Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Remembering Harry Gant’s “Mr. September” Winning Streak

Harry Gant

16 February 1992, Daytona Beach, Florida USA Harry Gant © 1992, Nigel Kinrade NKP

Visits to Darlington Raceway always recall memories of NASCAR legends.  After 70 years, the Lady in Black has provided some of their greatest moments, superstars reaching their peak as they capture checkered flags at the historic track. Yet in one case, a win in Darlington’s Southern 500 was just the beginning of one of NASCAR’s …

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Up to Speed: Why This Year’s Cup Series Playoffs Will Be Different for Ryan Blaney

Ryan Blaney walks around Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Tex. (Photo: NKP)

#12: Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang BodyArmor

Has anybody in NASCAR had a better two weeks than Ryan Blaney?  For the first time in his career, Blaney has won back-to-back Cup Series races.  The first win came at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 22.  Then, he and the No. 12 team followed up that victory with a win at Daytona International Speedway …

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Up to Speed: How Badly Does Denny Hamlin Need a Win?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

If Denny Hamlin can take any solace from his last two races, it’s that he has been close to victory lane.  During the closing laps of last weekend’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Hamlin had the checkered flag in sight.  The same was true for Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway.  But …

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Up to Speed: NASCAR Has Lost Its Way in Indianapolis

2021 Cup Indianapolis RC Joey Logano, No. 22 Team Penske Ford, Jump Curb (Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images via NASCAR Media

NASCAR’s Cup Series season has included a stop at Indianapolis Motor Speedway every year since 1994.  Traditionally a 400-mile race on IMS’ famed oval, that event was created to become a crown jewel of the sport.  Instead, for decades, it’s fallen under fire from critics, claiming it was often a four-hour parade that failed to …

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Up to Speed: Mistakes Plague Chase Elliott, No. 9 Team at Watkins Glen

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

While no race in the NASCAR Cup Series guarantees a good finish for any driver, Chase Elliott had to feel confident about his chances at Watkins Glen International.  Elliott had won the last two races at The Glen, both during seasons in which Hendrick Motorsports was experiencing a bit of a slump.  Since his last …

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Up to Speed: Reviewing NASCAR Playoff Points of the Past

Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex, Jr. two common NASCAR playoff contenders chat at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

#4: Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Mobil 1 , #19: Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops Red White Blue

The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs may be approaching quickly, but there are still plenty of playoff points up for grabs.  Each of the four remaining regular season races offer seven NASCAR playoff points – five for the race win plus one for each of two stage wins.  Taken together, there are still 28 playoff points …

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Up to Speed: Will Christopher Bell be Ready for the Playoffs?

Christopher Bell smiles outside his car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Christopher Bell’s 2021 NASCAR season got off to a great start.  In the Daytona 500, his first Cup Series race with Joe Gibbs Racing, he led 32 laps and looked like a potential winner before getting collected in a crash. The following weekend’s race at the Daytona International Speedway road course had a much better …

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Up to Speed: A Final Moment of Teamwork for Chip Ganassi Racing

2021 Darlington I Cup Kurt Busch Ross Chastain Chip Ganassi Racing (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Kurt Busch scored what could be the final win for Chip Ganassi Racing on Sunday (July 11) at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Less than two weeks ago, Ganassi announced that he was selling his NASCAR team to Trackhouse Racing effective the end of 2021.  Trackhouse, in turn, confirmed that its team would field two cars in …

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Up to Speed: The One That Got Away From Sterling Marlin & Chip Ganassi Racing

Sterling Marlin

16 February, 2003, Daytona Beach, Florida Sterling Marlin © 2003, Nigel Kinrade NKP

In a NASCAR season full of big surprises, Chip Ganassi was the latest person to drop a bombshell.  Ganassi revealed on Wednesday (June 30) that he would sell his NASCAR team to Justin Marks and Trackhouse Racing at the end of the year.  Although he remains a fixture in the American motorsports scene with operations …

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Up to Speed: Kyle Busch Up, Denny Hamlin Down at Pocono Raceway

Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch talk before 2021 Bristol Motor Speedway dirt race Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

At the end of the 2019 season, Joe Gibbs Racing was fortunate to have three drivers in position to compete for the championship.  Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. had all battled through the playoff gauntlet and were one race away from winning the title.  Hamlin was coming off a win the previous …

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