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NASCAR’s Hired Guns, the Road-Course Ringers Who Left Their Mark

Although most fans think NASCAR has been an oval-only series for much of its seven-decades long existence, road-course races have been on its schedule since its inception. In years past, the majority of the sport’s drivers, including many of its top talents, would circle the road-race dates on the schedule and view them with antipathy. Having cut their racing teeth on oval racing, road courses were just too much of a bother. Drivers and crew chiefs saw all the shifting, the braking and the wear and tear on equipment as an annoyance.  Team owners resorted to hiring road-course specialists from the sports car and open-wheel ranks for these races. These "road-course ringers" were some of the best drivers in the world. But even thoug...

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