Race Weekend Central

Thinkin’ Out Loud: First 22 Races of 2021 Cup Season

Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson pack racing, NASCAR Cup Series spring Kansas race, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

2021 NASCAR Season… What happened? Denny Hamlin leads the Cup Series points standings through the first 22 races of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, narrowly ahead of Kyle Larson. William Byron, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano round out the top five in points with four races left in the regular season. How did it …

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Up to Speed: Reviewing NASCAR Playoff Points of the Past

Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex, Jr. two common NASCAR playoff contenders chat at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

#4: Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Mobil 1 , #19: Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops Red White Blue

The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs may be approaching quickly, but there are still plenty of playoff points up for grabs.  Each of the four remaining regular season races offer seven NASCAR playoff points – five for the race win plus one for each of two stage wins.  Taken together, there are still 28 playoff points …

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Dropping the Hammer: The Next Gen Car vs. the Internet

NASCAR Next Gen car

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

On Monday morning (July 19), NASCAR alerted media members about the state of the Next Gen car. Following a review of data from a June 30 crash test at Talladega Superspeedway, an independent safety panel has given the Cup Series’ new car for 2022 a clean bill of health. According to NBC Sports, NASCAR told …

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NASCAR Stat Sheet: Almirola Is the Unlikely Hero for SHR in New Hampshire

2021-Cup-Loudon-Aric-Almirola-NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Last year was a memorable one for Stewart Haas Racing, with Kevin Harvick providing most of the highlights for the team throughout 2020. Nine wins and a boatload of laps led will do that for just about any driver and team. It’s been well documented that 2021 has been far less kind to the SHR …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire

2021 Loudon Cup Aric Almirola lobster Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

What happened in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301? Aric Almirola won the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday (July 18) to steal an unlikely playoff spot in what’s been a dismal season. Christopher Bell, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-five finishers. How about that? ? …

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Up to Speed: Will Christopher Bell be Ready for the Playoffs?

Christopher Bell smiles outside his car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Christopher Bell’s 2021 NASCAR season got off to a great start.  In the Daytona 500, his first Cup Series race with Joe Gibbs Racing, he led 32 laps and looked like a potential winner before getting collected in a crash. The following weekend’s race at the Daytona International Speedway road course had a much better …

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Aric Almirola Scores Maiden 2021 Victory at New Hampshire

2021 Loudon Cup Aric Almirola woohoo NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

A relatively tame race followed the complete and utter mayhem that started the afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The NASCAR Cup Series took to the Granite State oval on Sunday (July 18) and was almost immediately besieged by rain, which sent several cars spinning and brought out a red flag that lasted more than …

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Frontstretch 2-Minute Drill: Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire

2019 Loudon MENCS Joey Logano Car Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

A northeast venture to the Granite State concludes the pre-Olympic break portion of the NASCAR Cup Series’ 2021 season. New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosts this afternoon’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 and it is the final NASCAR event prior to the opening ceremonies of the postponed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics getting underway later this week, coverage …

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Friday Faceoff: Should NASCAR Take a Summer Vacation Every Year?

Tyler Reddick stands next to his car at 2021 spring Kansas Cup race NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Should NASCAR continue to schedule back-to-back off-weekends in the late summer even when no Summer Olympics are being held? Trenton Worsham: Not back to back, but it’d be nice for it to have two or three more weeks off scattered out throughout the year as bye weeks. Josh Roller: I like the idea of a late …

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Did You Notice?: Communication Between NASCAR Drivers, Executives at Crossroads

2021 Pocono I Cup Bubba Wallace Steve Phelps laugh James Gilbert Getty

(Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

Did You Notice? … NASCAR drama between drivers and executives has been building at a breakneck pace? It all started with last week’s Atlanta Motor Speedway repave announcement from Speedway Motorsports, Inc. President Marcus Smith. After 24 years under the current configuration, the track will be getting a facelift with both fresh asphalt and an altered …

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NASCAR Mailbox: Does NASCAR Have a Communication Problem?

2021-Cup-Atlanta-II-Joe Gibbs Racing-NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Drivers seemed pissed off more than normal this weekend. Repave/reconfiguration at Atlanta, Next Gen safety concerns. Why the sudden anger? – Rick P., Salem, Ore. I’ve never seen Cool Hand Luke, but I know the quote from that movie that holds water and will for years and years to come in human society is this …

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Dropping the Hammer: Appreciating the Reliability of Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch at Atlanta

HAMPTON, GEORGIA - JULY 11: <>during the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 11, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The more NASCAR has changed over the last 20 years, the more Kurt Busch has adapted and found ways to win. A new points format? Busch won the first championship of the playoff era in 2004. A new kind of car? Busch has won in every generation of car he’s competed in as a full-time …

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