Race Weekend Central

NASCAR 101: A Chase Game of ‘What If?’

Time to play an incredibly pointless but vaguely interesting game of ‘what if?’ Oh, good, already lost half of you. Whatever, it’s the end of the season. We’ll get through this. So, entering this Sunday’s conclusion to the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, four drivers are vying for a chance at …

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NASCAR 101: Who Didn’t Return to NASCAR in 2016?

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Last year before the season-ending NASCAR action at Homestead-Miami Speedway, this space chronicled the stories of a few drivers who, after coming to the track and racing in 2014, did not, for whatever reason, do so in 2015. Interesting enough concept, so why not try it again? With just races at Homestead and Phoenix International …

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NASCAR 101: William Byron & the 77th-Place Points Finish

(Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

77th. That’s probably not a number or position on the mind of William Byron — or, really, anyone else — in 2016. Instead, it’s been more like the number one. Or first. You get the idea. Because that’s where Byron, a rookie for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been …

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NASCAR 101: How Do Drivers Do in Their Final Races?

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one already: Jeff Gordon‘s final start is this weekend. It’s kind of a questionable milestone at this point, because it’s merely his final scheduled start. Remember, Gordon, a four-time champion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, already retired from full-time competition once, doing so at the end of 2015. He wasn’t …

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NASCAR 101: What Happened to All the Cup Series Debuts?

(Photo: Brett Moist / NKP)

It doesn’t take the work of some analyst sitting in the corner of a dark office poring through document upon document, statistic upon statistic to realize one of the side effects of NASCAR’s charter system in the Sprint Cup Series: lack of variety in the teams that compete each week. But another, perhaps slightly unexpected …

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NASCAR 101: How Often Do Non-Chasers Win During the Chase?

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

While the still-eligible field in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Chase for the Championship just lost a fourth of its entrants, one category of driver on the circuit just got a little bit bigger: the roster of potential spoilers. Right, so, the usual spiel: NASCAR has attempted to reward winning a race even further by enacting a …

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NASCAR 101: Kentucky Perhaps the End of the 2016 Season for Some

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

There’s a very real possibility that this weekend will be the last time we’ll see a few familiar drivers in NASCAR this season. Again, key word: possibility. With eight weeks left in the season following this weekend’s events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway, there’s still plenty of time for schedules to change, …

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NASCAR 101: The 5 Biggest Points Gains in Chase History

(Photo: Matthew T Thacker/NKP)

Chase time: Who ranks where going into this weekend’s postseason opener for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Chicagoland Speedway? Those of you keeping track of where each driver ranks after NASCAR reset the points entering the Chase for the 16 drivers who made it in under the wire are probably already aware of the …

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NASCAR 101: 3 Stories to Follow At Richmond (That Don’t Concern the Sprint Cup Chase)

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

In some alternative universe right now, much like our own yet inherently different in a few capacities, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (or the NASCAR ____ Cup Series — fill in the blank!) is entering its second race of the season at Richmond International Raceway with nary a whisper of the Chase for the Sprint …

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NASCAR 101: Who’s Running What for NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend?

(Photo: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

For the second straight year, NASCAR is holding an official Throwback Weekend coinciding with the Sprint Cup and XFINITY series races at Darlington Speedway. The gist, for those who don’t recall: As the Cup Series takes to Darlington for the Southern 500, one of the more tradition-laden weekends of the season, a majority of its teams …

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