NASCAR Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: Sorry We Took You for Granted, Bristol

Kevin Harvick fights with Chase Elliott at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Did we all just fall in love with racing at Bristol again? It’s probably not fair to say that NASCAR fans in general had soured on Bristol Motor Speedway. There’s always a strong outcry of “more short track races” whenever thought pieces are concocted on how to “fix” the Cup Series schedule, and it’s …

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5 Points to Ponder: Does Momentum Make Ryan Blaney a Championship Contender?

2021 Cup Daytona II Ryan Blaney Wins NKP

Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

1. How much does momentum matter going into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs? Asking for a friend named Ryan Blaney. (Note: Blaney and I are not actually friends, having spoken exactly once, but he is a likable gent.) The 27-year-old Team Penske wheelman entered the 2021 season never having won more than one race in …

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5 Points to Ponder: When Chase (Elliott) Does the Chasing

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Chase Elliott nearly pulls off ridiculous comeback Everybody loves a good come-from-behind victory, but is it still entertaining when the heroic comeback doesn’t quite complete the job at the end of the day? Based on what we saw from Chase Elliott Sunday (Aug. 8), the answer is yes. Given that the defending NASCAR Cup …

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5 Points to Ponder: Aric Almirola Comes Up Big, and What’s Next for Matty D

2021 Cup Loudon Aric Almirola Wins NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Has there ever been as clutch a win as the one Aric Almirola just pulled off? Ever since Kyle Larson started getting on a roll, the dream of NASCAR Cup Series playoff intrigue has been just about dead. Then this past Sunday (July 18), Aric Almirola decided to give it the racing equivalent of …

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5 Points to Ponder: Hendrick vs. Gibbs Shaping Up As Heavyweight Title Fight

2021 Nashville Cup Kyle Larson Kyle Busch pack racing Logan Riely Getty

(Photo: Logan Riely/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

1. Can anyone crash the Hendrick-Gibbs championship showdown? NASCAR held a pair of Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway this past weekend, and believe it or not, Kyle Larson didn’t win either of them. To be fair, it took a flat tire on the last lap on Saturday (June 26) to make that sentence true. …

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5 Points to Ponder: Kyle Larson, King of NASCAR, is a Thing That is Happening

2021 Sonoma Cup Kyle Larson Win NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Kyle Larson as championship frontrunner is simply wild One of the silliest parts of sports punditry is the “if the season ended today … ” syndrome, simply because the season does not, in fact, end until it ends. But the concept persists because it’s fascinating, and never more than right now in the NASCAR …

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5 Points to Ponder: Do You Need to See Where You’re Going to Race in NASCAR?

Kurt Busch races in the rain during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas (May 2021). (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. COTA was pretty fun … except when no NASCAR driver could see anything It’s not clear how anyone at NASCAR can make a solid determination about whether the national series should return to Circuit of the Americas in 2021. On paper, COTA seemed like it would make for an amazing addition to the NASCAR …

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5 Points to Ponder: Spoiler SZN, Pushing It & The Path to 16+ Winners

2021 Talladega I Cup Denny Hamlin Martin Truex Jr Kaz Grala racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1: Spoilers vs. drivers Talladega Superspeedway rightfully gets attention for its tendency to cause the Big One. But this particular trip to Alabama the weekend of April 24-25 managed to avoid the kind of multi-car mayhem that knocks a third of the field out in one fell swoop ā€” in both the NASCAR Xfinity and …

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5 Points to Ponder: Dirt & Road Courses Forever?

2021 Bristol dirt trucks track overhead Jared C Tilton Getty Images via NASCAR

(Photo: Jared C Tilton/Getty Images via NASCAR Media)

1: Bristol Dirt Experiment a Win (For Now) First it took decades for the NASCAR Cup Series to return to a dirt track, albeit one that isn’t generally a dirt track but rather Bristol Motor Speedway covered with dirt. Then it took an extra day for the race to actually be run, since apparently Mother …

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5 Points to Ponder: Cream Rises, Ford Flounders?

2021 Phoenix I Cup Martin Truex Jr NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

ONE: Truex Restores Natural Cup Series Order Just as we were about to hit the point of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season where Bill Murray’s “Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!ā€ line from Ghostbusters would have applied because none of the races were being won by the drivers you’d expect, Martin Truex Jr. …

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