Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2017 First Data 500

Kyle Busch Martinsville Checkered Flag

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Chase Elliott doesn’t need to apologize to anyone for finishing 27th on Sunday.  Elliott was racing for his first career win, and he did everything right in the process.  He got a great restart late to take the lead, and got dumped.  Denny Hamlin was on his bumper, …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2017 Texas Roadhouse 200

2017 Atlanta Cwts Noah Gragson Truck Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? While Noah Gragson was winning the Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway, two part-time rookie teammates were handling themselves like old pros.  Harrison Burton, making just his sixth Truck Series start of 2017 and the seventh of his career and Todd Gilliland in his fifth career start, finished …

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Chase Briscoe Wins Pole for Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville

2017 Eldora Cwts Chase Briscoe Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series took to Martinsville Speedway under a chilly grey sky to qualify for the Texas Roadhouse 200. Chase Briscoe took the pole with a lap of 19.774 seconds (95.762 mph), edging out two-time series champion Matt Crafton for the top spot.  Ben Rhodes, Johnny Sauter and Noah Gragson rounded out …

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Friday Faceoff: Did NASCAR Go Too Far with Penalties?

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Ks Usa Saturday 21 October 2017 Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing, Dewalt Flexvolt Toyota Camry World Copyright: Matthew T. Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Last weekend’s race featured the second cut in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, and among those out is veteran Matt Kenseth, who was parked by NASCAR for having too many crew members working on his car under the damaged vehicle policy.  Is the consequence for that particular infraction too harsh, or is this …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: When Racing Was Everything

2017 Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Stp 500 Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va Usa Sunday 2 April 2017 Denny Hamlin, Fedex Express Toyota Camry World Copyright: Nigel Kinrade/nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

I reconnected with an old friend not so long ago.  She was someone I knew well a lifetime ago, and we still get together every now and again.  Our paths diverged several years back when I moved to North Carolina.  She was a diehard race fan when we spent weekends in New Hampshire watching any …

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The Underdog House: Where was the Outrage… For Corey Lajoie?

2017 Kansas Ii Cup Corey Lajoie Barry Cantrell Nkp

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Think Small Checking out social media on Monday, there were a lot of posts expressing outrage at Matt Kenseth being parked Sunday at Kansas for having too many crewmen working on his car after damage put him on the five-minute clock.  Kenseth’s disqualification took him out of the playoffs in what may be his last …

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Friday Faceoff: Does Talladega Belong in the Playoffs?

2017 Talladega Ii Cup Erik Jones Crash Damage Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T Thacker NKP)

Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, just two of the remaining 12 playoff drivers — winner Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin — and 14 of the 40-car field finished the race, with just four cars not listed as involved in an on-track incident.  Does this race belong in the playoffs? Amy Henderson: It doesn’t belong on the …

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The Frontstretch 5: Playoff Changes That Could Spice Up the Racing

2017 Talladega Ii Cup Pack Racing Ii Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew Thacker / NKP)

1. Watkins Glen in, Charlotte Roval out While it’s great to finally see NASCAR recognize that a true champion needs to prove himself on a road course in the playoffs, a pseudo-road course isn’t really a great choice. How about the Glen as the first-round elimination race?  The weather is still beautiful in upstate New …

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The Underdog House: Surviving NASCAR Talladega… Sort Of

2017 Talladega Ii Cup Michael Mcdowell Brad Keselowski Racing Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Think Small One thing that struck me when I first started in NASCAR was that if you spent enough time looking, you could see fans at a race who supported every driver in the field.  T-shirts, hats, and bumper stickers were among the ways they proclaimed their loyalty. Fast forward a couple of decades, and …

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The Frontstretch 5: Calls NASCAR (Almost) Got Right

Charlotte Field

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Movin’ on up… While NASCAR rolled out several rule changes prior to this season, one that went mostly unnoticed until last weekend at Charlotte was to add some adjustability to the start times of races with 24-hour notice to fans if there is impending weather. That came into play Sunday, when afternoon rain was in …

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The Underdog House: Is There a Road to NASCAR Competitiveness for Small Teams?

2017 Cup Charlotte Zach Catanzareti Bk Racing Brett Moffitt Corey Lajoie

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Think Small As the season draws to a close, not much has changed for NASCAR’s smaller teams.  While the No. 21 has, at least for the time being, earned its way off the list for 2018, most of the teams, if they survive the winter (and a couple are on shaky ground), will be in …

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