Some have much more to lose than others at Daytona

The recent announcement by 23XI Racing that Kurt Busch would be surrendering his spot in the NASCAR Playoffs may have reduced some of the anxiety for drivers Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. going into Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway but it didn’t remove all reason for worry. Those two drivers are the highest ranked in the NASCAR Cup Series standings who do not have a win to date. With only one spot remaining among the sixteen who will vie for the championship one of those two could be be eliminated from contention following that…

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Might short tracks go back to being short tracks after Martinsville test?

Several NASCAR Cup Series teams made their way to the Martinsville Speedway during the early part of this week to engage in a test session on that historic half-mile track. And based on some of the more recent races held there and on other short tracks, the hope has to be that plenty of answers came from that two-day trial rather than more questions. Teams were there to try out different tire compounds and gear ratios prior to the beginning of the NASCAR Playoffs which will begin after this weekend’s final regular season contest at the Daytona International Speedway. But…

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Turn 2 Blog: Teammate friction going into the NASCAR Playoffs and Daytona desperation

*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. This is not the the best time for friction between teammates, is it? Richard: While the words spoken by Chase Elliott following Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson’s bump-and-run on the final restart on Sunday at Watkins Glen were congratulatory, the tone and facial expression did indicate that he was not happy with how things had transpired. But from the perspective of a fan, it made for…

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Stewart-Haas looking to maintain momentum with Playoffs approaching

In the space of two weeks, Kevin Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing team went from seemingly being dead in the water to now being thought of as a possible favorite in the upcoming NASCAR Playoffs. With wins at the Michigan International Speedway and the Richmond Raceway, the No. 4 Ford crew is locked into the championship hunt and hoping to carry their recent momentum to a title. Considering the organization’s recent performance, there was little reason for optimism with their 46-year-old star driver in the midst of a losing streak that spanned all the way back to September of 2020…

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Better Story: Domination or Parity?

The NASCAR Cup Series season in 2022 is very much different from that of 2021. This season is one of great parity among the teams as 15 different drivers have won with those pilots representing seven different organizations. Chase Elliott’s four victories leads the series with no other driver achieving more than two wins after 24 of the 36 races have been contested. In 2021, it was a very different story when Kyle Larson dominated the Cup Series by scoring ten victories on the way to his first career championship. There were fifteen different winners over the course of the…

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Do unto to others before they do unto you

There has been much talk throughout the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season regarding the aggression exhibited by the sport’s drivers. Numerous incidents have occurred on all types of tracks and among, in one way or another, virtually every competitor in the series. Driver aggression has largely become the method of operation during races, particularly as the checkered flag approaches. Many believe the seeming increase in aggressive behavior on the race track is related to the introduction of the NextGen race car. With its handling capabilities, the toughness of the car, and the sense of security the new machine gives its…

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Turn 2 Blog: Are you rooting for Playoff chaos?

*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. How do you feel about late afternoon starts? Richard: I don’t think it matters how any of us feel about waiting until 3:30 in the afternoon to start NASCAR races unless we happen to be decision makers for NASCAR and its television partners. But to answer the question, I hate them. Especially in the heat of summer it’s almost as if they want to be stuck…

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Kyle Larson NEEDS a strong run in Michigan

Remember way back to the second race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season at Auto Club Speedway when Kyle Larson threw a late-race block on Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott that angered the 2020 champion but opened the door for the 2021 champion to score the win in Fontana, California. Consider this- had Larson not thrown the block then gone on to win that race, he would be outside the NASCAR Playoffs bubble as the time for the cutoff approaches. That’s right, the driver who won ten races and the championship in 2021 would not even be in a…

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It’s in Hamlin’s best interest to let the Chastain grudge go

It’s no secret that Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain haven’t exactly gotten along on the race track this season. Multiple incidents between the two have resulted in torn up race cars and brought promises of retribution along with acknowledgement that certain acts have been deserved. It’s safe to say that both the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet have each had chances to end days in victory lane taken away by these confrontations. With the NASCAR Playoffs fast approaching and both drivers and their teams locked in to the championship run, the feud…

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Don’t Kyle Busch and JGR owe each other a year?

Certainly one of the biggest news stories during the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season has been the uncertain contract status of two-time champion Kyle Busch. The contract of the talented 37-year-old driver with Joe Gibbs Racing will expire at the end of the current campaign and has yet to be renewed. Unless that situation changes, the Las Vegas native could become one of the most highly regarded free agents to be available in quite some time. Busch’s record speaks for itself. He has won a total of 60 NASCAR Cup Series races and was crowned as the champion in 2015…

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