NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: Kyle Larson Climbs From Rock Bottom to Top of Cup Series

Kyle Larson 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion trophy Sean Gardner Getty

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Everyone knows the ending. After the first 10-win season in over a decade, Kyle Larson stood on top of the world, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion. He won on the big intermediate ovals, road courses, short tracks, 1-milers. He made it look so easy that it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t. Two years …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2021 Season Finale 500

Kyle Larson celebrates with son Owen after winning the 2021 NASCAR Season Finale 500. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who … should you be talking about after the Season Finale 500? A year ago, Kyle Larson watched the NASCAR Cup Series finale on TV and wondered what might have been. Now, a little older and a lot wiser after he chose to learn from a mistake that saw him banned for most of 2020 …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2021 Xfinity 500

Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin talk on pit road before the 2021 Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Who … should you be talking about after the Xfinity 500? 2021 has been a breakout year for Alex Bowman. The 28-year-old posted three early wins and advanced to the Round of 12 in this year’s playoffs before stumbling a bit. At Martinsville Speedway, he put an exclamation point on the deal after a late-race …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2021 Hollywood Casino 400

Ricky Hendrick pilots the No. 5 in a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/ Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who … should you be talking about after the race? Another week, another Kyle Larson win. Larson’s Kansas Speedway victory in the Hollywood Casino 400 was his ninth NASCAR Cup Series win of 2021 and third in a row. He’s on a roll at the best possible time, with the title race just two weeks …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: That Time NASCAR’s Points System Showed the Playoffs for What They Are

Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson battle in the closing laps of the 2021 Southern 500. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Way back in 2004, NASCAR devised a playoff system with hopes of one thing: attracting a demographic whose attention span, raised on information meted out in colorful bursts, was decidedly shorter than that of the long-term, traditional fans. The sport was riding a high as the water-cooler fad of the moment and wanted the wave …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2021 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

Tyler Reddick races in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader Echopark Automotive 500 playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.

(Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Who … should you be talking about after the race? The wins just keep coming for Kyle Larson. This week at Texas Motor Speedway, Larson took his eighth victory of the year and third of the playoffs, guaranteeing that he’ll run for the championship this year while seven others will have to sweat it out …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2021 Bank of America ROVAL 400

Chris Buscher pilot the No. 17 Fastenal Ford in the 2021 Bank of America ROVAL 400. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who … should you be talking about after the race? Is Kyle Larson the most talented driver in the NASCAR Cup Series? He has some stiff competition in that department, but the 2021 season has left little question that Larson is among today’s elite drivers. He learned to close races, and once he did, he …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2021 Yellawood 500

Bubba Wallace celebrates his NASCAR Cup Series win in the Yellawood 500 at Talladega, October, 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Who…should you be talking about after the race? Say all you want about rain-shortened races, but here’s what went down in ‘Dega: teams knew the rain was imminent, and there were racing like it was the closing laps, because at a track without lights that takes hours to dry and autumn shortening the days dramatically, …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: NASCAR’s Storybook Scenario Wouldn’t Be a Happy Ending

2021 Loudon Cup Aric Almirola victory lane NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Saturday night’s (Sept. 18) race at Bristol Motor Speedway marks the final race in the first round of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, and four drivers will be ending their title bids when the checkers fall. Barring a true Hail Mary win, one of those drivers will be Michael McDowell, perhaps the underdog story …

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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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