At what point is a NASCAR season considered a failure?

In the immortal words of Talladega Nights movie character Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” If that statement holds true, then where is the line drawn in the NASCAR Cup Series between success and failure? Fast forwarding from Ricky Bobby’s time to a time in which everything in the Cup Series seems to revolve around the NASCAR Playoffs, is there a definite point in which a driver and team’s season can be labelled as a failure? As we approach the second round of playoff cuts, perhaps this is a time in which such labelling can be applied. Were…

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Auto races should not end in a replay booth

Talladega Super Speedway produces some of the most intense and action-packed racing in all of NASCAR. Unfortunately, however, the longest oval in the sport does have a tendency to produce finishes that can be somewhat controversial and perhaps even disappointing. All three races held at the Alabama track this weekend among the sanctioning body’s top-three divisions could very well fall into both of those categories. Most notably, the NASCAR Cup Series YellaWood 500 ended with multiple penalties being handed out with some believing that at least one more infraction went unpunished. Denny Hamlin just barely beat Matt DiBenedetto to the…

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Time to bring Road Course Ringers back?

One of the first things that immediately jumped off the page at me when I took my first look at the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule was the fact that there are now six points-paying road course races on the circuit. Joining mainstays Watkins Glen, Sonoma, and the Charlotte Roval will be Road America, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, and the Circuit of the Americas in the upcoming season. There will be more right turns than ever before on the traditionally oval dominant tour. The 2021 Busch Clash will also be run on the road course layout at the…

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Turn 2 Blog: Is a Cup Series dirt race at Bristol really a good idea?

*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 rumor mill had been churning for a while but on Wednesday the official announcement was made that the NASCAR Cup Series will contest a dirt race for the first time since 1970. Star drivers such as Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano will test their skills on a clay surface that will be put down on the high-banked Bristol…

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Brad Keselowski now looking like the championship favorite

In 2018, three drivers were dubbed as the ‘Big 3’ by NASCAR Cup Series fans and media as Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. dominated that season in terms of wins and placement within the standings. It was simply thought to be a matter of which one of those racers would claim the championship in the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway at the end of the year. As it turned out, however, neither of those three captured the title when Team Penske driver Joey Logano pulled off somewhat of a surprise by winning that final event and claiming the…

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How hard will Stewart-Haas teammates fight each other for playoff advancement?

By virtue of his win in the Cook Out Southern 500 this past Sunday at Darlington Raceway, Kevin Harvick is guaranteed a spot in the next round of the NASCAR Playoffs. As a matter of fact, with all of the playoff points the 44-year-old driver amassed during the NASCAR Cup Series regular season it would be difficult to imagine a scenario in which he and his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team do not advance at least as far as the semi-final ‘Round of 8’ in the championship contest. However, the same cannot be said of the other three SHR drivers…

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These four drivers won’t survive past the first round of the NASCAR Playoffs

A total of 16 drivers have qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs and are set to compete for the championship that awaits one of those racers at the end of this upcoming ten-race stretch. Along the way, there will be cuts that will eliminate four competitors after each of three segments until the field has been narrowed to the ‘Championship 4’ who will race for the title at Phoenix Raceway on November 8th. The first segment will include races at Darlington Raceway, Richmond Raceway, and Bristol Motor Speedway. The first cut will then be made and the playoff field will be…

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Kyle Busch needs only to look at Tony Stewart’s 2011 title run for hope

In 2011, Tony Stewart went on an incredible run at the end of the season that eventually netted him the NASCAR Cup Series title. The eventual champion won five of the final ten races during the Chase for the Championship to edge out Carl Edwards in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and earn the accolades for what would be his final title. Stewart entered the ten-race run that would determine the series champion ranking ninth in the overall standings. The then 40-year-old driver had not won a race through the first 26 events of the season and had led…

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Who will be the “Other Two”?

A couple of years ago drivers Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. were dubbed the “Big Three” for much of the season as those pilots and their teams dominated the NASCAR Cup Series. Now, in this oddly disjointed 2020 campaign, the question isn’t so much who the “Big Three” are, but rather, who will be the “Other Two”. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin have been so strong throughout the first 26 races of the season that it would almost seem inconceivable that both will not be a part of the ‘Championship 4’ at Phoenix Raceway on November 8th….

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Ross Chastain did what a racer is supposed to do

Friday night’s Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the Daytona International Speedway came down to, as so many races on that 2.5-mile super speedway do, a last lap battle that featured a crash among multiple cars as they roared toward the checkered flag. That should not have caught anyone by surprise. However, what did seem to catch some by surprise was the two drivers who set off the final chain reaction mishap of the evening. Throughout the race, the three drivers for Kaulig Racing had worked well together as they ran in formation for…

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