Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Remembering Hut Stricklin’s Darlington Near-Miss

Darlington Raceway sunset in 2018, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Two weeks later, the memory of Matt DiBenedetto’s strong run at Bristol Motor Speedway is still fresh.  Days after learning he would be replaced at Leavine Family Racing next year, DiBenedetto nearly pulled off a surprising victory in Thunder Valley.  If not for Denny Hamlin’s late charge through the field in the closing laps, DiBenedetto …

Read more

Up to Speed: Has the Tide Turned in the Championship Battle?

(Photo: Danny Peters)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers and teams got a rare break this weekend.  The sport’s premier division enjoyed its first off-weekend since mid-June.  At that time, the Cup Series ran 15 races of the 2019 season. The nine races following the June break have produced some exciting finishes, fresh story lines and new faces …

Read more

Up to Speed: Not the Last of Matt DiBenedetto

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Matt DiBenedetto had every right to be upset Saturday night. Days earlier, he and the rest of the NASCAR world found out he is not returning to Leavine Family Racing in 2020. Then, in his very next race, DiBenedetto came agonizingly close to scoring his first Monster Energy NASCAR  Cup Series victory.  It was the …

Read more

Up to Speed: Long Runs or Restarts?

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

NASCAR competition at Michigan International Speedway revolves around two elements: long runs and restarts. Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was no exception.  Long green-flag runs at the beginning and end of the race shuffled positions at a racetrack where passing has been notoriously difficult.  The middle offered a series of short runs broken …

Read more

Up to Speed: Road Course Racing on the Rise

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

NASCAR often seems to be in a constant state of change. Many of those changes have been hotly debated among fans, especially when it comes to the future of the sport.  But there is one change in the last decade that often gets overlooked and may well impact NASCAR’s direction into the 2020s.  Road course …

Read more

Up to Speed: Denny Hamlin Seals the Deal

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

This time, Denny Hamlin didn’t let the win slip away. One week after failing to get by Kevin Harvick in a last lap battle at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Hamlin captured the checkered flag at Pocono Raceway.  In a race where fuel mileage and a few late-race restarts made the outcome a guessing game, Hamlin …

Read more

Up to Speed: Erik Jones Survives Chaotic New Hampshire Race

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Erik Jones ran one of his best races of the season on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  The final results will show that Jones started fourth, placed second in the first stage and came home third, equaling his best finish of 2019. But really, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Jones had to …

Read more

Up to Speed: Redemption in the Bluegrass State

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway produced the best finish of the 2019 season.  Kurt Busch emerged victorious after a two-lap scramble for the lead with younger brother Kyle and several other drivers.  Kurt’s charge to the lead following an overtime restart capped off a night of redemption for the …

Read more

Up to Speed: The Altar of Entertainment

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

For the last 60 years, NASCAR has celebrated Independence Day in Daytona Beach.  Sadly, that tradition will come to an end next year.  The 400-mile Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway will shift to late August come 2020. The race will serve as the final event of the regular season.  Indianapolis …

Read more

Up to Speed: Who’s on the Hot Seat at Stewart-Haas Racing?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Chicagoland Speedway ended with a familiar face in victory lane.  Cole Custer rolled to his fourth win in the first 15 races of 2019.  Along with Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick, Custer has dominated the Xfinity Series this season and is one of the championship favorites.  And, just like Bell …

Read more

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com