Race Weekend Central

Up To Speed: Martinsville Win Part of Bigger Picture for Kyle Busch

(Photo: Mike Neff)

It was pretty obvious Kyle Busch was going to win a race eventually this season. The reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion’s worst finish in the first four races of the season was fourth. A 25th-place finish at Fontana was not indicative of his day considering he would finish in the top five (and possibly win) …

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Up To Speed: 2015 Winners Who Are Still Looking for First Win of 2016

(Photo: Brett Moist / NKP)

With this now the third year of the elimination Chase-style format, it’s easy to forget how early we still are in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Four winners in five races (Jimmie Johnson has managed to notch two victories) means that there are four drivers who are all but locked into the Chase once …

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Up To Speed: Tempers Flare and Insults Fly Following Action-Packed Auto Club 400

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

I’ve said before that it’s rare that fans and competitors alike agree on anything, let alone nearly unanimous on the quality of a product. However, this is becoming more the case week in and week out. With few exceptions, the drivers are happy with the new package, the fans enjoy the racing it produces, and …

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Friday Faceoff: Will Matt Kenseth Turn it Around?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade NKP)

Matt Kenseth, who entered the season as a title favorite, has yet to score a top-10 finish through three races.  Is it time for the No. 20 team to hit the panic button, or is the slow start just a bump in the road? Dustin Albino, Contributor: Matt Kenseth has had an opportunity to win …

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Up To Speed: Team Penske Back On Top After Rough Start To Season

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Just a few short weeks ago, when people were making predictions on who would make the Chase, win the championship and win the most races, it wasn’t uncommon to see the Team Penske duo of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano on top of most of those columns. After all, Logano won six races last season and …

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Up To Speed: Despite Long Green-Flag Runs, Lower Downforce Still Largely Positive

Though only the second race of the season, Atlanta Motor Speedway was thought to be the initial race where we would see what the new (or at least new for 2016) low-downforce package would mean for the racing this season. After rave reviews from competitors and fans alike at Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway with …

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Up To Speed: Denny Hamlin Credits Teammates for Daytona 500 Win

“It was a total team effort.” Generally, when the winning driver makes such a statement in Victory Lane, they are referring to their own team. It’s their crew chief, pit crew, over-the-wall members who made the difference in getting them over the hump. Yes, there is gratitude expressed to the organization as a whole, but really …

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Up To Speed: Following Sprint Unlimited Win, Denny Hamlin More Confident Than Ever Heading Into Daytona 500

It is often said that restrictor plate races aren’t so much about driver ability as much as they are an engineers’ race. The team with the fastest car has the most likely chance of winning, so long as the driver holds the wheel straight and doesn’t lose the draft. Easier said than done, but that’s …

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Up To Speed: Kyle Busch Just as Surprised as the Rest of Us

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)­

For all four drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship race, each brought a unique story. Martin Truex Jr. was trying to win the race as a single-car team; Kevin Harvick was going for his second straight title; Jeff Gordon had hopes of finishing off his driving career with a fifth championship. Kyle Busch, the fourth driver, …

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Up to Speed: Mixed Emotions Following Rain-Shortened Phoenix Semi-Final

(Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Weather can certainly have its way in influencing motorsports and this was true at Phoenix International Raceway. That’s right, even a racetrack in the middle of the desert is not safe from the woes brought on by a steady downpour. Following a nearly seven-hour delay for rain, the penultimate race of the season finally went green under …

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