Race Weekend Central

Holding A Pretty Wheel: 3 Drivers, 7 Championships

Nascar Champions Portraits

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

For many years, there were two. There was The King, who had come along when the sport itself was still in its infancy and who drove it from the tiny, dusty bullrings of the Southeast to the big tracks of a budding national phenomenon. Just when it seemed that The King’s sport was a getting …

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The Underdog House: Putting A Wrap On 2016

2016 Charlotte All Star Showdown Cup Michael Mcdowell Casey Mears Racing Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Think Small It’s hard to believe the 2016 season is over—it seems like just yesterday that it began, full of promise and hope.  For some of the teams on this page, it’s been, by all counts, a good season—one of accomplishment and improvement.  For others it’s been a struggle, financial or performance, often both as …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400

2016 Cup Homestead Miami Speedway Zach Catanzareti Jimmie Johnson

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Since Homestead became the season-ending race, drivers out of title contention have barely gotten a second glance for most of the weekend, and since the current Chase format came along, forget about seeing anyone else.  This weekend was no exception, and even as Kyle Larson was owning the …

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The Underdog House: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

2016 Daytona Ii Cup Michael Mcdowell Austin Dillon Clint Bowyer Racing John Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

Think Small While Silly Season didn’t impact the bigger teams much, it’s gotten downright ridiculous among the smaller teams as 2016 draws to a close.  Charters have become a hot commodity, and apparently, some teams are willing to negotiate that particular item.  Tommy Baldwin Racing has reportedly already sold its Charter to Leavine Family Racing, …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 Can-Am 500

2016 Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Phoenix

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? He’s not a rookie — he actually has two full Cup seasons under his belt — but Alex Bowman might as well be one in some respects.  He’s seen the tracks, but he’s never really raced against the top drivers in the series on a weekly basis for …

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Friday Faceoff: Does NASCAR Need a New Tire War?

2016 Phoenix I Cup Jimmie Johnson Chase Elliott Pack Racing Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

The question of whether or not Chase races should be rain-shortened arose once again this week after rain cut the AAA Texas 500 41 laps short.  Is there anything NASCAR could have done differently to get the race in, or is the outcome acceptable as is? Jeff Wolfe, Senior Writer: I don’t think there is …

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The Frontstretch 5: Unintended Consequences of NASCAR’s Chase Era

2016 Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Texas

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

1. Nobody wants to be that guy, but… Do drivers race differently in the Chase? That’s been debated and I think they do. Nobody who’s not in the title hunt wants to have an adverse effect on the championship by inadvertently taking out someone in the title hunt, unless, of course, they’ve been eliminated by …

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The Underdog House: A Texas Curveball

2016 Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Texas

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Think Small Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, with its shift from day to night after an hours-long rain delay, did do one thing well: it showed a clear disparity between the elite teams and those striving to reach that mark one day. The intermediate tracks are plentiful on the Cup schedule …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 AAA Texas 500

2016 Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Texas

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? When the season has been a struggle almost from day one and the best qualifying effort a driver can muster is 31st, it would be easy to write the weekend off as a lost cause.  But for Kasey Kahne at least, the day-to-night switch at Texas worked out well. …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Teamwork or Too Far?

Cup Martinsville Denny Hamlin Kyle Busch Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Martinsville Speedway

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Martinsville Speedway is one of those tracks where someone inevitably ends the day angry at someone else.  It’s the nature of short-track racing, where racing is tight and battles for position are fierce. Last weekend’s race was no exception. Frustration ran high as Jimmie Johnson ran away from the field in the closing laps, and …

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The Underdog House: Are Small-Time NASCAR Drivers Damaged Goods?

Cup Martinsville Martinsville Speedway Aj Allmendinger

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Think Small It’s an easy mistake to make: falling into the trap of thinking most of the drivers racing for NASCAR’s smaller teams are damaged goods.  Sadly, it’s one that even team owners often fall into.  How often have young, talented drivers taken rides in this group hoping for some exposure only to be overlooked?  …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 Goody’s Fast Relief 500

Kurt Busch And Jimmie Johnson Martinsville Cup 2016 Mike Neff

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Sometimes finishing position doesn’t reflect a good race accurately.  That was the case Sunday for Austin Dillon, who gained 24 spots by halfway to get into the top 10.  Pit strategy didn’t swing his way following a late caution that shook up the field, but Dillon’s 17th-place finish …

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