Race Weekend Central

NASCAR 101: Where Erik Jones May Shine in His New Cup Career

(Photo Credit: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

Get ready, because Erik Jones is here. Don’t know him? That’s probably because you don’t follow the Xfinity and/or Camping World Truck series – which is fine, you’re not missing a whole hell of a lot in NXS at least. Jones has been touted as one of the young guns to watch in the sport …

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Erik Jones Named as Driver of Cup Series No. 18 Starting at Kansas

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

It’s official: he’s here. Joe Gibbs Racing announced Thursday that 18-year-old development driver Erik Jones will drive the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota starting with next weekend’s SpongeBob Squarepants 400 at Kansas Speedway. It has been speculated for weeks that Jones would take over after David Ragan‘s stint in the car. Ragan has been subbing for …

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NASCAR Mailbox: Qualifying, Erik Jones & Heading to ‘Dega

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

It’s pretty hard not to get up for a superspeedway race weekend, especially at Talladega. After the last few weeks of short(er) tracks on the schedule with stops at Bristol, Texas and Richmond, it’s nice to head back to a superspeedway. What may or may not be so nice for the leaders atop the standings …

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David Ragan Ready to Move to Michael Waltrip Racing Soon

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

The injury-plagued NASCAR season continues, and Joe Gibbs Racing is at the center of it all. David Ragan has substituted for Kyle Busch since the second race of the year, where the driver of the No. 18 car injured both of his legs. Prior to a 41st-place finish at Bristol, Ragan sat 10th in points …

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Denny Hamlin Quickest in Lone 2015 ToyotaCare 250 Practice at Richmond

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Just a few hours after hosting a short-track race, Denny Hamlin led the way during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Richmond. Putting down a lap time of 21.626 seconds, the No. 20 car had a 0.071-second advantage over last weekend’s winner, Joey Logano. Making his first start at Richmond in the series since 2012, Hamlin …

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Happiness Is… Welfare, Sarcasm & Barber

Photo Credit: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch

In the column last week, Happiness Is railed against the concept of safety within NASCAR by questioning the rule change that allows teams to forego hitting all give lugnuts when slapping four fresh Goodyears on a car. Sure, allowing the teams to, in essence, police themselves has worked out so far in theory, which can …

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not: 2015 Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Edition

Photo Credit: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch

Burnouts (Hot) The short tracks are one place where the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas have excelled this season. First, there was Denny Hamlin getting the win at Martinsville a couple of weeks ago. Then, in what turned out to be a Sunday night race,  Matt Kenseth scored his first win of the season (and first in …

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Evaluating the Cup Subs: Who’s Made the Most of Their Opportunity?

(Photo: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch)

After just 22 laps of Sunday’s Food City 500, Erik Jones replaced Denny Hamlin in the No. 11. It wasn’t the debut of the Joe Gibbs Racing prodigy everyone has been expecting. No, most had been pointing to next month’s race at Kansas as the potential first time we get to see the wunderkind behind …

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Couch Potato Tuesday: FOX Struggles with Production Pacing in Bristol

(Photo: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch)

Last weekend was a bit of a marathon, racing-wise. It was nearly 10 hours from the beginning of FOX’s Bristol coverage to the end of it on Sunday. Cripes. Of course, that means that we have plenty of material to look at this week. Before we start, NBC Sports made a couple of announcements recently. …

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MPM2Nite: Bits & Pieces from the NASCAR Notebook

Photo Credit: Amy Henderson, Frontstretch

Fans watching both at home and in the grandstands at Bristol this weekend might be forgiven for feeling like Alice had hand-fed them some mushrooms then invited them for a quick trip down a nearby rabbit hole. While Bristol is well noted for out-of-the-ordinary circumstances that border on chaos, I’ll have to admit that I …

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