Race Weekend Central

Dropping the Hammer: Michael McDowell Uncertain of 2022 Plans Despite Daytona Win

Michael McDowell and Bubba Wallace (Credit: NKP)

Michael McDowell raced with Bubba Wallace in 2021. Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

It’s mid-August and Michael McDowell doesn’t yet know his plans for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. But that’s typical for McDowell. Every season he’s competed in the Cup Series, including his time with Front Row Motorsports which began in 2018,  McDowell has been on a year-to-year deal. But in previous years, McDowell wasn’t the …

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Christopher Bell: Kyle Larson ‘Running His Mouth is a Little Uncalled For’

2021 Texas Cup All Star Kyle Larson Christopher Bell racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – What does it take to make Christopher Bell uncharacteristically mad? A racing rival “going to the media and telling half of the story.” Especially if that rival is Kyle Larson. That was the picture painted Saturday (Aug. 14) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by Bell, who responded for the first time to comments …

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Dropping the Hammer: COVID Again Looms Over NASCAR

Kyle Larson at Watkins Glen

Kyle Larson signs autographs for fans at Watkins Glen (Davey Segal)

Things were going so well. The world was returning to a vaguely defined “normal.” After not attending a NASCAR race as a member of the press in 18 months, after getting vaccinated as soon as it was available to my age demographic, I got to cover the June race weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. No masks. …

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Dropping the Hammer: An Ode to Bob Jenkins

Bob Jenkins

Bob Jenkins during the first ESPN NASCAR broadcast in 1981 (YouTube).

“Hello everyone, I’m Bob Jenkins.” As I drove home Monday evening, I listened to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. At one point, the channel returned from commercial. Instead of a normal show bumper, it played audio from a 29-year-old radio broadcast of a race that made me misty-eyed. It wasn’t just any race broadcast. “The checkered flag …

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Dropping The Hammer: Chase Elliott & Bubba Wallace, the Faces of NASCAR

Chase Elliott and Bubba Wallace

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

You don’t need me to tell you this, but Chase Elliott is kind of a big deal within NASCAR. We are currently nine months into Elliott’s reign as the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion. We’re also in our third year with the 25-year-old as NASCAR’s reigning Most Popular Driver. This is no small thing. 2021 …

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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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Harrison Burton: ‘Hard to Say No’ to Ford, Wood Brothers Racing

2021 Charlotte NXS Harrison Burton NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Recently, former NASCAR Cup driver and NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton helped his son Harrison Burton pick out a suit for an important meeting. The younger Burton wasn’t even sure what the meeting was about. As the world found out Thursday morning (July 15), the meeting led to Harrison Burton being named the driver of …

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Harrison Burton to Drive For Wood Brothers Racing in 2022

Matt DiBenedetto during the Instacart 500k at Phoenix Raceway, 3/14/2021 (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Harrison Burton has been tapped by Wood Brother Racing to drive its iconic No. 21 Ford in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, the team announced Thursday, July 15. Burton, the son of former Cup driver Jeff Burton, will take over the ride from Matt DiBenedetto, who has driven the car since 2020. Austin Cindric …

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