Aggressive driving is now just the way of things

It seemed as if many of the 36 points-paying races and two exhibition races held on the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule had at least one incident that created a talking point over the course of the next week. And more often than not, those incidents were the result of aggressive moves made by one driver against another. It’s not that there haven’t been aggressive moves in the past history of NASCAR that have caused wrecks, but it does feel like those mishaps occurred at a higher rate than ever before this past season. Or perhaps, they get discussed more…

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We’re still waiting for those promised paybacks

How many times did we hear during this past NASCAR season that this driver or that driver was going to be on the receiving end of paybacks when the time was right? Drivers who had been wronged at some point during the season, those promises claimed, would dish out revenge at a time when it would hurt the most. The drivers most often named in this speculation by fans, media, and even other competitors were Cup Series driver Ross Chastain and Xfinity Series pilots Ty Gibbs and Noah Gragson. Each had been involved in incidents on various occasions that had…

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Next Gen’s early season sizzle turned to late season fizzle

After the first few races in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, there was a great deal of excitement swirling around the Next Gen car and its performance in some of the early races. Particularly, the new car seemed to improve comptition on the 1.5 – 2 mile tracks that had previously not provided great action for the sport’s top division. As a result, many followers of this form of motorsports were encouraged that a major piece of the competitive puzzle had been been found. However, weak spots began to emerge in the new car as more races were contested….

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Second championship cements Joey Logano’s place in NASCAR history

When the checkered flag waved over the 2022 Cup Series Championship race on Sunday at the Phoenix Raceway, Joey Logano had achieved something that only a short list of other competitors can claim. The Middletown, Connecticut racer became just the 17th driver in the history of NASCAR to win multiple championships at the sport’s top division. In doing so, the 32-year-old went a long way toward cementing a place in history. The only other active driver on the list of multi-time champions is Kyle Busch. Further, Logano’s win in the finale pulled him into a tie on the all-time victory…

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It’s probably too late to get revenge on Ross Chastain

Remember a few weeks ago when seemingly everyone who has ever driven in a NASCAR Cup Series race felt as if they owed Ross Chastain some sort of payback for one of the numerous incidents he has been involved in this year. Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick have been among those to be “Chastain-ed” at some point during the season and have declared they would get him back at some point when it matters most. Well, if that was going to be the case, those offended competitors have waited so long that Chastain is now among the four…

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Turn 2 Blog: How hard should the others race the contenders in the finale?

*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. Which driver is the most surprising entry in the 2022 version of the Championship 4? Richard: The answer here probably depends on when the question was actually posed. Few, if any, had Ross Chastain penciled in as a serious NASCAR Cup Series championship contender before the season started. But once things got underway, the watermelon farmer and his relative upstart Trackhouse Racing team quickly showed themselves…

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Might Martinsville’s Xfinity race overshadow the Cup hype?

It has been said that all publicity is good publicity. But is that statement always true? What if the publicity in question outweighs the event that is actually supposed to garner the most publicity? The NASCAR Playoffs system was implemented for the primary purpose of creating drama over the closing weeks of the racing season. Whether one sees it as legitimate drama or artificially contrived drama, it is drama nonetheless. The ultimate purpose is to showcase action that will provide something for media, fans and competitors alike to talk about throughout the final third of the schedule. Of course, the…

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What would you do to grab a Championship 4 spot?

This Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway will mark the final event before the four drivers who will compete for the season title next weekend in Phoenix. When the checkered flag waves on Sunday, there will be four drivers to be eliminated from contention while the remaining four will punch their ticket to the Championship 4 finale. As it stands going into the Martinsville event, Joey Logano is locked into the Championship 4 by virtue of his win two weeks ago in Las Vegas. Since Kyle Larson, who had already been eliminated from the Playoffs, won last weekend…

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Will Martinsville produce a Playoff worthy thriller?

This weekend’s Xfinity 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at the Martinsville Speedway will again serve as the deciding contest that will determine the Championship 4 going into the season finale in Phoenix. In past years this particular race on the paper clip-shaped half-mile track has produced some epic moments such as when Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott clashed in 2017 or when Kevin Harvick desperately tried to stay alive in the NASCAR Playoffs by spinning Kyle Busch on the last lap in 2020. And don’t forget the incident between Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin last fall. This event has provided…

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NASCAR had to walk a tightrope when issuing Bubba Wallace penalty

Virtually everyone, whether a racing fan or not, has not only seen but commented on the crash and subsequent physical confrontation between Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson during this past Sunday’s South Point 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. And those comments have gone the way one might expect of a highly publicized situation involving the stock car racing’s most prominent African-American driver.  On Tuesday, it was announced that Wallace had been suspended for the upcoming Dixie Vodka 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway because of his actions related to the incident with Larson.  In deciding to suspend Wallace, NASCAR…

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