Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Is a Summer Storm Coming to NASCAR?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Long, hot days give way to sultry nights, tracks are hot and slick and expectations and frustrations mount.  It’s summer in NASCAR, and with 12 races to go in the sport’s regular season, there’s a rivalry brewing right along with the summer storms. Or is there? 2018 to date has largely been the Kevin Harvick …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: An Open Letter to Whomever Ends Up Owning NASCAR

(Photo: Logan Whitton / NKP)

To NASCAR’s future purchaser: Congratulations on your acquisition.  You have an exciting time in store for you, and I wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor. Your position is somewhat unenviable; our sport has come to a crossroads in recent years.  It’s grown exponentially, changed immensely and fallen on hard times.  But …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: NASCAR All-Star Format Falls Flat

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

So, this All-Star Race. NASCAR released the format for its All-Star event next month, and well, color me a bit underwhelmed. Two things went down: a change to the rules package for the cars and another to the format of the race itself. Let’s talk about the cars first.  NASCAR is adding a significantly taller …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: NASCAR’s Vicious Money Cycle

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

There was a time when a NASCAR driver was practically synonymous with his sponsor — that blue STP car was so recognizable as Richard Petty’s ride that “Petty Blue” is a color in every fan’s frame of reference. Though Dale Earnhardt drove the Wrangler ride for several years, one look at that black GM Goodwrench …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: The Myth of Winning Too Much

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

“I like Martin Truex Jr. and all, but I hope he doesn’t dominate like he did last year.  He won too much; it was boring.” This topic came up in a conversation during the offseason, where the racing talk turns to deeper discussion debating the finer points of the sport. As a philosophy, “winning too …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: When Racing Was Everything

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

I reconnected with an old friend not so long ago.  She was someone I knew well a lifetime ago, and we still get together every now and again.  Our paths diverged several years back when I moved to North Carolina.  She was a diehard race fan when we spent weekends in New Hampshire watching any …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: The Lady In Black Adds to Jimmie Johnson’s Summer Woes

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

It’s hard to ignore the grey in the beard or the lines around the eyes these days.  No longer a kid, but several years older and seven times wiser, Jimmie Johnson looks through the eyes of a champion. But these days, the worry lines are a bit deeper, the eyes not laughing like they sometimes …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday & the Need for Relatable Sponsors

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Once a year, NASCAR fans can go to the track and step back in time. When NASCAR returned the Labor Day weekend race to Darlington Raceway, the track and teams embraced the move by honoring the sport’s oldest speedway with a throwback theme. Teams adorned their cars with the colors of the past, even bringing …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: The Downside of NASCAR Alliances

Martin Truex, Jr. is pretty much the king of the hill in NASCAR this season. He leads driver points by 48 markers, is tied with Jimmie Johnson for the most wins in the Cup Series this season and has 14 stage wins. That’s double the number of Kyle Busch, who’s second on that list with …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: When Were the Good Ol’ Days of NASCAR?

(Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

“Back in the good ol’ days…” is a phrase heard all the time in NASCAR. Back in the good ol’ days, the racing was great and every finish was exciting. Back in the good ol’ days, the drivers were real racers. Back in the good ol’ days, NASCAR wouldn’t have stood for this. Waxing nostalgic …

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