Race Weekend Central

NASCAR and #BlackLivesMatter, 1 Year Later: Part 1

Bubba Wallace at Atlanta Motor Speedway supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement. (Photo: Getty Images)

Bubba Wallace before the June 7, 2020 NASCAR Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“I still contend that our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay.” — Martin Luther King Jr., 1968 During June 2020, nothing happened and everything happened all at once. On June 1 the U.S. death toll in the COVID-19 pandemic, which claimed the lives of 345,000 Americans by the end …

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The Underdog House: Erik Jones Snags Scrappy Sonoma Finish

Erik Jones runs at Circuit of the Americas (May 2021). (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top Dog: Erik Jones Throughout Sunday’s (June 6) Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, several Cinderella stories managed to sneak their way inside the top 10. Between wildly different pit strategies throughout the event and a flurry of late-race incidents, the problem was staying power. When the smoke from some late wrecks cleared, there was one …

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4 Burning Questions: Is Kurt Busch Going to 23XI?

Kurt Busch looks on at 2021 Cup Circuit of the Americas. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Is Kurt Busch coming to 23XI Racing? Last weekend, The Athletic reported that 23XI Racing will be expanding in 2022 and that Kurt Busch is believed to be the main candidate for the organization’s second car, with Bubba Wallace staying put in the No. 23 Toyota in the NASCAR Cup Series. While I trust The …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

2021 Cup Charlotte Kyle Larson Woo-hoo celebration after Coca-Cola 600 (Credit: NKP)

Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

What happened? Kyle Larson won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday (May 30) after a downright dominant performance where he led a career-high 327 laps.  Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, William Byron and Alex Bowman rounded out the top-five finishers. Soaking in the crown jewel W. ?@KyleLarsonRacin | #CocaCola600 pic.twitter.com/QFjnnEplxX — NASCAR (@NASCAR) …

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Did You Notice?: 2021 NASCAR Midseason Awards

2021 Martinsville I Cup Martin Truex Jr Celebrates In Victory Lane Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already over halfway through NASCAR’s 26-race regular season in the Cup Series. 2021 has given us a little bit of everything: Cinderella stories (Michael McDowell’s Daytona 500 win), parity at the top (11 winners in 14 races) and a whole lot of Mother Nature raining on NASCAR’s parade (see: …

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Zach’s Turn: Why Did NASCAR Allow Such Dangerous Conditions at COTA?

NASCAR Wet

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

By now, everyone knows how miserably wet the NASCAR Cup Series’ inaugural event at Circuit of the Americas was. The looming question, though, is why NASCAR allowed Sunday’s (May 23) EchoPark Texas Grand Prix to be marred by such treacherous conditions. Before we delve into the calamity that took place around the 20-turn course, a …

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Multi-Car Pileups Mar Rainy Stage 2 at COTA

Martin Truex Jr. races in the inaugural NASCAR COTA event before his big wreck. (May 2021) (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The NASCAR Cup Series’ EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas had gone smoothly for the most part, with an opening stage featuring just one caution and a couple of single-car spins here and there.  However, chaos struck four laps into stage two and again after the green flag waved. With little-to-no visibility …

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Couch Potato Tuesday: Dover Brings Hendrick Domination That FOX Didn’t Make Better

2021 Cup Dover Aerial Shot (Credit: NKP)

Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

This year, Dover only gets one crack at NASCAR. When the circus visits the high-banked concrete oval with the oldest racing surface in Cup (the concrete, originally nicknamed “White Lightning,” has been in use since 1995), you never really know what’s going to happen. With the lower downforce package in play, it means that the …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 Goodyear 400 at Darlington

Martin Truex Jr. celebrates in victory lane with trophy after Goodyear 400 throwback Darlington weekend 2021 spring Cup Chris Graythen/Getty

(Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

What happened? Martin Truex Jr. won the Goodyear 400 at Darlington on Sunday (May 9) after leading 248 of 293 laps for his third win of the 2021 season. Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, William Byron and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five finishers at NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend. One of the best burner-outers in the game …

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NASCAR 101: The 5 Best — & 5 Worst — Throwback Paint Schemes

2020 Darlington III fall Reed Sorensen throwback car NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

It’s throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway. The concept seems to be starting to wear out just a bit. In fact, the vast majority of Cup throwbacks this year are either bad or just average. All of the truly great NASCAR schemes have been done to death, and very few sponsors want to actually throwback to …

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2-Headed Monster: Should NASCAR Mandate Drivers Get COVID-19 Vaccines?

Bubba Wallace Denny Hamlin COVID Vaccine

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Ah, yes. The COVID-19 vaccine is available and NASCAR has found itself at the forefront of the discussion. This week, NASCAR President Steve Phelps stated that requiring drivers to get a vaccine would be a “slippery slope.” Those words raised a lot of eyebrows around social media and the NASCAR world. He also said that …

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Dropping the Hammer: NASCAR Says ‘No’ to Being Part of Voting Rights Debate

Daniel McFadin Dropping the Hammer

Graphic by James Crow

On June 7, 2020 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR President Steve Phelps made one of the most important public statements ever made by a NASCAR official, especially for one not named France. With a field of cars sitting in front of empty grandstands due to an international pandemic and some 13 days after George Floyd …

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