Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: Chevrolet Making a Late Push After Dismal 2019

2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Chevrolet Drivers NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

ONE: Don’t Look Now, But Here Comes Chevrolet Chase Elliott’s comeback wasn’t the only big moment for the Bowtie Brigade Sunday (Sept. 29) at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVAL in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Two of its bubble drivers, William Byron and Alex Bowman, made it through after rollercoaster first-round performances. In Bowman’s case, …

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Did You Notice?: NASCAR Feels Later Is Better When It Comes To Scheduling

2019 NASCAR Cup starting grid

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Did You Notice? … Not a single Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in 2020 will start earlier than 2 p.m. ET? The idea of a 1 p.m. ET start appears to have gone the way of the dodo bird. The last race originally scheduled for that early in the day was a playoff race at …

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Did You Notice?: Daniel Hemric Never Won? Plus… Contact Leaves NASCAR In Critical Condition

2019 Talladega Cup Daniel Hemric Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Did You Notice? …. Daniel Hemric never won a NASCAR race? That’s the tough answer for critics crying foul over Richard Childress Racing’s decision Tuesday (Sept. 17) to release Hemric from his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride at the end of the season. That’s a hard pill to swallow for a personable, energetic 28-year-old driver …

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Martin Truex Jr. Wins 2019 NASCAR Playoff Opener At Las Vegas

2019 Las Vegas MENCS Martin Truex, Jr. Victory Lane NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

13th. 15th. 27th. Martin Truex Jr. ended the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season with three straight runs outside the top 10. But when it came to the playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it didn’t matter. Truex passed Kevin Harvick for the lead with 20 laps remaining and went on to …

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Did You Notice?: Paul Menard’s NASCAR Longevity the Definition of Average?

2019 Daytona I CUP Paul Menard NKP

(Photo: NKP)

Did You Notice?… Paul Menard is one of the longest-tenured active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series? I looked at every Cup driver who’s run at least five races this season and added up their career totals. MOST CAREER STARTS – ACTIVE CUP SERIES DRIVERS Kurt Busch 674 Kevin Harvick 672 Ryan Newman 646 …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2019 Brickyard 400

2019 Indianapolis MENCS Kevin Harvick Victory Lane NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The Headline(s): A series of hard wrecks and hair-raising restarts made Sunday (Sept. 8) one of the wilder Brickyard 400s in recent memory. One of them involved Jimmie Johnson, whose spin in front of nearly the whole field ended his 15-year streak of NASCAR postseason appearances. Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman were then able to …

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Jimmie Johnson Misses NASCAR Playoffs For First Time Ever

Photo: Mark Kristl

The wrecked No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson is brought to the garage during the 2019 Big Machine Vodka 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo: Mark Kristl

The 15-year NASCAR playoff streak for Jimmie Johnson is over. Johnson’s run came to abrupt end during the final stage of Sunday’s (Sept. 8) Brickyard 400 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Pinched on the inside during a restart, contact with William Byron sent the No. 48 team spinning in front of heavy traffic. …

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Hard Wrecks By Landon Cassill, Brad Keselowski Mar First Stage Of Brickyard 400

2019 Indianapolis MENCS Brad Keselowski Car NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Last year’s Brickyard 400 winner and last week’s Southern 500 winner are already out of the 2019 Brickyard 400. Add in Landon Cassill and it’s been a wreck-filled race Sunday (Sept. 8) for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Cassill was the first to endure a hard impact. His No. 00 …

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Did You Notice?: Matt DiBenedetto’s Late-Season Surge? Can It Pay Off For 2020?

2019 MENCS Bristol Matt DiBenedetto Face NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Did You Notice? … The strength of Matt DiBenedetto’s late-season surge? In the last six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, DiBenedetto’s earned four top-10 finishes. That matches his career total through 140 Cup starts before joining the No. 95 of Leavine Family Racing this season. The recent spurt has caused DiBenedetto to jump to 22nd …

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Did You Notice?: NASCAR History Says Jimmie Johnson Needs a Miracle

2019 Michigan I CUP Jimmie Johnson Ryan Newman NKP

Did You Notice? … There’s a real battle to secure the final spot in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Just two points separate Daniel Suarez and Clint Bowyer at the cutoff line in the season standings (16th). Ryan Newman, sitting 15th, is only a dozen points ahead of Suarez. It’s the first time …

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5 Points To Ponder: For the Last 12 NASCAR Cup Races of 2019

2019 Daytona Clash CUP Denny Hamlin Joey Logano racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

ONE: Joe Gibbs, Roger Penske or “Other” In 2018, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series had the Big Three. But two-thirds of the way into 2019, it’s more like the Big Two. Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske have taken turns beating up on the competition this season. Right now, JGR has the upper hand, …

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Did You Notice?: NASCAR Road Ringers Still Matter in the Xfinity Series

2018 charlotte roval cup zach catanzareti aj allmendinger

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Did You Notice?… Not a single road course ringer entered the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International? An event that was once littered with part-time entries had just one unchartered car, the No. 96 of Gaunt Brothers Racing, when the Cup race rolled off Aug. 4. These tracks that were once looked …

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