NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Zach’s Turn: Erik Jones Capitalizing on Opportunity at Richard Petty Motorsports

Erik Jones 2021 Kansas

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Erik Jones is in a situation he’s never faced in the NASCAR Cup Series. Jones, 25, always had top-tier equipment at Joe Gibbs Racing, all the way from Kyle Busch Motorsports equipment in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series through the Xfinity and Cup series with JGR. Now driving the No. 43 Chevrolet for Richard …

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Zach’s Turn: Austin Dillon Earning Success As Richard Childress Finds More Speed

Austin Dillon Sonoma 2021

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Austin Dillon has faced a lot of criticism since he hit the NASCAR scene full time in 2010. Eleven years, two lower-tier championships and a couple of crown-jewel NASCAR Cup Series victories later, Dillon is earning success on a regular basis behind the wheel of the famed No. 3 Chevrolet. Dillon has an average finish …

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Zach’s Turn: Does NASCAR Need to Address Minimum-Speed Issues?

NASCAR Cody Ware Ryan Preece 2021 Coca-Cola 600

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The discrepancy between NASCAR’s fastest and its slowest appeared to be on full display during Sunday’s (May 30) Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As leaders like Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott stormed around the 1.5-mile racetrack, lapped cars like David Starr and Josh Bilicki seemed to be on screen getting passed — or used …

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Zach’s Turn: Why Did NASCAR Allow Such Dangerous Conditions at COTA?

NASCAR Wet

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

By now, everyone knows how miserably wet the NASCAR Cup Series’ inaugural event at Circuit of the Americas was. The looming question, though, is why NASCAR allowed Sunday’s (May 23) EchoPark Texas Grand Prix to be marred by such treacherous conditions. Before we delve into the calamity that took place around the 20-turn course, a …

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Zach’s Turn: Josh Berry Turns in Quiet Cup Debut at Dover

2021 Cup Dover Josh Berry, No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet (Credit: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Josh Berry had no intentions of making a NASCAR Cup Series start in 2021. Sometimes, fate doesn’t care about intentions. Berry was thrust into the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet and made his Cup Series debut Sunday (May 16) in the Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway, turning in a quiet 30th-place run. Filling in …

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Zach’s Turn: More Horsepower, More Success for Martin Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr. Darlington 1 2021

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Martin Truex Jr. already entered Darlington Raceway as the only driver in the NASCAR Cup Series field with multiple wins this season. That’s what made his performance during Sunday’s (May 9) Goodyear 400 that much more impressive, leading 248 of 293 laps en route to his third victory in 12 starts thus far in 2021. …

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Zach’s Turn: Chris Buescher Gets Butt End of NASCAR’s Decision

Chris Buescher Kansas 1 2021

#17: Chris Buescher, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Mustang autoTempest

Chris Buescher and crew chief Luke Lambert seemed to be in prime position to capitalize on a late caution at Kansas Speedway. But the caution they needed never came – not until after the No. 17 team was burnt by NASCAR’s decision to withhold the yellow flag until after Buescher hit pit road. An uncontrolled …

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Zach’s Turn: Joey Logano’s Tumble Highlights Need for Change in Superspeedway Racing

Joey Logano Flip Talladega NASCAR

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday (April 25) was another superspeedway race producing an exciting finish. Joey Logano just wasn’t around to see it. That’s because this handling package sent another car airborne, leaving a NASCAR champion after another superspeedway race scared for his safety and clamoring for major changes. It’s the dichotomy …

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Zach’s Turn: Matt DiBenedetto Turns in ‘Overdue’ Top 10 at Richmond

2021 Cup Richmond Matt DiBenedetto, No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford (Credit: NKP)

Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

Matt DiBenedetto found himself up the creek without a paddle to start 2021. His luck to start the year was atrocious with seemingly no end in sight. Three races in, he was mired way back in 35th in points, trailing drivers like Jamie McMurray who ran a one-race deal in February’s Daytona 500. It took …

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Zach’s Turn: Ryan Blaney Remains Winless at Martinsville

2021 Martinsville I Cup Ryan Blaney NKP

Ryan Blaney (Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Ryan Blaney has earned top-five finishes in five of the last seven races at Martinsville Speedway yet remains winless at the half-mile paperclip. After Sunday’s (April 11) race, that statistic should have read six top fives in the last seven. Instead, a pit-road miscue and ensuing penalty derailed what could have been a winning run …

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