NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Even Kyle Busch Makes Mistakes

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Through the early weeks of the 2019 NASCAR season, Kyle Busch looked like an unstoppable force of nature.  In the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Busch collected finishes of sixth or better in every single start through the first six contests. Those races include two wins, one of which was Busch’s much-hyped 200th across NASCAR’s …

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Up to Speed: Another Season on the Bubble for Daniel Suarez?

2019 Phoenix I CUP Daniel Suarez NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Daniel Suarez enjoyed one of the best runs of his 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season Sunday (March 24) at Martinsville Speedway.  In his sixth start driving the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41, he took the checkered flag in 10th after a long afternoon of short track racing. Suarez’s second top 10 of the season …

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Up to Speed: Kurt Busch Impressive at Chip Ganassi Racing

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway belonged to Kyle Busch.  But nobody should overlook the accomplishments of his older brother early in the season. Kurt Busch left Stewart-Haas Racing after a successful five-year run.  He took over driving duties for Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 1 car, bringing sponsor Monster Energy …

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Friday Faceoff: Did Daniel Suarez Overreact to Michael McDowell Last Week?

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Based on what Michael McDowell did during qualifying last week, was Daniel Suarez‘s reaction warranted? Mark Kristl: Was it warranted? Probably not. In the heat of the moment though, I understood Suarez’s reaction. He qualified 28th. He wanted to gain some starting positions. He was frustrated and McDowell served as a scapegoat. Joy Tomlinson: I don’t …

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Up to Speed: Kyle Busch Challenging Kevin Harvick at ISM

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Something seemed a little off at ISM Raceway on Sunday.  In an otherwise fairly typical race, one competitor was noticeably absent from the front of the field. Where was Kevin Harvick? In the last decade or so, Harvick has become the most frequent winner at the 1-mile flat track in Phoenix.  He has collected nine …

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Up to Speed: New Aero Package Produces Old Results

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

If Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is any indication, what is new is old again.  After an offseason of making plans, running tests and speculating what the future might hold, NASCAR used the full version of its new Cup Series aero package for the Pennzoil 400. The cars …

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Friday Faceoff: Is Kyle Busch the Best Truck Series Driver Ever?

2019 Daytona I CUP William Byron Chad Knaus NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Hendrick Motorsports didn’t have a car finish in the top 10 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time since 2010. Is HMS simply making gradual improvement, or is the team getting worse? Mark Kristl: Hendrick has been gradually improving. If this package provides better racing, the team will further improve. Jimmie Johnson showed obvious …

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Up to Speed: Winning is the Best Medicine For Brad Keselowski

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(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Professional auto racing is about the excellence of man and machine. Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway served as the first in-race trial of NASCAR’s newest aero package.  For most of the afternoon, the focus was on the machines.  But the race featured a pretty spectacular human triumph by Brad …

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Up to Speed: A Great Show in Daytona Exceeds Gloomy Expectations

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Suffice it to say that everything went better than expected during the 2019 Daytona 500. Up until Sunday, Speedweeks had featured a lot of uninspired racing.  Last week’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway felt like the drivers who competed in that race were just going through the motions.  A mostly single-file race …

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Up to Speed: From the Big 3 to the 4 Horsemen

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

One year ago, rising stars and young guns were the talk of the NASCAR world.  However, a small group of veteran racers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series quickly took those newcomers to school.  Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. combined to win 11 of the season’s first 14 races.  Observers regularly referred …

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