NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: Kyle Larson Climbs From Rock Bottom to Top of Cup Series

Kyle Larson 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion trophy Sean Gardner Getty

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Everyone knows the ending. After the first 10-win season in over a decade, Kyle Larson stood on top of the world, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion. He won on the big intermediate ovals, road courses, short tracks, 1-milers. He made it look so easy that it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t. Two years …

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2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: Goodbye Gen 6, Hello Next Gen

Brad Keselowski Joey Logano Next Gen Charlotte Test 2021

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Finally, after two years of testing and a yearlong postponement of its official launch, the newest iteration of the NASCAR Cup Series has arrived. NASCAR’s Next Gen car is here, fresh with a newly announced rules package that features a baseline 670-horsepower, 4-inch rear spoiler, more symmetrical vehicles and more spec parts than a Cup …

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2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: The Creation of 23XI Racing and Bubba Wallace’s Triumph

2021 Kansas II Cup Bubba Wallace NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Entering the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, one of the biggest stories in the series was the formation of 23XI Racing, the new team co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin. The idea of Hamlin launching his own race team wasn’t necessarily farfetched.  Roping Jordan into the deal was a little more surprising, but not …

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2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: Brad Keselowski Has Penske Swan Song, Takes on Ownership Role with Roush Fenway

Brad Keselowski poses with Jack Roush as the duo announce their partnership beginning with the 2022 Cup Series season. (Photo: Action Sports Photography)

(Photo: Action Sports Photography)

By definition, it’s not possible for something to be unthinkable and yet totally expected at the same time. If it was, however, the way Brad Keselowski‘s 2021 season played out would qualify. On the track, there was nothing particularly noteworthy about Keselowski’s 2021 NASCAR Cup Series campaign. He visited victory lane, something he’s done every …

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2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: Kevin Harvick’s Monumental Drop-Off

Kevin Harvick at Darlington fall 2021 NASCAR Cup race, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

What a difference a year makes. Kevin Harvick‘s 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season was one for the ages. Nine victories and arguably his best statistical season in his 20-plus-year career. Fast forward one year and he failed to visit victory lane once. Heck, he didn’t even earn a single playoff point on track over the …

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2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: Daniel Hemric Ends Drought, Crowned Xfinity Champion

2021 Xfinity Phoenix Daniel Hemric Trophy (Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

(Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

On Nov. 6, 2021, Daniel Hemric had made 119 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, 50 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, 38 NASCAR Cup Series starts and three playoff appearances. And the 30-year-old Kannapolis, N.C., native had yet to win a race, much less a partridge in a pear tree. It was 2021, and Hemric had …

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2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: New Track, Who Dis?

2021 Nashville Cup Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing pack racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

This time last year I anxiously awaited the 2021 NASCAR season and looked forward to the new racetracks that were set to run, including the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track, Circuit of the Americas and Nashville Superspeedway. I also was unsure of how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect things, as Auto Club Speedway was already …

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2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: John Hunter Nemechek Comes Up Short in Truck Series Championship Battle

2021 Phoenix II Trucks John Hunter Nemechek NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In November 2020, just days after completing his NASCAR Cup Series rookie season, John Hunter Nemechek informed Front Row Motorsports he wouldn’t return to the organization for 2021. Just a week later, Kyle Busch Motorsports announced the addition of the 24-year-old to its Camping World Truck Series stable. “I began my Xfinity Series career with …

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2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: Hendrick Motorsports Back On Top

Kyle Larson celebrates with son Owen after winning the 2021 NASCAR Season Finale 500. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Hendrick Motorsports is no stranger to success in the NASCAR Cup Series. During the careers of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, there were several seasons where championships by either the Nos. 24 or 48 teams seemed practically automatic. But since Johnson’s final title in 2016, Hendrick had lost its advantage over the rest of the …

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2021 NASCAR Top Storylines: Chip Ganassi’s Final Bow

2021 Darlington I Cup Kurt Busch Ross Chastain Chip Ganassi Racing (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

On the biggest stages of American motorsports, Chip Ganassi has found major success, from open wheel to sports cars to stock cars. But in a bombshell that rattled the NASCAR world in a 2021 that was already tumultuous in its own right, the chapter of Chip Ganassi Racing and NASCAR was slammed shut.   On …

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