These 5 NASCAR Cup Series Drivers Must Perform Well in 2021

All photos in this piece provided by Getty Images Going into any new season it goes without saying that every driver and every team in the NASCAR Cup Series hopes to perform as well as possible. For each, however, those expectations of success are different for each team as some have the resources, the experience, and the capability to win races while others may not. For some, the occasional top-10, or even top-20, might meet or even exceed expectations. Of all the members on each team, the driver is obviously the most notable. Often times, whether fair or not, success…

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Turn 2 Blog: Do Kyle Larson’s accomplishments on dirt make him a generational talent?

*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: Kyle Larson just continues to impress and amaze. After winning more than 50 feature races last year in Sprint Cars, Midget Sprint Cars, and Late Models combined, he has continued those winning ways already in 2021. For the second year in a row he captured the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at the River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa, OK in a Midget then came…

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Rich’s Ramblings: Did 2020 changes make NASCAR better?

From time to time I plan to drop in a brief recording to offer a few thoughts. I plan to make most of these on the way to or from a race track on some topic that may be of interest but not necessarily for a written story. In this edition of Rich’s Ramblings I talk about how the changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic may have actually improved NASCAR. Practice, qualifying, personnel, and more are addressed. Just click on the play button below to give it a listen. Please also consider reading Richard Allen is a member of…

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The time has come for Ryan Blaney to win more often

A few years ago Ryan Blaney was thought of as a can’t miss superstar in the NASCAR Cup Series. And certainly, the High Point, NC native has accomplished some things that many others only wish they could have. But now at the age of 27, the time has come to start asking when, or even if, he will reach the status of multiple race winner and regular championship contender. Blaney is the son of former Sprint Car racing star and NASCAR regular Dave Blaney which perhaps led to exalted expectations when he entered the sport. And further, Blaney himself offered…

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Here’s why NASCAR needs Bubba Wallace to succeed

Going into the 2021 season there are going to be many fans who will be rooting for Bubba Wallace and his new team. At the same time, there will be a number of fans rooting against Bubba Wallace and his new team as well. While numerous columns could be written regarding why both of the above statements will almost certainly prove to be true, this piece is only going to graze the fringes of race and other societal issues so if the reader is looking for facts or opinions about the Black Lives Matter movement, nooses, Confederate flags, or otherwise,…

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What should Team Penske do with Brad Keselowski?

Early in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season the rumor mill was churning regarding the future of Brad Keselowski as his contract with Team Penske was set to expire at the end of the campaign. Some had him penciled in as the replacement for the retiring Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 car at Hendrick Motorsports with others suggesting that he would ultimately get a long-term extension that would allow him to finish out his career with his current team. About midway through the year, however, both of those ways of thinking were proven to be incorrect as the 36-year-old…

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The Chili Bowl: Strengthening the marriage of NASCAR and dirt

There is often a debate regarding the relationship between NASCAR and dirt racing. Some would argue that the involvement of NASCAR, whether it be by drivers, teams, or the sanctioning body itself, benefits racing on clay due to the amount of exposure that comes with the more high-profile form of the sport lending its star power. Conversely, there are some in dirt racing who resent the involvement of NASCAR in their favorite type of motorsports because they see it as a somewhat arrogant intrusion of the haves dropping in to take purse money from the have-nots while dabbling in what…

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Pivotal year for HMS teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman

Perhaps the most intense competition in all of racing is that between the two drivers employed by the same Formula 1 team. The ultimate measuring stick to evaluate the driving skills of one of those competitors is to compare how often he out qualifies and how often he finishes higher than his own teammate. If that were the case in NASCAR, William Byron and Alex Bowman would have a tall order in front of them going into the 2021 season. One thing the two young drivers have going for them is the fact that they drive for powerful Hendrick Motorsports….

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Will Kyle Larson prove his worth in championship equipment?

Kyle Larson has won a total of six NASCAR Cup Series races out of the 223 starts he has made at the sport’s top level. He has posted a highest finish in the final standings of sixth in 2019. And while there are a number of racers who have toiled longer while having achieved fewer victories, those numbers do not seem overly impressive considering that many argue this driver is among the most talented in the sport. In comparison, Chase Elliott has visited victory lane 11 times in 185 career starts and is coming off of a season in which…

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How much longer can Kevin Harvick keep up this pace?

Kevin Harvick had a phenomenal 2020 season on the NASCAR Cup Series. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver led the series in wins(9), top-5 finishes(20), top-10 finishes(27), laps led(1531), lead lap finishes(33), and average finishing position(7.7). The only thing he didn’t do was win the championship after failing to make the Championship 4 during the final stretch run of the NASCAR Playoffs. Title or not, however, the achievements of this driver and his team during the disjointed coronavirus-plagued 2020 season were quite remarkable. That is perhaps even more true when one looks back into NASCAR’s past and sees that many of the…

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