NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Pace Laps: Missing Expectations, Flying Fists, and Surprise Contenders

2015 Watkins Glen CUP Jeff Gordon car CIA

Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photography

Sprint Cup Series: Oh, What Might Have Been… Watkins Glen is sold every year as the last regular season “wild card” race, the last place an underdog can work his way into the Chase under the right circumstances. There were high hopes entering the weekend for defending winner AJ Allmendinger, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and …

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Open-Wheel Wednesday: Sage Karam’s Spin Brings Drama

2015 IndyCar Sage Karam head shot with helmet e1596682852695

Photo Credit: IndyCar

One might not have expected the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio to be a race filled with drama. In fact, after the grid had been set by qualifying, it would not have been outlandish to think that the finishing order would not be all that much different. Consider that the sum total for caution flags …

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IndyCar Breakdown: 2015 Hondy Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

graham rahal mid ohio john cote 2015

Photo Credit: John Cote

In a Nutshell: At a track where cautions have been scant over the past few years, the yellow flags proved to be the element that changed strategy and shook up the field. Graham Rahal, who had started in 13th, benefitted from a timely caution as he made his way to pit road, ultimately coming out with …

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Pace Laps: Wild Races, Crazy Spins, and Speed Records

2015 Pocono CUP Kasey Kahne car CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Cup Series: Unexpected Wild Race at Pocono Leads to Victory for Matt Kenseth – It was quite the 400 miles at Pocono Raceway. With wrecks filling the first half of the race, the second half seemed like it would get even more wild. However, the field set a steady pace for the final 80 laps, …

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Happiness Is… 483 Points, Ohio & Hungaroring

Kyle Busch celebrates his win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

The feeling after the Brickyard 400 seems to be a hangover without the fun of having drank. It’s like there’s something that should have happened but didn’t and now there’s just the empty blankness of moving on and continuing in some sort of rut. Nothing to take away from Kyle Busch’s win; that dude is …

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5 Points to Ponder: A Way Forward, Crispy Thunder & Fizzling Smoke

2015 Kentucky CUP Kyle Busch leads credit NASCAR via Getty Images

Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

A Way Forward If what we saw on Saturday night is a sign of things to come – if not necessarily this year but next – then I think we can look forward with confidence to some significantly better racing on the much-maligned mile-and-a-half tracks and elsewhere. That the success of the new package also …

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IndyCar Recap: 2015 ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee

bourdais milwaukee chris jones

Photo Credit: Chris Jones

In a Nutshell: For much of the race on the flat 1-mile track, two-time race-winner Josef Newgarden looked to be running away to victory. Though Ryan Briscoe posed a serious challenge, a terrible pit stop pushed him back in the field and Newgarden maintained the lead. Then, the yellow flags changed things. Two yellow flags …

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Pace Laps: Hope Alive, a Perfect Team, & Close Finishes

2015 Kentucky CUP Kyle Busch checkered flag CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. ©2015)

Sprint Cup Series: Busch Keeps Chase Hopes Alive With Miraculous Three Weeks – If Kyle Busch is able to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup come September, the previous three races will have been the critical part of the run. Busch, who missed the first 11 Sprint Cup races of the season following a …

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Happiness Is… Raining on the Confederate Flag’s Parade?

2015 Kansas I CUP rain delay credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Last week, the nation endured yet another moment of grief as it endured the senseless slaughter of church-goers in Charleston, South Carolina. This column isn’t the place for getting into all of the messiness and problems that surround that event, though it doesn’t seem like the government will take care of everything either. One of …

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Open-Wheel Wednesday: Wrapping Up IndyCar’s Last Month

IndyCar 2015 Indy Montoya on track credit Mark Reed

Photo Credit: Mark Reed

Toni Montgomery: Can we have a quick refresh – what races have they run since our last chat? Toronto and Texas. Did we chat after Detroit last?  Wait – it was before Indy, wasn’t it? OK, that helps – got my bearings. Huston Ladner: I thought we hit upon Indy, but perhaps not. I’d say go with …

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