Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Toyota Still Searching for Consistent Speed

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Saturday night’s race at Kansas Speedway was not the cure for what ails Joe Gibbs Racing.  The four-car organization did deliver a stronger performance then it did at Texas Motor Speedway last month. However, it is clear that JGR’s intermediate track speed is still lacking.  The team’s slump is surprising, given its run of success …

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Friday Faceoff: How Much Wrecking Is Too Much?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team received penalties for failing laser inspection following the race at Talladega Superspeedway, including a loss of points for Almirola and owner Richard Petty and a three-race suspension and fine for crew chief Drew Blickensderfer.  Did NASCAR do the right thing, staying in line …

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Up to Speed: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Forges his own Path to Victory

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

In the opening stages of Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, it was evident that the memory of the 2016 Daytona 500 was fresh in everyone’s mind.  During that race, many of the Toyota drivers exhibited a highly-coordinated style of drafting that help Denny Hamlin secure the victory. On Sunday, as in this year’s Daytona …

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Up to Speed: Rules Overshadow Racing in Richmond

(Photo: Matthew Thacker / NKP)

NASCAR fans at Richmond International Raceway saw some great racing this weekend.  However, they also saw two races with wacky endings.  Both the XFINITY Series race on Saturday and Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event had twist endings that were bought about by rule violations.  NASCAR made good calls in some instances, bad calls …

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Up to Speed: Erik Jones Pursues His First Win

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Erik Jones has not missed a beat during his rookie season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series thus far. Piloting the brand-new second car for Furniture Row Racing, Jones got collected in an accident at Daytona International Speedway that was not of his making. Since then, the No. 77 team is climbing through the standings.  …

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Up to Speed: Opportunity Knocks for Roush-Fenway Racing

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Five years ago, seven races into the 2012 season, Roush-Fenway Racing looked like the team to beat for the championship. Greg Biffle had just captured his first win of the season at Texas Motor Speedway, breaking a 49-race winless streak and allowing him to extend his points lead. Matt Kenseth was Biffle’s closest pursuer in points …

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Up to Speed: Much Ado About Jimmie Johnson

(Photo: Ruaty Jarrett/NKP)

Going into Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, the talk of the garage was Texas Motor Speedway’s new race surface and new configuration.  Even with all the new elements in Sunday’s race, Jimmie Johnson conquered TMS for the seventh time. Yes, Johnson is a winner in 2017 after struggling during the first few weeks of the …

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Up to Speed: Everything is Great at Martinsville

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

In the still young 2017 season, NASCAR is trying to find reasons for fans to get excited.  First, there was the implementation of the new stage format.  Pre-determined cautions with points awarded to the top 10 drivers mid-race made for some initial curiosity at Daytona International Speedway. However, stage racing has mostly led to more aggressive …

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Friday Faceoff: Should NASCAR Go Back to Cali More Than Once?

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

After another good show for both the NASCAR XFINITY and Cup series, Auto Club Speedway, a track that’s hosted some of the best races on intermediate tracks in recent years, generated a lot of positive talk.  Does the track deserve another shot at a second race? Amy Henderson, Senior Editor: Whoa there, buckaroo. Yes, the last …

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Up to Speed: Can Chip Ganassi Racing Sustain its Speed?

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA USA Sunday 26 March 2017 Kyle Larson World Copyright: Barry Cantrell/NKP

After three consecutive second-place finishes, Kyle Larson is a winner in 2017.  Larson’s victory at Auto Club Speedway, the second of his career, virtually guarantees him a spot in the playoffs and allows the No. 42 team to extend their championship lead. The four straight top-two finishes are a sign that Larson is poised for a …

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