NASCAR Race Weekend Central

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

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(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

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(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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Up to Speed: Denny Hamlin Gets Another Chance

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

This time, Denny Hamlin didn’t blink. Needing to close out a victory late in Sunday’s (Nov. 10) race at ISM Raceway, Hamlin prevailed on a restart with three laps to go, holding off fellow playoff drivers Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney.  The win allows Hamlin to advance to the final round of the playoffs next …

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Up to Speed: Final Thoughts on the 2019 NASCAR Aero Package

2019 Michigan Cup pack racing

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway was the latest chapter in a story that has unfolded all season long.  The 500-mile, day-into-night event was the last big test of NASCAR’s new aero package for stock car racing’s premier series. While there is still one intermediate track race left at Homestead-Miami …

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Up to Speed: No Love Lost Between Denny Hamlin & Joey Logano

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(Photo: Christian Koelle)

Martinsville Speedway’s reputation for producing hot tempers and hurt feelings remain intact.  The fall playoff race, in particular, has featured no shortage of drama between championship contenders. Two years ago, Chase Elliott was upset at Denny Hamlin after being spun out late in the race.  Last year, Martin Truex Jr. was peeved at Joey Logano …

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Up to Speed: Reversal of Fortunes for Team Penske

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Early in NASCAR’s 2019 season, Team Penske appeared to have two top shelf contenders for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title.  Brad Keselowski kicked off their effort, rolling to three victories in the first 12 races of the year.  After a disappointing playoff run in 2018, the No. 2 team was looking like a …

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Up to Speed: The Tale of the Talladega Boycott, 50 Years Later

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Long after a Talladega boycott threatened its existence, Talladega Superspeedway has an identity all its own.  The speedway is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend, and those 50 years have produced a record of thrills and spills that few other tracks can match.  There’s a lot to like about Talladega when everything goes right.  Fast-paced, …

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Up to Speed: Richard Childress Racing Starting Over

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Richard Childress Racing is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019.  Starting out as an owner/driver, Childress built his organization into one of the mightiest teams in NASCAR history.  His achievements with Dale Earnhardt at the wheel of the No. 3 Chevrolet are the stuff of legend. But as great as RCR has been over most …

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