Race Weekend Central

Going By the Numbers: Top-10 NASCAR Variety Hard To Come By In…

17386 (1)

While Chase Elliott has set the Nationwide Series on its ear the past few weeks, the rest of the season has been dominated by Sprint Cup interlopers.

A cursory glance at the current point standings in the NASCAR Nationwide Series entering the season’s eighth race reveals one thing: there’s not a whole lot of diversity at the front of the field when it comes to series regulars. Ever since NASCAR mandated that drivers could only declare for points in one of the three national series, the …

Read more

Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum

Some say momentum doesn’t exist in sports. They’ll say it’s nothing more than a feeling, a faux sense of confidence that doesn’t actually propel a player — or in this case, a driver — to anything more than what they would have achieved on skill, luck or other circumstance alone. Whatever happens was going to …

Read more

Going By the Numbers: A Rookie Winning at Darlington? You’re Funny

You’ve already heard plenty of people run down the extensive list of nicknames Darlington Raceway has made for itself over the years, so I’ll spare you. I will not, however, hold off on talking about how goddamn tough of a track this place can be. When one points at the hardest speedways to traverse in NASCAR, …

Read more

Going By The Numbers: Turning Back Time To Find The Truth About Parity

Hold up. Is Brian France’s master plan for The Chase actually working? Five races into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, five different winners have tasted victory — filling out, most likely, five of the 16 allotted spaces in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The motivation this year has been clear: win at least …

Read more

Going By the Numbers: Will Consistency Still Matter In NASCAR?

The 2010s haven’t been a subject of derision for Jeff Gordon and his fans, but the decade hasn’t exactly been kind to the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, either. Look: 17, 18, 18, 17. Those are the amounts of top-10 finishes Jeff Gordon has accrued each of the past four seasons. While respectable, those aren’t the …

Read more

Going By The Numbers: Will Daytona 500 Success Make Or Break A Season?

This week, in Going By The Numbers we thought a special win deserved a special column. After his first victory in 55 races, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finds himself virtually “locked in” to the Chase. But does a win in the sport’s biggest race, here in February ensure NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver will contend all the …

Read more

Going By the Numbers: Judging The 2014 Sprint Cup Rookie Class

In 2006, eight different drivers declared for Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, providing the sport with an exceedingly deep field of new drivers that could conceivably create a sort-of new guard within the circuit — an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality. In the eight years …

Read more

Nuts for Nationwide: Forget the Circumstances, Underdog Wins Always Possible

When David Ragan crossed the finish line first during last weekend’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega in the Sprint Cup Series, I immediately thought of another race.

The date was June 17, 2006; the place, Kentucky Speedway. Most of the players are different, save for one. On that day, another David slayed the Goliaths of NASCAR, this time in the then-Busch Series. Piloting a low-budget, all-black No. 84 Chevrolet, David Gilliland defeated J.J. Yeley en route to his first win, shocking a sport that had become so used to the big guns on top.

One Chance At Success At Cup’s Once-Visited Tracks

Darlington Raceway is known for many things. It’s the supposed “Track Too Tough to Tame” and “The Lady in Black.” Its egg-shaped configuration is unique among Sprint Cup Series circuits, creating a driving experience tough to master for even the most talented competitors.

It’s also one of 10 racetracks on the Sprint Cup circuit that are visited just once during the season.

Davids Beating Goliaths: Plate Racing And The Great Equalizer

Daytona and Talladega have been considered major equalizers in NASCAR’s national series for many years. Sure, the guys who you’d expect to win tend to do so, but that’s not before a couple of underdogs who challenge for the victory in some capacity, either eventually scoring solid finishes or wrecking out trying to do it.

Sunday night didn’t change that trend forever, but it did throw a real wrench into the equation. Front Row Motorsports _won_ a NASCAR race.

Nationwide Breakdown: Aaron’s 312

It’s not often NASCAR races threaten to be called by sunset, especially with many tracks having installed lights. But when an afternoon event is delayed three hours due to rainy weather, these things tend to happen.

Not that Regan Smith probably minds. After NASCAR cut the race by ten laps Saturday, with looming darkness while a late crash by Joey Coulter dragged the event further into black skies, Smith made a daredevil move coming into the tri-oval on the final lap. As he dove to the inside, several cars wrecked behind him, but Smith pulled ahead right at the point of caution, winning the Aaron’s 312(ish).