NASCAR Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Stat Sheet: Kyle Larson Earns the Most Important Stat of the Year: Champion

Kyle Larson celebrates his 2021 NASCAR Cup Series championship at Phoenix Raceway. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Despite being a force to be reckoned with in nearly every race in 2021, Kyle Larson entered the finale at Phoenix Raceway on a level even with the other three championship-eligible drivers.

NASCAR 101: Who Didn’t Return to NASCAR in 2021?

Jimmie Johnson at Detroit 2021 IndyCar

(Photo: Chris Owens/INDYCAR Media)

A smaller crop of drivers who raced on the national NASCAR stage in 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, equals an altogether more diminutive list of racers who didn’t return to a NASCAR national series in 2021. And of those who didn’t return, some were, as always, expected. Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth …

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NASCAR Stat Sheet: Martinsville Top-Dog Alex Bowman Sizzles, Denny Hamlin Left Feeling Burnt

Alex Bowman at 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Michigan race

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

It was only five years ago but my how the landscape of NASCAR has changed. It has arguably changed more for no single individual than it has for Alex Bowman.

NASCAR Stat Sheet: Kyle Larson Still Shredding the Record Books With Kansas Win

Kyle Larson

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Larson scores another trifecta Here we are again. Another race weekend is in the books, and while the track was different and the playoff drivers having good or bad days may have rotated a bit, one thing remains strikingly constant: the winner. Kyle freaking Larson has run off with another trophy, his ninth of the …

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NASCAR Stat Sheet: Larson Two-Steps All Over the Competition in Texas

Kyle Larson leads a pack cars at Texas Motor Speedway, October 2021. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Larson closing in on first Cup title Remember when Kyle Larson did something dumb and many wondered if his opportunity to compete in the Cup Series (or any NASCAR series for that matter) was gone? It seems like ages ago, and in some ways, it was. The world has changed a lot since then, as …

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Graham Rahal: ‘Consistency Has Definitely Been Our Thing’ in 2021 IndyCar Season

Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal on track at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens/Courtesy of IndyCar.)

For Graham Rahal, the 2021 IndyCar season was another quietly impressive campaign. The No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda driver finished seventh in the championship standings and secured top-10 finishes in 11 of the 16 races, including a podium at Texas. 2021 marks the seventh consecutive year that Rahal has been within the top 10 …

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Up to Speed: Kyle Busch Beyond 600 Starts

2021 Charlotte Cup Kyle Busch NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Suffice it to say Kyle Busch’s playoffs got off to a rough start.  A crash at Darlington Raceway erased his cushion over the first round cutline.  Busch responded with a top 10 the following week at Richmond Raceway, but a late speeding penalty cost the No. 18 team a shot at victory. The Round of …

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Up to Speed: The Hendrick Motorsports Playoff Battle Begins Early

Hendrick Motorsports battles for position at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Earlier in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Hendrick Motorsports looked like the team to beat as all four of its drivers had won a race by Memorial Day.  Kyle Larson was particularly impressive, winning three races in a row plus the non-points All-Star race.  But William Byron, Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott all had their …

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Fire on Fridays: Who Would Jimmie Johnson Drive For in a NASCAR Return?

Jimmie Johnson at Detroit 2021 IndyCar

(Photo: Chris Owens/INDYCAR Media)

For the second straight year, NASCAR and INDYCAR will team up at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and share the weekend, as the two American motorsport titans will both race the Indy road course. This weekend will also be the first time Jimmie Johnson will share the same garage as his former NASCAR Cup Series competitors since …

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Dropping the Hammer: COVID Again Looms Over NASCAR

Kyle Larson at Watkins Glen

Kyle Larson signs autographs for fans at Watkins Glen (Davey Segal)

Things were going so well. The world was returning to a vaguely defined “normal.” After not attending a NASCAR race as a member of the press in 18 months, after getting vaccinated as soon as it was available to my age demographic, I got to cover the June race weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. No masks. …

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