Race Weekend Central

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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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the Coke Zero Sugar 400

#20: Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Buyatoyota.com, Celebrates In Victory Lane. Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? One of the cool things about superspeedway racing is that restrictor plates allow the cream to rise to the top when it comes to driving skill. Yes, plate racing is a skill, and sometimes drivers who struggle at other tracks shine at these events, and vice versa (yeah, …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Why the Number of Winners Matters

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The end of Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway marks the halfway point in the 2018 season.  After 17 races of the 36-race schedule, we’ve seen just six different winners, the fewest in four decades.  Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch have 10 of those wins between them, with five …

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The Frontstretch 5: Ideas for NASCAR So Crazy They Just Might Work

2017 Phoenix Ii Cup More Pack Racing Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

1. Let someone else design the cars A couple things here. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was NASCAR brought down overnight. In other words, there is no quick fix here. New cars, new venues and new ideas all take time, and lots of it, to do right. But it may just be …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the Overton’s 400

#18: Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Skittles Red White & Blue Celebrates After Winning Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

Kyle Busch (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Even on a team, it’s easy to point fingers and let a setback outweigh performance.  Sometimes the setback is even the team’s own fault, or as in Clint Bowyer’s case, purely driver error. A pit road speeding penalty mushroomed for Bowyer as he drew a second penalty while …

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The Frontstretch 5: Overly Deep Philosophical Questions About NASCAR

2017 Nascar Monster Energy Cup Series, Daytona

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

1. Are drivers passionate enough? It’s not that any driver, at any level, doesn’t want to win. Any competitor who makes it to the top level of any sport is hungry to win, to be among the best. So it’s not that any driver lacks desire. But it’s hard to deny that there’s something missing …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Toyota/Save Mart 350

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Folds Of Honor Quik Trip 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga Usa Saturday 24 February 2018 Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Dewalt Toyota Camry World Copyright: Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Not every driver can take on the road courses and come out with strong finishes. The tracks require a distinct skill set and, depending on the path they take, road course experience may be the resume builder drivers lack most coming into NASCAR’s top series. For Erik Jones, …

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The Frontstretch 5: Great Things About NASCAR’s Lower Divisions, Areas of Opportunity

Field Enters Turn Three After Final Restart of Iowa 250 pres. by Enogen

(Photo: Christian Koelle)

1. Standalone races Races like the XFINITY/Truck show at Iowa last weekend used to be much more common, but the ones that are still on the schedule often end up being among the best races of the season in any series. Some of that has to do with the venues, but it’s also because the …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 FireKeepers Casino 400

Kasey Kahne

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? While his finish didn’t necessarily reflect the effort, for a driver for a very small, underfunded team to lead several laps on the day is an accomplishment in itself.  Kasey Kahne started 29th and finished 23rd, but somewhere in the middle, he led twice for a total of …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Is a Summer Storm Coming to NASCAR?

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Long, hot days give way to sultry nights, tracks are hot and slick and expectations and frustrations mount.  It’s summer in NASCAR, and with 12 races to go in the sport’s regular season, there’s a rivalry brewing right along with the summer storms. Or is there? 2018 to date has largely been the Kevin Harvick …

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