NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Up to Speed: Is the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Field Already Set?

2019MonsterEnergyNASCARCupSeriesPlayoffsFieldOf16NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Given how the 2020 NASCAR season has played out so far, the Cup Series playoff has felt like almost an afterthought.  Nevertheless, the Cup Series regular season is almost halfway complete.  Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway was the 12th event of the revised Cup schedule in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Only 14 races …

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Up to Speed: No Wins, No Concern for Martin Truex Jr. in 2020

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Martin Truex Jr. had one of his best NASCAR Cup Series runs this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon (June 7).  Unfortunately for Truex, it did not result in a victory, but the third-place run was his first top five of 2020.  Through the first 10 races, he remains winless, a surprising statistic …

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

2020BristolNCSJoeyLoganovsChaseElliottFaceNASCARMedia

(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 in the driver's seat of his NASCAR racecar. Photo: NKP

(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?

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(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

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(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

2020CaliforniaNCSAlexBowmanBurnoutRLP2

(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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