Race Weekend Central

Dropping the Hammer: Staying Young With Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr at Talladega

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Nigel Kinrade Photography)

For one day a year, either on a Friday night or a Saturday afternoon, I get to be 13 years old again. Normally, that wouldn’t be a positive. Being 13, at least as a seventh grader in 2004, sucked. I don’t think you need me to tell you about the horrors of middle school. However, …

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Cup Series Returns to Darlington After Turn 2 Repave

NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

When the NASCAR Cup Series begins its playoff run this weekend, it’ll do so at Darlington Raceway. It will be just the third time this year the series has made a return trip to a track this season, following visits to Atlanta Motor Speedway and the regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway. But the 1.366-mile …

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Dropping the Hammer: 23XI Racing is Kurt Busch’s NASCAR Endgame

Kurt Busch and Denny hamlin

Kurt Busch team owner Denny Hamlin (23XI Racing)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kurt Busch’s move to 23XI Racing was announced appropriately. The news was trumpeted in a 37-second video posted on social media, complete with Busch stepping off a private jet and walking to the No. 45 Toyota he will drive in 2022. “And you thought I was leaving,” Busch says over the …

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Kurt Busch to Join 23XI Racing in 2022, Drive the No. 45

Kurt Busch with 23XI Racing

Kurt Busch poses with his No. 45 Toyota for the 2022 season (23XI Racing)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — 23XI Racing announced Friday (Aug. 27) that Kurt Busch would join the team in 2022, driving the No. 45. The 2004 Cup champion will become teammates with Bubba Wallace on the team that is co-owned by Denny Hamlin and NBA legend Michael Jordan. “I cannot begin to express my gratitude for …

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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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