Race Weekend Central

Thinkin’ Out Loud: Jimmie Johnson Sets the Table for a Run at Title Seven with Victory at Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson Sunlight Burnout Martinsville Cup 2016 Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Who’s in the headline – Jimmie Johnson had eight wins at Martinsville Speedway entering this weekend’s activities. While that is an impressive number, he had gone six races without a win and had not finished better than ninth in the last four. The race wasn’t a dominating effort by the No. 48 team, but they …

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Jimmie Johnson Wins Martinsville for 9th Time; Advances to Championship 4

Jimmie Johnson Front Stretch Burnout To Victory Lane Martinsville Cup 2016 Mike Neff

(Mike Neff)

The Toyota boys were snookered Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Despite leading 374 of 500 laps in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500, Toyota found themselves in the rear view mirror of Jimmie Johnson. Johnson, who passed Denny Hamlin for the lead with 92 laps to go, led the rest of the race as the Joe Gibbs …

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Carl Edwards Hits Wall Hard in Martinsville

2016 Chicago Cup Carl Edwards Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

The first significant issue in Sunday’s Goody’s Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway swallowed up a Chaser in Carl Edwards. Running ninth during a green-flag cycle on Lap 357, Edwards cut a right-front tire entering Turn 1, sliding and slamming into the wall. Bringing the damaged No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to the garage, Edwards …

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Beside the Rising Tide: It Don’t Come Easy

2016 Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Talladega

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/ NKP)

The race is not always to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong…. – Ecclesiasticus – Sunday’s Talladega race was not at all what many of us expected or dreaded in the week leading up to the event. There were no big, huge smoking pig-piles of wrecks and blessedly nobody got hurt. Whether that …

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5 Points to Ponder: The Best Track in NASCAR

2016 Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Talladega

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/ NKP)

ONE: Martinsville I’ve said it many times before, and I’m sure I’ll continue to say it as long as the editors allow me to keep writing this column. There’s nothing in NASCAR that can’t be fixed, at least temporarily, with a visit to the oldest, slowest and flattest track in the sport. Martinsville Speedway is …

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Who’s Hot & Who’s Not: Waiting For The Big One Edition

2016 Pocono Ii Cup Joey Logano John Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

When it comes to restrictor place races at Talladega and Daytona, the big question is, when will the big one happen? As in, when will we see a big crash with at least seven or eight cars involved. If you were waiting on that to happen during Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Talladega, then you …

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Biffle, Johnson Fastest In Talladega Practices

2016 Cup Talladega Greg Biffle Zach Catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

An unpredictable first practice at the Talladega Superspeedway on Friday featured two former Sprint Cup Chase drivers that have had unremarkable seasons the last couple years as the fastest on track. Things stabilized in the second practice session as Jimmie Johnson continued his strong Chase run at the top of the charts. Greg Biffle is …

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The Fronstretch 5: Final Races and What to Expect

2016 Kansas Ii Cup Matt Kenseth Kyle Busch Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

1. Talladega If there’s anything to expect about Talladega it’s that you shouldn’t expect anything. The nature of restrictor-plate racing, especially at the Alabama track, makes it pretty much one giant crapshoot. While some drivers certainly have more skill than others at the track, one mistake by somebody else can erase it all in an …

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Who’s Hot & Who’s Not: NASCAR’s Kansas Clutch Edition

2016 Kansas Ii Cup Kevin Harvick Confetti Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

When you think about how a clutch works for a vehicle, when a driver pushes it down, while at the same time shifting gears and accelerating, most of the time it means it’s go time. That’s the case at this point in the season for the Sprint Cup Series. It’s go time and the teams …

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Kevin Harvick Comes in Clutch, Wins at Kansas Speedway

2016 Nascar Kansas

(Photo: Matthew Thacker / NKP)

Heading into Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400, Kevin Harvick sat eight points below the Chase cutoff after having a problem with his ECU unit last weekend in Charlotte, finishing 38th. At Kansas, the driver of the No. 4 car rebounded to lead 74 laps en route to his fourth victory of 2016. It was a late-race …

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4 Burning Questions: Is Kansas a Question-Mark Track in Its Own Right?

2016 Kansas Denny Hamlin Crash Nascar Via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Kansas: Getting in Good Position for Talladega or a Question Mark in Its Own Right? As shown last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, just about any race in each round of the Chase can become the survivor race. Knowing that, will this weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway simply be a platform …

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Carl Edwards: ‘[The Chase] Is Only Going to Get Wilder’

Cup 2016 Charlotte Carl Edwards Zach Catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Following a rather pleasant, straightforward opening round of the 2016 Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Championship, Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway simply flipped the tables. Standing as the opening race of the Round of 12, the 500-miler saw more than half the Chase field suffer some sort of issue, putting drivers like Kevin Harvick, …

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