NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Beside the Rising Tide: Bread and Circuses

2017 Charlotte All Star CUP Kyle Busch trophy Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

In a move that should have surprised absolutely nobody with a pulse, NASCAR announced yet another new rules format for the upcoming All-Star non-points race at Charlotte next month. I have checked the rules carefully (with that laser-like focus on detail I have been noted for my entire writing career…ahem), and I can say with …

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Beside the Rising Tide: Inventive Incentive

2018 Las Vegas I CUP Ryan Blaney pack racing Russell LaBounty NKP

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Despite NASCAR’s off week last weekend, many fairly significant stories broke during what’s normally a quiet time in the sport. Completely unexpectedly, NASCAR released the 2019 Cup schedule. Typically, that schedule isn’t released until late summer/early fall at the earliest, but for whatever reason, this year (at the request of the somewhat coy series title sponsor?) …

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Friday Faceoff: What’s Been the Biggest Surprise of 2018?

2018 Las Vegas I CUP Aric Almirola John K Harrelson NKP

(Photo: John K. Harrelson / NKP)

Clint Bowyer’s win at Martinsville Speedway snapped a 190-race winless streak. Who is most likely to be the next driver who has already won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to snap his long winless drought? Christian Koelle: Paul Menard is really impressing me over at Wood Brothers Racing. That car has some speed, and …

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Besides The Rising Tide: 25 Years Later, Alan Kulwicki Remembered

Alan Kulwicki 1

Editor’s Note: Sunday (April 1) marked 25 years since Alan Kulwicki, the 1992 Winston Cup champion died in a plane crash en route to Bristol, Tenn. Matt McLaughlin remembers the life of this owner/driver and 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee with this look back at his life and career. Though it was not all …

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Friday Faceoff: Did NASCAR Handle Its Snow-Out Correctly?

Clint Bowyer Martinsville Cup Mike Neff 2018

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Snow postponed the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway from Sunday to Monday for the first time since 1993. How do you think NASCAR handled the situation? Matt McLaughlin: They were in a difficult position, but in the end, postponement was the only valid option. I’d have liked to see them bite the bullet and announce the …

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Beside the Rising Tide: It’s Snow Fun

2018 CWTS Martinsville Covered Trucks NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

I’m not going to blame NASCAR for making it snow this weekend in Southern Virginia. The sanctioning body can only respond to the weather, not control it, and how to respond to bad weather with a worsening forecast is one of those “damned if you do” and “damned if you don’t” situations. There’s no changing …

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Friday Faceoff: With NASCAR Sponsors Leaving, Time to Panic?


(Photo: Bruce Nuttleman)

Could this be the beginning of another dominant season for the No. 78 team? Mark Howell: After the kind of 2017 Martin Truex Jr. enjoyed, anything is most certainly possible. One win does not mean dominance, but the No. 78 bunch is leaning in that direction. More wins will come as we enter the summer months, …

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Beside the Rising Tide: March Mindlessness


(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

It’s not the sort of racing that originally attracted me to motorsports, but every year I am engaged in a race of my own. It’s a race to see how long a season that started with high hopes (moderate hopes? Bemused acceptance?) gets to the point I wish that I’d at least interviewed for that …

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Friday Faceoff: Can Harvick Four-Peat?

2018 Las Vegas I CUP Kevin HArvick burnout Russell LaBounty NKP

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Kevin Harvick has now won three races in a row, becoming the third driver over 40 years old to accomplish the feat. He’s going for four in a row this upcoming weekend in Fontana. Can he do it? Mark Howell: Harvick has won at Auto Club Speedway before (in 2011), so we know he’s capable of …

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Beside the Rising Tide: The Citizens’ Inspection Corps

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(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Like it or not (and I decidedly do not), the expectation of privacy outside of one’s home is about as reasonable and up-to-date as the Women’s Temperance League. When you leave your home, from the moment you leave your driveway and trigger a speeding-camera, through the time you park your car and go about your …

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