NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Will Clint Bowyer Stay Candid in the Broadcast Booth?

2020DaytonaNCSClintBowyerFaceNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Lost in the conclusion of the 2020 NASCAR season was the rather abrupt departure of Clint Bowyer from the driver’s seat.  Bowyer, who was wrapping up his 15th full-time season as a Cup Series racer, faced an uncertain future with Stewart-Haas Racing.  Despite some speculation that SHR’s driver lineup would not change for 2021, Bowyer …

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2021 NASCAR Preseason Power Rankings No. 12: Aric Almirola

2020DaytonaNCSAricAlmirolaFaceNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In three seasons at Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, Aric Almirola has proven his ability to be a contender for the playoffs.  He has also shown an affinity for strong runs, including wins, at restrictor plate tracks. Almirola’s performances have earned him the loyalty of primary sponsor Smithfield.  But the 2021 season could …

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2021 NASCAR Preseason Power Rankings No. 28: Daniel Suarez

Daniel Suarez Daytona 2020

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Daniel Suarez is getting a fresh start – again.  For the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Suarez will compete with Trackhouse Racing Team, a brand-new operation created by former driver Justin Marks.  Having secured a charter and established a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing, Trackhouse will race full time in 2021 with Suarez as …

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2020 NASCAR Team Reviews: Roush Fenway Racing

2021Preview Roush

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Heading into 2020, Roush Fenway Racing had reason to be optimistic in the NASCAR Cup Series.  The previous year, veteran Ryan Newman put an RFR Ford in the playoffs for only the second time in the last five seasons.  That was Newman’s first season with Roush, and it left fans wondering if Newman and the …

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Up to Speed: The Future Is Bright For Hendrick Motorsports

2020 Cup Phoenix Chase Elliott Rick Hendrick Jimmie Johnson Hug NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

It wasn’t long ago that Hendrick Motorsports had one of the oldest driver lineups in NASCAR.  Five years ago, at the time of Jeff Gordon’s final race in his famed No. 24 car, the organization’s youngest driver was Kasey Kahne at 35 years old.  With Gordon’s career wrapping up amid a bourgeoning youth movement in …

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Up to Speed: 2020 Is Another Black Mark Against The NASCAR Playoffs

2020 Bristol NCS Kevin Harvick Victory Celebration NKP1

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

As usual, Martinsville Speedway provided no shortage of entertainment.  Sunday’s race, the penultimate event of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, offered up plenty of close quarters short track racing.  It also featured a tighter battle among the playoff drivers than most fans would have foreseen, given the points among the drivers.  But the biggest …

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Up to Speed: How Will 23XI Racing Perform in 2021?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

As NASCAR’s 2021 Cup Series lineup slowly comes into focus, the new team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin is beginning to take shape. Several weeks ago, Jordan and Hamlin announced their organization would debut next season with driver Bubba Wallace. We also learned last week that the team, as previously speculated, will be …

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Up to Speed: Chip Ganassi Racing Wastes Its 2020 Potential

2020 Kansas II Cup Matt Kenseth Matt DiBenedetto racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Back in the spring of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to heat up, Chip Ganassi Racing had a mess on its hands.  While participating in an iRacing event on Easter Sunday, Kyle Larson uttered a racial slur over what he thought was a private communication line.  Unfortunately for him, the line wasn’t private.  Within …

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Up to Speed: Alex Bowman’s Title Hopes Saved Again by the ROVAL

2020 Charlotte Road Cup Alex Bowman NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

For the first time in his NASCAR career, Alex Bowman has made it to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.  Entering Sunday’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, Bowman was seventh in points, holding a 22-point advantage over the cutline.  Like most of the playoff contenders, he fought through an …

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Up to Speed: Time to Eliminate the Double Yellow Line Rule

2020 Talladega II CUP Denny Hamlin pack racing finish NKP

Sunday’s (Oct. 4) NASCAR Cup Series playoff race was a typical Talladega Superspeedway thriller.  But once the dust had settled on its photo finish, the YellaWood 500 looked more like the yellow line 500. Following a chaotic last-lap ending, Denny Hamlin walked away with the checkered flag.  Behind him, drivers who appeared to score top-10 …

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