Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Goodbye to Hollywood, NASCAR

2021 Cup Charlotte Pack Racing - Erik Jones, No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet (Credit: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Do you remember when everything NASCAR touched turned to gold? Those halcyon summers when the sport was booming? Everything was right in its world and it was magic. But nothing stays the same. Summer romances fade in the winter cold, and so too has our love affair with NASCAR. It’s easy to say it’s only …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Too Early to Engrave the NASCAR Cup Series Trophy

#19: Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro celebrates his win with grandfather clock

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Martin Truex Jr. certainly put on a show at Darlington last Sunday, leading 248 of 292 laps on the way to his 30th career victory and third of 2021. He’s the only driver with more than one win through 12 races this season. So, with the halfway point of NASCAR’s regular season this weekend at …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Can NASCAR’s Return to Dirt Resurrect a Ghost From Its Past?

Virtual NASCAR cars race at North Wilkesboro Speedway in 2020. Photo: NASCAR Media

(Photo: NASCAR Media)

NASCAR is a sport where ghosts abound. It’s more difficult with every passing year to find a racetrack that’s not, in some way, haunted by the past. Races won and lost, drivers come and gone, the past is everywhere, all the time. You can feel it on the wind in Martinsville, Darlington, Charlotte, Daytona: whispers …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Is It Time for NASCAR to Change Tires?

Goodyear Tires ready for NASCAR action. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

A lot has changed in NASCAR over the past couple of decades. Next year will mark the fourth incarnation of a Cup car since 2000, and today’s schedule is a far cry from the slate of races in the 1990s. Just two of today’s regular Cup drivers raced against Dale Earnhardt in the top series. …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Are NASCAR’s Cookie Cutters Beginning to Crumble?

2017 Texas II CUP green flag Jonathan Ferrey getty images for texas motor speedway

(Photo: Jonahtan Ferrey/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

NASCAR will hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, marking the final 1.5-mile race of the season. The final two races will be contested on the short track at Martinsville and the 1-mile Phoenix Raceway. Based on what we saw last week, that’s probably a good thing. There’s some hope on the horizon: …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: When NASCAR’s Instant Gratification Isn’t So Gratifying After All

NASCAR Cup Series

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Early in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, it was already clear that there could be a lot of changes on the horizon. With Jimmie Johnson announcing his retirement, the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 would have an open seat, and several other drivers’ contracts were up at the end of the season as well. Kyle …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: The Youth Movement Racing Needs

2019 Las Vegas I CUP Kyle Busch pack racing NKP

(Photo: NKP)

Racing is, and always has been, about more than cars going around in circles. It’s about more than the trophies and flying flags. Racing, and sports in general, is something that has bridged generations, shared between parents and children, and their children’s children. In a way, that’s why it’s difficult to attract scores of young …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Thoughts on NASCAR’s Uncertain 2020

NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500

Bubba Wallace (right) greets Kirk Price (left), an official who kneeled for the National Anthem at Atlanta, before Wednesday nights race at Martinsville. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

2020 might have been remembered in so many ways: Jimmie Johnson’s final NASCAR Cup Series season, maybe someone else’s breakout year. The do-or-die year for NASCAR developing a new generation of racecar and eyeing a schedule shakeup. A season with so much on the line. And then COVID-19 happened and everything screeched to a halt. …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: How Can NASCAR Maximize Race Weekends for Everyone?

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series The Advance Auto Parts Clash Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL USA Sunday 11 February 2018 Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx Express Toyota Camry and Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Circle K Toyota Camry World Copyright: Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Race weekends have looked very different in 2020. Since the sport returned in mid-May, most races have been without fans. The first race to host a significant number in the stands will be the All-Star Race at Bristol later this month. But we’ve also seen some other changes as the sport works to keep cars …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: NASCAR’s P-Word

2019 pack racing Cup NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Parity. Is it a dirty word, or isn’t it? You certainly hear it a lot, tossed around in conversation, sometimes like a shining example of what racing should strive for, but sometimes more like a bug to be squashed before it gets too big. The truth is probably, as it so often really is, somewhere …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Nothing but Gratitude and Hope for Brighter Days… and Racing

2019 Atlanta CUP Ryan Newman NKP

(Photo:Nigel Kinrade Photography)

We’ve come a long, long way in NASCAR in terms of safety. But on the last lap of the Daytona 500 (and those words already have a loaded meaning, don’t they?) on Monday night (Feb. 17), the racing world witnessed a horrific reminder of both how far we’ve come and how not a day can …

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