Race Weekend Central

Did You Notice? … NASCAR’s Old Dogs Not Learning New Tricks

2016 Cup Homestead Miami Speedway Zach Catanzareti Jimmie Johnson Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Did You Notice? … The sport’s oldest drivers are the ones having the hardest transition into NASCAR’s new point system? Matt Kenseth (45), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (42), and Jimmie Johnson (41) are the three oldest competing full-time. (Sorry, Derrike Cope. 1990 was a loooong time ago.) The trio, despite being competitive at times has come up …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Kyle Larson Takes Final Step to Second Career Victory at Fontana

Kyle Larson Win

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA USA Sunday 26 March 2017 Kyle Larson celebrates his win in Victory Lane World Copyright: Nigel Kinrade/NKP

Who’s in the headline – Kyle Larson had been knocking on the door of a second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win all season with three consecutive second-place finishes. He took the final step Sunday after winning the pole on Friday. Larson won the first stage, finished second in the second stage, led the most …

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Start in Rear of Auto Club 400

2017 Phoenix I Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr Pack Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty NKP)

Add another big name to the back of the field for Sunday’s Auto Club 400. After discovering a cut right-front tire on his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Sunday morning, Earnhardt, per the NASCAR rulebook, will start in the rear of the 400-miler from Auto Club Speedway. Making his 600th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup start, …

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Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson Feel Confident in Future with Hendrick Motorsports

2016 Michigan I Cup Jimmie Johnson Dale Earnhardt Jr Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Two of the biggest names in NASCAR racing have no contract extension with their employer, yet. Make no mistake though, neither Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Jimmie Johnson seem to be worried at all. Johnson’s seven Championships and Earnhardt’s undeniable effect on the sport mean that both have very little to be concerned about as they enter …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Ryan Newman Stretches Tires to Douse Winless Drought in Phoenix

Who’s in the headline – Ryan Newman won the 2013 Brickyard 400 before he was released by Stewart-Haas Racing. He has managed several third-place finishes, but only one runner-up since. In typical Newman fashion, he stayed out on a late-race caution with old tires and managed to hold off Kyle Larson to steal the victory. …

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4 Burning Questions: Will Phoenix Spell Resurgence for Dale Earnhardt Jr.?

2017 Daytona Cup Zach Catanzareti Dale Earnhardt Jr.

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. Return to the Front for Good in Phoenix? Considering it’s Phoenix International Raceway, the historians of the sport will be picking Earnhardt in their fantasy lineups. And there’s good backing to these predictions, as PIR is one of Dale’s best racetracks of the year. In the past seven Phoenix races, the …

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Who’s Hot & Who’s Not In NASCAR: Sunday Night Is Alright For Fighting

It took a while, but Sunday’s NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway gave us the kind of finish we hoped for in what was mostly a calm day at the 1.5-mile track. Things got a little interesting at the end of each of the first two stages when Joey Logano, near the end of …

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Entry List: Camping World 500

2016 Nascar Phoenix

11-13 November, 2016, Avondale, Arizona USA Phoenix International Raceway ©2016, Matthew T. Thacker NKP

“NASCAR Goes West” began with a bang at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this past weekend. Martin Truex Jr. passed Brad Keselowski for the win with two laps to go in the Kobalt 400. Moments later, chaos ensued on pit road as Kyle Busch threw a right hook to the face of Joey Logano. But this upcoming …

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Up to Speed: It’s All About the Finish in Las Vegas

Brad Keselowski put it best after the conclusion of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “That’s why you gotta watch to the end,” Keselowski said. Keselowski appeared to have sealed the envelope on his second consecutive win during the closing laps at Las Vegas.  Yet in the span of …

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Double Take: 17 Years in the Blink of an Eye

Rusty Wallace With Sterling Marlin 2004

(Photo: Sheryl Creekmore/NASCAR)

Seventeen years. That’s how long I’ve been a NASCAR fan. I watched a few races as late as 2000, even lived near Daytona International Speedway for a couple of years in the late 1990s, but only when I moved away did I really start to get into the sport that has grown to consume my life. …

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Couch Potato Tuesday: FOX Deals with New Rules, Constant Wrecking

2017 Daytona I Nxs Airplane Russell Labounty Nkp

Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP

Finally, the season is underway.  Sadly, the three races last weekend ended up being the wreckfests that I feared.  The damaged vehicle policy created a real mess as teams weren’t allowed to fully fix their cars.  As far as I’m concerned, having that policy goes against the whole idea of getting drivers to race harder.  …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2017 Daytona 500

Kurt Busch Daytona Cup Team Victory Celebration 2017 Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Who’s in the headline – Kurt Busch guided a badly damaged race car to the finish line first, ending an 0-for-15 drought in the sport’s Great American Race. He was the third of three leaders in the final three laps, taking control when others around him ran out of gas. In a Daytona 500 that was …

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