Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: NASCAR’s Circle of Life

2017 Richmond I Cup Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ryan Blaney Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

ONE: Talladega Next up on the Sprint Cup schedule is the first of two trips to the treacherous high banks of Talladega Superspeedway. This will be Cup race number 96 at the storied venue, a streak that runs all the way back to September of 1969 and a race won by Richard Brickhouse — the …

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Five Points to Ponder: Millennials, Champions and Ninja Warriors

2017 Texas I Cup Ricky Stenhouse Jr Matt Kenseth Racing Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

ONE: Next Up, Easter After seven straight weeks of competition in the 2017 Cup Series season, we hit the first off weekend of the season a little later than last year as we celebrate Easter. So what have we learned so far? First things first, the Penske Fords are fast – lightning. Joey Logano might …

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5 Points to Ponder: The Misery of Finishing Second

2017 Las Vegas Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

ONE: Empty Seats As good as the racing was at NASCAR’s oldest, slowest, smallest track this past Sunday wasn’t it a shame to see great swathes of empty seats? If a track that is pretty much guaranteed to see excellent on-track action is struggling to fill the grandstands what hope is there for some of …

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Five Points: Wins, Near-Wins and Wide-Open Spaces

ONE: Fontana The #NASCARGoesWest swing — and how else to say it but with a ubiquitous hashtag –concludes this weekend with a trip to the two-mile, low-banked D-shaped oval of Auto Club Speedway. This is the 20th-anniversary visit and the 28th time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup cars have traversed the (four) wide open spaces of …

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5 Points to Ponder: Have at it and Have a Good Time

ONE: Logano vs JGR (Again) I tend to time shift my race watching, so when I got a Sunday afternoon Facebook message from a friend who has not previously expressed an interest in NASCAR and the only words I saw were “that was an eventful race,” I knew something exciting was coming. I just didn’t …

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5 Points to Ponder: The Art of Victory

2017 Atlanta Cup Brad Keselowski Trophy Rusty Jarrett Nkp

(Photo: Rusty Jarrett/NKP)

ONE: 7.33% If you keep up with NASCAR via Twitter in any way, shape or form, you’ve likely been deluged with facts and stats these past couple weeks touting social engagement and viewing numbers for the Daytona 500. Now as the old adage goes, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. …

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Five Points to Ponder: Elliott’s Despair, Busch’s Redemption and Waltrip’s Retirement

2016 Kentucky Cup Chase Elliott Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

ONE: Chase Elliott’s wins are coming – soon An otherwise excellent Speedweeks finished in crushing disappointment for the 21-year-old sophomore Hendrick Motorsports driver. After winning his Cam-Am Duel and securing the coveted pole position for the Daytona 500, Elliott lead 39 circuits at the famous two-and-a-half-mile track including 23 of the last 26 laps of …

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Five Points: Pondering An Avalanche Of NASCAR Change In 2017

Clash Daytona Action

ONE: All Change There is an old adage that states “the only constant in life is change.” It’s a quote widely attributed to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher who lived five hundred years before the birth of Jesus — 535 BC to 475 BC, if you want the exact numbers. And despite the quote being several …

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5 Points to Ponder: First Steps and Inside NASCAR’s Championship 4

2016 Martinsville I Cup Joey Logano Pack Racing Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Hacker NKP)

ONE: The Championship 4 After nine weeks of “playoff” competition we’re done to the final four drivers who will compete for the prize of being crowned the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion — the final award handed out by Sprint after a decade plus of title sponsorship. And it’s a good quartet. You have the …

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Five Points to Ponder: The Junior Factor

ONE: The Earnhardt Factor The TV ratings numbers for NASCAR have been far from pretty during the playoffs. In fact, downright horrible might be a better description. We’ve seen significant drops in every race so far but please note at the time of writing Martinsville numbers were not available. The Chase opener at Chicagoland saw …

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5 Points to Ponder: The Best Track in NASCAR

2016 Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Talladega

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/ NKP)

ONE: Martinsville I’ve said it many times before, and I’m sure I’ll continue to say it as long as the editors allow me to keep writing this column. There’s nothing in NASCAR that can’t be fixed, at least temporarily, with a visit to the oldest, slowest and flattest track in the sport. Martinsville Speedway is …

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5 Points to Ponder: NASCAR Remains Without 2017 Title Sponsor

2016 Talladega I Cup Trevor Bayne Pack Racing Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

ONE: Chase complications So here we are. It’s 500 miles of white-knuckle riding on the biggest, baddest track in the sport. I always feel that sounds like something of a cliché, an easy writer tool to describe the terrors of Talladega Superspeedway but the fact is it’s true. And never more so when championship hopes …

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