhardt fans wearing the No. 3 Goodwrench gear at the track or in the campgrounds. I really enjoyed hearing the stories of what they saw him do on the track, how he put the bumper to someone. I enjoyed hearing how they met him one time, got to shake his hand, and get his autograph.

When the race was over these same fans would say; wow did you see what Harvick did. (Kevin Harvick was the driver of the No. 3 now renumbered 29 Goodwrench Chevy.)  Regardless, NASCAR went on. The years after were some of the most popular years of the sport.

Photo Credit: 348791 Jamie Squire/ALLSPORT
Photo Credit: 348791 Jamie Squire/ALLSPORT

I am certain that next year there will still be many members of “Junior Nation” in the campground and in the stands. They will also be recalling to all who will listen what Dale Earnhardt Jr. did on the track. They will also tell all who ask and some who don’t about when they got to meet him. I am certain that after the race they will say; did you see what Chase Elliott did in turn four? Kyle Larson was really tearing out the outside groove or “Insert new hot shoe driver here” in the 88 really took it to them this week.

One thing that’s made this career the incredible ride that it’s been is Junior Nation.” Earnhardt Jr. added, “The fan support that I received straight out of the gate was in large part because of my famous last name.  But throughout the ups and downs it occurred to me that the fans that stuck it out and the new ones that joined us, they were there because of the person I was and not who they wanted me to be.

If you are a member of “Junior Nation” you will still be one but you are in a position to broaden your experience. This is why we love NASCAR.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 348787 ISC Archives via Getty Images