Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: NASCAR’s Alliance-Bred Farm System

2016 Pocono II CUP Ryan Blaney car John Harrelson NKP

(Credit: John Harrelson/NKP)

Furniture Row Racing confirmed NASCAR’s worst kept secret on Sunday at Watkins Glen International when the organization announced that they’ll field upcoming phenom Erik Jones in a newly-formed second team next season alongside veteran Martin Truex, Jr. However, when the agreement was announced as a one-year deal, talk immediately began to shift from Furniture Row to Joe …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Thoughts on a Changing NASCAR

2016 Indianapolis CUP Chris Buescher Michael Annett racing Logan Whitton NKP

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

It’s almost a week later, and I’m still reflecting on last weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Not because of the race — those have never been particularly compelling at a track steeped in someone else’s history — but because of an impromptu finale between two of the best drivers the sport has ever seen. …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Injury About More than 1 Race

2016 Fontana CUP DAle Earnhardt Jr Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

For the second time in the last five seasons, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will sit out at least one race due to a possible concussion.  A Hendrick Motorsports release didn’t specify the cause, however Earnhardt was involved in a multi-car crash at Daytona two weeks ago and said Thursday his symptoms began before last weekend’s race. …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Seeing the (Day)Light

2016 Richmond I CUP pack racing Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

For the most part, it’s hard to look at the on-track product NASCAR has put forth and not say that the quality of the racing has significantly improved with efforts to reduce downforce and make racecars less dependent on aerodynamics and more dependent on mechanics and drivers.  Of course, some races are going to be …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Fail Inspection? Time for NASCAR to Take a Hard Line

2016 Kansas I CUP Kyle BUsch team celebrates Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Another week, another announcement that a top-finishing NASCAR Sprint Cup race car did not pass post-race inspection — and another slap on the wrist for a race team. In the last two races, here’s what’s happened: most recently, the No. 5 team for Hendrick Motorsports, driven by Kasey Kahne, failed post-race inspection at Dover International …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Welcome Back, Smoke

2015 Bank of America 500 Tony Stewart Charlotte Cup Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

These last few weeks and months must have seemed like an eternity to Tony Stewart, a man whose life has been heretofore defined in fractions of seconds. They certainly seemed as so to his fans, who have been awaiting Stewart’s return since the three-time Sprint Cup champion was sidelined by a freak injury in an …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: NASCAR Perfection in Half a Mile

2015 Martinsville I CUP stands credit Amy Henderson

(Photo: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch)

Nothing is perfect.  That’s true of life as well as racing.  2016 has been a very solid NASCAR season so far; the racing is as good as it’s been in 15 or 20 years, particularly on the intermediate tracks.  There’s stability for teams to grow into the future.  Optimism flourishes. All of that means that …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Small Gains, Big Deal

2016 Phoenix I CUP Matt DiBenedetto David Ragan Nigel Knrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Between the photo finishes decided by mere inches and the fierce competition for position throughout Sprint Cup races this year, the faces at the front have been more or less constant.  At the end of the day, there’s Jimmie Johnson’s smiling face in Victory Lane, or someone from a team like his, but the racing …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: What It’s All About

2016 Las Vegas CUP Dale Earnhardt Jr pack racing Matthew T Thacker NKP

(Photo: Matthew T Thacker NKP)

Things are looking up in NASCAR Sprint Cup’s 2016 season.  The racing is better than it has been in years so far (will that change as more teams figure out the new aero package?  There’s every reason to believe it will stay competitive).  TV ratings were higher for the third race of the year than …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: “Just” a Safety Violation?

While there have been rumblings in the past that NASCAR probation is not a hefty enough punishment for some of the infractions for which it’s been assigned, it might not be a good idea to test whether it has teeth with a second violation a week later. Furniture Row Racing, I’m looking at you. FRR …

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