Race Weekend Central

Rain Ends 2015 Drivin’ for Linemen 200 Qualifying Early at Gateway

2015 Martinsville I CWTS Erik Jones truck credit Amy Henderson

(Photo Credit: Amy Henderson)

A short but heavy rain brought NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying to an abrupt end at Gateway Motorsports Park – forcing the field to be set based on points. With just a few laps on the board, Erik Jones jumped out front and was the fastest of the group. It was a continuation of the …

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Kickin’ the Tires: With Martin Truex Jr. a Winner, Who Else is Worthy of a Chase Berth?

2015 Dover I CUP Martin Truex Jr II CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

The takeaway from last week’s column was: It really didn’t matter if Martin Truex Jr. made it to the winner’s circle because his performance should ensure him a spot in the Chase for the Championship. Well, that is a moot point now. While not quite the same feeling as watching American Pharoah cross the stripe, …

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Kickin’ the Tires: Drivers Don’t Have to Win to Make the Championship

2015 Dover I CUP Martin Truex Jr and helmet CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

It’s sad, but before I even write the words for this week’s column I can already hear the screaming, gnashing of teeth and insults that will follow by the naysayers and contrarians who think they are smarter than the people running the sport. So, with that out of the way, let’s look at the No. …

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Kickin’ the Tires: Reminiscing About Yesteryear’s “Incredible” NASCAR Finishes

2015 Charlotte I CUP Kevin Harvick car CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Normally, I would be writing a column about what happened during the Coca-Cola 600 and any issues that may have occurred in the race… but not this week. After the response to last week’s column, it seems appropriate to point a few things out about incredible racing people remember from decades ago. Let’s start off …

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Kickin’ the Tires: NASCAR Fans Fickle Over Finishes

2015 Iowa I NXS Chris Bueacher Ryan Blaney racing credit NASCAR vis Getty Images

Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

It was a great weekend of racing action at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway, but if you went solely by the responses on Twitter and other forms of social media, you wouldn’t know it. Why? Because our fickle fans think they can come up with a way to end every race with door-banging, side-by-side action …

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Kickin’ the Tires: What Does The Future Hold for Erik Jones?

SpongeBob SquarePants 400

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Erik Jones knew going into the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 that he was only guaranteed one shot at proving his Cup potential to the powers-that-be at Joe Gibbs Racing, because the return of Kyle Busch following his injury earlier this season is imminent. Apparently, the 18-year-old driver took his role to heart. He made every effort to impress the …

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Kickin’ the Tires: Junior Nation Can Sleep Easy With Chase Berth

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Getty Images for NASCAR

It had been a decade since Dale Earnhardt Jr. went to Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway, but all that ailed the great state of Alabama and the rest of Junior Nation has been cured with his win Sunday in the GEICO 500. Walking around the infield, through the campground across from the speedway, or even …

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Kickin’ the Tires: Kurt Busch Win Was Inevitable… Is the Championship Next?

2015 Richmond I CUP Kurt Busch burnout credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Whether you like him, or not, there is no denying Kurt Busch has talent behind the wheel. His off-track battles, however, have set him back more than most – perhaps even he – can comprehend. Yes, he was suspended from the sport earlier this season – prematurely in my opinion – after having sat through …

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Kickin’ the Tires: Wrong Decision Not to Red-Flag Race Sooner

2015 Bristol I CUP Austin Dillon car credit Amy Henderson

Photo Credit: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch

With laps winding down in the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and heavy rain in the distance, NASCAR was faced with a tough decision on whether to red-flag the race at Bristol Motor Speedway with roughly 15 laps to go or try to clean the track quickly under yellow and get back to …

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Kickin’ the Tires: Frustration Reaches Boiling Point for Clint Bowyer in Texas

2015 Las Vegas CUP Clint Bowyer Jimmie Johnson credit NASCAR via Getty Images

Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

Heading into 2015, each Sprint Cup Series team laid out their plans and performance  goals for the upcoming season and no one ever said, “we’re gonna suck.” No matter what level they rank in the performance pecking order, the picture was always bright, the flowers were blooming and rainbows filled the sky. Sadly, in order …

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Kickin’ the Tires: 1 Good Race Does Not A Season Make

2015 Martinsville I CUP Denny Hamlin racing vertical credit Amy Henderson

(Photo: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch)

In a lot of ways, racing at Martinsville should be considered a wild card event. There are so many circumstances that could affect the outcome and give teams a false sense of security. For example, a pit road speeding penalty played a major role in keeping Jeff Gordon out of Victory Lane. That was a …

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Kickin’ the Tires: Understanding NASCAR’s Late Caution Calls

2015 Cup Fontana Greg Biffle Wrong Way Credit Jerry Jordan

(Photo: Jerry Jordan)

Was there a piece of debris on the track that warranted NASCAR throwing a caution late in the race at Auto Club Speedway and, if so, who got screwed out of a win? Some fans might say NASCAR screwed Kurt Busch this week by throwing a caution and costing him the win – a win that …

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