Up to Speed: Aric Almirola Exceeding Playoff Expectations

Aric Almirola 2018 Mencs Cup Series, Sonoma

(Photo: Danny Peters)

Two races into the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, Aric Almirola’s performance is the biggest positive surprise.  After getting through a chaotic race in Las Vegas unscathed, Almirola earned a fifth-place finish Saturday night at Richmond Raceway.  That finish, coupled with a sixth-place run last week, has lifted Almirola to sixth 0n the …

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Up to Speed: Pressure to Win on Denny Hamlin

2018 Cup Pocono Zach Catanzareti Denny Hamlin

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Denny Hamlin has rarely suffered from a lack of wins in his NASCAR career.  Since 2006, his rookie year in the Cup Series, he has never had a winless season.  Some of those years certainly were not big-win seasons, but Hamlin always found a way to get to Victory Lane at least once. Even in …

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Up to Speed: A Long Way from 2006

#95: Kasey Kahne, Leavine Family Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Procore Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

After a week of mostly bad news for both drivers, Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne are at a crossroads. The announcement Furniture Row Racing would disband at the end of this season has thrown serious complications into Truex’s quest to win a second straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.  Chances are that Truex …

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Friday Faceoff: Has the Southern 500 Surpassed the Daytona 500?

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Brad Keselowski called his Southern 500 win the biggest of his career. Has the Labor Day throwback weekend become the second biggest race of the year? Bryan Gable: Yes.  The Southern 500 has always been a big deal to the drivers.  In addition to Keselowski, we have seen veteran racers like Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Carl …

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Up to Speed: The Darlington Excellence of Herb Thomas

2018 Darlington Cup Zach Catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Darlington Raceway has been turning NASCAR drivers into legends for nearly 70 years.  Winning at the notoriously difficult track that is “Too Tough to Tame” often puts an exclamation mark on the careers of some of NASCAR’s brightest stars. It is almost unthinkable that David Pearson visited Darlington’s Victory Lane 10 times.  Dale Earnhardt had …

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Up to Speed: Will Team Penske Catch Stewart-Haas Racing in the Playoffs?

#2: Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Stars, Stripes, And Lites #22: Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Shell Pennzoil Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

There is a battle brewing among the Ford teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.  With the postseason just weeks away, all four Stewart-Haas Racing cars are poised to make the playoff field.  Team Penske has all three of its drivers heading for the playoffs as well.  With at least seven drives ready to …

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Up to Speed: Bristol Slugfest Puts Strain on Toyota Alliance

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

With 12 races left in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. have maintained their status as championship favorites.  The two of them, along with Kevin Harvick, have combined to win 17 of 24 races run thus far.  All three drivers have known for months they will be …

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Up to Speed: What Comes Next for Ryan Newman?

2018 Talladega Cup Zach Catanzareti Ryan Newman

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

NASCAR’s silly season is beginning to heat up and drivers are fighting to secure a place in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.  The focus of competitors and fans is shifting toward racers who can put together a strong finish to the season, and what might be in store for 2019. Ryan Newman’s future, …

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Up to Speed: Chase Elliott Captures the Experience of Winning

2018 Watkins Glen Cup Chase Elliott Zach Catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Bill Elliott grabbed the attention of the NASCAR world on Saturday.  His upcoming XFINITY Series start at Road America will mark his first major NASCAR race in six years. By Sunday evening, Chase Elliott had stolen his father’s thunder.  In his 99th start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the younger Elliott held off …

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Up to Speed: Kyle Busch Carries the Banner for Joe Gibbs Racing

2018 Kyle Busch Richmond Cup Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Kyle Busch won at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.  That’s not unusual.  What is unusual, at least for 2018, is how close his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates came to beating him. In fact, all four JGR drivers had solid showings at Pocono.  Daniel Suarez drove the best race of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career, …

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Friday Faceoff: Are Drivers Too Quick to Use the Bumper These Days?

Darlington Cup 2017 Jimmie Johnson Throwback Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Many racetracks have unique traditions for the winner. For example, the race winner at New Hampshire Motor Speedway holds up a live lobster in Victory Lane. What is your favorite Victory Lane tradition, prop or recurring celebration in racing? Bryan Gable: It’s not specific to one track, but I enjoy the Polish victory lap.  Alan …

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Up to Speed: Tickets to the Smoke Show

2017 Kansas I Cup Tony Stewart Barry Cantrell Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

This was a good week to be Tony Stewart. On Wednesday, Stewart’s Eldora Speedway hosted the Camping World Truck Series.  As the only dirt track race that any of NASCAR’s national series runs, the Eldora Dirt Derby is always a highly-anticipated event.  This year’s edition featured plenty of action, capped with a photo finish between …

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