NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Time for Jimmie Johnson to Step Up

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Jimmie Johnson wound up with another rough race in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, the latest blow in what’s been a difficult 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.  Initially, a return to Texas Motor Speedway seemed to offer some hope of a good performance for the No. 48 team.  With seven career wins at TMS, all …

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Up to Speed: Does a Great Finish Save a Bad Race?

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

For the second season in a row, Kentucky Speedway produced a thrilling finish to its annual Cup Series race.  Last year was the battle of the Busch brothers, a side by side battle between Kurt and Kyle that went all the way to the checkered flag before Kurt emerged victorious.  This year’s finish included a …

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Up to Speed: Did NASCAR & INDYCAR Start A New Indy Doubleheader Tradition?

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

This past weekend, 2020 motorsports around the world slowly moved toward some type of normalcy. NASCAR’s contribution was its first companion event with the NTT IndyCar Series at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  INDYCAR and the NASCAR Xfinity Series used its infield road course for Independence Day events, a first-time Indy doubleheader. Then, the Cup …

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Up to Speed: Can Kevin Harvick Win at Every Track?

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

It took Kevin Harvick 39 tries, but he finally won at Pocono Raceway.  Harvick held off a late charge by Denny Hamlin to win the first of two Cup Series races at the triangular track in the Pennsylvania mountains this past weekend.  As a three-time winner in the 2020 season, Harvick continues to build a …

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Up to Speed: Can NASCAR Run a Complete Season With COVID-19?

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(Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

As spring turns into summer, NASCAR has done an admirable job of weathering the COVID-19 storm.  Last month, stock car racing became the first major American sport to return to regular competition.  Aside from weather delays, most races have gone off without a hitch.  Midweek competition has been a worthy experiment that the sanctioning body …

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Up to Speed: Is the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Field Already Set?

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Given how the 2020 NASCAR season has played out so far, the Cup Series playoff has felt like almost an afterthought.  Nevertheless, the Cup Series regular season is almost halfway complete.  Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway was the 12th event of the revised Cup schedule in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Only 14 races …

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Up to Speed: No Wins, No Concern for Martin Truex Jr. in 2020

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Martin Truex Jr. had one of his best NASCAR Cup Series runs this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon (June 7).  Unfortunately for Truex, it did not result in a victory, but the third-place run was his first top five of 2020.  Through the first 10 races, he remains winless, a surprising statistic …

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Up to Speed: Role Reversals for Joey Logano & Chase Elliott

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(Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

Bristol Motor Speedway never disappoints.  A battle for the lead that seemed to stretch over the entire last 200 laps ended with an electrifying finish.  First, it looked like Denny Hamlin was in position to win, but a jam up with several lapped cars sent the No. 11 into the wall and brought out the …

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Up to Speed: Forecasting the NASCAR Future of Chase Briscoe

Chase Briscoe in the driver's seat of his NASCAR racecar. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Chase Briscoe provided what will certainly be a highlight of the 2020 NASCAR season on Thursday evening (May 21).  Briscoe won the weather-delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Darlington Raceway, beating Kyle Busch to the finish line after a last-lap battle that evoked memories of the Ricky Craven / Kurt Busch finish in 2003.  It …

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Up to Speed: NASCAR COVID-19 Therapy Came to Darlington

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(Photo: Getty Images/NASCAR Media)

For a few hours on Sunday, May 17, we got to focus on something other than social distancing, rates of infection and toilet paper shortages.  Some stay-at-home orders may still be in place, but the NASCAR COVID-19 quarantine came to an end… and gave millions a break. They got to watch a race. After a …

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