NASCAR Race Weekend Central

NASCAR 101: 5 Things You Can Do with a Sprint Cup Off-Weekend

Boo, hiss, no NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action this weekend.

OK, maybe that’s not the worst thing in the world. Nice to take a break every once in a while, especially since we’re ever-so nearing the part of the season when there’s just no off-weekend at all for the series, Homestead a beacon of hope in the distance that’s a welcome sight come November so that we can just not care about auto racing for a few months.

Still, on the weekend of the summer solstice, a gap has suddenly appeared for your Sunday afternoon or Saturday night. What even can one do in the absence of Jimmie Johnson‘s quest for seven? What is there to see? What is there to do?

Here are some ideas!

Watch the Xfinity Series Race from Chicagoland

There’s only one regular Cup Series driver in the field – two if you count Brendan Gaughan‘s underfunded Cup ride this year – and that’s Austin Dillon, who’s underperformed so much in Cup since his arrival in the series that it’s easy to forget he’s even around half the time… so hell, just treat it like an all-NXS field. The real sticker: Ross Kenseth, son of Matt, who’ll make his series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing, but the rest of the crop – names like Chase Elliott, Brandon Jones, Brennan Poole and Ben Rhodes – are satisfying on their own.

Watch the Truck Series Race from Iowa

Is the NXS race still too close to Cup comfort for you? Watch some of the series’ youngest guns take on Iowa and finally find out what all the hullabaloo is about when it comes to Cole Custer. A kid named Christopher Bell is driving Kyle Busch’s No. 51, too, and y’all remember the kind of track record he’s had with somewhat unknowns lately (see: Erik Jones).

Watch the ARCA Race from Chicagoland

Well, if you have FOX Sports 2, that is. Face it, the only ARCA race you probably watch all year is the Daytona one because something or other hasn’t broken your stock car fan spirit yet in February. This one’ll be a nice warmup for NXS Roush driver Ryan Reed, who’s in the field trying to play spoiler in the way Trevor Bayne did at Pocono, as well as Gibbs’s Daniel Suarez. Come for them, stay for Bobby Hamilton Jr., who’s still racing after all these years.

Watch the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix

Because who cares about the other stock car series that aren’t Cup, right? Get some open wheel action coursing through your veins. You’ll just have to wake up at 8 a.m. to do it if you’re in the eastern time zone. Central or even farther away? Have fun! Or maybe you’re already awake then. On a Sunday, even? Kudos. Whatever, the answer is that Lewis Hamilton will win again and that’s that.

Go Outside

Seriously, that’s all I’m actually going to do. The Rockaways are lovely this time of year and there’s actually a successful Bar Rescue location out there.

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