NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Friday Faceoff: What Were the Biggest Surprises & Disappointments of 2021?

Hamlin, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Another year, another near miss for Denny Hamlin. Will he ever win a NASCAR Cup Series title? Luken Glover: Denny Hamlin absolutely has the talent to get the job done. So, can he do it? Definitely a yes. Will he do it? I’m leaning towards no. We may be seeing the equivalent of Mark Martin, who …

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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.

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 Finale at Phoenix

Kyle Larson bests the NASCAR Championship 4 in the 2021 Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway as the sun sets above him. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

What happened? Kyle Larson won the Season Finale 500 at Phoenix on Sunday (Nov. 7) to clinch his first career NASCAR Cup Series title. Championship 4 contenders Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott finished second, third and fifth, respectively, while Ryan Blaney finished fourth. A win he’ll never forget!@KyleLarsonRacin is the CHAMPION in …

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Up to Speed: NASCAR Playoff Points of the Past Revisited

NASCAR Playoff drivers Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. lead the field at Phoenix Raceway. (Photo: NKP)

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Earlier this year, I explored how NASCAR playoff points earned during the regular season impacted drivers’ performances in the playoffs themselves.  The goal of that study was to determine if a driver’s playoff point total could predict when they would be eliminated from title contention.  I also wanted to see if there were any notable …

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Friday Faceoff: Is This Hendrick Lineup Its Best Ever?

Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman Racing at Martinsville fall 2021, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Is this the most competitive Hendrick Motorsports has ever been? Luken Glover: One can certainly make that argument. It isn’t a head-and-shoulders advantage, but this NASCAR Cup Series season is right there as one of the best. If a HMS car wins this week, it will tie its 2007 record for the most single-season wins …

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Dropping the Hammer: Kyle Larson’s Big Championship ‘What If?’

Kyle Larson at Kansas Speedway

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images for NASCAR Media)

It could happen. I know it. You know it. Kyle Larson knows it. Larson has won nine of 35 races this year, five more than his previous best in 2017. He’s led 2,474 laps, the most in a season since Jeff Gordon totaled 2,320 during his 2001 title run. He’s won three races in a …

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New Year, Same Story, Different Result? Kyle Larson Hopes So

Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson make contact in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, September 2021 televised on NBCSN. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

2020 was a difficult year for everyone. NASCAR led the charge back from the initial COVID craziness and the fans were thrilled. As the year unfolded for the sport, Kevin Harvick was clearly the cream of the crop. In the playoffs, the Round of 8 saw his team stumble, fall and fail, resulting in him …

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Kevin Harvick, GearWrench Teaming Up for 5 Cup Races in 2022

Kevin Harvick at Darlington fall 2021 NASCAR Cup race, NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

GearWrench will hop on the hood of Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Ford for five NASCAR Cup Series races next year, he announced on FOX Sports’ Race Hub Wednesday (Oct. 27). The company joins Stewart-Haas Racing after sponsoring Chip Ganassi Racing for several races the past few years, including four primaries this year on Kurt Busch’s …

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Did You Notice?: What’s Next for Ford’s NASCAR Future After Rocky 2021 Playoffs?

Ford drivers Ryan Blaney and Austin Cindric chat on pit road at Kansas Speedway. (Photo: NKP)

#12: Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Menards/Moen and #33: Austin Cindric, Team Penske, Ford Mustang MoneyLion

Did You Notice? … The way Ford has struggled during the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs? As I first pointed out at CBS Sports, they’ve gone 0-for-8 and sit outside Championship 4 position for the first time in the history of the format, implemented in 2014. That could change this weekend at Martinsville Speedway if any …

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NASCAR Mailbox: Regardless of Championship, Has Kyle Larson’s Season Been Successful?

2021 Cup Kansas II Kyle Larson Flag NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

With nine wins already, is Kyle Larson‘s season a successful one regardless of if he wins the championship? – Mark K., Newton, Iowa Hell yeah, it is. He’s won nine damn times, for goodness’ sake. Championships used to be the barometer of how success was measured in NASCAR. But it’s not anymore and hasn’t been …

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