NASCAR 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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Riley Herbst Victory Comes at Interesting Time for Toyota Racing Development

2020MichiganARCARileyHerbstTrophyNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Riley Herbst‘s ARCA victory at Michigan Sunday came at an interesting time for Toyota Racing Development. The victory comes just a few days removed from the announcement that Erik Jones would not return to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2021. Herbst is one of Toyota’s long-term “experiments” that earned his first victory in over 1,000 days. …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: NASCAR Michigan Doubleheader Weekend

2020MichiganNCSKevinHarvickManufactuersTrophyNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

What happened? Kevin Harvick swept the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Saturday (Aug. 8) and the Consumers Energy 400 on Sunday (Aug. 9) at Michigan International Speedway. He’s now won four out of the last six NASCAR Cup Series races held at the two-mile oval. Harvick was the dominant car in both events, leading the most …

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Up to Speed: Matt Kenseth, Erik Jones & the Cost of Driver Development

2017MichiganNCSErikJonesCarNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Back in the summer of 2017, change was afoot at Joe Gibbs Racing.  During Kentucky Speedway’s race weekend, Matt Kenseth publicly announced that he would not be returning to the No. 20 Toyota in 2018.  Several days later, JGR confirmed that Erik Jones would move over from Furniture Row Racing to replace him. The impending …

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4 Burning Questions: What’s Next for Erik Jones?

2020CharlotteNCSErikJonesFaceNASCARMedia

(Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

What’s next for Erik Jones? It was reported by Fox Sports and later confirmed by Joe Gibbs Racing itself on Thursday evening that Erik Jones would not return to the No. 20 Toyota in 2021. .@JoeGibbsRacing confirms that it won't renew @Erik_Jones' deal after 2020. 🗯Joe Gibbs: "We appreciate all Erik has done for Joe …

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Erik Jones Won’t Return to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2021

2020KansasNCSErikJonesFaceNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Erik Jones will not return as the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Race Hub reported Aug. 6. The 24-year-old Jones is in his fourth full-time season in Cup, all with Joe Gibbs Racing. He has two wins, at Daytona International Speedway and Darlington Raceway. In …

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Did You Notice?: No. 95 Sale Clear Warning About NASCAR Financial Trouble From COVID-19

#95: Christopher Bell, Leavine Family Racing, Toyota Camry Procore

Did You Notice?… Bob Leavine has sold his No. 95, family-owned NASCAR Cup Series team less than two years after switching to Toyota and partnering with Joe Gibbs Racing? Christopher Bell will be running elsewhere in 2021 as financial conditions created by COVID-19 made it impossible for this team to continue. What’s notable is the new …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire

2020NewHampshireNCSBradKeselowskiVictoryLaneNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

What happened? Brad Keselowski won the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday (Aug. 2) after pulling away from Denny Hamlin on a long, final green-flag run. Keselowski led a race-high 184 laps en route to his third NASCAR Cup Series victory of 2020. Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and Kevin …

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

2020NewHampshireNCSWilliamByronCarNKP

(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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NASCAR Stat Sheet: Jimmie Johnson Stumbling To The Finish Line Of Cup Career

Jimmie Johnson William Byron NH 2020

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race (Aug. 2) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway won by Brad Keselowski was surprisingly… badass. Let’s not forget, NHMS gets a lot of flack for how difficult it can be to pass there. Jimmie Johnson found out the hard way (more on that later). New Hampshire’s rough history, though, was thrown …

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