Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: Daytona Chaos Has Fans Asking the Tough Questions

2016 Daytona II CUP Denny Hamlon David Ragan Bobby Labonte racing John Harrelson NKP

(Photo: John Harrelson / NKP)

With the second half of the NASCAR season upon us, there are many questions that have been put behind. The annual 4th of July weekend at Daytona International Speedway assures fans that the season is full swing, usually creating a hectic race. The race lived up to expectations, leaving fans wondering about the package due to …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Coke Zero 400 Reminder of NASCAR Plate Race Problems

2016 Daytona II CUP Kasey Kahne crash damage John Harrelson NKP

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

The Key Moment – On the final restart, Brad Keselowski got a much-needed push from teammate Joey Logano. Behind him, the Busch brothers battled (though not with paddles, in a bottle, on poodles). Team Penske’s Logano faded and Keselowski, topping off a dominant night, went on to score his first win at Daytona International Speedway. In a …

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The Big Six: Questions Answered After the Coke Zero 400

2016 Daytona II CUP pack racing IV Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade /NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Perhaps the most positive thing that can be said for restrictor-plate races is that because the cars are more equal than anywhere else, a different group of drivers can shine. That’s what happened Saturday night; a small group of wheelmen whom fans are usually quick to write off shone …

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Daily NASCAR Fantasy: Drafting Your Daytona Lineup (Coke Zero 400)

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Daytona International Speedway Saturday, July 2nd for the Coke Zero 400. Daytona marks the first repeat track on the 2016 Sprint Cup Series schedule. Tony Stewart’s victory at Sonoma last week put more pressure on winless drivers looking to earn a Chase bid. Among the winless includes Dale …

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4 Burning Questions: Can Tony Stewart Go Back-to-Back at Daytona?

1. Can Tony Stewart Go Back-to-Back? Tony Stewart stunned the NASCAR world in January when he announced he’d broken his back just weeks before starting his final tour on the Sprint Cup Series circuit. He stunned it again when he returned just three months later, showing up basically unannounced to race at Richmond International Raceway. …

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Fines, But No Suspensions for John Wes Townley, Spencer Gallagher

gallagher1

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

On Wednesday, NASCAR announced only monetary fines and probation for John Wes Townley and Spencer Gallagher following their scuffle in the Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway last Saturday night. Townley was fined $15,000 and Gallagher $12,500 for their fight in turns 1 and 2. The skirmish occurred after the two crashed heading into …

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NASCAR Mailbox: Predicting the Future

2106 Sonoma CUP Tony Stewart helmet Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

With a new aerodynamic package added to the mix in 2016, many things have remained the same. The same core of organizations are winning races, ultimately dominating the sport. Could there be a change in the near future? Familiar foes are near the Chase cutoff, and it’s something that those drivers and teams are accustomed to, …

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Couch Potato Tuesday: FOX Goes All-in for Stewart

2106 Sonoma CUP Denny Hamlin racing Matthew T Thacker NKP

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Last weekend saw NASCAR’s National Series put on two very different races.  Sonoma on Sunday was very clean, possibly the cleanest Cup race ever run at Sonoma Raceway.  Yes, there were four cautions, but they were for either stalled cars or debris.  No one spun out all day.  Don’t recall that ever happening.  Meanwhile, there …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Inside Tony Stewart’s Stunning Sonoma Victory

2106 Sonoma CUP Tony Stewart woohoo close John Harrelson NKP

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

Who’s in the headline – Friday, Tony Stewart said, “driving a Sprint Cup car does not make me happy right now.” Wonder how he feels after a trip to Victory Lane? Based on that winning look on his face my guess is “ecstatic” after a last-lap, last-turn re-pass of Denny Hamlin earned Smoke his first victory since Dover in June 2013. …

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Kyle Larson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Fastest In Cup Practices At Sonoma

dale earnhardt jr

[Photo: Zach Catanzareti]

Friday saw the only two Sprint Cup Series practices of the Sonoma Raceway weekend, featuring Kyle Larson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. as the fastest in the first and second respectively. Larson, whose hometown of Elk Grove, Calif., is roughly two hours away from Sonoma, is riding off a lot of momentum in the past month. …

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Double Take: No Video Game Cover Jinx for NASCAR Stars

2016 Dover I CUP Carl Edwards Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Garrison Hearst. Dorsey Levens. Daunte Culpepper. Michael Vick. Troy Polamalu. No, these aren’t obscure drivers from NASCAR’s past. They’re all football players, one-time superstars of the NFL who were chosen at one point to be the cover athlete of EA Sports’ Madden video game franchise. And they all saw their careers go south following the honor. …

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Did You Notice? … Big Names Still Seeking First NASCAR Road Course Win

2016 Pocono I CUP Matt Kenseth Jason Ratcliff Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Did You Notice? … That for many on the Sprint Cup circuit road course racing has become an acquired skill. Sure, the quality of competition has gone up significantly in recent years; months of testing and resources are benchmarked to help series regulars at both Sonoma and Watkins Glen. We’ve seen old road course ringers like Boris Said and Ron …

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