Race Weekend Central

Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski Top Saturday Practices at Charlotte

Photo: Amy Henderson

There’s always that one guy you can’t quite count out no matter how down he is, and in the first of two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practices at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson put himself at the top of the list to be that guy.  Johnson led the session on the 17-turn road course …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Things Just Got Silly

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

You can say that NASCAR isn’t exciting these days, but this year, that certainly doesn’t include Silly Season.  Both rumors and moves started early and have become hot and heavy over the last few weeks. Drivers moving on so far this year include Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Trevor Bayne, Martin Truex Jr. (No. …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Federated Auto Parts 400

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? If you filled out a playoff bracket, raise your hand if you had Austin Dillon clearing the Round of 16. Yeah, you’re making that up, put your hand down. While he’s a long way from being a title contender, Dillon did everything he needed to do Saturday night.  …

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The Frontstretch 5: Disturbing Trends in NASCAR

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

1. The elephant in the room The fact that looms over NASCAR these days is the decline in both ratings and race attendance; it simply can’t be ignored, explained away, or overlooked. There are pieces that can’t be fixed, like the steady erosion of American car culture. That’s outside any realm of control for any …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Southern 500

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? This is Darlington, and Darlington means not just one of the most prestigious races on the Cup schedule, but also a weekend of nostalgia with its throwback theme and some great-looking cars to go with it.  For just a moment, you can almost see them out there, the …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: For Just a Minute, NASCAR Gives Back All That’s Lost

(Photo: Amy Henderson)

Seventy years into the game, NASCAR teams will use this weekend at Darlington Raceway to celebrate the sport’s long and colorful history with throwback paint schemes and uniforms. It’s appropriate that the nod to the past comes at Darlington, the sport’s oldest superspeedway at its oldest continuously run race (if you’re willing to count the …

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The Frontstretch 5: Reasons Nothing is Simple in NASCAR

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

1. Because tracks It seems easy enough: make changes to the schedules, the cars, the playoffs, even the drivers.  But NASCAR is a complex organism, and nothing is as easy as it seems, even if we think it should be. Would more short tracks/road courses/different tracks make a difference in what fans see? There’s no …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Who…gets my shoutout of the race? Getting your best finish of the year?  Good.  Getting it at your home track? Bonus.  Trevor Bayne put together a solid late-race effort, running inside the top 10 for many of the closing laps before finishing 11th, his best result of 2018. After giving up the seat of his …

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The Frontstretch 5: Pieces in NASCAR’s Silly Season Puzzle & Where They Could Fit

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

1. Kurt Busch 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Busch won’t return to powerhouse Stewart-Haas Racing next year. Each driver move creates two pieces to the puzzle, as the ride he vacates will need to be filled. In this case, it’s pretty likely that Cole Custer will take over the No. 41, so Busch …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2018 Consumers Energy 400

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Sometimes a driver needs a good finish to turn things around, and this week that happened for Brad Keselowski. Since finishing third at Kentucky last month, Keselowski has had finishes of 32nd, 38th and 17th.  While teammates Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney have been competitive this season, Keselowski …

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