Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Disturbing Trends in NASCAR

2018 Las Vegas I Cup Ty Dillon Pack Racing Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

1. The elephant in the room The fact that looms over NASCAR these days is the decline in both ratings and race attendance; it simply can’t be ignored, explained away, or overlooked. There are pieces that can’t be fixed, like the steady erosion of American car culture. That’s outside any realm of control for any …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Southern 500

2018 Media Tour Charlotte Zach Catanzareti Cup Brad Keselowski

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? This is Darlington, and Darlington means not just one of the most prestigious races on the Cup schedule, but also a weekend of nostalgia with its throwback theme and some great-looking cars to go with it.  For just a moment, you can almost see them out there, the …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: For Just a Minute, NASCAR Gives Back All That’s Lost

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(Photo: Amy Henderson)

Seventy years into the game, NASCAR teams will use this weekend at Darlington Raceway to celebrate the sport’s long and colorful history with throwback paint schemes and uniforms. It’s appropriate that the nod to the past comes at Darlington, the sport’s oldest superspeedway at its oldest continuously run race (if you’re willing to count the …

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The Frontstretch 5: Reasons Nothing is Simple in NASCAR

21 22 August, 2015, Bristol, Tennessee Usa Kyle Busch, Skittles Toyota Camry Denny Hamlin, Fedex Ground Toyota Camry ©2015, Matthew T. Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

1. Because tracks It seems easy enough: make changes to the schedules, the cars, the playoffs, even the drivers.  But NASCAR is a complex organism, and nothing is as easy as it seems, even if we think it should be. Would more short tracks/road courses/different tracks make a difference in what fans see? There’s no …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

2017 Kansas Ii Cup Kurt Busch Barry Cantrell Nkp

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Who…gets my shoutout of the race? Getting your best finish of the year?  Good.  Getting it at your home track? Bonus.  Trevor Bayne put together a solid late-race effort, running inside the top 10 for many of the closing laps before finishing 11th, his best result of 2018. After giving up the seat of his …

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The Frontstretch 5: Pieces in NASCAR’s Silly Season Puzzle & Where They Could Fit

2017 Atlanta Cup Kurt Busch Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

1. Kurt Busch 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Busch won’t return to powerhouse Stewart-Haas Racing next year. Each driver move creates two pieces to the puzzle, as the ride he vacates will need to be filled. In this case, it’s pretty likely that Cole Custer will take over the No. 41, so Busch …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Consumers Energy 400

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Pennzoil 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nv Usa Friday 2 March 2018 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Discount Tire World Copyright: Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Sometimes a driver needs a good finish to turn things around, and this week that happened for Brad Keselowski. Since finishing third at Kentucky last month, Keselowski has had finishes of 32nd, 38th and 17th.  While teammates Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney have been competitive this season, Keselowski …

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The Frontstretch 5: Ways to Improve NASCAR’s Inspection Process

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Auto Club 400 Qualifying

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

1. Humanize the process again Last week in Holding a Pretty Wheel, I examined the recent rash of inspection failures in NASCAR. There’s plenty of blame to go around for what’s happening, but what can be done about it? First and foremost, has the process become too dependent on technology? It’s very possible that the …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 GoBowling at the Glen

Daniel Suarez 2018 Mencs Cup Series, Sonoma

(Photo: Danny Peters)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? With the excitement over Chase Elliott’s first win, another young driver looking to break through for the first time fell short but is making an excellent case for himself as a favorite at the Glen.  After a fourth-place finish in his second Cup race at the track, Daniel …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Inspecting the Process

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

To the rear, inspection. These words have become all too familiar over the last couple of seasons as NASCAR has cracked down on weekend inspection failures. Frankly, it’s not a great look for the sport, as some weeks multiple teams pile up the failures, giving outsiders the impression that nefarious things are afoot. And it …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Quaker State 400

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Kevin Harvick had a top-five finish at Kentucky Speedway, the best among his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, but he didn’t lead a single lap. Neither did Kyle Busch, who finished fourth. Instead, Martin Truex Jr. led the lion’s share at 174 of 267, a second straight dominating performance at Kentucky …

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The Frontstretch 5: Most Recent 1st-Time Winners at Daytona

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Erik Jones, July 2018 Not everyone loves a winner, but most fans love a first-time winner.  Erik Jones was the most recent driver to visit Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway, but he’s the latest in a long line of drivers to find their first wins at the World Center of Racing. What Jones …

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