Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. & JTG Daugherty Racing Seek a Needed Playoff Run

JTG Daugherty Racing's Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s car on the grid at Nashville Superspeedway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was one of the biggest surprises of Sunday’s race (June 20).  In the first visit by the NASCAR Cup Series to Nashville Superspeedway, Stenhouse had a fast car all day long.  The JTG Daugherty Racing driver was able to drive up into the top 10 and top five on several occasions, running …

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Up to Speed: Kurt Busch Rebuilds His Career Through Longevity

Kurt Busch looks on at 2021 Cup Circuit of the Americas. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Kurt Busch’s services as a racecar driver are in high demand.  In the third and final season of his current contract with Chip Ganassi Racing, Busch is poised to be one of the biggest free agents of the upcoming offseason.  At the end of the day, he may return to CGR to run the NASCAR …

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Up to Speed: Will a Teammate Battle Decide the 2021 NASCAR Championship?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Teammates in NASCAR often have to walk a fine line.  Drivers who compete for the same multi-car organization usually show a certain level of on-track courtesy to each other.  However, racing in NASCAR does not have the same level of comprehensive cooperation among teammates that you sometimes see in other motorsports.  Racers are expected, and …

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Up to Speed: Has the Tide Turned for Ross Chastain?

Ross Chastain at COTA

Ross Chastain on track at COTA (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

NASCAR’s inaugural weekend at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas featured plenty of surprises.  But one positive outcome that most fans might not have anticipated was a great run for Ross Chastain. Chastain is in the midst of his first full-time NASCAR Cup Series season with Chip Ganassi Racing.  Prior to 2021, he …

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Up to Speed: Who’s the Biggest Championship Threat at Hendrick Motorsports?

Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, chats with Kyle Larson at Atlanta Motor Speedway (March 2021). (Photo: NKP)

#5: Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro HendrickCars.com, Rick Hendrick

Rick Hendrick will not forget Sunday’s (May 16) race at Dover International Speedway anytime soon.  His quartet of Cup Series drivers conquered Miles the Monster, earning the first 1-2-3-4 finish for the team in its 37-year history.  The sight of the No. 48 Chevrolet rolling into victory lane was certainly a familiar one, but this …

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Up to Speed: Don’t Count Richard Childress Racing Out of the Playoff Picture

Richard Childress and Austin Dillon together during a NASCAR Xfinity Series race in New Hampshire (Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

In the spirit of NASCAR’s throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway, think back to the 2017 season. It’s the last time Richard Childress Racing put multiple cars in the Cup Series playoffs. Can they do it again in 2021? Back then, both drivers punched their tickets to the postseason with victories.  Veteran Ryan Newman stole a …

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Up to Speed: Inconsistent Calls Embarrass NASCAR in Kansas

Chris Buescher races in the 2021 Buschy McBusch Race 400 at Kansas Speedway, May 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

If Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway was too orderly for the first 200 laps, the ending was full of surprises. A flurry of cautions in the closing laps kept the field bunched together. While the drivers up front were running into each other for the lead, those further back in the pack …

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Up to Speed: Remembering Bobby Hamilton’s 2001 Talladega Triumph

2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Daytona Bobby Hamilton car NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade NKP)

Most weekends when NASCAR comes to town, Talladega Superspeedway is an agent of chaos.  The success, or failure, of many a driver hinges on what happens whenever the Big One breaks out.  Talladega’s races often come down to who can avoid the seemingly inevitable carnage and survive to race for the win in the closing …

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Up to Speed: Alex Bowman Overcomes Setbacks for Richmond Win

Alex Bowman fixes his shoes at Phoenix Raceway. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

On the day (April 18) when Jimmie Johnson ran his first IndyCar race, it was only fitting that Alex Bowman brought the No. 48 car back to victory lane.  Bowman emerged as a surprise winner at Richmond Raceway, a track where he had never had a top-five finish.  His 2021 win was the first for …

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