Flat tires leaving NASCAR drivers feeling deflated

Whether expected or unexpected, one problem that has shown itself early in the NASCAR Cup Series season has been that of the difficulty in getting a car with flat tires back to the pit area. The Next Gen car is very much different from its predecessor in that it sits lower, has a diffuser underneath it, and has larger wheels. Further, those larger wheels and tires with less sidewall do not allow for an inner liner as had been the case in years past. As a result of all those conditions, drivers have been losing multiple laps due to the…

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Race cars aren’t supposed to be easy to drive

  The practice and qualifying sessions held the day before Sunday’s Wise Power 400 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California did not provide the typical sights and sounds from such a happening. Often, practice and qualifying sessions tend to play out with few if any incidents as drivers log laps then report what they have felt from behind the wheel to their crews. After that, they then go out and attempt to run the fastest single lap they possibly can in order to secure a good starting spot for the main event. Saturday’s track time for the NASCAR…

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NASCAR’s Newest Drama: Teammates blocking Teammates

Blocking another driver used to be highly frowned upon in racing. Along that same line, there was a time not so long ago that executing a slide job pass on a dirt track might result in a punch in the nose in the pit area after the checkered flag. But the racing landscape is an ever-changing one and both of those tactics are among the changes in modern racing styles. Nowadays, both blocking and the slide job have become as much a normal part of racing etiquette as the slingshot pass was back in the 1980’s. However, a more recent…

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Auto Club Cup Race: Starting Lineup, Pre-Race Analysis, Predicted Winner

Analysis After the brief practice session followed by two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, this race on the worn and bumpy 2-mile surface of the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California looks to be an adventurous affair to say the least. A number of cars either spun or crashed during those sessions and it wasn’t rookies and no-names who were involved in the mishaps. The likes of NASCAR Cup Series champions  Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott were among those to find trouble. Several drivers will find themselves in an early hole because of the issues they…

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Can RFK maintain speed on the West Coast Swing?

At one time, the NASCAR Cup Series teams led by Jack Roush were among the toughest and most competitive in the sport. To demonstrate that, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch won championships for the ‘Cat in the Hat’ in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Those efforts were then followed up by the organization placing all five of its teams in the ‘NASCAR Chase’ as it was called back in 2005. Although the early 2000’s proved to be the high water mark, Roush Fenway Racing, as it came to be know later, remained a powerful force in the sport for the next…

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Bubba Wallace and 23XI must prove prowess away from Super Speedways

In October of 2021 at Talladega Super Speedway, Bubba Wallace made history when he became the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race since Wendell Scott triumphed in the 1964 Jacksonville 200. On Sunday, the driver of the No. 23 Toyota came up just short of making even more history when he was just edged at the finish line by Austin Cindric in the 64th running of the Daytona 500. It was the second time Wallace had finished in the runner-up position in ‘The Great American Race’ after he followed Austin Dillon to the checkered flag in…

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An unexpected winner that should not have been unexpected

When Michael McDowell slipped through the carnage of the last lap to win the 2021 Daytona 500 it was appropriately labeled as an upset win by an underdog. After all, the Front Row Motorsports driver had toiled for years in the NASCAR Cup Series with teams that do not rank as top tier operations without winning a single race. Despite the fact that his previous record on super speedways had been noteworthy, he was far from being labeled as the favorite going into that race. Some might look at Austin Cindric’s victory in this year’s Daytona 500 in a similar…

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Daytona 500: Starting Lineup, Pre-Race Analysis, and a Predicted Winner

Analysis There are more question marks going into the 64th running of the Daytona 500 than perhaps any other edition of ‘The Great American Race’. Drivers and teams face a number of unknowns that have never been faced before as the NASCAR Cup Series heads into its 2022 season with it new Next Gen car. How will the Next Gen car react in large packs for such a long period of time? Will drivers race more cautiously because of the shortage of cars and parts? Is the car safe? How will pit stops and pit strategy play out with changes…

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NASCAR stars aren’t recognized by the younger generation

We all have a tendency to live in our own little worlds in which we think everyone around us is in tune with the same things we are. Whether it be in the fields of politics, religion or sports fandom we are often surprised or even shocked when we learn that those we work with, are friends with, or see frequently at the business we patronize do not have the same depth of knowledge or concern about the subjects we consider important. That was made abundantly clear to me on Friday. By trade, I am a social studies teacher at…

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Daniel Hemric ready to face the challenge of his new opportunity

For the better part of a decade, followers of NASCAR racing have thought that Daniel Hemric was a highly talented driver who was on the cusp of a major breakthrough season. That big win or that groundbreaking moment was due at any time was the belief of many. But when the Kannapolis, North Carolina driver landed a full-time ride in the NASCAR Cup Series in the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in 2019, the results fell short of expectations. Hemric’s one and only full season at the top level of the sport netted no wins and only one…

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