NASCAR and Panini America have collaborated together to release the first line of officially licensed trading cards, which will include stars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. "We are excited to bring NASCAR trading cards back into the marketplace," said Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America. "NASCAR fans are some of the most passionate in all of sport, and we look forward to delivering an assortment of products across a broad range of price points that meet the needs of collectors and race fans alike." You said it Mark, our fans are pretty awesome. So much so we'll be celebrating them all weekend long this September.
We remember another driver who missed time early in the season last year, and by all accounts it ended pretty well for him. This season, Tony Stewart is doing his best Kyle Busch impression with a mid-summer tear that's reminded us all he is a three-time Sprint Cup Champion. Going back to his win at Sonoma in late June, Stewart has four top-five finishes in his last six starts. He also is up to 27th in the Sprint Cup point standings. Considering he has five career wins at Watkins Glen International, there's a good chance he'll make another jump in the standings this weekend.
The Glen's 2.45-mile road course has been a unique twist in the midst of NASCAR's end of season stretch. Throw in the track's recent repave, and there's a chance the Chase point's scramble becomes even more intense after this weekend. Stewart is the track's all-time victories leader, and though his last win came in 2009 - his victory at Sonoma earlier this season shows he's still a threat. AJ Allmendinger took advantage of his road course background in 2014, when his victory over Marcos Ambrose vaulted him into the only win and Chase berth of his 10-year Cup career. Even Jeff Gordon, who will continue to run the No. 88 in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s absence, has four career wins at the New York track. With only three repeat winners in the last decade, there's a chance this weekend could be one of the most exciting stops on the Road to Richmond.