NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: A Lesson in Experience for Alex Bowman and Erik Jones

Alex Bowman Talladega I 2019

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

After an intense night of racing at Kansas Speedway, Alex Bowman and Erik Jones will have to take the bad with the good.  Both drivers were impressive on Saturday night, especially in the late stages of the race.  However, neither was able to beat Brad Keselowski with a race win on the line. Keselowski’s victory …

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Up to Speed: A Steep Learning Curve for Cup Series Rookies

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

For two Rookie of the Year Contenders in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, last week’s race at Talladega Superspeedway was a long-awaited bright spot.  Both Ryan Preece and Daniel Hemric walked away with top-five finishes. Preece’s third-place result is a career-best finish, improving on his eighth place earlier this year in the Daytona 500.  …

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Up to Speed: Missed Talladega Opportunities for Joey Logano

2019 Phoenix I CUP Joey Logano NKP

(Photo: NKP)

Late last season, nobody made the most of a few good opportunities better than Joey Logano. A victory at Martinsville Speedway carried him to the season finale as a championship contender. Three weeks later, Logano found himself with the best short-run car at Homestead-Miami Speedway. When presented with a short green flag run to the …

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Up to Speed: Kyle Busch, 2019 Versus Jeff Gordon, 1998

Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch On Track Duel Daytona 2006

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Kyle Busch’s fast start to the 2019 NASCAR season has been well-documented.  Through the first nine races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, he has earned three wins, six top fives and nine top 10s.  He has also led 599 laps and posted an average finish of 3.9.  As great as Busch’s 2018 season …

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Up to Speed: Jimmie Johnson & Chad Knaus, Post-Breakup

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

During Friday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway, Chad Knaus observed the action from a different vantage point.  Instead of being a crew chief, Knaus tried his hand at broadcasting.  It wasn’t the first time that he had helped to call a race from the booth, and he did a solid job explaining teams’ …

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Up to Speed: The Many Faces of Darrell Waltrip

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Darrell Waltrip has never been one to shy away from attention.  But lately, the NASCAR Hall of Famer has been getting more attention than he bargained for. During last weekend’s races at Texas Motor Speedway, rumors began circulating that Waltrip was preparing to retire from broadcasting.  An Associated Press report added fuel to the fire, …

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Up to Speed: Even Kyle Busch Makes Mistakes

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Through the early weeks of the 2019 NASCAR season, Kyle Busch looked like an unstoppable force of nature.  In the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Busch collected finishes of sixth or better in every single start through the first six contests. Those races include two wins, one of which was Busch’s much-hyped 200th across NASCAR’s …

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Up to Speed: Another Season on the Bubble for Daniel Suarez?

2019 Phoenix I CUP Daniel Suarez NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Daniel Suarez enjoyed one of the best runs of his 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season Sunday (March 24) at Martinsville Speedway.  In his sixth start driving the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41, he took the checkered flag in 10th after a long afternoon of short track racing. Suarez’s second top 10 of the season …

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Up to Speed: Kurt Busch Impressive at Chip Ganassi Racing

2019 Las Vegas I CUP Kurt Busch NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway belonged to Kyle Busch.  But nobody should overlook the accomplishments of his older brother early in the season. Kurt Busch left Stewart-Haas Racing after a successful five-year run.  He took over driving duties for Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 1 car, bringing sponsor Monster Energy …

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Up to Speed: Kyle Busch Challenging Kevin Harvick at ISM

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Something seemed a little off at ISM Raceway on Sunday.  In an otherwise fairly typical race, one competitor was noticeably absent from the front of the field. Where was Kevin Harvick? In the last decade or so, Harvick has become the most frequent winner at the 1-mile flat track in Phoenix.  He has collected nine …

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