NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Can Joey Logano & Martin Truex Jr. Recover?

Joey Logano focuses before the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

On a day at Texas Motor Speedway when most NASCAR playoff drivers avoided serious trouble, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. were not so lucky.  Both drivers looked to be on their way to top-10 finishes but dropped out of the race in the last 50 miles.  Logano’s engine failed on lap 300, relegating him …

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Up to Speed: Mind Games for Chase Elliott & Kevin Harvick at the ROVAL

2021 Charlotte Road ROVAL Cup Chase Elliott pack racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

It is no surprise to see Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVAL dish out a healthy dose of chaos.  But for the 2021 playoff race, a day at the ROVAL came with more mind games than usual.  The feud between Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick that began at Bristol Motor Speedway flared up once again, with Harvick …

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Up to Speed: Brad Keselowski is Just Who Roush Fenway Racing Needs

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)

Talladega Superspeedway is the site of Brad Keselowski’s first and most recent wins in the NASCAR Cup Series.  Returning to the track for the first time since his April triumph, he’s right in the thick of the championship battle.  Only four points above the cutline before the second race of the Round of 12, Keselowski …

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Up to Speed: Kyle Busch Beyond 600 Starts

2021 Charlotte Cup Kyle Busch NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Suffice it to say Kyle Busch’s playoffs got off to a rough start.  A crash at Darlington Raceway erased his cushion over the first round cutline.  Busch responded with a top 10 the following week at Richmond Raceway, but a late speeding penalty cost the No. 18 team a shot at victory. The Round of …

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Up to Speed: Concrete Bristol Needs 2 Cup Dates

Kevin Harvick fights with Chase Elliott at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Bristol Motor Speedway rarely disappoints. NASCAR’s top three touring series took on the high banks of Thunder Valley this weekend, where fans were treated to three fantastic races. Thursday night’s (Sept. 16) Camping World Truck Series event may have been plagued by a lot of yellow flags, but the competition was close and the action …

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Up to Speed: The Hendrick Motorsports Playoff Battle Begins Early

Hendrick Motorsports battles for position at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Earlier in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Hendrick Motorsports looked like the team to beat as all four of its drivers had won a race by Memorial Day.  Kyle Larson was particularly impressive, winning three races in a row plus the non-points All-Star race.  But William Byron, Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott all had their …

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Up to Speed: Remembering Harry Gant’s “Mr. September” Winning Streak

Harry Gant

16 February 1992, Daytona Beach, Florida USA Harry Gant © 1992, Nigel Kinrade NKP

Visits to Darlington Raceway always recall memories of NASCAR legends.  After 70 years, the Lady in Black has provided some of their greatest moments, superstars reaching their peak as they capture checkered flags at the historic track. Yet in one case, a win in Darlington’s Southern 500 was just the beginning of one of NASCAR’s …

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Up to Speed: Why This Year’s Cup Series Playoffs Will Be Different for Ryan Blaney

Ryan Blaney walks around Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Tex. (Photo: NKP)

#12: Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang BodyArmor

Has anybody in NASCAR had a better two weeks than Ryan Blaney?  For the first time in his career, Blaney has won back-to-back Cup Series races.  The first win came at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 22.  Then, he and the No. 12 team followed up that victory with a win at Daytona International Speedway …

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Up to Speed: How Badly Does Denny Hamlin Need a Win?

2021 COTA Cup Denny Hamlin NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

If Denny Hamlin can take any solace from his last two races, it’s that he has been close to victory lane.  During the closing laps of last weekend’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Hamlin had the checkered flag in sight.  The same was true for Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway.  But …

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