Race Weekend Central

Did You Notice? Toyota Toying With NASCAR’s Future, Shortened Races & Kauffman Quips

(Photo: CIA Stock Photography ©2015)

Did You Notice? Joe Gibbs Racing is making future plans for Erik Jones even though the organization has four Cup drivers signed through 2016? Owner Joe Gibbs hopped on SIRIUS XM Radio Tuesday morning and expressed his support for the young driver, indicating he’ll have a long-term connection with the program. Jones has already racked up three …

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Did You Notice? Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon Need To Be Careful

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Did You Notice? Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne have won Pocono’s August race within the last three years? Both need to recapture this magic while slipping ever closer to the “Chase bubble” the last few weeks. Gordon, 42nd at Indianapolis, hasn’t had a top-five finish since Kansas in May. In his final season, it seems inconceivable …

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Did You Notice? How NASCAR Can Loosen The Purse Strings & Quick Hits

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2014)

Did You Notice? NASCAR has not received over a 3.0 television rating since Memorial Day Weekend? This stretch of two months is unprecedented, a viewership slump we simply haven’t seen since the sport signed its first national TV contract in 2001. New Hampshire, whose overnight ratings saw a 12% decline, came as the latest in a …

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Did You Notice? Dodging Bullets on NASCAR’s Confusing Road Ahead

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Did You Notice? Hendrick Motorsports leading a new type of charge on restrictor-plate tracks? What got swept under the rug the second Austin Dillon got swept into the air is the way HMS spent much of Daytona running 1-2-3-4 in line. There was one point poor Landon Cassill, part of a single-car program, worked his …

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Did You Notice? Unpredictable Plates, Flagging & Quick Hits

(Photo: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

Did You Notice? There’s rarely any rhyme or reason to plate racing? Only three top-10 finishers from last July’s Coke Zero 400 went back-to-back in February’s Daytona 500: Denny Hamlin, Casey Mears and Clint Bowyer. Of those three, only Hamlin has had a successful season, clinching a Chase bid early in the year at Martinsville. Mears …

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Did You Notice? NASCAR’s Small Teams & Sonoma Longshots

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. Copyright 2014)

Did You Notice? … Sonoma is a track capable of producing a surprise winner? There have been 10 winners in the last 10 Sprint Cup races there, the perfect mix of David and Goliath. For every Jeff Gordon on that list, there’s a Juan Pablo Montoya. For every Kyle Busch, there’s a Martin Truex Jr. It …

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Did You Notice? NASCAR’s Speedy Rule Reversal, Old Age, Quick Hits

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. © 2014)

Did You Notice? How quickly NASCAR pulled a role reversal on possible Sprint Cup rule changes? This time last month, we were speculating why they pulled back from testing a reduction of downforce at the All-Star Race. Turns out behind the scenes, owners and others afraid of spending money earned the edge over increasing the …

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Did You Notice? Optical Illusions For NASCAR, Appeals & Michael Waltrip

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Did You Notice? Any specific reasons why Jimmie Johnson’s team failed pre-qualifying inspection at Charlotte? No, I don’t have them either. That’s ultimately the reason why a NASCAR appeals panel Tuesday threw out the most hotly debated P1 penalty since the sport developed a new system. It’s also left many fans in a state of confusion, …

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Did You Notice? The Key to Qualifying, Sophomore Slumps & Quick Hits

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Did You Notice? Qualifying has become a point of emphasis for top teams? None other than Dover winner Jimmie Johnson spoke about his struggles in that department, one of only three drivers this season to win a race after starting outside the top 10. “Raw speed hasn’t been our strong suit,” he admitted in the …

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Did You Notice? Indy Takes a Bite Out of NASCAR

(Photo: Chris Owens)

Did You Notice? Two races headed in two markedly different directions? While the Indianapolis 500 went through its third straight ratings increase, reaching Nielsen numbers it hasn’t touched since 2008, NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 hit a new low. The Sunday overnight of 3.6 was the worst since FOX started covering the event in 2001; it was …

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