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Friday Faceoff: Can Anything Be Done to Enhance Competitors’ Mental Health?

2019 Las Vegas I CUP Ty Dillon NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Ty Dillon’s recent podcast is another example of the mental toll racing can take. Is there anything NASCAR or teams can do to alleviate it, or is the intense stress an inevitability? Mark Kristl: Professional athletes always face pressure. If they do not perform well enough, they become unemployed. It is partly why athletes retire …

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Friday Faceoff: Is William Byron a Championship Contender?

William Byron celebrates in victory lane at Homestead 2021 cup Photo Sean Gardner Getty Images

(Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Buy or sell: William Byron as a Cup Series Championship 4 contender. Luken Glover: At this moment I am buying it. One of the biggest underlying stories of the preseason was the reunion of William Byron and crew chief Rudy Fugle. Why is that pairing so special? Well, just five years ago, the pair won …

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Did You Notice?: 2020 NASCAR Winless Droughts, How Jimmie Johnson’s Final Season Stacks Up & Anxiety Awareness

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Did You Notice?… With four races left in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, four drivers remain winless who won a race in 2019. That’s a relatively small number from year-to-year as the sport’s strongest teams and drivers have remained stable. Some of that could be due to the COVID-19 pandemic, limiting practice time for …

Read moreDid You Notice?: 2020 NASCAR Winless Droughts, How Jimmie Johnson’s Final Season Stacks Up & Anxiety Awareness

The Underdog House: Bubba Wallace Leads on the Long, Lonely Road Home

2020 Charlotte Road Cup Jimmie Johnson Bubba Wallace racing NKP

Top Dog Road courses at the top level of NASCAR are something of an equalizer. A good driver can elevate the performance of an entire team even without the benefit of top notch equipment or research data. So it’s a logical assumption that at least one or two underdogs will likely run competitively and finish …

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The Underdog House: Ty Dillon Best in Class as Underdogs Run Wild at Talladega

2020 Talladega II CUP Ty Dillon pack racing NKP

Top Dog As usual, a NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway resulted in a “Big One.” No, not just a big crash, though there were plenty of those. I’m referring to a big group of underdog teams scattered throughout the top half of the finishing order. Leading the line both literally and figuratively was …

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Xfinity Breakdown: Chase Briscoe Cashes in for Las Vegas Sweep, Ryan Sieg Shows Hidden Playoff Strength

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The green flag waved at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to kick off the Xfinity Series playoffs. The 12 playoff drivers got their first chance to show what they’ve got in this first round. Some rolled the dice and came out lucky, while others rolled snake eyes and lost out on valuable points. The driver who …

Read moreXfinity Breakdown: Chase Briscoe Cashes in for Las Vegas Sweep, Ryan Sieg Shows Hidden Playoff Strength

Ryan Sieg Bounces Back, Finishes Fifth at Las Vegas

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(Photo: Randy Lanning)

Ryan Sieg‘s night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway seemed destined to spiral down the drain during a late-race pit stop after he overshot his pit stall, but the No. 39 fought back to finish fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Alsco 300. Sieg’s ninth top-10 effort of 2020 came at one of his best tracks …

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Chase Briscoe Wins at Las Vegas, Advances Into Next Round of the Playoffs

2020 Las Vegas NXS Chase Briscoe Victory Lane NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Chase Briscoe hit the jackpot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff opener. He swept the first two stages en route to win the Alsco 300, thereby clinching a berth into the next round. Briscoe added his eighth winner’s sticker to his No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford with his victory at …

Read moreChase Briscoe Wins at Las Vegas, Advances Into Next Round of the Playoffs

Eyes on Xfinity: Previewing the 2020 Playoffs

Xfinity Las Vegas 2020

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

In the midst of one of the most bizarre NASCAR seasons, the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season is finally complete. No practice, no qualifying, new racetracks and a great aerodynamic package have all led to an entertaining racing. Now it’s time for a seven-week grind to crown a champion come Nov. 7 at Phoenix Raceway. …

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The Underdog House: Michael McDowell Does Better, Still Best At Bristol

2020 Bristol NCS Michael McDowell Car NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top Dog Being the top underdog each week can be a funny thing. Take for example Front Row Motorsports’ NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell. McDowell earned the proverbial best in class award for the second consecutive race at Bristol Motor Speedway last Saturday, Sept. 19, by finishing 10th. However, in the previous race at …

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