Race Weekend Central

Holding A Pretty Wheel: 3 Drivers, 7 Championships

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

For many years, there were two. There was The King, who had come along when the sport itself was still in its infancy and who drove it from the tiny, dusty bullrings of the Southeast to the big tracks of a budding national phenomenon. Just when it seemed that The King’s sport was a getting …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Teamwork or Too Far?

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Martinsville Speedway is one of those tracks where someone inevitably ends the day angry at someone else.  It’s the nature of short-track racing, where racing is tight and battles for position are fierce. Last weekend’s race was no exception. Frustration ran high as Jimmie Johnson ran away from the field in the closing laps, and …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Whatever Happened to NASCAR’s American Dream?

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Picture this: Young driver breaks into a top-level racing series with a smaller team after working his way through the ranks, winning along the way, taking a title or two in other divisions.  He runs well enough with those teams to grab a couple of wins, beating all comers, including the big powerhouse teams.  That …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: In the Interest of Fairness

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

NASCAR did something this week that should, on one level, be applauded: the sanctioning body made a rules change to post-race penalty procedures because the rule it had adopted proved to be unfair when applied in competition.  That, in itself, is an important step. Here’s what happened: Last week, NASCAR said that if a Chase …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Perception Is Reality

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

On Wednesday, NASCAR handed down a bunch of penalties, as it generally does on a weekly basis. Most weeks, the penalties are minor: written warnings for going through inspection too many times, maybe a loss of pit choice.  Every once in a while, though, the sanctioning body hands down something bigger, as happened this week with …

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Kyle Larson, 2016 Cup Champion? Not The Longshot You Might Think

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

After Kyle Larson won at Michigan Sunday not many have labeled the driver nicknamed “Young Money” as a possible title contender. They’d be wrong. The third-year veteran, who “locked into” his first postseason grid with Sunday’s victory is on a mission to play spoiler in a Chase that could easily tilt his way. The high-speed, high-groove …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: NASCAR’s Best Move to Make Fans

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

It’s been a bit of a rough week for NASCAR.  Between the rain delays at Bristol Motor Speedway and the continued absence of perennial most popular driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. due to lingering effects of a concussion he suffered in June, the news hasn’t been too positive.  (It wasn’t all negative; the racing at Bristol …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: NASCAR’s Alliance-Bred Farm System

(Credit: John Harrelson/NKP)

Furniture Row Racing confirmed NASCAR’s worst kept secret on Sunday at Watkins Glen International when the organization announced that they’ll field upcoming phenom Erik Jones in a newly-formed second team next season alongside veteran Martin Truex, Jr. However, when the agreement was announced as a one-year deal, talk immediately began to shift from Furniture Row to Joe …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Thoughts on a Changing NASCAR

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

It’s almost a week later, and I’m still reflecting on last weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Not because of the race — those have never been particularly compelling at a track steeped in someone else’s history — but because of an impromptu finale between two of the best drivers the sport has ever seen. …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Injury About More than 1 Race

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

For the second time in the last five seasons, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will sit out at least one race due to a possible concussion.  A Hendrick Motorsports release didn’t specify the cause, however Earnhardt was involved in a multi-car crash at Daytona two weeks ago and said Thursday his symptoms began before last weekend’s race. …

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