The decade since Dale Sr.'s death in 2001 has been one of constant change for NASCAR
This is an article from the Feb. 21, 2011 issue
NASCAR requires drivers to use head-and-neck restraints in its top three series.
Bill France Jr., NASCAR's chairman since 1972, hands the reins to his son, Brian. Bill dies in '07 after a long battle with cancer.
Brian France introduces the Chase for the Cup, a 10-race playoff that includes 10 (now 12) drivers based on regular-season performance.
After 33-year run as sponsor of NASCAR's top series, R.J. Reynolds's Winston brand bows out. Nextel (then Sprint, in '08) steps in.
NASCAR inks an eight-year, $4.5 billion deal with Fox, ABC/ESPN, TNT and Speed Channel, ensuring every Cup race gets airtime.
The Car of Tomorrow (CoT) debuts at Bristol, the first of 16 races in which it will be used. The Cup series switches to the CoT full time in '08.
Danica Patrick signs with JR Motorsports. She runs 13 Nationwide races in '10, with a best finish of 19th; earns $12 million in total revenue.
Three years after installation begins, SAFER barriers—"soft walls" that absorb impact—are at every Sprint Cup oval track.
Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus win an unprecedented fourth straight Sprint Cup title—then win a fifth in '10.
After three years of experimenting with a rear-mounted wing on the CoT, NASCAR returns to the flat-blade spoiler, which debuted in 1966.