Race Weekend Central

Thinkin’ Out Loud: Inside Tony Stewart’s Stunning Sonoma Victory

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

Who’s in the headline – Friday, Tony Stewart said, “driving a Sprint Cup car does not make me happy right now.” Wonder how he feels after a trip to Victory Lane? Based on that winning look on his face my guess is “ecstatic” after a last-lap, last-turn re-pass of Denny Hamlin earned Smoke his first victory since Dover in June 2013. …

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Kyle Larson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Fastest In Cup Practices At Sonoma

[Photo: Zach Catanzareti]

Friday saw the only two Sprint Cup Series practices of the Sonoma Raceway weekend, featuring Kyle Larson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. as the fastest in the first and second respectively. Larson, whose hometown of Elk Grove, Calif., is roughly two hours away from Sonoma, is riding off a lot of momentum in the past month. …

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Double Take: No Video Game Cover Jinx for NASCAR Stars

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Garrison Hearst. Dorsey Levens. Daunte Culpepper. Michael Vick. Troy Polamalu. No, these aren’t obscure drivers from NASCAR’s past. They’re all football players, one-time superstars of the NFL who were chosen at one point to be the cover athlete of EA Sports’ Madden video game franchise. And they all saw their careers go south following the honor. …

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Did You Notice? … Big Names Still Seeking First NASCAR Road Course Win

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Did You Notice? … That for many on the Sprint Cup circuit road course racing has become an acquired skill. Sure, the quality of competition has gone up significantly in recent years; months of testing and resources are benchmarked to help series regulars at both Sonoma and Watkins Glen. We’ve seen old road course ringers like Boris Said and Ron …

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Sprint Cup Crystal Ball: A Potential Path To 17 Winners?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

The third year of Sprint Cup’s current “Win And You’re (Basically) In” Chase format appears on paper to be on pace with past seasons. There have been 10 different winners in the first 15 races, equal to the pace we saw last year and down nine percent from 2014. The breakdown of those victories is …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud – Aero Packages, Winners, Losers and Charters for the Second Off Week of the Season

Who’s in the headline – In a world where “winning is everything,” Kyle Busch is the name in bold at the top of the charts with three victories in 2016. If points are your thing, then it is Kevin Harvick who has set himself above the rest. Whatever the case, the last two champions in …

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Couch Potato Tuesday: Jeff Gordon Gets Disrespected

(Photo: John Harrelson / NKP)

Michigan International Speedway brought the unveiling of the new ultra-low downforce package, one that Darrell Waltrip described as having a smaller rear spoiler than at any time in the past 40 years.  It’s a little hard to ascertain.  It’s not like restrictor plates, which can be tracked thanks to Jayski’s Plate chart. FireKeepers Casino 400 …

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Daily NASCAR Fantasy: Drafting Your Michigan Lineup (FireKeepers Casino 400)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Michigan International Speedway on June 12th for the FireKeepers Casino 400. NASCAR has implemented a new low downforce package for this weekends’ race, which will test each and every driver’s skill around the fast two-mile track. Earlier in the week, the Sprint Cup Series saw its ninth different …

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Double Take: Michigan Success in June Doesn’t Lead to Cup Titles

Want to win the Sprint Cup championship this season? Don’t win this weekend at Michigan. That’s right – don’t win. Super counterintuitive, I know. Today’s NASCAR is all about winning. Win to make the Chase. Win to appease sponsors. Win to advance in the Chase. And win to take home the title. Winning is great, …

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not: Michigan Edition

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

This weekend at Pocono was the best of times and the worst of times. Yes, it was the Tale of Two Tracks, except that it was still the same place. But that’s how it goes on some late spring weekends in the eastern Pennsylvania mountains. HOT Kurt Busch became the latest driver to climb the …

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