Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Drivers With Something to Prove in 2019

2019 Atlanta Cup Ryan Newman Nkp

(Photo:Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Denny Hamlin Yes, that Denny Hamlin. He just won the biggest race of the year in Daytona, but Hamlin’s got some unfinished business. The Daytona win puts him in the Playoffs and gives him plenty of time to prepare, but the one thing missing from Hamlin’s resume is a Cup title.  He’s come agonizingly …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2019 Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500

2019 Atlanta Cup Zach Catanzareti Daniel Hemric

Atlanta Motor Speedway, February 2019. (Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Who…should you be talking about after the race? Brad Keselowski battled a stomach bug all weekend, giving up the No. 2 car to Team Penske’s Xfinity Series driver Austin Cindric for the majority of a Saturday practice session after qualifying 19th on Friday. Keselowski was feeling up to the task early on, in part thanks to …

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The Frontstretch 5: Races to Pay Close Attention To in the First Half of 2019

2017 Kentucky Cup Kyle Larson Pack Racing Barry Cantrell Nkp

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Atlanta Motor Speedway All eyes are, of course, on this weekend’s race in Atlanta, the first full-length event for the new aerodynamic package. The low-downforce package is out, replaced by a high-drag, low-horsepower model.  NASCAR scrapped a high-downforce high power package a few years ago, hoping that slower speeds would enable more passing. It didn’t. …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2019 Daytona 500

Kyle Busch 2019 Daytona 500

(Photo: Christian Koelle)

Who… should you be talking about after the race? Denny Hamlin carried the late J.D. Gibbs on his shoulder all the way back to Victory Lane.  Hamlin went winless in 2018, the first season in his career without a victory, but he erased that losing streak Sunday in NASCAR’s biggest race.  Showing everyone the best way …

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The Frontstretch 5: Big Questions As NASCAR Enters 2019

2019 Daytona Clash Cup Paul Menard Pack Racing Nkp

(Photo: NKP)

1. What will the new aerodynamic package look like in real time? That’s the big question that everyone is asking, but don’t expect the answer to be immediate or definitive. The low horsepower, high downforce package will debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in a week and a half, but don’t expect what you see there …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2019 Advance Auto Parts Clash

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… should you be talking about after the race? Obviously, everyone is talking about Jimmie Johnson.  His detractors are talking about the multi-car wreck he may or may not have triggered in what ultimately set up the win. His fans are just happy he won, even if it is a non-points event, because, well, it’s …

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2018 Top NASCAR Storylines: Say Goodnight, Kasey (& Jamie & Matt)

2016 Indianapolis Cup Kasey Kahne Helmet Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

For several drivers, 2018 marks the end of a NASCAR journey. Among those who have said they don’t plan to race full-time (or at all) in the sport in the future are Jamie McMurray (who may run the 2019 Daytona 500 before he hangs up his helmet), Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Cole Whitt, Elliott Sadler, …

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The Underdog House: Wrapping Up NASCAR’s Small Teams For 2018

Aj Allmendinger 1000bulbs.com 500 Practice

(Photo: Christian Koelle)

Think Small If there is a lesson to be learned from the 2018 season and the underdog teams, it’s that the right combination of team and driver is everything. Perhaps the biggest example is one of a small-team driver moving into fully-funded equipment and flourishing, as Aric Almirola has when he moved from Richard Petty …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Ford EcoBoost 400

2018 Homestead Cup Zach Catanzareti Joey Logano

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? What a difference a year makes. An average finish of 18.8, 29th in driver points in a season marked by injury. That’s not very promising for a driver, especially one who’s a journeyman at best in his mid-30s. A year later, Aric Almirola finishes his season fifth in points, …

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The Frontstretch 5: Tracks That Should Host a Finale & Crown a Champion

2016 Martinsville I Cup Joey Logano Pack Racing Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Hacker NKP)

1. Martinsville Why it would be great: Because Martinsville. Face it, the racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway is generally underwhelming. There have been moments, but it’s an intermediate track with a predictable configuration. A short track has much more potential to give fans a finish like they saw last month, only this time it would be …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Can-Am 500

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Let’s make it a pair this week. Shy of a win at Homestead (and even with one), you won’t hear much about a couple of drivers who will very likely drive quietly into the sunset after the checkers next week.  You didn’t hear much about them this week, …

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