Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Chase Briscoe & the 1st-Time Winners at Phoenix

Briscoe

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

First-time Cup Series winners are becoming a common sight in 2022. After Austin Cindric’s victory in the Daytona 500 last month, Chase Briscoe became the second driver to earn his first victory just four races into the season. Briscoe had to hold off challenges from Ross Chastain and Tyler Reddick over the final 20 laps, …

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Up to Speed: Kyle Larson & Chase Elliott Tangle at Fontana

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In their first year together as teammates at Hendrick Motorsports, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott mostly played nice.

Two races into the 2022 season? Not so much.

With 21 laps to go during Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway, both drivers had a shot at victory.

Up to Speed: Brad Keselowski & Austin Cindric Battle at Daytona

#6: Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing, Ford Mustang Castrol Violet Defense

(Photo: NKP)

One year ago, Brad Keselowski’s frustration was visible.

As the final laps of the Daytona 500 ticked away, Keselowski made a bold move to set himself up for a last-lap pass for the lead on his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano. But when Logano blocked Keselowski’s path forward, Keselowski got hit from behind by Michael McDowell, triggering a frightening crash that knocked out both Penske cars. McDowell went on to win the race, leaving Keselowski without a Harley J. Earl Trophy for at least one more year.

Up to Speed: NASCAR Still Chasing the Casual Sports Fan

Kyle Busch takes the green flag to kick off the NASCAR Busch Clash heat races at the LA Colusseum.

(Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

NASCAR’s 2022 season began this weekend with a new twist on a familiar event. Instead of hosting the exhibition race currently known as The Clash at its customary home, Daytona International Speedway, the chartered teams of the NASCAR Cup Series packed up and headed west to Los Angeles. The site of this year’s race was …

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Up to Speed: NASCAR Playoff Points of the Past Revisited

NASCAR Playoff drivers Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. lead the field at Phoenix Raceway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Earlier this year, I explored how NASCAR playoff points earned during the regular season impacted drivers’ performances in the playoffs themselves.  The goal of that study was to determine if a driver’s playoff point total could predict when they would be eliminated from title contention.  I also wanted to see if there were any notable …

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Up to Speed: Denny Hamlin Needs to Let it Go

Denny Hamlin scratches his head on pit road at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Denny Hamlin doesn’t have to be happy.  He doesn’t have to like getting spun by Alex Bowman in the closing laps at Martinsville Speedway.  He doesn’t have to celebrate missing out on a potential win during a 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season where he has enjoyed plenty of strong runs, but few victories. No, Hamlin …

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Up to Speed: A Good Bad Day for Kyle Busch at Kansas

Kyle Busch at 2021 NASCAR Cup Series race on Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Kyle Busch’s rocky path through the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs took another unexpected turn at Kansas Speedway. Entering Sunday’s (Oct. 24) race, Busch was on the playoff bubble, just eight points above the cut line. It was a slim margin, but not necessarily a reason to panic. Once among his worst tracks, Busch had finished …

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Up to Speed: Can Joey Logano & Martin Truex Jr. Recover?

Joey Logano focuses before the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

On a day at Texas Motor Speedway when most NASCAR playoff drivers avoided serious trouble, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. were not so lucky.  Both drivers looked to be on their way to top-10 finishes but dropped out of the race in the last 50 miles.  Logano’s engine failed on lap 300, relegating him …

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Up to Speed: Mind Games for Chase Elliott & Kevin Harvick at the ROVAL

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

It is no surprise to see Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVAL dish out a healthy dose of chaos.  But for the 2021 playoff race, a day at the ROVAL came with more mind games than usual.  The feud between Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick that began at Bristol Motor Speedway flared up once again, with Harvick …

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