Turn 2 Blog: Is Bell the new ‘Closer’? & Larson’s inconsistency

*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. Is Christopher Bell the new ‘closer’? Richard: It certainly is beginning to look that way. Just when everyone seems ready to count the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 team out they seem to find a way to do something big and make a move in the right direction. Last year, Bell scored wins late in the season that got him into the NASCAR Playoffs then helped…

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The numbers say Homestead is a now-or-never situation for Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick will enter this weekend’s 4EVER 400 presented by Mobil 1 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway 6th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings just 16 points below the NASCAR Playoffs cutline. That said, with two events remaining in the ‘Round of 8’, the 27-year-old driver may be facing a now-or-never situation considering his past results on the next two tracks. Reddick has come to Homestead before in do-or-die moments. In both 2018 and 2019, the native of Corning, California entered the final race on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule needing to outrun those who he was fighting with for the…

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Turn 2 Blog: Should Bell have been more aggressive? & Can Larson win the Indy 500?

*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. Now that he has officially passed his Indianapolis 500 rookie test, can Kyle Larson be competitive in both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600? Richard: When Memorial Day weekend comes in 2024, Kyle Larson will attempt to become the fifth driver to attempt running the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. John Andretti was the first to compete in both races…

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A Martin Truex Jr. championship would reveal the ________of the Playoffs system

A Martin Truex Jr. championship would reveal the (strength/weakness) of the Playoffs system. Martin Truex Jr. and his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team had a very strong regular season which earned the driver a spot in the 2023 NASCAR Playoffs. The 43-year-old racer from Mayetta, NJ achieved three wins in the first 26 races of the campaign and scored enough points over that portion of the schedule to claim the title of regular season champion. The James Small-led team’s performance over the first two-thirds of the year seemed to provide momentum going into the 10-race championship hunt. However,…

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Turn 2 Blog: Are stage points too much of a factor? & Who will advance?

*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. Have stage points become too much of a factor in NASCAR racing? Richard: I would argue the opposite. While I might not have agreed with the use of stage points initially, they have brought a whole new element of intrigue into the sport. That is especially true in the first two rounds of the NASCAR Playoffs as drivers and crew chiefs have to devise strategies of…

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Turn 2 Blog: Too much teamwork? & Roval or Oval?

*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. Do teams and/or manufacturers get too caught up in working together on the drafting tracks? Richard: I think they absolutely do in the closing laps of the races held at Talladega and Daytona. I don’t blame the teams and manufacturers for working together during the first 450 miles of a race but once that last pit stop has been made, it’s every driver for himself. Trying…

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Is Talladega really that random?

Whenever Talladega Super Speedway comes up in some NASCAR-related conversation, the notion that the winners there are totally random is usually brought up. “You could draw the winner’s name out of a hat” is something people will often say when asked to make a prediction. But are the races on the 2.66-mile high-banked track really that random? Yes, there are almost always big wrecks there that claim multiple cars at a time. Still, someone will survive those crashes and will go on to take the checkered flag at the front of the field. But do you really think one of…

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How much is a NASCAR team worth compared to other sports?

Want to get into professional sports as an owner? If the answer to that question is yes then you better have a major source of revenue backing that desire because it takes what for the vast majority of us would be unthinkable amounts of money to get involved with an NFL, NBA or MLB franchise. By the time a potential owner acquired a franchise in one of those sports then began paying salaries of players, coaches and management, the cost would run well into the billions of dollars. NFL teams appear to come with the highest valuations among the sports…

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Texas might be more of a wild card than people think

When fans, media and competitors consider which of the races within the second round could be one with the potential to turn the NASCAR Playoffs upside down, they typically think of the second race in the set at Talladega Super Speedway or the third on the makeshift road course known as the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But perhaps not enough credit is given to the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at the Texas Motor Speedway as a possible fly in the ointment. Yes, Talladega with its pack drafting and the ever present danger of the ‘Big One’ along with Charlotte…

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Turn 2 Blog: Denny Hamlin embracing the villain role is a good thing

*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. It’s good that Denny Hamlin is embracing the role of villain, isn’t it? Richard: Racing, or any sport for that matter, needs a good villain. Fans not only need an individual or team to root for but also one to root against. However, it’s not easy to play the role of the ‘bad guy’ because not many people want to get booed when their name is…

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