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5 Points to Ponder: Kyle Larson, King of NASCAR, is a Thing That is Happening

2021 Sonoma Cup Kyle Larson Win NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Kyle Larson as championship frontrunner is simply wild One of the silliest parts of sports punditry is the “if the season ended today … ” syndrome, simply because the season does not, in fact, end until it ends. But the concept persists because it’s fascinating, and never more than right now in the NASCAR …

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5 Points to Ponder: Do You Need to See Where You’re Going to Race in NASCAR?

Kurt Busch races in the rain during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas (May 2021). (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. COTA was pretty fun … except when no NASCAR driver could see anything It’s not clear how anyone at NASCAR can make a solid determination about whether the national series should return to Circuit of the Americas in 2021. On paper, COTA seemed like it would make for an amazing addition to the NASCAR …

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5 Points to Ponder: Spoiler SZN, Pushing It & The Path to 16+ Winners

2021 Talladega I Cup Denny Hamlin Martin Truex Jr Kaz Grala racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1: Spoilers vs. drivers Talladega Superspeedway rightfully gets attention for its tendency to cause the Big One. But this particular trip to Alabama the weekend of April 24-25 managed to avoid the kind of multi-car mayhem that knocks a third of the field out in one fell swoop — in both the NASCAR Xfinity and …

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5 Points to Ponder: Dirt & Road Courses Forever?

2021 Bristol dirt trucks track overhead Jared C Tilton Getty Images via NASCAR

(Photo: Jared C Tilton/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

1: Bristol Dirt Experiment a Win (For Now) First it took decades for the NASCAR Cup Series to return to a dirt track, albeit one that isn’t generally a dirt track but rather Bristol Motor Speedway covered with dirt. Then it took an extra day for the race to actually be run, since apparently Mother …

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5 Points to Ponder: Cream Rises, Ford Flounders?

2021 Phoenix I Cup Martin Truex Jr NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

ONE: Truex Restores Natural Cup Series Order Just as we were about to hit the point of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season where Bill Murray’s “Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!” line from Ghostbusters would have applied because none of the races were being won by the drivers you’d expect, Martin Truex Jr. …

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5 Points to Ponder: Double Your Pleasure at Daytona

Ty Gibbs at Gateway Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

ONE: Daytona Road Course Needs to Stay Among the many, many questions that can likely never be answered to the satisfaction of NASCAR fans everywhere is how many road course races on the Cup Series schedule is the right number. The general consensus, as much as there is one, is that the two that were …

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2021 NASCAR Preseason Power Rankings, No. 20: Cole Custer

2020KentuckyNCSColeCusterVictoryLaneNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Plenty of drivers who experience success in stock car racing before reaching the top level of NASCAR have to wait a while before breaking through with that first NASCAR Cup Series victory. Cole Custer doesn’t have to worry about that since he got that milestone out of the way early. The very valid question awaiting …

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5 Points to Ponder: Kyle Busch Finally Takes a Bow in 2020

2020 Talladega II CUP Kyle Busch NKP

(photo: nkp)

1. It Took A While, But Kyle Busch Kept His Winning Streak Intact It was strangely fitting that in a race that forced drivers, teams and fans to wait more than three days from the time it was red flagged for weather until its checkered counterpart was shown, Kyle Busch found a way to cross …

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Calm Turns to Chaos, But Nick Ottinger Wins eNASCAR iRacing Playoff Race at Kansas

enascar iracing kansas 2020 nick ottinger

Screenshot/Image credit: eNASCAR

For the first 127 of 134 laps at virtual Kansas Speedway, the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series playoff race was a calm, almost serene affair with no cautions and only pit strategy causing any intrigue. But in the ultimate case of cautions breeding cautions, a yellow flag with seven to go touched off a series of …

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5 Points to Ponder: Rooting for Underdogs to Win at Talladega is Kind of Futile

2020 Talladega II CUP Denny Hamlin pack racing finish NKP

1. Talladega is a Tease for Underdogs Everyone who has followed NASCAR for even a few years knows the narrative about races at Talladega Superspeedway. The Big One is going to strike at some point (sometimes more than once) and a bunch of top cars will be eliminated. Drivers from underfunded teams will be in …

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5 Points to Ponder: Can Ryan Blaney Come Up Big in Must-Win Bristol Cutoff Race?

2018 Bristol MENCS Ryan Blaney Accident NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Blaney Winning at Bristol Would Be As Clutch As It Gets Believe it or not, Ryan Blaney has not been mathematically eliminated from advancing to the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 on points. Yes, being 27 points out with just the Bristol Night Race less is suboptimal, to say the least. But …

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5 Points to Ponder: All Hail the Regular Season Champion

2020DoverNCSKevinHarvickVictoryLaneNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Does Being Regular Season Champion Mean Anything? It’s not too shabby when you can nab two trophies for one day’s work. Kevin Harvick did that Sunday at Dover — albeit after also putting in a full shift on Saturday in the first half of the Cup Series doubleheader — when he took the checkered …

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