NASCAR Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Stat Sheet: Feels Like the First Time

Christopher Bell celebrates after winning the 2021 O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 Photo:NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Here’s an interesting tidbit: For the first time since 1950, the first two races of the Cup Series schedule have been won by first-time visitors to victory lane. It’s almost happened a couple times before. In 2001, Michael Waltrip picked up his first win at Daytona International Speedway, but Rockingham Speedway winner Steve Park had …

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NASCAR Stat Sheet: Breaking on Through to the Other Side (Finally)

Three-wide NASCAR racing action in the 2021 Daytona 500 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Last week, I discussed the biggest and most imposing winless streaks in the Daytona 500, past and present alike. Given what transpired in Sunday’s (and partially Monday morning’s) 2021 edition of the Great American Race, it seems somewhat fitting that a winless streak of a different variety was broken. Michael McDowell is the eighth man …

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Friday Faceoff: Should Any Driver Be Locked Into the Daytona 500?

Joe Gibs Racing teammates Bell Kyle Busch Truex Hamlin at Daytona Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who is more likely to end their Daytona 500 drought first: Kyle Busch or Brad Keselowski? Luken Glover: This is a tough one because neither driver has really established themselves as a favorite at the end. Trouble seems to find both of these champions at the worst times. However, I have to go with Kyle …

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NASCAR Stat Sheet: The Biggest 0-for Streaks in the Sport’s Biggest Race

Jeff Gordon Leda Terry Labonte Daytona 1994 Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In every form of sports, there is a foremost prize to be had, and the collection of triumphs becomes the most significant measure by which the best are compared. Obviously, the Daytona 500 is the biggest single event in NASCAR, and it seems impossible for successful drivers to reach top tier status without a 500 …

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2021 NASCAR Preseason Power Rankings, No. 6: Brad Keselowski

2020 CharlotteROVAL NCS Brad Keselowski Face NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Since moving to the No. 2 ride at Team Penske a decade ago, Brad Keselowski has been an absolute model of consistency. As we head into the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Keselowski is once again expected to be a championship front-runner. The 2012 series champion has won a race every year since 2011, the second …

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2021 NASCAR Preseason Power Rankings, No. 23: Erik Jones

2020CharlotteNCSErikJonesFaceNASCARMedia

(Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

As he has for the first four years of his full-time career in the NASCAR Cup Series, Erik Jones finds himself in an iconic ride for the 2021 season. However, this time it will not be a Joe Gibbs Racing ride but rather the No. 43 made famous by Richard Petty. Jones has a pair …

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2020 NASCAR Team Reviews: Team Penske

2021Preview Penske copy 1

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In the hierarchy of multicar NASCAR Cup Series organizations, the label of best overall team seems to rotate pretty regularly. Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing have all laid a pretty solid claim to the top pedestal in recent years. However, in terms of total team success, it is arguably Team Penske that …

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Friday Faceoff: Are Jimmie Johnson/Chad Knaus the Best Driver/Crew Chief Pairing Ever?

2020 Phoenix NCS Denny Hamlin Face NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Is Phoenix Raceway the right track again for the NASCAR finales next year? Luken Glover: While the spring NASCAR Cup Series race was good, the championship event wasn’t quite as exciting. There were some good battles among the championship drivers, but behind them we didn’t see a lot of action. It could be that non-playoff …

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The Underdog House: Bubba Wallace Goes Out on Top at Phoenix

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top Dog Bubba Wallace stood atop the underdog pile when the final checkered flag waved on Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. After a tumultuous season of ups and downs, Wallace put a period on his tenure in the Petty No. 43 with a 15th-place finish. He ran as high as seventh, and at the end of …

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Friday Faceoff: Who Are the Championship Favorites?

2020 Martinsville NCS Racing NKP3

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Looking back at the Martinsville Speedway race in the NASCAR Cup Series, would you have officiated anything that happened there any differently? Or did the race play out as it should have? Luken Glover: Chase Elliott asked the question, “What more could you ask for?” in his post-race interview. He was exactly right. That race …

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