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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Team effort secures Larson’s place in Championship 4

Even though the drivers get the vast majority of the credit and attention, racing is most definitely a team sport. That was exemplified on Sunday by Kyle Larson and his Hendrick Motorsports team in winning the South Point 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The No. 5 car led the most laps by far but the victory was not easily achieved as obstacles had to be overcome even before Christopher Bell made a late charge almost stealing the victory at the finish line. Led by pit boss Cliff Daniels, the Larson crew had to not only overcome some mid-race…

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Christopher Bell comes up aces winning pole in Las Vegas

The ‘Round of 8’ in the NASCAR Playoffs will kick off on Sunday when the South Point 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway takes the green flag. Those drivers still alive in the NASCAR Playoffs will have the opportunity to make their move toward the Championship 4 over the next three rounds on the schedule. As he had done on five other occasions this season, Christopher Bell placed his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on the pole giving him the honor of leading the field to green. The Norman, Oklahoma native, who will enter the race just below the cutline,…

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Is there a tire problem, a Chevy problem, or no problem at Vegas?

The city of Las Vegas has been built on gambling so it should come as no surprise that NASCAR drivers and crew chiefs could find themselves doing some of that very thing on Sunday in the South Point 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The practice sessions held on Saturday were filled with issues related to tires that at least some attributed to running too long, and thus, pushing their Goodyears too hard. As a result, teams may be having to decide exactly how long they want their cars to stay on track between pit stops during the main…

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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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Kyle Larson happy to win Sprint Car national touring series championship

Kyle Larson won the NASCAR Cup Series title after an amazing season back in 2021 and is currently in contention to repeat that feat as the 2023 NASCAR Playoffs wind toward a conclusion. Even with that, there is another type of championship the 31-year-old racer from Elk Grove, California has long coveted. And on Tuesday night, that ambition was finally realized. Just last year, Larson and his brother-in-law, four-time and defending World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion Brad Sweet, formed the High Limit Sprint Car Series. The tour, which would feature midweek races held across the…

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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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Tyler Reddick grabs Roval pole; Hamlin mishap ends session early

The NASCAR Cup Series set its field of the Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. That race will serve as the cutoff for the ‘Round of 12’ in the NASCAR Playoffs as the bottom four of those remaining in championship contention will be eliminated when the checkered flag waves on Sunday. After the qualifying session was completed, it was Tyler Reddick who earned the right to start the main event from the pole position. However, there was a bit of good fortune that fell the fast qualifier’s way. With cars still on track…

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