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Up to Speed: A New Attitude of NASCAR Equality at Hendrick Motorsports

2019TalladegaMENCSWilliamByronCarNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Just four races into the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Hendrick Motorsports has already won twice.  Last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway, William Byron drove off to a convincing win, the second of his Cup Series career.  This past Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it was Kyle Larson’s turn to capture the checkered flag.  Larson, …

Read moreUp to Speed: A New Attitude of NASCAR Equality at Hendrick Motorsports

Up to Speed: Evening Races Perfect Fit for Homestead-Miami Speedway

2021 Homestead Cup William Byron Justin Haley Four Wide Racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

During the first few weeks of the 2021 NASCAR season, start times of races have become a point of debate.  This weekend’s slate of races at Homestead-Miami Speedway featured the same later-than-usual green flag times as the first two races weekends.  Saturday’s Xfinity Series race took the green flag around 4:45 p.m. local time.  The …

Read moreUp to Speed: Evening Races Perfect Fit for Homestead-Miami Speedway

Up to Speed: The Pressure to Win in NASCAR 2021 is Already On

2021 Daytona I Cup Matt DiBenedetto NKP

#21: Matt DiBenedetto, Wood Brothers Racing, Ford Mustang Motorcraft/Quick Lane

Raise your hand if you thought that, two races into the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, the two race winners would be Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell.  If you made that prediction a few weeks ago, a fellow race fan might have assumed that you’d spent too much time around the gasoline fumes on pit …

Read moreUp to Speed: The Pressure to Win in NASCAR 2021 is Already On

Up to Speed: Can Denny Hamlin Finally Win a Championship in 2021?

Denny Hamlin car on track (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Denny Hamlin set out to do something nobody else has done before: win three consecutive Daytona 500s. Despite leading six times for a race-high 98 laps, the three-peat was denied with a fifth-place finish. But the story of Hamlin’s 2021 season goes far beyond the Great American Race. He will get to experience the highs …

Read moreUp to Speed: Can Denny Hamlin Finally Win a Championship in 2021?

Up to Speed: Will Clint Bowyer Stay Candid in the Broadcast Booth?

2020DaytonaNCSClintBowyerFaceNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Lost in the conclusion of the 2020 NASCAR season was the rather abrupt departure of Clint Bowyer from the driver’s seat.  Bowyer, who was wrapping up his 15th full-time season as a Cup Series racer, faced an uncertain future with Stewart-Haas Racing.  Despite some speculation that SHR’s driver lineup would not change for 2021, Bowyer …

Read moreUp to Speed: Will Clint Bowyer Stay Candid in the Broadcast Booth?

Up to Speed: The Future Is Bright For Hendrick Motorsports

2020 Cup Phoenix Chase Elliott Rick Hendrick Jimmie Johnson Hug NASCAR via Getty Images scaled

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

It wasn’t long ago that Hendrick Motorsports had one of the oldest driver lineups in NASCAR.  Five years ago, at the time of Jeff Gordon’s final race in his famed No. 24 car, the organization’s youngest driver was Kasey Kahne at 35 years old.  With Gordon’s career wrapping up amid a bourgeoning youth movement in …

Read moreUp to Speed: The Future Is Bright For Hendrick Motorsports

Up to Speed: 2020 Is Another Black Mark Against The NASCAR Playoffs

2020 Bristol NCS Kevin Harvick Victory Celebration NKP1

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

As usual, Martinsville Speedway provided no shortage of entertainment.  Sunday’s race, the penultimate event of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, offered up plenty of close quarters short track racing.  It also featured a tighter battle among the playoff drivers than most fans would have foreseen, given the points among the drivers.  But the biggest …

Read moreUp to Speed: 2020 Is Another Black Mark Against The NASCAR Playoffs

Up to Speed: How Will 23XI Racing Perform in 2021?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

As NASCAR’s 2021 Cup Series lineup slowly comes into focus, the new team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin is beginning to take shape. Several weeks ago, Jordan and Hamlin announced their organization would debut next season with driver Bubba Wallace. We also learned last week that the team, as previously speculated, will be …

Read moreUp to Speed: How Will 23XI Racing Perform in 2021?

Up to Speed: Chip Ganassi Racing Wastes Its 2020 Potential

2020 Kansas II Cup Matt Kenseth Matt DiBenedetto racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Back in the spring of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to heat up, Chip Ganassi Racing had a mess on its hands.  While participating in an iRacing event on Easter Sunday, Kyle Larson uttered a racial slur over what he thought was a private communication line.  Unfortunately for him, the line wasn’t private.  Within …

Read moreUp to Speed: Chip Ganassi Racing Wastes Its 2020 Potential

Up to Speed: Alex Bowman’s Title Hopes Saved Again by the ROVAL

2020 Charlotte Road Cup Alex Bowman NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

For the first time in his NASCAR career, Alex Bowman has made it to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.  Entering Sunday’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, Bowman was seventh in points, holding a 22-point advantage over the cutline.  Like most of the playoff contenders, he fought through an …

Read moreUp to Speed: Alex Bowman’s Title Hopes Saved Again by the ROVAL

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