NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2021 NASCAR Rookie Roundup: How’d the New Guys (& Gal) Do?

Ty Gibbs celebrates in victory lane after winning 2021 NASCAR Xfinity race at Kansas, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The 2021 season has come to a close, and with it ends the rookie seasons for the newcomers to the sport. All three NASCAR national series saw at least two Rookie of the Year contenders, and in the case of the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series, there were four apiece. With over a dozen …

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Friday Faceoff: What Were the Biggest Surprises & Disappointments of 2021?

Hamlin, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Another year, another near miss for Denny Hamlin. Will he ever win a NASCAR Cup Series title? Luken Glover: Denny Hamlin absolutely has the talent to get the job done. So, can he do it? Definitely a yes. Will he do it? I’m leaning towards no. We may be seeing the equivalent of Mark Martin, who …

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Chandler Smith Wins Truck Series Finale in Phoenix, Ben Rhodes Wins Championship

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Chandler Smith swept both stages and scored his second career victory in Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Raceway, just one week after being eliminated from playoff contention. “I’m just really blessed right now,” Smith said. “Can’t thank Safelite, Toyota Racing, Danny [Stockman], KBM, Kyle [Busch], everyone that goes down the line to make …

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John Hunter Nemechek Quickest in Xfinity Practice at Phoenix

John Hunter Nemechek standing against his truck for 2021 NASCAR Trucks race at Nashville Superspeedway, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

John Hunter Nemechek will look to claim his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship tonight, but not before he put down the fastest lap in Xfinity Series practice at Phoenix Raceway on Friday, Nov. 5. Nemechek’s fastest lap was 130.388 mph; Championship 4 driver and reigning series champion Austin Cindric was the only other …

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Chandler Smith on Pole for Truck Series Finale at Phoenix

Chandler Smith at Knoxville 2021, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Chander Smith may have been the last to qualify for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 5, but he certainly was not the least. In his one lap, Smith put down a blistering pace of 136.576 mph, more than a quarter of a second faster than second-fastest Sheldon Creed. …

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Brad Keselowski Tops Chart in Phoenix Cup Practice

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In the first NASCAR Cup Series practice session since August — and in his final session as a driver for Team Penske — Brad Keselowski ran the fastest lap of the 39 cars to hit the track at Phoenix Raceway, reaching a speed of 135.384 mph on Friday, Nov. 5. Kyle Larson, Matt DiBenedetto, Christopher …

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Friday Faceoff: Is This Hendrick Lineup Its Best Ever?

Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman Racing at Martinsville fall 2021, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Is this the most competitive Hendrick Motorsports has ever been? Luken Glover: One can certainly make that argument. It isn’t a head-and-shoulders advantage, but this NASCAR Cup Series season is right there as one of the best. If a HMS car wins this week, it will tie its 2007 record for the most single-season wins …

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Friday Faceoff: Are Tracks Dropping the Ball When Marketing Their Events?

Kyle Larson leads a pack cars at Texas Motor Speedway, October 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Former drivers Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Clint Bowyer tested the NASCAR Cup Series’ Next Gen car at Bowman Gray Stadium Oct. 26. Should NASCAR race there? Luken Glover: Absolutely! Tracks like Rockingham Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway and Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville have topped my list, but if Bowman Gray is a realistic possibility, it immediately …

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George Russell, Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel to Receive Grid Penalties at US Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas Wolfgang Wilhelm

(Photo: Wolfgang Wilhelm/Mercedes AMG F1 Media)

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas will both join Sebastian Vettel in receiving grid penalties for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, the Formula 1 teams announced on Oct. 22. Bottas, who won the most recent grand prix in Turkey on Oct. 10 for his first victory of the 2021 season, will be hit with a …

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