Race Weekend Central

Dropping the Hammer: COVID Again Looms Over NASCAR

Kyle Larson at Watkins Glen

Kyle Larson signs autographs for fans at Watkins Glen (Davey Segal)

Things were going so well. The world was returning to a vaguely defined “normal.” After not attending a NASCAR race as a member of the press in 18 months, after getting vaccinated as soon as it was available to my age demographic, I got to cover the June race weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. No masks. …

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Dropping the Hammer: An Ode to Bob Jenkins

Bob Jenkins

Bob Jenkins during the first ESPN NASCAR broadcast in 1981 (YouTube).

“Hello everyone, I’m Bob Jenkins.” As I drove home Monday evening, I listened to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. At one point, the channel returned from commercial. Instead of a normal show bumper, it played audio from a 29-year-old radio broadcast of a race that made me misty-eyed. It wasn’t just any race broadcast. “The checkered flag …

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Dropping The Hammer: Chase Elliott & Bubba Wallace, the Faces of NASCAR

Chase Elliott and Bubba Wallace

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

You don’t need me to tell you this, but Chase Elliott is kind of a big deal within NASCAR. We are currently nine months into Elliott’s reign as the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion. We’re also in our third year with the 25-year-old as NASCAR’s reigning Most Popular Driver. This is no small thing. 2021 …

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Dropping the Hammer: The Next Gen Car vs. the Internet

NASCAR Next Gen car

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

On Monday morning (July 19), NASCAR alerted media members about the state of the Next Gen car. Following a review of data from a June 30 crash test at Talladega Superspeedway, an independent safety panel has given the Cup Series’ new car for 2022 a clean bill of health. According to NBC Sports, NASCAR told …

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Harrison Burton: ‘Hard to Say No’ to Ford, Wood Brothers Racing

2021 Charlotte NXS Harrison Burton NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Recently, former NASCAR Cup driver and NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton helped his son Harrison Burton pick out a suit for an important meeting. The younger Burton wasn’t even sure what the meeting was about. As the world found out Thursday morning (July 15), the meeting led to Harrison Burton being named the driver of …

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Harrison Burton to Drive For Wood Brothers Racing in 2022

Matt DiBenedetto during the Instacart 500k at Phoenix Raceway, 3/14/2021 (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Harrison Burton has been tapped by Wood Brother Racing to drive its iconic No. 21 Ford in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, the team announced Thursday, July 15. Burton, the son of former Cup driver Jeff Burton, will take over the ride from Matt DiBenedetto, who has driven the car since 2020. Austin Cindric …

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Team Penske Taps Austin Cindric to Drive No. 2 Cup Car in 2022

Brad Keselowski during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, 5/30/2021 (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Defending Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric will drive Team Penske’s No. 2 Ford in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022, the organization announced Thursday, July 15. Cindric, 22, will take over the ride from Brad Keselowski, as Team Penske confirmed that the 2012 Cup champion will depart the team to “pursue other opportunities.” Keselowski has …

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Dropping the Hammer: Appreciating the Reliability of Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch at Atlanta

HAMPTON, GEORGIA - JULY 11: <>during the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 11, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The more NASCAR has changed over the last 20 years, the more Kurt Busch has adapted and found ways to win. A new points format? Busch won the first championship of the playoff era in 2004. A new kind of car? Busch has won in every generation of car he’s competed in as a full-time …

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Dropping the Hammer: Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Catch-22

NASCAR at Atlanta Motor Speeday

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

I hold these three truths to be self-evident. (It’s still 4th of July week, cut me some slack). First, Atlanta Motor Speedway should have been repaved a long time ago. When Speedway Motorsports Inc., chickened out of giving the 1.54-mile track a makeover in 2017,  at the behest of a multitude of NASCAR drivers, it …

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Justin Marks: ‘I Don’t Want to Get Over My Skis’ After Chip Ganassi Acquisition

2021 Cup Charlotte Daniel Suarez, No. 99 TrackHouse Racing Chevrolet (Credit: NKP)

Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

It may be hard to believe, but Justin Marks believes the growth of Trackhouse Racing “needs to be managed.” The timing of his own statement Wednesday (June 30) wasn’t lost on Marks. It came roughly half an hour after his team announced it had purchased all of Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR assets, effective at the …

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Dropping the Hammer: Road America’s 65-Year Cup Series Drought Ends

NASCAR at Road America

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

After decades of waiting, Road America’s time has arrived. The four-mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wis., will finally be graced by the presence of the top racing circuit in North America: the NASCAR Cup Series. Sunday, July 4’s inaugural … Hold on. *touches ear* We’re just receiving some new information into the newsroom. Sunday …

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Why Pride Month Matters to Alex Bowman’s Sponsor, Ally Financial

Alex Bowman at Nashville

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

When Alex Bowman‘s No. 48 Chevrolet took to Sonoma Raceway on June 6, it did so with a special decal, one that sponsor Ally Financial shared on Twitter. With a rainbow-colored “a” above the phrase “better together,” the emblem commemorated Pride Month. Frontstretch asked Andrea Brimmer, Ally’s chief marketing and public relations officer, Saturday (June …

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