NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2018 NASCAR Driver Reviews: Denny Hamlin

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

More than a few drivers would have liked to have had Denny Hamlin’s 2018 MENCS season. He finished in the top five in over a quarter of the season’s races, earning top 10s in nearly half of them. Those are respectable numbers.  But other aspects of 2018 were very un-Hamlin-like, particularly that goose egg in …

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2018 NASCAR Driver Reviews: Clint Bowyer

Clint Bowyer Kentucky 2018

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

If Clint Bowyer needed anything at the beginning of 2018, he needed a return to Victory Lane.  The veteran driver was stuck in a winless drought stretching back to the autumn of 2012, a total of 185 races.  Bowyer had come close to winning on a handful of occasions in 2017, his first season with …

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Up to Speed: Appreciate Joey Logano’s Consistency

Joey Logano FE400 1

(Photo: Christian Koelle)

On Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Joey Logano took on the Big Three and won.  He was victorious not only in the race but also secured his first championship in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.  The title caps off a great season for Logano and a superb performance in NASCAR’s 10-race playoffs.  Three wins, 13 …

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Up to Speed: Kevin Harvick Must Look Forward

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

One week ago, Kevin Harvick looked like the odds-on favorite to win a second championship in NASCAR’s top division.  In fact, he rolled to a convincing victory at Texas Motor Speedway, winning both stages in the process.  Kyle Busch, likely Harvick’s biggest title threat, was a little bit off all day.  He finished an uninspiring …

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Up to Speed: What Does Kurt Busch Do Now?

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

During the autumn of 2018, most of the chatter surrounding Kurt Busch has been speculation about his future.  But in the present, Busch is still right in the thick of the championship battle. Busch has been quietly putting up good results during the postseason.  He nearly earned his second victory of the year at Talladega …

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Up to Speed: Race How You Get Raced

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Never underestimate the ability of Martinsville Speedway to inject a healthy dose of controversy into a championship battle. Sunday’s race left Martin Truex Jr. furious, vowing that Joey Logano would not win the title.  Logano emerged from the race with a win, a new grandfather clock and a pass to the championship race at Homestead-Miami …

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Up to Speed: Uncertainty Weighing on Furniture Row Racing

Martin Truex Jr New Hampshire Practice

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing are nearly one year removed from winning a championship together.  They have defended their title well in 2018.  With four wins this season, Truex is among the so called Big Three who look like the most legitimate championship threats. Or, at least he was this summer. Since then, …

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Up to Speed: Patience Carries Aric Almirola to Victory

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In the last year and a half, has any driver in NASCAR experienced the highs and lows of professional stock car racing more than Aric Almirola? The scene of Almirola slumped against his battered No. 10 Ford at Dover International Speedway last week seemed to encapsulate a season of lost opportunities.  It was not just …

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Up to Speed: Did Kyle Larson Get Saved Again?

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway was supposed to be a good one for Kyle Larson.  In nine previous starts at the Monster Mile, he had only finished worse than 11th once.  Larson also looked great in the practice sessions leading up to the race.  It seemed like he was well-prepared to take on the …

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Up to Speed: Part-Time Pays off for Ryan Preece

Ryan Preece Daytona XFINITY

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

For the past several years, Ryan Preece has been forging a pathway to the national levels of NASCAR.  He demonstrated his talent in the Whelen Modified Tour, winning 12 times in 56 races from 2012-2015.  But when it came time to take on NASCAR’s XFINITY Series, Preece needed a way to increase his visibility on …

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