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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Role Reversals for Joey Logano & Chase Elliott


(Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

Bristol Motor Speedway never disappoints.  A battle for the lead that seemed to stretch over the entire last 200 laps ended with an electrifying finish.  First, it looked like Denny Hamlin was in position to win, but a jam up with several lapped cars sent the No. 11 into the wall and brought out the …

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Up to Speed: Forecasting the NASCAR Future of Chase Briscoe

Chase Briscoe Las Vegas 2020

Briscoe enjoyed the Pocono win after a spin and a pit road speeding violation (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Chase Briscoe provided what will certainly be a highlight of the 2020 NASCAR season on Thursday evening (May 21).  Briscoe won the weather-delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Darlington Raceway, beating Kyle Busch to the finish line after a last-lap battle that evoked memories of the Ricky Craven / Kurt Busch finish in 2003.  It …

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Up to Speed: NASCAR COVID-19 Therapy Came to Darlington

2020DarlingtonNCSRacingNASCARMedia 1

(Photo: Getty Images/NASCAR Media)

For a few hours on Sunday, May 17, we got to focus on something other than social distancing, rates of infection and toilet paper shortages.  Some stay-at-home orders may still be in place, but the NASCAR COVID-19 quarantine came to an end… and gave millions a break. They got to watch a race. After a …

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Up to Speed: Which Drivers Are Likely to Tame Darlington in its 2020 NASCAR Return?


(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The 2020 NASCAR season, paused for about two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is less than a week away from resuming.  The first two races will be held at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, about a two-hour drive from race shops in the Charlotte area.  They include a 400-mile event on Sunday, May 17 …

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Up to Speed: Lessons Learned From 1974 That Could Shape NASCAR COVID-19 Response

2016 Pocono I CUP Sunoco Sign Anthony Lumbis Sr.

Seven weeks after NASCAR’s last live weekend of competition at Phoenix Raceway, uncertainty is still the order of the day.  The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the sport into the virtual realm, with iRacing hosting weekly events for Cup Series drivers.  Meanwhile, the sanctioning body continues to make plans behind the scenes about returning to …

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Up to Speed: NASCAR On Pause With Coronavirus – A Chance to Relive the Classics

Daytona 500 Finish Line Denny Hamlin Martin Truex Jr 2016 Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Just as NASCAR’s 2020 season was getting underway, the engines fell silent this weekend.  In the midst of a global health crisis caused by the rapid spread of the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus, NASCAR postponed all national series races scheduled at Atlanta Motor Speedway for March 13-15.  Next week’s races at Homestead-Miami Speedway have …

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Up to Speed: The One That Got Away from Kevin Harvick


(Photo: Randy Lanning)

Kevin Harvick has a reputation for doing two things particularly well: closing out races and winning at Phoenix Raceway.  No driver has won more Cup Series races at the one mile oval than Harvick.  And, over the last decade or so, there is perhaps no other driver who has more frequently emerged out of the …

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Up to Speed: Alex Bowman Delivering on High Expectations


(Photo: Randy Lanning)

No long ago, Hendrick Motorsports was the undisputed most dominant team in NASCAR.  Competitors and fans alike understood that the path to the Cup Series championship inevitably ran through the sprawling HMS campus in Concord, North Carolina.  Led most recently by Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick’s strong teams promised to be contenders each and every week. However, …

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Up to Speed: All Eyes on Ross Chastain

Ross Chastain Martinsville 2019

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Ross Chastain has had quite the eventful week.  It began with a strong run in the Daytona 500 that ended in a multi-car wreck in the closing laps and concluded Sunday (Feb. 23) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where another good performance went awry late in the race.  With six laps to go, Chastain looped …

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Up to Speed: Going Forward, Daytona Needs to Remember its Main Attraction


(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

There is no race quite like the Daytona 500.  Every year, when that special Sunday in mid-February rolls around, NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway pay off three months’ worth of anticipation among fans and competitors.  This weekend was no different, with NASCAR set to begin a new season and a new decade of racing. Then, …

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Up to Speed: NASCAR Cup Drivers With Something to Prove in 2020

Matt DiBenedetto

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

A new racing season means new opportunities and new challenges.  Over the winter, NASCAR’s Cup Series saw its usual flurry of changes among drivers, teams and crews.  As a result of these changes, many drivers, rookies and veterans alike will be feeling the pressure to perform in 2020.  Whether measuring their success against other competitors …

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Up to Speed: A Full Season Show by Kyle Busch


(Credit: Christian Koelle, Frontstretch)

In the end, reports of Kyle Busch’s demise turned out to be greatly exaggerated.  It may have been a shaky run through the playoffs at times for the Las Vegas native. But once the dust had settled at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday night, Busch had claimed his second championship in NASCAR’s top division. Busch’s second …

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