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July 4th racing detour, quick tax pit stop

One of our July 4th holiday weekend traditions is watching what the hubby and I still call the Firecracker 400. It's the NASCAR night Cup race down in Daytona held on the Saturday closest to Independence Day.

This year, though, we paid added attention to NASCAR's junior varsity series. Our interest was piqued not because Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was in the Friday night field, but because he was behind the wheel of a #3 Wrangler Chevy like the one his dad drove many years ago.

The throwback paint scheme and resurrection of the #3 was to honor Dale Earnhardt, Sr.'s posthumous induction into NASCAR's new Hall of Fame.


It was a touching and gutsy move by Junior. The young man is struggling right now and he knew that if he didn't win in the #3, the intended honor would be overshadowed by what many would see as a failure.

Well, the racing gods -- and a good engine -- were on Junior's side last night.

Congratulations to him for the emotional win. During post-race interviews in victory lane, he looked happier than I've seen him him years.

Here's hoping Junior enjoys tonight's Cup race, too, but just not as much. I'm pulling for Jeff Gordon's #24 Dupont Chevrolet to take the checkers.

Bring back the Black 3: Fans also were thrilled to see one of Ironhead's rides back on the track.

Their reaction was further argument as to why Richard Childress needs to put the Black #3 Chevy back into regular Cup competition, as I write in June's Views from the Grandstands for Truckers News and Crazy Woman Driver for Changing Lanes.

More racing rants: My July motorsports column looks at NASCAR's short-sighted cost control measures.

Read how letting the teams that can afford to and want to spend big bucks can benefit the whole sport in Cost of 'Cost Controls' in this month's Views From the Grandstands column.

Motorsport tax break: And even on a holiday weekend, as a committed tax geek I just can't post without a tax hook. So here's the tax connection to NASCAR.

The tax extenders bill that's stalled in the Senate includes $38 million in tax breaks for NASCAR racetrack owners. Specifically, facility owners can use a quicker seven-year depreciation schedule for new construction and improvements to racetracks, grandstands, parking lots and other facilities.

This provision came in for a lot of criticism the last time the extenders were approved. The same thing is happening now, but if Congress ever does finalize this legislation, expect the tax breaks for NASCAR benefits to be there.

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