NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Happiness Is: Darlington, Fans & Road Courses

20bdc17d79af63698a638989cd045228 11

Darlington Raceway, 2017(Photo: Scott R LePage/NKP)

Welcome back to another edition Happiness Is, complete with fresh Happy.  Or something.  I’m not sure that the elves in the kitchen can always be trusted to deliver the freshest and bestest of happiness but they try.  But after this past weekend, it shouldn’t be too difficult.   One caveat.   Much gets made of …

Read more

Pace Laps: Denny Hamlin Dominates Darlington, IndyCar Series Title Battle Tightens

hamlin darlington

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Denny Hamlin Makes a Darling out of Darlington – Nobody, even the drivers, seem to understand why a certain track brings success to a certain driver. Jimmie Johnson has Dover, Jeff Gordon had Martinsville. Why? “It just suits my driving style.” For Denny Hamlin, a sweep of the weekend at …

Read more

Slipstream Saturday: The Italian GP & More


Tifosi Ferrari Fans Monza Formula 1 GP Monza. Foto Imago/Insidefoto

Ciao and benvenuto to the back-end of Formula 1’s consecutive race weekends.  Last week, Lewis Hamilton tied Michael Schumacher atop the all-time list with 68, added to his win total, and closed the gap to Sebastian Vettel to seven points in the driver’s championship.  It seems safe to say that Hamilton enjoyed a pretty decent …

Read more

Happiness Is: Bristol, Scheduling & Yin-Yang

091cf7778e1be134266f28ae0fc36cc0 11

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Last week, this column made a silly comment about Kyle Busch running away the Truck series race, and that it might be something that would spoil the rare Wednesday night event.  The main point was that weeknight races seem like a wonderful opportunity that NASCAR is failing to embrace.  It still seems that way, as …

Read more

Happiness Is: Kyle Larson’s 2017 Success

2017 Michigan II CUP Kyle larson Nigel Kinrade nKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Happiness Is… Larson.  Kyle Larson took a rather tepid race at Michigan International Speedway and hijacked it.  On the final restart, he split the middle and powered through to become the surprise winner.  While he may have been lurking around the top at points, Larson never seemed to be a true threat for the win, …

Read more

Happiness Is: Business & Redemption


(Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

The clamoring over having Cup drivers race in the XFINITY and Truck series made NASCAR alter the participation strategies going into this season.  The change helped insofar as that the Cup interlopers weren’t winning every race because their participation had been limited.  Oh right, that’s not what has happened.  The idea was that limiting Cup …

Read more

Pace Laps: Kyle Busch Gets That Monkey Off His Back

ryan preece pocono

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/ NKP)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Last Lap the Sweetest for Kyle Busch – It took 1,114 laps led for Kyle Busch to turn into Victory Lane in 2017. Starting from pole for the fifth time this season, Busch led the most laps in Sunday’s Overton’s 400 at Pocono Raceway (74), surviving a 55-lap green-flag run to the end …

Read more

Slipstream Saturday: The Hungarian Grand Prix & More

hamilton hungarian gp 2017 2

(Photo: Getty Images)

This weekend, Formula 1 makes its return to the Hungaroring for the (surprise surprise) Hungarian Grand Prix.  This race brings with it a particular eagerness from all parties involved as it is the last event before the summer break.  Another way of looking at things is that it’s like the last day of school before …

Read more

Happiness Is: Ratings, Intelligence & That New Car Smell

2017 Indianapolis CUP Trevor Bayne Austin Dillon crash Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Hope you enjoyed the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Silly Season, brought to you by the Jackhawk 9000 as it seems like it has almost wrapped.  This aspect of the sport is one that approaches free agency in other sports but doesn’t quite deliver in the same dramatic fashion.   It would seem if there …

Read more

Happiness Is: Head Games, Shake Up & Advertising


Matt Kenseth (Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

This past Sunday, Denny Hamlin did his best to slay whatever dragons are wreaking havoc in the Joe Gibbs team complex.  His win, the first of the year for the team, locked him into the playoffs while also making him the 12th different driver to win this season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series …

Read more

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from