Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Kyle Busch Challenging Kevin Harvick at ISM

(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

(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?

(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

(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

(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

(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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2018 NASCAR Driver Reviews: Denny Hamlin

(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 sits in the garage area at Kentucky Speedway in 2018. (Photo: NKP)

(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

(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

(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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