NASCAR Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Announces Return of Practice, Qualifying in 2022

NASCAR Playoff drivers Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. lead the field at Phoenix Raceway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Practice and qualifying will return to NASCAR’s national series in 2022, NASCAR announced Nov. 19. Though the formats of each session will vary by track and series, NASCAR plans to hold practice and qualifying for all of its races in 2022. “NASCAR is excited to return practice and qualifying to its race weekends,” Scott Miller, …

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Noah Gragson Attempting Daytona 500 With Beard Motorsports

2021 Daytona I Cup Noah Gragson car NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Noah Gragson will attempt to make the Daytona 500 with Beard Motorsports for the second year in a row, the team announced Nov. 16. Gragson will attempt to qualify Beard’s part-time No. 62 in the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series race next year. He also did so in 2021, failing to get the car into the …

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Harrison Burton Gains Brian Wilson as Crew Chief for Rookie Cup Season

2021 Michigan NXS Harrison Burton smile NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Brian Wilson will call the shots atop Harrison Burton‘s pit box in his rookie season in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022, Wood Brothers Racing announced Nov. 11. Wilson moves up to Cup from the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he’d been Austin Cindric‘s crew chief at Team Penske, his tenure including a title-winning 2020. Wilson …

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Todd Gilliland Paces Final Truck Practice of 2021

2021 Gateway Trucks Todd Gilliland smile NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Practice returned to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule for its season finale at Phoenix Raceway, and Todd Gilliland led the field Nov. 5. Gilliland crowned the 39-truck field with a speed of 135.844 mph. Sheldon Creed, Tyler Ankrum, Chandler Smith and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top five. Of the group, Rhodes is …

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NASCAR 101: Who Didn’t Return to NASCAR in 2021?

Jimmie Johnson at Detroit 2021 IndyCar

(Photo: Chris Owens/INDYCAR Media)

A smaller crop of drivers who raced on the national NASCAR stage in 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, equals an altogether more diminutive list of racers who didn’t return to a NASCAR national series in 2021. And of those who didn’t return, some were, as always, expected. Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth …

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Fire on Fridays: Driver Improvements in 2021 You Might Have Missed

Ryan Blaney talking with crew chief Todd Gordon at Circuit of The Americas 2021, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Year-over-year improvement is not a given in any sport, NASCAR included. It’s expected out of some, granted, especially drivers entering their sophomore season or someone in better equipment than before. But it doesn’t always happen. Hell, sometimes performance actually suffers on a grand scale. You never know. Certain examples of upward mobility were not only …

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Austin Hill Moving to Xfinity With RCR in 2022

2021 Pocono Trucks Austin Hill James Gilbert getty

(Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Austin Hill will move to the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Richard Childress Racing in 2022, RCR announced Oct. 29. Hill will run full time alongside fellow RCR newcomer and soon-to-be-former Camping World Truck Series competitor Sheldon Creed, who was announced earlier this fall to drive RCR’s No. 2. Hill’s car number was not announced at …

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Fire on Fridays: Are We Watching the Last (Cup) Races of Ryan Newman?

2021 Daytona I Cup Ryan Newman NKP

#6: Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Mustang Kohler Generators

Plenty of Silly Season dominoes remain to fall before the 2022 NASCAR season begins, and perhaps the most high profile of those is the status of Ryan Newman. I mean, who else comes close? Technically Christopher Bell‘s 2022 plans haven’t been announced, but no one seems to be expecting anything but an extension for the …

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Fire on Fridays: Michael Annett? Not Half Bad

Michael Annett celebrates his win on the side of his car at 2019 Daytona NASCAR Xfinity race, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The conversation around pay drivers in NASCAR has not gone away in recent years. In fact, it’s probably gotten louder. And it’s mostly negative when brought up. While a driver like Josh Berry has found success in 2021 on driver talent alone thanks to JR Motorsports being able to piece together a partial season in …

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