Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Stat Sheet: Martin Truex Jr. Finds His Oasis in the Desert

Martin Truex Jr. prepares for a NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 2021 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Fans who have been around for more than a decade can likely recall a time when Martin Truex Jr. victories came about as often as February 29 does. Now it’s nearly as surprising when he goes almost a year without a win. Fortunately for his Joe Gibbs Racing team, that clock was reset on Sunday …

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NASCAR Stat Sheet: Larson Lights Up the Stage in His Second Act

Kyle Larson celebrates his win in the 2021 Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who doesn’t love a good redemption story? Just under a year ago, Kyle Larson became the poster boy for thoughtless expression, firing off without taking into account what his words might mean to someone else. But we all do stupid things. It’s how you use the experience to better yourself that defines you. While the …

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NASCAR Stat Sheet: Trackhouse Racing Taking NASCAR by Storm

William Byron and the No. 24 team celebrate winning at Homestead-Miami Speedway, February 2021 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Any interesting story isn’t complete without a good surprise or two. The NASCAR Cup Series has been racing in Florida for better than three weeks, and I don’t think it’s possible for the three trophies to be going back to North Carolina with a more unexpected trio of drivers. But the statistics would support the …

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NASCAR Stat Sheet: Feels Like the First Time

Christopher Bell celebrates after winning the 2021 O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 Photo:NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Here’s an interesting tidbit: For the first time since 1950, the first two races of the Cup Series schedule have been won by first-time visitors to victory lane. It’s almost happened a couple times before. In 2001, Michael Waltrip picked up his first win at Daytona International Speedway, but Rockingham Speedway winner Steve Park had …

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Friday Faceoff: Does Michael McDowell’s Win Turn Up Heat For Mid-Pack Teams?

Michael McDowell Love’s at Cup Daytona I 2021 Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Should the Daytona 500 and this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race on the road course have been held with fewer days in between? Luken Glover: I can understand the reasoning behind it, but no. In a world where television ratings are crucial, a midweek race would not be the way to go. We saw a …

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NASCAR Stat Sheet: Breaking on Through to the Other Side (Finally)

Three-wide NASCAR racing action in the 2021 Daytona 500 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Last week, I discussed the biggest and most imposing winless streaks in the Daytona 500, past and present alike. Given what transpired in Sunday’s (and partially Monday morning’s) 2021 edition of the Great American Race, it seems somewhat fitting that a winless streak of a different variety was broken. Michael McDowell is the eighth man …

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Friday Faceoff: Should Any Driver Be Locked Into the Daytona 500?

Joe Gibs Racing teammates Bell Kyle Busch Truex Hamlin at Daytona Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who is more likely to end their Daytona 500 drought first: Kyle Busch or Brad Keselowski? Luken Glover: This is a tough one because neither driver has really established themselves as a favorite at the end. Trouble seems to find both of these champions at the worst times. However, I have to go with Kyle …

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NASCAR Stat Sheet: The Biggest 0-for Streaks in the Sport’s Biggest Race

Jeff Gordon Leda Terry Labonte Daytona 1994 Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In every form of sports, there is a foremost prize to be had, and the collection of triumphs becomes the most significant measure by which the best are compared. Obviously, the Daytona 500 is the biggest single event in NASCAR, and it seems impossible for successful drivers to reach top tier status without a 500 …

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2021 NASCAR Preseason Power Rankings, No. 6: Brad Keselowski

Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Since moving to the No. 2 ride at Team Penske a decade ago, Brad Keselowski has been an absolute model of consistency. As we head into the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Keselowski is once again expected to be a championship front-runner. The 2012 series champion has won a race every year since 2011, the second …

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2021 NASCAR Preseason Power Rankings, No. 23: Erik Jones

2020charlottencserikjonesfacenascarmedia

(Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

As he has for the first four years of his full-time career in the NASCAR Cup Series, Erik Jones finds himself in an iconic ride for the 2021 season. However, this time it will not be a Joe Gibbs Racing ride but rather the No. 43 made famous by Richard Petty. Jones has a pair …

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2020 NASCAR Team Reviews: Team Penske

2020 Review Penske

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In the hierarchy of multicar NASCAR Cup Series organizations, the label of best overall team seems to rotate pretty regularly. Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing have all laid a pretty solid claim to the top pedestal in recent years. However, in terms of total team success, it is arguably Team Penske that …

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The Underdog House: Bubba Wallace Goes Out on Top at Phoenix

Nascar Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top Dog Bubba Wallace stood atop the underdog pile when the final checkered flag waved on Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. After a tumultuous season of ups and downs, Wallace put a period on his tenure in the Petty No. 43 with a 15th-place finish. He ran as high as seventh, and at the end of …

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