Gimmick or real racing: Atlanta provided exciting racing

I have been around racing all of my life. I got started in racing watching my uncle race on the short tracks of East Tennessee in the 1970’s. It was a thrill to go see him race nearly every week. My first exposure to NASCAR racing was in 1975 at Atlanta. It was called Atlanta International Raceway at the time. My dad’s best friend from high school lived in the area and invited us to come down. We made the trip and my eyes were wide open as I witnessed a big 1.533-mile track, something much larger than the 1/3-mile…

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Should Daytona 500 lead-up be revamped?

The start of another NASCAR season is here. All teams are hoping to win races and compete for a championship. Since the mid 80’s, the Daytona 500 and the lead up events kicked off the start of the Cup season. It was in 1980 when NASCAR and Busch beer came up with the idea of the Busch Clash – a non-points race featuring the pole sitters from the previous season. It was a teaser for the upcoming Daytona 500 and combined with the ARCA race on the same day. Over the years, the Busch Clash format had been adjusted, more…

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Turn 2 Blog: Awaiting Kevin Harvick in the booth & Can the Vegas GP live up to the hype?

*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. Are you excited about getting Kevin Harvick the broadcaster? Richard: I am looking forward to the perspectives Kevin Harvick will provide in the NASCAR on Fox booth. In the NASCAR Xfinity Series races in which he has served as a commentator, I feel like he has done an outstanding job. And the fact that he is so fresh out of the driver’s seat should allow fans…

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Does Cole Custer deserve another shot at the Cup Series?

After three full seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series driving for Stewart-Haas Racing where he produced very mediocre results, Cole Custer found himself still with that same organization at the beginning of the 2023 campaign but back in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. That move for the 25-year-old driver proved to be a beneficial one as he scored three victories, including the season finale at Phoenix Raceway, which netted him his first NXS championship. With that immediate success upon his return to the Xfinity Series, where he has earned a total of 13 career wins, one has to wonder why the…

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Has the Truck Series outlived its usefulness?

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series began in 1995 with a modest 20-race schedule mostly on tracks of one mile in length or less with a road course thrown in here and there. Many of the drivers on the tour during those early days were veteran racers such as Ron Hornaday Jr., Mike Skinner, Joe Ruttman, Jack Sprague and Butch Miller who had long toiled in the short track ranks and were then finally getting a chance to race on a national scale. Occasionally, a Cup Series driver such as Terry Labonte would even drop in for an event. Overall, the…

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The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series champion will be …

A look back at history can offer a look into what is likely happen in an upcoming event. When it comes to this weekend’s ‘Cup Series Championship’ at the Phoenix Raceway, everyone has an opinion regarding which of the ‘Championship 4’ will come out on top and be crowned at the end of the day on Sunday. After the checkered flag waves over the one-mile facility located in the dessert of Arizona, the NASCAR Cup Series champion will be known. But a look at recent statistics can offer a clue as to who will be hoisting the trophy. 2021 NASCAR…

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NASCAR’s season finale is a must win for title hopefuls

Christopher Bell(20) and Kyle Larson(5) are two of the four drivers racing for a championship in PhoenixChristopher Bell, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and William Byron will enter Sunday’s ‘Cup Series Championship’ at Phoenix Raceway on equal footing with whoever finishes highest among those four earning the NASCAR Cup Series title. Back in 2014, the NASCAR first began using the Playoff format in which sixteen drivers compete with three separate cuts occurring over the final ten races of the season to narrow the field of title contenders to four going into the season finale. The Championship 4 then battle in the…

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Ryan Blaney living up to expectations

When Ryan Blaney broke into the NASCAR Cup Series as a full time driver with Wood Brothers Racing in 2016, he did so with very high expectations placed on him. And in just his second season driving the No. 21 car, the High Pont, NC resident appeared to be well on his way to living up to those expectations after he scored his first career victory at Pocono Raceway. As a matter of fact, Blaney was moved from the Wood Brothers, which serves as somewhat of a subsidiary operation for Team Penske, to the No. 12 Ford with the Roger…

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RCR couldn’t have gotten the end of the Martinsville Xfinity race more wrong

After what seemed like an infinite wait to run the final laps of the Dead On Tools 250 at the Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, Justin Allgaier just edged Sheldon Creed for the win and a spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series ‘Championship 4’. But there was far more to the story than that and much of that story revolved around the organization Creed drives(or drove) for. Creed will drive in the Xfinity Series next season for Joe Gibbs Racing. Following a multi-car wreck with less than ten laps remaining, safety crews took several minutes to clean up the mess. But…

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Martinsville is the perfect track for Hamlin and Truex to make a Playoff move, right?

Chris Buescher enters the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway 43 points below the NASCAR Playoffs cutline in the ‘Round of 8’ finale. Basically, the Roush Fenway Keselowski driver will need a win or the other current championship contenders to experience a disaster for him to advance to the Championship 4. Unfortunately for the driver of the No. 17 Ford, he has not shown an ability to run up front or win on the half-mile track. That said, the real contest to stay alive in the Playoffs will likely come down to William Byron(+30), Ryan Blaney(+10), Denny Hamlin(-17) and Martin Truex…

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