Richard Childress Racing looking to carry late season momentum into 2019

One organization on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series that appeared to be gaining momentum at the end of the 2018 season was that of Richard Childress Racing. The Welcome, NC based organization ended the campaign by scoring as many top-15 finishes over the final third of the schedule as they had over the first two-thirds of the year. Drivers Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman proved to be consistently better during the closing races of the most recent season than they had been through the first twenty-two events that began the NASCAR grind. Of course, it has to be remembered…

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Can William Byron become the next Joey Logano?

Some statements are so obvious that they don’t really need to be said, but they are often said anyway. Those comments are often said to be “as plain as the nose on your face” when made. The statement that William Byron is approaching a pivotal season in his racing career fits that description as the young Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver heads into his second full-time campaign as the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.   The entire Hendrick Motorsports organization saw its share of struggles in 2018 as only one of its drivers(Chase Elliott) won a Cup…

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Kurt Busch, Ross Chastain look to lift Chip Ganassi organization in 2019

Every NASCAR off-season is filled with driver, sponsor, manufacture, and crew member moves and the 2018-19 version of “silly season” has been no different. And every year, those who follow the sport attempt to decipher those moves for the purpose of determining which organizations have most improved themselves with their maneuvering. This off-season there is one organization that almost certainly has lifted itself into an even stronger position as it prepares for the 2019 campaign. With the addition of Kurt Busch to its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team and Ross Chastain to its NASCAR Xfinity Series effort, Chip Ganassi…

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If NASCAR Really Wants Rules Violations to Go Away …

There have to be rules in racing. And consequences for violating those rules must be enacted by those in charge of overseeing the sport. While the report on Wednesday that Kevin Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 team had been slapped with a penalty for a violation regarding the car’s rear spoiler was certainly newsworthy, it was not necessarily surprising. While this same team has been hit with penalties before(earlier this season at Las Vegas), it’s not that just one team is committing all the rules violations in NASCAR. Several teams have been hit with one form of penalty or another…

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The Big-Three Are Not Assured of Championship Invitations

Kurt Busch recently admitted that he feels as if the “Other Five” drivers are racing for one position in the final round of the NASCAR Playoffs. Throughout the 2018 season drivers Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex, Jr. have dominated as those three competitors have collected a total of 18 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories and currently occupy the top-three positions in the series standings. And more than just winning races and leading the standings, the so-called “Big-Three” have accumulated so many playoff points during the year-long campaign that they hold a significant lead over their competition in…

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Clint Bowyer’s Path to the Final Playoff Round is Clear

Of all the drivers remaining in NASCAR Playoffs, Clint Bowyer has one of the most obvious paths laid out in front of him to make it to Homestead-Miami Speedway as one of the four contenders racing for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title. The Emporia, Kansas native currently sits above the cutoff line in the sixth spot of the standings with a 21-point cushion ahead of the ninth position going into the final race of the ‘Round of 8’ on Sunday at Kansas Speedway. With Bowyer holding a relatively comfortable margin over those below the cutoff line going into…

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Turn 2 Blog: Talladega featured the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

*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: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Super Speedway is now behind us and the 1000Bulbs.com 500 certainly created a number of talking points. Some of those points could labeled as good with others fitting the category of bad and still others were just plain ugly. Let’s start with the good stuff. After a season almost totally dominated by three drivers, there was…

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Hendrick Motorsports on unfamiliar ground in the NASCAR Playoffs

Have we been transported to some alternate dimension? After last Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway the three drivers representing Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Playoffs are staring the possibility of elimination squarely in the face. The championship seeking field will be cut down from the 16 current combatants to 12 survivors following the next two weekends at Richmond Raceway and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. And with the pending cutoff looming, HMS drivers Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott are in serious jeopardy of placing this organization that has been a…

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Playoff Teams Must Decide Between Gambling or Playing It Safe

With the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series about to head for Las Vegas it seems like a good time to talk about gambling. But this piece isn’t about the type of gambling one might do at a slot machine or a blackjack table. Rather, it’s about the type of gambling the teams who find themselves locked into the NASCAR Playoffs might very well find themselves doing over the course of the next three weeks. As the playoffs are structured, 16 drivers and teams qualified to race for NASCAR’s ultimate prize over the next ten races. However, that field of championship…

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Can Brad Keselowski steal the Cup title from the Big-Three?

Some may call it luck. Some may say that it is a situation in which preparation has met with opportunity. Some may simply call it mojo. But whatever terminology you may choose to use, Brad Keselowski has found it in a major way. And more importantly for the Michigan native, he and his Penske Racing team have found it at just the right time of the season. Keselowski has won back-to-back Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. And these weren’t just any old races that the No. 2 Ford claimed, but rather, they were crown jewels of the sport. On…

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