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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Unpopular Opinion: Rules Have to be Enforced Even When Fans Think Otherwise

One of the most difficult jobs in all of sports has to be that of a racing sanctioning body when it has to enforce rules that are deemed by competitors, fans, and media as being unfair or just plain stupid. In those cases organizations such as NASCAR, Formula 1, IndyCar, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model and Sprint Car Series are often placed in the no-win situation of having to penalize a popular driver or team in order to maintain the sanctity of their rule books. But such decisions have to be made,…

Continue reading

Isn’t the Xfinity Series supposed to be for inexperienced drivers?

A lap 111 incident during the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday afternoon at Darlington Raceway and the ensuing comments made by the drivers involved in that incident caused quite a stir on social media following the race. At the root of the issue was a regular front-runner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series who voiced his opinion that the Xfinity Series regular(and driver for an underfunded Cup team) he had raced with for the lead before the crash was ill-suited for the ride he had been entrusted with on that day. Ross Chastain…

Continue reading

Noah Gragson was simply doing what the NASCAR system calls for

It’s probably safe to say that the folks at Kyle Busch Motorsports didn’t like the ending of Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Within the space of about 200 yards that organization went from the possibility of one of their drivers earning his first career win or one of their drivers locking himself into the next round of the playoffs. Instead, they ended up with two of their trucks spinning within sight of the finish line only to be passed by numerous competitors before limping to the checkered flag. Despite some…

Continue reading