Race Weekend Central

Happiness Is: Sports & Politics

2017 Loudon Cup Brad Keselowski Car Phil Allaway

(Photo: Phil Allaway)

Recent events have been focusing on the flag and notions of protest and reactions have ranged from right to left, from sane and logical to outlandish and misguided. Wherever your thought process may rest, that’s your call. But this column is calling BS on the ‘stick to sports’ rhetoric and the notions that sport and …

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Happiness Is: The Drivers Edition

2016 darlington cup jeff gordon zach catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

The playoffs have started in NASCAR; the IndyCar season is over; and Formula 1 is about to begin its drive home. Happiness Is… Gordon.  Jeff Gordon has been out the sport for two years now (sort of), having joined the madness of the FOX broadcast team and attempted to contribute a sensible voice.  When his …

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Pace Laps: Championship Favorites Reign at Chicago, Josef Newgarden Wins IndyCar Title

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Tales of the Turtles 400 Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, IL USA Sunday 17 September 2017 Martin Truex Jr, Furniture Row Racing, Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota Camry celebrates his win World Copyright:Brett Moist NKP

(Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: The Importance of Execution – It ended some days and opened opportunity for others. Heck, it even had its place in the day of the race winner Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway. Execution is an important factor in tying one end of the race to the other, especially once the playoffs …

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Slipstream Saturday: The Malaysian Grand Prix & More

force india fin

The new Force India fin that debuted in Singapore, 2017 (photo: Getty Images)

This week the sport of Formula 1 returns for its tenth running of the Singapore Grand Prix under the lights.  The street course provides interesting theater while also being a track that favors neither Mercedes or Ferrari.  To be clear, Mercedes has excelled on every track over the past four years, but this track is …

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Happiness Is: Time, Lights & Action

2017 Richmond II CUP Aric Almirola Trevor Bayne racing Matthew T Thacker NKP

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP)

There’s a whole bunch going on in the NASCAR world this week, and much of it leaves the sport looking like, from an outsider’s perspective, it’s in upheaval.  Perhaps that is the case.  But perhaps it’s not.  The notion of things being in a constant state of crisis is one that has proliferated in many …

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Pace Laps: Denny Hamlin Dominates Darlington, IndyCar Series Title Battle Tightens

hamlin darlington nxs

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Denny Hamlin Makes a Darling out of Darlington – Nobody, even the drivers, seem to understand why a certain track brings success to a certain driver. Jimmie Johnson has Dover, Jeff Gordon had Martinsville. Why? “It just suits my driving style.” For Denny Hamlin, a sweep of the weekend at …

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Slipstream Saturday: The Italian GP & More

F1 Gp Monza

Tifosi Ferrari Fans Monza Formula 1 GP Monza. Foto Imago/Insidefoto

Ciao and benvenuto to the back-end of Formula 1’s consecutive race weekends.  Last week, Lewis Hamilton tied Michael Schumacher atop the all-time list with 68, added to his win total, and closed the gap to Sebastian Vettel to seven points in the driver’s championship.  It seems safe to say that Hamilton enjoyed a pretty decent …

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4 Burning Questions: Who Will Channel Their Throwback Legend at Darlington?

3-4 September, 2016, Darlington, South Carolina USA Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch, Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry © 2016, Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Who Will Channel Their Throwback Legend in Darlington? Second to maybe the Daytona 500, no other race nowadays has quite as much anticipation and lead-up than the Southern 500. Returning to the Labor Day weekend date in 2015, NASCAR, Darlington Speedway and the whole clan came together to celebrate the sport’s past by showcasing historic, …

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5 Points to Ponder: The Sharp End of the 2017 NASCAR Season

2017 Indianapolis CUP Kyle Busch pack racing Russell LaBounty NKP

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

ONE: 12 to go We’re exactly two thirds of the way through the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule. 24 races are in the books leaving just 12 to go before we crown a 2017 champion. Two unique tracks, Darlington Raceway and Richmond International Raceway, await us next before the playoffs begin. Given that for many drivers, …

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4 Burning Questions: Is Justin Marks a Lock for Road America Win?

justin marks

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Is Justin Marks a Lock for Road America Win? Rain, a road course and a stock car. Now all you need is a set of rain tires and you’re set to go. Most of the time, when radars point to precipitation, they also point toward Justin Marks. Despite only one career top five to his …

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Happiness Is: Bristol, Scheduling & Yin-Yang

21-22 August, 2015, Bristol, Tennessee USA Kyle Busch, Skittles Toyota Camry Denny Hamlin, FedEx Ground Toyota Camry ©2015, Matthew T. Thacker NKP

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Last week, this column made a silly comment about Kyle Busch running away the Truck series race, and that it might be something that would spoil the rare Wednesday night event.  The main point was that weeknight races seem like a wonderful opportunity that NASCAR is failing to embrace.  It still seems that way, as …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Scott Speed Focusing on GRC Championship, No NASCAR Plans

15-23 February, 2013, Daytona Beach, Florida USA Scott Speed ©2013, Matthew T. Thacker Autostock

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker Autostock)

He’s been away from NASCAR for a while, but Scott Speed is staying busy in the racing world. Busy winning championships. This recent resurgence of success has come in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series, an off-road / pavement racing series that includes high jumps and a young fan demographic in just its ninth season. For …

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