Race Weekend Central

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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Up to Speed: What Does Kurt Busch Do Now?

(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

(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

(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

(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?

(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

(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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Up to Speed: Aric Almirola Exceeding Playoff Expectations

(Photo: Danny Peters)

Two races into the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, Aric Almirola’s performance is the biggest positive surprise.  After getting through a chaotic race in Las Vegas unscathed, Almirola earned a fifth-place finish Saturday night at Richmond Raceway.  That finish, coupled with a sixth-place run last week, has lifted Almirola to sixth 0n the …

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Up to Speed: Pressure to Win on Denny Hamlin

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Denny Hamlin has rarely suffered from a lack of wins in his NASCAR career.  Since 2006, his rookie year in the Cup Series, he has never had a winless season.  Some of those years certainly were not big-win seasons, but Hamlin always found a way to get to Victory Lane at least once. Even in …

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Up to Speed: A Long Way from 2006

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

After a week of mostly bad news for both drivers, Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne are at a crossroads. The announcement Furniture Row Racing would disband at the end of this season has thrown serious complications into Truex’s quest to win a second straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.  Chances are that Truex …

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