Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Seeing the (Day)Light

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

For the most part, it’s hard to look at the on-track product NASCAR has put forth and not say that the quality of the racing has significantly improved with efforts to reduce downforce and make racecars less dependent on aerodynamics and more dependent on mechanics and drivers.  Of course, some races are going to be …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Fail Inspection? Time for NASCAR to Take a Hard Line

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Another week, another announcement that a top-finishing NASCAR Sprint Cup race car did not pass post-race inspection — and another slap on the wrist for a race team. In the last two races, here’s what’s happened: most recently, the No. 5 team for Hendrick Motorsports, driven by Kasey Kahne, failed post-race inspection at Dover International …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Welcome Back, Smoke

(Photo: Mike Neff)

These last few weeks and months must have seemed like an eternity to Tony Stewart, a man whose life has been heretofore defined in fractions of seconds. They certainly seemed as so to his fans, who have been awaiting Stewart’s return since the three-time Sprint Cup champion was sidelined by a freak injury in an …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: NASCAR Perfection in Half a Mile

(Photo: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch)

Nothing is perfect.  That’s true of life as well as racing.  2016 has been a very solid NASCAR season so far; the racing is as good as it’s been in 15 or 20 years, particularly on the intermediate tracks.  There’s stability for teams to grow into the future.  Optimism flourishes. All of that means that …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Small Gains, Big Deal

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Between the photo finishes decided by mere inches and the fierce competition for position throughout Sprint Cup races this year, the faces at the front have been more or less constant.  At the end of the day, there’s Jimmie Johnson’s smiling face in Victory Lane, or someone from a team like his, but the racing …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Simple Complexities

“Hey, Stan, did you see the race yesterday?” That’s the question tossed casually around at water coolers on Mondays. It can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” perhaps followed by some banter about this driver or that one.  Casual fans and diehards alike can commune for a few moments on this patch of …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: What It’s All About

(Photo: Matthew T Thacker NKP)

Things are looking up in NASCAR Sprint Cup’s 2016 season.  The racing is better than it has been in years so far (will that change as more teams figure out the new aero package?  There’s every reason to believe it will stay competitive).  TV ratings were higher for the third race of the year than …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: “Just” a Safety Violation?

While there have been rumblings in the past that NASCAR probation is not a hefty enough punishment for some of the infractions for which it’s been assigned, it might not be a good idea to test whether it has teeth with a second violation a week later. Furniture Row Racing, I’m looking at you. FRR …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Are NASCAR Dynasties a Thing of the Past?

There have been a lot of incredible things in NASCAR’s nearly 70-year history: close finishes, wild crashes, big tracks, small tracks (and a round one), pretty cars, ugly cars, pretty drivers, not-so-pretty drivers.  There have been hundreds of drivers running in hundreds of races over the years.  Most have their moments, though not every race …

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