Race Weekend Central

Friday Faceoff: Has the Southern 500 Surpassed the Daytona 500?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Brad Keselowski called his Southern 500 win the biggest of his career. Has the Labor Day throwback weekend become the second biggest race of the year? Bryan Gable: Yes.  The Southern 500 has always been a big deal to the drivers.  In addition to Keselowski, we have seen veteran racers like Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Carl …

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Up to Speed: The Darlington Excellence of Herb Thomas

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Darlington Raceway has been turning NASCAR drivers into legends for nearly 70 years.  Winning at the notoriously difficult track that is “Too Tough to Tame” often puts an exclamation mark on the careers of some of NASCAR’s brightest stars. It is almost unthinkable that David Pearson visited Darlington’s Victory Lane 10 times.  Dale Earnhardt had …

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Up to Speed: Will Team Penske Catch Stewart-Haas Racing in the Playoffs?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

There is a battle brewing among the Ford teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.  With the postseason just weeks away, all four Stewart-Haas Racing cars are poised to make the playoff field.  Team Penske has all three of its drivers heading for the playoffs as well.  With at least seven drives ready to …

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Up to Speed: Bristol Slugfest Puts Strain on Toyota Alliance

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

With 12 races left in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. have maintained their status as championship favorites.  The two of them, along with Kevin Harvick, have combined to win 17 of 24 races run thus far.  All three drivers have known for months they will be …

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Up to Speed: What Comes Next for Ryan Newman?

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

NASCAR’s silly season is beginning to heat up and drivers are fighting to secure a place in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.  The focus of competitors and fans is shifting toward racers who can put together a strong finish to the season, and what might be in store for 2019. Ryan Newman’s future, …

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Up to Speed: Chase Elliott Captures the Experience of Winning

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Bill Elliott grabbed the attention of the NASCAR world on Saturday.  His upcoming XFINITY Series start at Road America will mark his first major NASCAR race in six years. By Sunday evening, Chase Elliott had stolen his father’s thunder.  In his 99th start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the younger Elliott held off …

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Up to Speed: Kyle Busch Carries the Banner for Joe Gibbs Racing

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Kyle Busch won at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.  That’s not unusual.  What is unusual, at least for 2018, is how close his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates came to beating him. In fact, all four JGR drivers had solid showings at Pocono.  Daniel Suarez drove the best race of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career, …

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Friday Faceoff: Are Drivers Too Quick to Use the Bumper These Days?

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Many racetracks have unique traditions for the winner. For example, the race winner at New Hampshire Motor Speedway holds up a live lobster in Victory Lane. What is your favorite Victory Lane tradition, prop or recurring celebration in racing? Bryan Gable: It’s not specific to one track, but I enjoy the Polish victory lap.  Alan …

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Up to Speed: Tickets to the Smoke Show

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

This was a good week to be Tony Stewart. On Wednesday, Stewart’s Eldora Speedway hosted the Camping World Truck Series.  As the only dirt track race that any of NASCAR’s national series runs, the Eldora Dirt Derby is always a highly-anticipated event.  This year’s edition featured plenty of action, capped with a photo finish between …

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Up to Speed: Can Ryan Blaney Turn the Tide as the Playoffs Approach?

Photo: Danny Peters

Ryan Blaney is playoff bound in 2018. No, he does not have a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win this year.  He did come close Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway (July 14) by finishing second to Martin Truex Jr.  It is Blaney’s best finish of the season and his first top five in 12 races. …

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