Race Weekend Central

Zach’s Turn: How Does NASCAR Cash in on Clash?

NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum Joey Logano Kyle Larson Justin Haley William Byron

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

LOS ANGELES — From the very start, NASCAR knew trying to race inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was a gamble. The risk was worth it and NASCAR hit the jackpot. The 2022 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum was an undeniable success. Inside the confines of a football stadium sat over 50,000 spectators, 70% …

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Zach’s Turn: iRacing Plays Pivotal Role in Clash Success

NASCAR Clash Coliseum

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Inside the storied walls of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum sits a quarter-mile racetrack, built solely for a one-off exhibition short-track race for the NASCAR Cup Series in downtown L.A.

The idea would have felt absurd any time before 2020, before any mention of COVID-19 threatened to halt the world, let alone the sport. But NASCAR today is not the NASCAR of the last five decades – or even the last five years.

The majority of the credit lies with people like NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation Ben Kennedy and Patrick Rogers, the sport’s vice president of marketing, for being willing to think outside the box and turn a previously unthinkable decision into a reality that comes to fruition Sunday night (Feb. 6).

Zach’s Turn: Pit Crew, Cliff Daniels Rocket Kyle Larson Toward 1st Cup Championship

Kyle Larson Phoenix NASCAR Championship

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

PHOENIX — When the caution flag came out with 64 laps to go at Phoenix Raceway, Kyle Larson found himself in a predicament. Fellow Championship 4 driver Martin Truex Jr., who had proven his strength on the long run, caught a lucky break by being on pit road when Anthony Alfredo slammed the turn 2 …

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Zach’s Turn: Denny Hamlin’s Anger May Finally Fuel Championship Run

Denny Hamlin Alex Bowman 2021

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Denny Hamlin‘s hunt for a NASCAR Cup Series championship has been fruitless so far. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a more recent viewer, you know Hamlin hasn’t won the title because it becomes a storyline every November. Statistically, he never came closer than 2010 when he finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson in a public …

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Zach’s Turn: Putting Myself in the Driver’s Seat for Once

Zach Sturniolo Zach’s Turn

(Photo: Zach Sturniolo)

As someone who writes about motorsports, my role is to observe. I watch drivers wheel their machines around racetracks, fight physics, search for grip and look for ways around their competitors while they manage business dealings out of the race car. I feel like my opinions are generally well informed because I’ve been fortunate enough …

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Zach’s Turn: Brad Keselowski Shining in Rare Underdog Role Through Playoffs

Brad Keselowski Texas NASCAR 2021

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

On Oct. 10 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, Brad Keselowski was on the brink of elimination. His competitors were doing him no favors. The No. 2 Ford was sent spinning multiple times around the part-oval, part-road-course. And with no significant playoff points to carry him through the postseason, there were multiple points were it …

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Zach’s Turn: Time to Start Holding Kevin Harvick Accountable

Chase Elliott with damage to the No. 9 car during the 2021 Bank of America ROVAL400. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Kevin Harvick is one of an elite few at the top of his era in the NASCAR Cup Series, but nothing on Harvick’s resume absolves the 2014 champion of accountability. Why, then, are we so quick to dismiss his wrongdoings over the years? Sure, this column is inspired by the events that took place Sunday …

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Zach’s Turn: Anthony Alfredo Survives Talladega for First Top 10

Anthony Alfredo Talladega 2 2021

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Anthony Alfredo finally found the good run he’s long been looking for at Talladega Superspeedway. Lost in the shuffle of Bubba Wallace’s historic day, Alfredo kept his No. 38 Georgia Peanuts Ford clean and brought the car home 10th for his first career top 10 in the NASCAR Cup Series. “We’re really proud of that,” …

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