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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Stat Sheet: Feels Like the First Time

Christopher Bell celebrates after winning the 2021 O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 Photo:NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Here’s an interesting tidbit: For the first time since 1950, the first two races of the Cup Series schedule have been won by first-time visitors to victory lane. It’s almost happened a couple times before. In 2001, Michael Waltrip picked up his first win at Daytona International Speedway, but Rockingham Speedway winner Steve Park had …

Read moreNASCAR Stat Sheet: Feels Like the First Time

Like It or Not, Road Courses Are Part of NASCAR’s Future

Ryan Blaney leads the field in the 2021 O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Denny Hamlin had just finished third in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race (Feb. 21) on the Daytona road course when he was asked the question. How did he feel about the historic number of road courses — seven — that are on the schedule this season? In his 33rd career Cup start on a road …

Read moreLike It or Not, Road Courses Are Part of NASCAR’s Future

Beside the Rising Tide: Hey, Where Did Everybody Go?

Cars speed past the grandstand in the 2021 Daytona 500 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

There’s an element of grim curiosity to it over the last few years, but I still search out the TV ratings for each week’s Cup race. Those rating numbers have been trending down over the last few years, and in fact, last few decades. To borrow a line from the inestimable Donald Fagen, “The time …

Read moreBeside the Rising Tide: Hey, Where Did Everybody Go?

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona Road Course

What happened? Christopher Bell won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona road course on Sunday (Feb. 21), making it back-to-back first time winners to open the 2021 Cup Series season (the first time since 1950 that has happened). Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five finishers. 🏁 …

Read moreThinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona Road Course

Zach’s Turn: Christopher Bell Proves His Worth Early at Joe Gibbs Racing

Photography: NKP

Christopher Bell showed Sunday (Feb. 21) at the Daytona International Speedway road course that he is worthy of his ride at Joe Gibbs Racing. A surprise win in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 provided proof just two weeks into the job. After a rookie season in which he finished 20th in points for now-defunct Leavine Family …

Read moreZach’s Turn: Christopher Bell Proves His Worth Early at Joe Gibbs Racing

Up to Speed: The Pressure to Win in NASCAR 2021 is Already On

#21: Matt DiBenedetto, Wood Brothers Racing, Ford Mustang Motorcraft/Quick Lane

Raise your hand if you thought that, two races into the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, the two race winners would be Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell.  If you made that prediction a few weeks ago, a fellow race fan might have assumed that you’d spent too much time around the gasoline fumes on pit …

Read moreUp to Speed: The Pressure to Win in NASCAR 2021 is Already On

The Underdog House: AJ Allmendinger Recovers to Be Top Dog in Cup

#16: A J Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Ellsworth Advisors

Top Dog It has been nearly three years since NASCAR veteran AJ Allmendinger has taken his place behind the wheel of a NASCAR Cup Series car. The last time we saw the Dinger on NASCAR’s premier level was in 2018 driving the No. 47 Chevrolet for JTG Daughtery Racing. Since then, the 39-year-old has stayed …

Read moreThe Underdog House: AJ Allmendinger Recovers to Be Top Dog in Cup

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2021 O’Reilly Auto Parts 253

Christopher Bell won at the Daytona Road Course in 2021 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… should you be talking about after the race? First-time winners don’t happen every week… oh, wait. After Michael McDowell won his first career NASCAR Cup Series race in the Daytona 500 last week, Christopher Bell drove a masterful final 10 laps to reel in and pass veteran Joey Logano under the white flag to …

Read moreThe Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2021 O’Reilly Auto Parts 253

Thinkin’ Dirty, Vol. 9: 2021 Xtreme DIRTcar Series at Lake View

Photo Credit: World Racing Group via Halmar-Friesen Racing

The A-Main: “The Boss” Ross Bailes pounced on a wounded Matthew Nance after a lap 26 pileup and drove away to a $7,000 win Saturday at Lake View Motor Speedway in Nichols, S.C., marking his first career win on the Xtreme DIRTcar tour.  In his first ever start @LakeViewDirt, SC’s @RossBailesRacin climbs out of his …

Read moreThinkin’ Dirty, Vol. 9: 2021 Xtreme DIRTcar Series at Lake View

Stock Car Scoop: Who Does Chase Elliott Have To Blame For Losing Daytona?

Chase Elliott has been snake-bitten of late (Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

As the laps wound down Sunday (Feb. 21), Chase Elliott was in position to win his fifth consecutive road course race at Daytona International Speedway. That’s until both rain and late-race carnage came to the track, flipping around a dominant performance on this road course into a disastrous ending in mere minutes. Why did Elliott …

Read moreStock Car Scoop: Who Does Chase Elliott Have To Blame For Losing Daytona?

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