NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Nitro Shots: NHRA Big Go Grab Bag

NHRA 2016 Indy testing car Leah Pritchett courtesy NHRA

It’s the biggest weekend of the year coming up for the NHRA, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, and there are a number of storylines to follow. First, this weekend is the final race of the regular season. After the U.S. Nationals, the Countdown fields for the four professional classes will be locked in and point …

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Nitro Shots: Crunch Time Approaches

NHRA 2016 Erica Enders Stevens car shot courtesy NHRA

Chicago got its origins as a hub between the East and the West back in the 1800s, and for the NHRA, at least, it’s still serving the same purpose. It’s the site of this weekend’s K&N Filters Route 66 NHRA Nationals, the final stop before the famed Western Swing. That must mean that the regular …

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Nitro Shots: Plenty of Visual Aids

NHRA 2016 Atlanta Doug Kalitta J.R. Todd Top Fuel photo finish courtesy NHRA

When this column was devised, video was definitely something that was tagged to play a role. The argument has been made many times that drag racing is such a visual sport and to that end, we would try to include video in some form every week. That could be clips from events or interviews, sometimes …

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Pace Laps: From Dragsters to Dover, Close Finishes; Wow Verstappen

2016 Dover I CUP Michael Annett crash Matthew T Thacker NKP

Sprint Cup: A Monster Show at Dover Honestly, it’s been a while since there’s been a stimulating race at Dover International Speedway. In making it one of the best races seen on the 1-mile concrete oval, Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive For Autism, however, saw frantic restarts, fabulous usage of the racing grooves and a number …

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Carolina Nationals Day 1 Roundup

NHRA 2015 Charlotte JR Todd Jimi Hendrix Foundation dragster closeup credit Toni Montgomery

Photo Credit: Toni Montgomery, Frontstretch

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ Countdown to One begins this weekend at zMax Dragway with the Carolina Nationals. Our own Toni Montgomery is on-site with an update on Friday’s activities. JR Todd and Kalitta Motorsports unveiled the Jimi Hendrix Foundation Purple Haze dragster (pictured above); the team will campaign the car in the …

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Nitro Shots: Playoffs & Championships

2015 NHRA Indianapolis US Nationals Crowd Shot courtesy NHRA Media

Photo Credit: NHRA Media

The Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals marked the end of the “regular season” while the upcoming Carolina Nationals kick off the start of the “playoffs,” if you want to look at it in stick-and-ball terms. This is a topic that always inspires debate. Many purists find formats like the Countdown to be contrived, gimmicks created to manufacture …

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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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Nitro Shots: Report Card Time

zMax Dragway Carolina Nationals Clay Millican 2014 Mike Neff 076

Photo Credit: Mike Neff, Frontstretch

Back in the first column of the season, after some disappointing starts to the year for a handful of drivers, we declared that one bad race does not a bad season make. That’s true. One of the drivers who got out of the blocks slow was Jack Beckman, and it’s worked out all right for …

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Nitro Shots: A Video Is Worth 1,000 Words

zMax Dragway Carolina Nationals Brown and Kalitta Launch 2014 Mike Neff 093

(Photo: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

It’s been mentioned in this space before that television just does not accurately convey what it’s like to be at an NHRA event. No matter how high you turn the volume up, even with surround sound, it’s still not like hearing those 10,000 horsepower beasts in person. It’s more than just the sound, though. Not …

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Nitro Shots: The Family That Races Together

NHRA J.R. Todd Junior Dragster courtesy J.R. Todd and Kalitta Motorsports

(Photo courtesy of J.R. Todd)

Last week in part one of our Junior Dragster special, the viability of the series as a starting point for young hopefuls looking to get to the big leagues was the topic of conversation. Some of the young drivers competing right now are following in the footsteps of their famous parents. “I think it’s exciting …

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