NASCAR Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Stat Sheet: Feels Like the First Time

Christopher Bell celebrates after winning the 2021 O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 Photo:NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Here’s an interesting tidbit: For the first time since 1950, the first two races of the Cup Series schedule have been won by first-time visitors to victory lane. It’s almost happened a couple times before. In 2001, Michael Waltrip picked up his first win at Daytona International Speedway, but Rockingham Speedway winner Steve Park had …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2021 O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona Road Course

2021 Daytona RC Cup Bell Victory Lane NKP 1

What happened? Christopher Bell won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona road course on Sunday (Feb. 21), making it back-to-back first time winners to open the 2021 Cup Series season (the first time since 1950 that has happened). Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five finishers. 🏁 …

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Up to Speed: The Pressure to Win in NASCAR 2021 is Already On

2021 Daytona I Cup Matt DiBenedetto NKP

#21: Matt DiBenedetto, Wood Brothers Racing, Ford Mustang Motorcraft/Quick Lane

Raise your hand if you thought that, two races into the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, the two race winners would be Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell.  If you made that prediction a few weeks ago, a fellow race fan might have assumed that you’d spent too much time around the gasoline fumes on pit …

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The Underdog House: AJ Allmendinger Recovers to Be Top Dog in Cup

2021 Daytona I NXS AJ Allmendinger NKP

#16: A J Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Ellsworth Advisors

Top Dog It has been nearly three years since NASCAR veteran AJ Allmendinger has taken his place behind the wheel of a NASCAR Cup Series car. The last time we saw the Dinger on NASCAR’s premier level was in 2018 driving the No. 47 Chevrolet for JTG Daughtery Racing. Since then, the 39-year-old has stayed …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2021 O’Reilly Auto Parts 253

Christopher Bell won at the Daytona Road Course in 2021 Photo: NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who… should you be talking about after the race? First-time winners don’t happen every week… oh, wait. After Michael McDowell won his first career NASCAR Cup Series race in the Daytona 500 last week, Christopher Bell drove a masterful final 10 laps to reel in and pass veteran Joey Logano under the white flag to …

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Friday Faceoff: Does Michael McDowell’s Win Turn Up Heat For Mid-Pack Teams?

Michael McDowell Love’s at Cup Daytona I 2021 Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Should the Daytona 500 and this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race on the road course have been held with fewer days in between? Luken Glover: I can understand the reasoning behind it, but no. In a world where television ratings are crucial, a midweek race would not be the way to go. We saw a …

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Frontstretch Podcast: Austin Cindric’s Title Defense Begins, McDowell’s 500 Upset

Austin Cindric wins at Daytona

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Fresh off his season-opening victory at Daytona International Speedway, reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric joins Davey Segal this week to chat about his title defense, some wacky (but cool) stats he holds at Daytona, making his first NASCAR Cup Series start in the Daytona 500, the jaw-dropping last-lap crash he was involved in …

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Waid’s World: Daytona 500 May Have Been Good Race, But Not Like Ones Many Remember

WaidWorldV3 copy

Graphic: Jared Haas

This year’s Daytona 500 had many of the elements found in several of the past season-opening races at Daytona International Speedway. Excitement? Surely. Drama? Undeniable. Unpredictable events that altered the course of the race? Yes. Like it or not, multicar wrecks are always a part of any 500. A riveting finish? Oh, certainly. And as …

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Did You Notice?: Daytona’s Last-Lap Disaster for Team Penske

2021 Daytona I Cup Brad Keselowski crash damage NKP

#2: Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Discount Tire

Did You Notice? … How quickly the last lap of the Daytona 500 fell apart for Team Penske? 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champ Joey Logano crossed the line leading. Brad Keselowski was second, in position to end an 0-for-11 streak at a race he so badly wants knocked off his bucket list. The organization was staring …

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NASCAR Mailbox: What Time Should the Daytona 500 Start?

Joey Logano leads over a group of cars including Ryan Preece in Daytona 500 Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

It was a long time coming for Michael McDowell. From a rushed prospect, to starting and parking while driving Trevor Bayne‘s motorhome, to his home now at Front Row Motorsports, it all led him to where he is now: a Daytona 500 champion. His first victory came in his 358th career NASCAR Cup Series start, …

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