Race Weekend Central

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington

Denny Hamlin celebrates his win in the 2021 Southern 500 at Darlington. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

What happened? Denny Hamlin won the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington on Sunday night (Sept. 5) after narrowly holding off Kyle Larson in the final corner. Larson, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five finishers. RETWEET to congratulate @DennyHamlin on his #Southern500 win at @TooToughToTame! What a final corner …

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Hendrick Motorsports Battered & Beaten at Darlington

Hendrick Motorsports Darlington Southern 500

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series regular season was dominated by Hendrick Motorsports, providing plenty of momentum heading into Sunday night’s (Sept. 5) playoff opener at Darlington Raceway.

But whatever momentum they carried into the postseason was largely wiped away over the course of 500 miles at The Lady in Black — at least for three of the organization’s four drivers.

Denny Hamlin Emerges From Darlington Chaos to Score 1st Win of Season

2021 Darlington II Cup Denny Hamlin burnout NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

More than four hours after the green flag dropped on the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Denny Hamlin emerged the winner amid from what was essentially a war of attrition between the 16 playoff drivers. Hamlin also survived a last-corner charge from Kyle Larson, who in his words tried to “video game it” in a …

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Friday Faceoff: Can Kurt Busch Win With 23XI?

Kurt Busch walking at road america

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Chris Buescher was disqualified from his second-place finish in the NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway for a post-race infraction due to an unapproved track bar mount. Does the punishment fit the crime? Josh Roller: Not enough information was shared by NASCAR to determine whether or not a disqualification was appropriate or not. What made …

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4 Burning Questions: Who’ll Be Eliminated in Each Cup Playoff Round?

2021 regular season Cup champion Kyle Larson with trophy

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who will be eliminated in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs’ Round of 16? Michael McDowell has been disappointing in the second half of the regular season. He had a strong start to the season in addition to his Daytona 500 win, but he’s 28th in total points in the past 10 races among all Cup …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2021 Coke Zero Sugar 400

Ryan Preece at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 2019. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… should you be talking about after the Coke Zero Sugar 400? For the second week in a row, Ryan Blaney didn’t dominate a race. He merely placed himself in the right spot to pounce on a late restart.  Then, when carnage erupted behind him, the Team Penske driver capitalized with a win. Blaney’s third …

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Frontstretch 2-Minute Drill: Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona

Daytona 500 NASCAR Cup 2021 pack racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Daytona International Speedway looms large in the windshields of NASCAR Cup Series drivers on Saturday night (Aug. 28). The track will host the 26th and final race of the regular season. 2021 marks the second time the superspeedway has held the cutoff race for the playoff field, and the final spot is down to the …

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Stock Car Scoop: Can Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Win His Way Into the Playoffs at Daytona?

2020 Daytona NCS Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Face NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

It’s crunch time for the NASCAR Cup Series, as the field heads to Daytona International Speedway for the conclusion of the 2021 regular season. Tyler Reddick currently holds the final playoff berth, but could a past superspeedway winner like Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pull off a clutch win? Will the race be tame or will chaos …

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Friday Faceoff: Should NASCAR Require COVID-19 Vaccines for Garage Access?

2019 New Hampshire NXS BJ McLeod Motorsports Garage NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

With the FDA approving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, should NASCAR require vaccinations for garage access? Luken Glover: No, it is not needed. Some drivers have voiced that a negative test should be all that is needed, and I agree with that. While I want the virus to be eradicated as much as the next person, it …

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2-Headed Monster: Is 2021 a Career-Defining Year for Ryan Blaney?

2021 Michigan Cup Ryan Blaney woohoo NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

At Michigan International Speedway on Sunday (Aug. 22), it was a Ford vs. Chevrolet duel to the finish, as you would expect it to be an hour outside of The Motor City. Perhaps more telling, it was perhaps a glimpse into the future of what rivalries will look like in the sport, with Ryan Blaney …

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Kyle Larson Starts on Cup Pole at Daytona

Kyle Larson during the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, 8/22/2021 (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The NASCAR Cup Series’ regular season finale is this weekend and Kyle Larson will lead the field to green at Daytona International Speedway. The points leader placed third at Michigan International Speedway last Sunday, helping him secure the pole position for Saturday night’s (Aug. 25) race. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron will start alongside …

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5 Points to Ponder: RCR Drivers Cold, All Series’ Title Races Heat Up

AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric lead NASCAR Xfinity field at Michigan NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Richard Childress Racing didn’t capitalize on NASCAR Cup Series playoff opportunity RCR didn’t come out of Michigan International Speedway very well. Austin Dillon had arguably the best car he’s had all season and looked to be a contender for the win if he stayed on track. Unfortunately, his day ended right after taking the …

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