Talladega has the potential to further cloud the NASCAR Playoffs picture

Anyone who has watched NASCAR Cup Series racing for very long knows that some of the most unpredictable races on the entire schedule are those contested at the Talladega Super Speedway. The threat of the “Big One” that could, on any lap, eliminate or damage half the field in an instant can take favorites out of the race and place unexpected drivers at the front of the field. And more, the draft can favor or discard a driver who looks like a sure winner just yards from the checkered flag. As a result, there is always the potential for a…

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Turn 2 Blog: Rain tires on ovals? NASCAR races too long?

*Turn 2 Blog is a regular feature on InsideCircleTrack.com. Here, site operators Michael Moats and Richard Allen take turns offering their thoughts on the NASCAR and pavement short track racing topics of the day. Richard: It was another weekend and another weather interrupted race for NASCAR as the “Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500” originally scheduled for this past Saturday night at the Martinsville Speedway was halted after just 42 laps when the rain came. This occurred one day after the “Cook Out 250” NASCAR Xfinity Series race was also hampered by precipitation. And more, the much anticipated “Food City…

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Mike Marlar explains the challenges and fulfillment of racing in NASCAR

For the second time in his career, Mike Marlar parlayed his racing skills into a NASCAR opportunity on dirt. The Winfield, TN native scored a top-5 finish in the Eldora Dirt Derby at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway back in 2019 driving a Camping World Truck Series entry for Josh Reaume. Two weekends ago, the 43-year-old driver not only competed in the NCWTS event at the Bristol Motor Speedway but also made his first start in the NASCAR Cup Series main event on his home state track. Marlar has also made one NASCAR start on pavement when he took the green flag…

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Kyle Larson wowed by first trip to Tazewell Speedway

Most people are quite amazed when they see the Tazewell Speedway for the first time. The third-mile dirt track which features incredibly steep banking has long been loved by fans for its high speed excitement. At the same, some competitors also love the facility referred to as ‘The Bad Fast Taz’ while others who race there have a very different opinion of the clay oval. Count NASCAR Cup Series star Kyle Larson among those who loves racing on the track located in the upper northeastern corner of Tennessee. The Elk Grove, CA driver made his first trip to Tazewell on…

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NASCAR has to either go all in or all out on dirt

It is incredibly easy, albeit unfair, to “armchair quarterback” in some situations and I suppose the attempt by NASCAR to put its Cup Series back on dirt for the first time since 1970 can be considered one of those situations. Still, I am going to use my 20/20 hindsight and do exactly that here. Going into the weekend of the Food City Dirt Race, I had a number of concerns about how all of this would play out. As someone who covers approximately 50-60 dirt track races each year, I feel as if I am qualified to some degree at…

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Christopher Bell can go all out on Bristol dirt with playoffs secured

When it was first announced that the NASCAR Cup Series would stage its first dirt race since 1970, there were a few names that immediately stood out as the most serious contenders to claim victory. One of those names was Christopher Bell. Although only 26 years of age, the native of Norman, Oklahoma is one of the most accomplished dirt racers currently competing on a regular basis in NASCAR. Bell won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on dirt at the Eldora Speedway in 2015 then followed that up with a runner-up finish in the Eldora Dirt Derby the…

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Briscoe and Reddick need to use dirt experience to turn lackluster seasons around

The NASCAR Cup Series schedule contains a few “oddities” on the 2021 calendar. There are more road courses slated for the tour than every before, a first-time trip for the series to the Nashville Super Speedway, a repeat of the double-header weekend at Pocono, multiple dates for the venerable old tracks in Atlanta and Darlington, and perhaps the “oddest” of all comes this weekend when the series races on dirt for the first time since the early 1970s on the clay covered Bristol Motor Speedway. Add to all of that the fact that NASCAR will, for the most part, continue…

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Larson, Busch offer thoughts on Bristol’s racing surface

With the NASCAR Cup Series race on the dirt covered Bristol Motor Speedway fast approaching, one of the major concerns will be how the racing surface will hold up with heavy machines that have not raced on dirt in decades ripping around it for 250 laps. To prepare for the Food City Dirt Race, several NASCAR drivers entered last week’s Karl Kustoms Bristol Dirt Nationals to get a feel for the half-mile speedway. Among those drivers were Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch. On Friday night, Larson set the fast time in qualifying then went on to win his heat race…

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