Race Weekend Central

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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Kyle Busch Cut Tire Causes Melee in Daytona 500

Kyle Busch Erik Jones Matt Kenseth Daytona

(Photo: Bruce Nuttleman)

The first half of the Daytona 500 avoided the big wreck. The second half? It took just four laps. On Lap 104 in the 59th Great American Race, Kyle Busch‘s right rear tire went down right in front of a crowd of racecars. Busch, winner of the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stage had no warning …

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Tops Daytona 500 Final Practice

2017 Cup Charlotte Media Tour Zach Catanzareti Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Ford, who’s had success throughout Speedweeks, teamed up to form a six-car parade Saturday morning. Their raw speed made a statement, taking the top six spots in Daytona 500 final practice as teams made their last preparations for tomorrow’s Great American Race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led the way at 198.452 mph, more than three-tenths of a second quicker than …

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.: ‘My Brain is Working Just The Way I Want it to’

2017 Daytona Cup Zach Catanzareti Dale Earnhardt Jr.

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is back, and he sure let the field know it Thursday night at Daytona International Speedway. Starting from pole in the Can-Am Duel No. 2, Earnhardt raced like he never left, leading 53 of 60 laps in his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Despite the resurgence of the pied piper, it didn’t cap …

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Denny Hamlin Brushes Past Dale Earnhardt Jr. Block, Wins Second Daytona Duel

2016 Cup Homestead Miami Speedway Denny Hamlin Zach Catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

For a majority of the first 59 laps, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in control atop the field at Daytona International Speedway. Blocking all comers, it looked like his first race back from a concussion would wind up with another Can-Am Duel trophy. But it’s too bad for him that Denny Hamlin had other plans. Hamlin, using a push by …

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