Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Room to Move

Goodyear Tires ready for NASCAR action. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

As elusive as the printed form is, NASCAR has rules.  Sports in general have policies covering everything from how the game is played to how players dress for competition.  The rules put the competition on equal ground, at least to start. There are good teams and those who don’t perform as well, but they’re playing …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Stage Racing Changes the Game In a Good Way

2017 Martinsville cup zach catanzareti brad keselowski kyle busch

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

The checkered flag flew at Martinsville Speedway as the sun dipped below the grandstand, lengthening the shadows over the backstretch.  Brad Keslowski took his victory lap as the rest of the field pulled onto pit road, battered and bruised (both cars and egos). Teams rolled their cars back onto the haulers in elation or frustration …

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Hysteria vs. Hypocrisy: ‘Boys Have At It’ Rubs Some the Wrong Way

2017 Atlanta CUP Joey Logano Rusty Jarrett NKP

(Photo: Rusty Jarrett/NKP)

Between the fisticuffs on pit road, on-track contact and post-race inspection infractions the last two weeks, the reaction by fans and media members has run the gamut from hysteria to hypocrisy. Many jeered when Kyle Busch walked up to Joey Logano and threw a phantom right cross, while others cheered as the No. 22 crew dragged …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: 2 Decades and That Day

It’s hard for me to believe it will be 20 years this summer since the day that irrevocably changed me, but there it is. Almost half my life, though I’d like to fib and say it’s been most of it, or something, because otherwise I feel old. I was a couple years out of school …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: NASCAR’s Game-Changer That Doesn’t Change the Game

2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Phoenix

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade NKP)

Raise your hand if NASCAR’s announcement on Monday left you a little shocked and confused. Oh, good, so it’s not just me. Segmented races? Championship points?  Playoff points?  It’s enough to make you wring your hands in despair. It’s certainly going to take some time to digest and learn who gets points for what and …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: 3 Drivers, 7 Championships

NASCAR Champions Portraits

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

For many years, there were two. There was The King, who had come along when the sport itself was still in its infancy and who drove it from the tiny, dusty bullrings of the Southeast to the big tracks of a budding national phenomenon. Just when it seemed that The King’s sport was a getting …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Teamwork or Too Far?

Cup Martinsville Denny Hamlin Kyle Busch Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing  Martinsville Speedway

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Martinsville Speedway is one of those tracks where someone inevitably ends the day angry at someone else.  It’s the nature of short-track racing, where racing is tight and battles for position are fierce. Last weekend’s race was no exception. Frustration ran high as Jimmie Johnson ran away from the field in the closing laps, and …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Whatever Happened to NASCAR’s American Dream?

2016 Kentucky CUP pack racing sunset Russell LaBounty NKP

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Picture this: Young driver breaks into a top-level racing series with a smaller team after working his way through the ranks, winning along the way, taking a title or two in other divisions.  He runs well enough with those teams to grab a couple of wins, beating all comers, including the big powerhouse teams.  That …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: In the Interest of Fairness

2016-chicago-cup-martin-truex-jr-woohoo-nigel-kinrade-nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

NASCAR did something this week that should, on one level, be applauded: the sanctioning body made a rules change to post-race penalty procedures because the rule it had adopted proved to be unfair when applied in competition.  That, in itself, is an important step. Here’s what happened: Last week, NASCAR said that if a Chase …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Perception Is Reality

2016 Indianapolis Cup Tony Stewart racing LOgan Whitton NKP

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

On Wednesday, NASCAR handed down a bunch of penalties, as it generally does on a weekly basis. Most weeks, the penalties are minor: written warnings for going through inspection too many times, maybe a loss of pit choice.  Every once in a while, though, the sanctioning body hands down something bigger, as happened this week with …

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Kyle Larson, 2016 Cup Champion? Not The Longshot You Might Think

2016 Pocono I CUP Kyle Larson Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

After Kyle Larson won at Michigan Sunday not many have labeled the driver nicknamed “Young Money” as a possible title contender. They’d be wrong. The third-year veteran, who “locked into” his first postseason grid with Sunday’s victory is on a mission to play spoiler in a Chase that could easily tilt his way. The high-speed, high-groove …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: NASCAR’s Best Move to Make Fans

2016 Indianapolis kevin harvick Zach Catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

It’s been a bit of a rough week for NASCAR.  Between the rain delays at Bristol Motor Speedway and the continued absence of perennial most popular driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. due to lingering effects of a concussion he suffered in June, the news hasn’t been too positive.  (It wasn’t all negative; the racing at Bristol …

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