The news doesn’t get much better for Ryan Blaney

It would be hard to imagine a scenario in which the opening round of the NASCAR Playoffs could have gone worse for Ryan Blaney and his Team Penske operation. The No. 12 Ford team found itself in a hole before the green flag even waved to start the Cook Out Southern 500 at the Darlington Raceway on Sunday night. Due to an improperly mounted ballast weight found by NASCAR officials during a routine pre-race inspection, Blaney and his team were docked 10 points and crew chief Todd Gordon was suspended by the sanctioning body. Further, the driver who had earned…

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Elliott, Truex offer differing views of late race incident

As the laps clicked away in the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sunday night at the Darlington Raceway, it appeared as if the first race in the NASCAR Playoffs was about to boil down to a two car fight between leader Chase Elliott and a fast-closing Martin Truex, Jr. for the win. However, contact between those two machines when Truex moved inside of Elliott with 14 circuits remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series race sent the two lead machines bouncing off the turn one wall and eventually dropped both out of contention for the win. Kevin Harvick capitalized on the…

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Trevor Bayne looking to get back into racing

Trevor Bayne’s rise through the ranks of racing was a meteoric one that took the Knoxville, Tenn. native all the way to the pinnacle of the sport as he became the youngest driver to ever win the biggest event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. The then 20-year-old driver scored a popular although improbable victory in the 2011 Daytona 500 in the famed Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford. However, no more victories came at the top level of stock car racing for the personable driver. As a result, Bayne found himself out of a ride when he parted ways…

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What will become of the NASCAR free agent class of 2020?

Every year there are drivers who find themselves as free agents looking to either keep their current ride or land a new one. However, 2020 has a somewhat large group of pilots who find themselves in that very position as the season plays out. So throughout this campaign there will be plenty of jockeying as both drivers and teams work to position themselves in the best possible situations for the years to come. And while we’re only heading into the fifth racing weekend of the season, it’s never too early to start thinking about what will happen beyond this year….

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This writer owes Ryan Newman for reviving my interest in dirt racing

In the fall of 2006 I was serving as the cross country coach at Seymour High School when the sports editor for the local newspaper in Sevier County, Tennessee came to do a pre-season story on the team. During our conversation the reporter remarked that he did not know for sure when the story would run being that he was very overworked as the only sports journalist in a county with four high schools, each with multiple sports teams, trying to fill his section of The Mountain Press.  I thought about that conversation for a couple of days then decided…

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Which of this Solid Rookie Class Will Come Out on Top?

The class set to compete for 2020 Rookie of the Year honors on the NASCAR Cup Series is one of the most talented groups of first year drivers the sport has seen in a while. And what’s more, the four young stars seeking that title will be supported by some of the sport’s top organizations. Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and John Hunter Nemechek have indicted their intentions of collecting the trophy previously earned by the likes of Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. While there have been talented classes to seek…

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Don’t consider Kevin Harvick an underdog just because he isn’t with JGR

Three of the drivers that make up the Championship 4 going into the season finale and title deciding Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway have something in common. Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex, Jr. all drive for Joe Gibbs Racing and it doesn’t take much of a math wizard to deduce that the organization owned by the legendary football coach has a 75% chance of claiming the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series trophy. As a result of there being three of the four drivers still standing with a shot at earning one of auto racing’s most prestigious crowns…

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Kevin Harvick and Team Fighting to Again Contend for a Title

Kevin Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing team are on somewhat unfamiliar ground as the AAA Texas 500 approaches this weekend. After having qualified as one of the four drivers to compete for a title in four of the past five season, the No. 4 crew is currently outside the NASCAR Playoffs cutoff with Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway and next week’s event at ISM Raceway in Phoenix remaining before the four racers who will contest the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship are decided. With Martin Truex, Jr. already locked into the Championship 4 by virtue of his win…

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The Numbers Indicate That Talladega Could Upset the Playoff Balance

Virtually every driver who is still involved in the NASCAR Playoffs has at some point mentioned their concern about this weekend’s 1000Bulbs.com 500 at the Talladega Super Speedway. This track, like no other within the playoff mix, holds the ability to completely shake up the standings during this ‘Round of 12’ segment of the championship deciding run toward the final race of the 2019 season in November. Simply having the best car, an outstanding pit crew, a well thought out strategy, or even a great driver may not be enough on this track to assure a win or even a…

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Joey Logano needs to pick up performance in order to defend title

Joey Logano came into the 2019 version of the NASCAR Playoffs as the defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion. And after the first round of three races within the championship series of events he remains alive in hopes of capturing a second consecutive title. However, a look at the recent finishes compiled by the No. 22 Team Penske Ford might offer a bit of troubling evidence that the hope of claiming the top prize at the end of the day at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in November could be in jeopardy. Over the last ten races Logano has managed only…

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