Race Weekend Central

NASCAR’s Five-Year Plan That Wasn’t

2016 Kentucky Cup Martin Truex Jr Helmet Logan Whitton Nkp

(Credit: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Martin Truex, Jr.’s thrilling Southern 500 win Sunday night brought up memories of the last time Furniture Row Racing visited Darlington Victory Lane. It was in the spring of 2011, the driver was Regan Smith and the struggling one-car team had only recently returned to full-time competition after scaling back during the Great Recession. At that …

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NASCAR’s Quiet, Subtle Changing of the Guard

2016 Daytona Ii Cup Ryan Blaney Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

The list is just as talented as it is long. Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones… we could go on for awhile. All of these drivers are age 32 or younger, have yet to reach the prime of their NASCAR career and are expected to carry the torch when …

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How Tony Stewart Bested Petty, Waltrip, Wallace in One Fell Swoop

Tony Stewart Bank Of America 500 2015 Charlotte Cup Mike Neff

(Photo Credit: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

The word retirement for athletes, uttered by Tony Stewart this season, often comes associated with two dreaded “R” words: regression and regret. Unlike the American dream, a job where you work 50 years toward a peak salary retirement for athletic superstars almost always occurs before age 50. The best peak at their profession, set seemingly unbeatable records and then watch inexplicably …

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Sprint Cup Crystal Ball: A Potential Path To 17 Winners?

The third year of Sprint Cup’s current “Win And You’re (Basically) In” Chase format appears on paper to be on pace with past seasons. There have been 10 different winners in the first 15 races, equal to the pace we saw last year and down nine percent from 2014. The breakdown of those victories is …

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Who Cares If He’s 20? Chase Elliott Driving Like Cup Veteran

2016 Dover I Cup Chase Elliott Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Chase Elliott is just 20 years old, but he still has fewer Sprint Cup starts — 19 –than his age. He’s replaced one of the best stock car drivers of this era in Jeff Gordon, comes packaged with the weight of his last name (see: Awesome Bill) and never drove a NASCAR race of any kind …

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Red Hot Toyota Takes Center Stage In NASCAR

Nascar Sprint Cup Series Food City 500

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Oh, Toyota. What a difference a year makes. It was May 31, 2015 at Dover, and every Camry in the Sprint Cup race seemed plagued by bad luck. Only one driver running for the manufacturer, Clint Bowyer, posted a top-10 finish at the Monster Mile, running for a Michael Waltrip Racing team that in mere months …

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It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint: Big Names Winless In NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600

2016 Martinsville I Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr Matthre T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T Thacker/NKP)

Charlotte, NASCAR’s home base hasn’t been a racetrack where everything’s coming up roses for this sport. Its premier event, the Coca-Cola 600 has gone from a peak of 10.2 million TV viewers in 2005 to just 6.4 million last year, a decline of 37 percent over the past decade. It’s a track that’s been hurt by “levigation,” higher …

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Dover: The Moments A NASCAR Silly Season Makes

2016 Kansas I Cup Kevin Harvick Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

The Monster Mile was overdue for a monstrous performance. Sunday, Dover delivered in a big way with one of the most unexpected and competitive races of the year. There were fireworks literally everywhere you turned in the final 100 laps, whether it was a race for the lead, jockeying for position on pit road or …

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Breaking a Sweat: Top NASCAR Drivers on the Hot Seat

2016 Fontana Cup Kasey Kahne Brett Moist Nkp

(Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

There’s a few indisputable truths about the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season. Perhaps the most important, cloaked within a playoff system that rewards trips to Victory Lane, is the lack of winners dotting the current Chase for the championship. Just six drivers have earned a first-place trophy through the first 11 races, the lowest number through this stretch …

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Power Of The People: Could NASCAR Drivers Nix The Plates?

2016 Talladega I Cup Crash Damage Cleanup Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

The most notable moments of Talladega, contrary to popular belief, came two days before multiple cars flipped upside down. Prior to the Chris Buescher melee, long before Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano flared up once again there was a meeting of political minds behind closed doors. The Driver’s Council, an unofficial union of racers feeling more like a “Union” …

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Bump And Run To The Bank: NASCAR’s Success Equals Every Man For Himself

This morning, Joe Gibbs Racing will hold a team debrief over what happened Sunday afternoon at Richmond. Warring factions will sit on either side of the table. Sunday’s winner Carl Edwards will be in one corner, trying to hold in a smile while holding the sport’s most recent trophy by way of bump and punch to the …

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A Must For NASCAR’s Recovery: Every Man For Himself

2016 Las Vegas Cup Matt Kenseth Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade NKP)

Teammates be damned. That phrase, however simple was the most important moment in Sunday’s Martinsville race. No, it wasn’t Kyle Busch overcoming a decade’s worth of bad history there. It wasn’t Busch reaching Victory Lane despite a valiant charge by underdog AJ Allmendinger. It wasn’t pit problems by a consistent Kevin Harvick or a self-induced crash by …

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