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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Cliff Daniels Finding His Role as Leader While Kyle Larson Finds Success

Cliff Daniels Daytona 2021 NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Cliff Daniels has only been a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief for two drivers: Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson. Five races into his inaugural campaign with Larson, Daniels earned his first career victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, and the new pairing has garnered four top-10 finishes in five races. Daniels worked …

Read moreCliff Daniels Finding His Role as Leader While Kyle Larson Finds Success

Waid’s World: It Took a While, but NASCAR is Going Dirt Track Racin’ One More Time

WaidWorldV3 copy

Graphic: Jared Haas

In my estimation, the NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 28 is the most anticipated event of the 2021 season. Heck, make that the most anticipated race of just about any season. I think you know why. Bristol, a high-banked, half-mile beast of a track — and one of the fans’ …

Read moreWaid’s World: It Took a While, but NASCAR is Going Dirt Track Racin’ One More Time

Couch Potato Tuesday: Daniel Suarez Debuts in the Booth, FOX Overhypes 2012 Fracas

Erik Jones, Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson compete in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway March 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Phoenix is an interesting place. NASCAR seems to be placing outsized importance on the tri-oval these days, knowing that the track will host the season finale in November. It just doesn’t make sense to have it there, especially since the banquet is no longer in Las Vegas. The past couple of weeks have seen a …

Read moreCouch Potato Tuesday: Daniel Suarez Debuts in the Booth, FOX Overhypes 2012 Fracas

5 Points to Ponder: Cream Rises, Ford Flounders?

2021 Phoenix I Cup Martin Truex Jr NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

ONE: Truex Restores Natural Cup Series Order Just as we were about to hit the point of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season where Bill Murray’s “Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!” line from Ghostbusters would have applied because none of the races were being won by the drivers you’d expect, Martin Truex Jr. …

Read more5 Points to Ponder: Cream Rises, Ford Flounders?

Beside the Rising Tide: There’s Nothing Normal About NASCAR’s New Normal

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads a pack of cars in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

With little fanfare, a good deal of resentment and some limited debate on both sides of the issue, an important anniversary passed by this weekend. On March 8, 2020, NASCAR hosted a Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway. You may recall Joey Logano won that event0, his second victory in the first four races of …

Read moreBeside the Rising Tide: There’s Nothing Normal About NASCAR’s New Normal

Dropping the Hammer: Winless Denny Hamlin Leads Points As Experience Takes Over in Phoenix

Droppin The Hammer Graphic

Graphic by James Crow

OK, class, it’s time for a pop quiz! We’re through five races in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. After Sunday’s (March 14) race at Phoenix Raceway, who’s the points leader? If you guessed any of the five drivers who have visited victory lane, you’d be wrong. In fact, the race winner highest in the …

Read moreDropping the Hammer: Winless Denny Hamlin Leads Points As Experience Takes Over in Phoenix

NASCAR Stat Sheet: Martin Truex Jr. Finds His Oasis in the Desert

Martin Truex Jr. prepares for a NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 2021 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Fans who have been around for more than a decade can likely recall a time when Martin Truex Jr. victories came about as often as February 29 does. Now it’s nearly as surprising when he goes almost a year without a win. Fortunately for his Joe Gibbs Racing team, that clock was reset on Sunday …

Read moreNASCAR Stat Sheet: Martin Truex Jr. Finds His Oasis in the Desert

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 Instacart 500 at Phoenix

2021 Phoenix I Cup Martin Truex Jr Victory NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

What happened?  Martin Truex Jr. won the Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday (March 14) after leading the final 25 laps following a pass on the last restart.  Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott rounded out the top-five finishers. RETWEET to congratulate @MartinTruex_Jr on his desert dominance! pic.twitter.com/PMjFeMvw7l — NASCAR (@NASCAR) …

Read moreThinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 Instacart 500 at Phoenix

Zach’s Turn: Joe Gibbs Racing Poised for Success After Phoenix Victory

Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. racing in the Instacart 500k, 3/14/2021 (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Martin Truex Jr. finally claimed his first career Phoenix Raceway victory in the NASCAR Cup Series in Sunday’s (March 14) Instacart 500. And while the performance felt like a statement win for Truex, who snapped a 29-race winless streak by leading 64 laps en route to victory lane, it also proved to be a strong …

Read moreZach’s Turn: Joe Gibbs Racing Poised for Success After Phoenix Victory

Up to Speed: Kevin Harvick Still Searching for 2020 Form

Kevin Harvick stands next to car at 2021 Daytona 500 Cup race Photo NKP

#4: Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Busch Light #TheCrew

Sunday’s (March 14) NASCAR Cup Series race was a fairly typical event at Phoenix Raceway.  Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Instacart 500 was how little the FOX broadcast team called Kevin Harvick’s name.  It wasn’t long ago that Harvick completely dominated the desert mile.  Prior to Sunday, Harvick compiled nine wins, 18 top …

Read moreUp to Speed: Kevin Harvick Still Searching for 2020 Form