NASCAR Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: Despite Trouble at Texas, Denny Hamlin Showed Championship Form

Denny Hamlin waits for a NASCAR race at Charlotte to begin. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Denny Hamlin showing championship potential We’ve seen it time and again: Denny Hamlin makes the playoffs only to fall flat in the season’s most critical moments. But fast forward to the 2021 season and we’ve seen the No. 11 team strike first in the Round of 16 and the Round of 12, winning at …

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5 Points to Ponder: Feuds, Second Chances and the Metaverse

Kevin Harvick ROVAL 2021

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. ROVAL win might have been the most impressive yet for Kyle Larson If you picked Kyle Larson to win the Bank of America ROVAL 400 before the weekend, you weren’t exactly going out on much of a limb. Hendrick Motorsports’ brightest currently shining star (yes, sorry Chase Elliott) isn’t just having the best season …

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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 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 hard …

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5 Points to Ponder: Has JGR Surpassed Hendrick in These Playoffs?

2021 Richmond II Cup Chase Elliott William Byron Jared C Tilton Getty

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

1. Joe Gibbs Racing hitting its stride, Hendrick faltering? At one point, Joe Gibbs Racing ran 1-2-3-4 on Saturday night at Richmond. Hendrick Motorsports, while close behind, didn’t seem poised to challenge the Toyotas up front. Sure, Chase Elliott led some laps and Kyle Larson came from the rear to the top five in no …

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5 Points to Ponder: Can NASCAR & Hollywood Mix in L.A.?

2021 Darlington II pack Jared C. Tilton Getty Images

(Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

1. NASCAR Racing in L.A. Coliseum? A Hollywood affair? The NASCAR world was caught by surprise with Monday’s (Sept. 6) Labor Day bombshell in The Athletic about a potential 2022 exhibition race in Los Angeles. According to sources in the story, the Busch Clash would be moved from its traditional spot, Daytona International Speedway, to a short …

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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: RCR Drivers Cold, All Series’ Title Races Heat Up

AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric lead NASCAR Xfinity field at Michigan NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. Richard Childress Racing didn’t capitalize on NASCAR Cup Series playoff opportunity RCR didn’t come out of Michigan International Speedway very well. Austin Dillon had arguably the best car he’s had all season and looked to be a contender for the win if he stayed on track. Unfortunately, his day ended right after taking the …

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5 Points to Ponder: The Turn 6 Curb Was Not Appealing

Kyle Larson during the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 8/15/2021 (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

1. The Turn 6 curb was not appealing If you have seen the highlights, you know one of the premier storylines from this historic 2021 August edition of racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Turn 6 was problematic all race weekend, from the second either a NASCAR or IndyCar turned onto the asphalt. Scott McLaughlin and …

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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: The Rest of the 2021 NASCAR Season

2021 COTA CupKyle Larson confused NKP

#5: Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro

ONE: Which Hendrick Motorsports is for real? Hendrick Motorsports caught fire this summer, its best performance in the NASCAR Cup Series since Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were on the roster in 2014. From Dover International Speedway in May to the first Pocono Raceway event the end of June, HMS won six straight races and …

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