Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: NASCAR’s Early Stages Turning Into Snoozers, Plus… Christopher Bell

Christopher Bell won at the Daytona Road Course in 2021 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

ONE: Christopher Bell’s Big Step Up The worst-kept secret in the NASCAR Cup Series was made official Monday (Aug. 10): Christopher Bell is getting promoted to Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20. The move was considered a mere formality after NASCAR owner Bob Leavine announced the sale of the No. 95 Toyota team Bell currently drives …

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Frontstretch Podcast: Silly Season Heating Up, Cole Custer Chats Successful Rookie Campaign

(Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

In this week’s edition of the Frontstretch Podcast, Dustin Albino and Mike Neff discuss a fun NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway that saw Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin duke it out for the victory. Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. had a solid day at the track, while his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch finished last. …

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Power Rankings: Dedication to Bob Bahre Edition

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Despite a ho-hum finish, NASCAR’s Cup division put on a great race at the Magic Mile to properly honor the late great Bob Bahre. The selective painting of the traction compound seemed to do the job, allowing drivers to run all over the racetrack. Let’s take a look at the Power Rankings after the 301-lap …

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Up to Speed: What is William Byron’s NASCAR Ceiling?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

William Byron is back in familiar territory.  One year ago, 20 races into the regular season, he was 12th in overall points and fighting to solidify a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.  Holding a 61-point advantage over the cutline leaving New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Byron continued his rebound from a rough start to …

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Power Rankings: Racing Gods Have Spoken Edition

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The Racing Gods sure have a wicked sense of timing. Last week, the racing community lost a great racing promoter in Bob Bahre. This week, NASCAR heads to the track that he was responsible for making happen. Mr. Bahre was so important to New England racing in general and to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in …

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Did You Notice?: 2020 NASCAR Midseason Awards

(Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

When I was a NASCAR reporter for SI.com, I used to do a midseason segment called “The Bowlesy Awards” that evaluated the NASCAR Cup Series from time to time. We’re bringing them back here in 2020, with a little refresh, as NASCAR midseason awards while taking a closer look at where the sport stands five …

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NASCAR 101: Analyzing NASCAR’s First-Time Winner Count in 2020 So Far

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Last weekend was quite the weekend for first-timers, as the four NASCAR races at Kentucky Speedway saw two first-time winners in their respective series, while another driver won his first oval race in the sport (followed promptly by his second). It started Thursday night, when Austin Cindric, after wins on road courses in the Xfinity …

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Did You Notice?: That Summertime NASCAR Spark At Stewart-Haas Racing?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Did You Notice? … How quickly Stewart-Haas Racing has gotten its act together this summer? While Kevin Harvick has been a title contender all season long in the NASCAR Cup Series, his trio of teammates spent the first half of 2020 mired in midpack. Here’s where all four drivers stood through the Martinsville Speedway race June …

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Power Rankings: 4-Wide for the Win Edition

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The folks at NASCAR got very lucky this weekend with an epic finish that was great enough to get the fans to forget that the first 390 miles were a snoozefest of clean air being king after restarts at Kentucky Speedway. The late, great Dan Gurney used to preach about the best racing coming with …

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Frontstretch Podcast: Lackluster Racing in Kentucky, Michael McDowell Chats Career Year

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Subscribe: iTunes In this week’s edition of the Frontstretch Podcast, Dustin Albino and Mike Neff discuss the lackluster racing at Kentucky Speedway across the top three national touring series, even though the Cup Series race had an incredible finish.  Cole Custer clinched a playoff spot by making a four-wide pass on Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney on …

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