NASCAR Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: The Road Ahead

Chase Elliott practices at COTA

March 2, 2021: Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX. ( +CMS-HHP-Harold Hinson)

1. The “Road” Ahead For the second half of the 2021 regular season, the Cup Series regulars face an eclectic mix of tracks, including a doubleheader at Pocono Raceway (the only two-fer of this year), a brand new circuit in Nashville, and, count ’em, five road courses. Of the quintet, three road courses are new …

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5 Points to Ponder: Milestone Moments

Matt DiBenedetto raceswith Austin Dillon in the Buschy McBusch Race 400 at Kansas Speedway, May 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Next Gen We’ll get our first “official” look at the Next Gen car this Wednesday as all three OEMs, Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, reveal their own unique looks for the 2022 Cup season. The Gen-7 car project, delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is designed primarily to lower costs for teams …

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5 Points to Ponder: Chasing the W

Denny Hamlin prepares to climb into his NASCAR racecar at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Chasing the W In the end, after leading a race-best 276 laps, Denny Hamlin had to settle for another third place finish — his fourth of the year — at Martinsville this past weekend. The result was Hamlin’s seventh top five in eight attempts, with his other finish still being an 11th-place run that …

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5 Points to Ponder: Time to Play in the Dirt

Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney lead the NASCAR Cup Series action at Atlanta Motor Speedway, March 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Time to Play in the Dirt I cannot wait for this weekend. Cannot. Wait. I’m endlessly fascinated to see what will happen in both races on the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt. Fair to say I’ve not anticipated regular season races quite like these two for some time — a decade or more at least. …

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5 Points to Ponder: Myatt Snider’s NASCAR Moment

Myatt Snider celebrates winning at Homestead Miami Speedway February 2021 (Credit: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

ONE: It Gets Late Early Out Here The great Hall of Fame Yankee catcher and 13-time World Series Champion Yogi Berra once quipped “it gets late early out here,” and it’s a Yogi-ism (as his many impromptu lines were known) that fits well with the current playoff picture. It would be fair to say there …

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Five Points: A Year of Change. After a Year of Change.

Chase Elliott holds 2020 Bill France trophy Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

A Year Of Change. After a Year of Change. There’s a lot to look forward to this season. Putting the Daytona 500 to one side for a moment, we’ve got the Bristol Dirt race, a trip to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, a jaunt around Road America, a new oval in Nashville Superspeedway, …

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2020 NASCAR Team Reviews: Wood Brothers Racing

2021Preview Wood

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

When Matt DiBenedetto fires the engine on his No. 21 Ford for the 63nd running of the Daytona 500 next February, his second full year for the team, Wood Brothers Racing will be starting its 68th season in NASCAR, five more years of stock car longevity than the Great American Race itself. In a sporting …

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5 Points to Ponder: A Champions Edition

2020 Phoenix NCS Chase Elliott Hug NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

A Worthy Champion Huge congratulations to Chase Elliott on his first Cup championship, matching a feat his father Bill achieved all the way back in 1988. Chase’s dominant, nerveless, winning performances at both Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway these past two weeks, all with the incessant pressure of the playoff format, showed he is a …

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5 Points to Ponder: Opportunity Knocks

2020 Kansas II NXS CHase Briscoe checkered flag NKP

Broadcaster Bowyer There was a moment this weekend at Kansas Speedway that typifies the spirit of NASCAR fans in one simple image. It was a picture Clint Bowyer tweeted post-race. I think this perfectly sums up my run in @NASCAR and @kansasspeedway in particular. My fans ALWAYS have more fun than the others. Huge thank …

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5 Points to Ponder: Form Is Temporary, Class Is Permanent

2020 Las Vegas NCS Matt DiBenedetto Face NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The Wildest Card Talladega is the dictionary definition of a wild-card stock car race — just look how many drivers got their first win there. So for those wheelmen currently on the wrong side of the cut line, this weekend offers the best possible chance at booking a spot in the final eight with a …

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