Wednesday, 31 May 2023
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While it seems like the 2019 season just ended, the start of NASCAR racing in 2020 is just weeks away.

As fans anticipate the new season, here are a handful of stories to keep in the back of your mind that will be worth watching as the year unfolds.

Cup Rookie of the Year Battle
There’s a larger crowd than usual battling for this honor in 2020.

  • Christopher Bell in the 95 car (as a temporary stopover until a Gibbs car is vacant)
  • Cole Custer in Stewart-Haas Racing’s 41 car
  • Tyler Reddick replacing Daniel Hemric in the 8 car for RCR.

Rounding out the ROTY contenders (battling for 4th, in all honesty, with inferior equipment) are:

  • Quin Houff (#00 car — StarCom)
  • Brennan Poole (#15 car — Premium)
  • John Hunter Nemechek (#38 car — Front Row)

So how will this battle finish up? The way I see it, Custer has the best equipment out the gate; Reddick has a chance at ROTY if he can avoid the wrecks Hemric had; Bell has the most talent of the bunch and ability to get the win that seemed close but eluded Matt DiBenedetto in the 95 in 2019. 

Posted On Friday, 27 December 2019 23:14 Written by
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Sports car competition has proven extremely successful for former Roush Fenway NASCAR driver Colin Braun, and he has a great chance for more success to start the 2020 season.

Braun will fill the third seat in DragonSpeed's 10Star entry at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The 31-year-old Texan native will join regulars Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley in the stars-and-stripes painted LMP2-class ORECA O7-Gibson entry for the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship season-opening endurance classic. The team's fourth driver for Daytona has yet to be selected.

Posted On Friday, 27 December 2019 21:32 Written by
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Phoenix weekend is done and the final fours are all set. Here’s my predictions on how things will shake out at Homestead next weekend in all three top series.

1. Ross Chastain — Without a doubt, a Ross Chastain championship would be the best feel-good success story of the season in all series. After his 2019 Xfinity plans with Chip Ganassi were derailed by loss of DC Solar sponsorship after an FBI raid, he had to dip down to the Truck series and launch a late campaign with Niece Motorsports to earn enough points to make the playoffs. He did just that, won several races along the way, and now the Melon Man is potentially going to be a champion. Doesn’t get much better than that. I’d say he’s the favorite.

2. Brett Moffitt — Moffitt was last year’s champ with Hattori Racing, and was promptly let go. Thankfully he found a new at GMS pretty quickly, and has impressed in 2019 with four wins. Always a contender up front, Moffitt is Chastain’s biggest competition for the title.

3. Stewart Friesen — Friesen, long overdue for Victory Lane in the Truck series, finally got there in 2019: Twice in fact, including Friday night at Phoenix. It’s very possible that breakout season could end in a title if strategy plays out properly, but even if it doesn’t this has been a career year for Friesen.

4. Matt Crafton — Truck series veteran Crafton snuck into the playoffs on the strength of a strong finish at Phoenix. And while it would be an amazing comeback story if the former champion took the crown again, the reality is he has zero wins in 2019, and only 6 top-5 runs. That’s not exactly promising for his title chances, but if the other contenders run into trouble he could capitalize.

Posted On Monday, 11 November 2019 00:02 Written by
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Thoughts as NASCAR leaves Phoenix and heads to Homestead for the 2019 season finale:

— It’s imperative that NASCAR does something with the Cup aero package for shorter tracks before the 2020 season, at least in regard to shorter tracks. They simply can’t have the title race decided by 10 seconds. This was one of the worst races of the season, and we can’t have a repeat of that in 2020 when a championship is being decided at Phoenix. 

— There’s a lot of talk about young guns in NASCAR, and there is definitely lots of young talent in the ranks in all three major series. But look at the top ranks in Cup, and what do we see?: An average age of 38.5 among the final four at Homestead. The lesson: For now, experience rules. Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman, William Byron and others will get their shot at the title soon enough. But they’re going to have to get past the veterans to do so, as long as they’re around.

Posted On Sunday, 10 November 2019 23:57 Written by
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The ARCA Menards Series East officially enters a new era with a seven-race slate in 2020 that will provide a mix of short-track showcases and national series companion events. The compact stand-alone schedule will also allow for the opportunity for competitors to compete for the new ten-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown championship. 

The East season will kick off as the main event of the 54th World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway on Monday, February 10. The champion will be crowned on Saturday, September 12 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s Full Throttle Fall Weekend.

Sam Mayer captured the 2019 East title at 16 years of age to become the youngest national or regional series champion in NASCAR history. He’s already counting down the days until the green flag at New Smyrna.

“I am looking forward to returning to the East series to defend my title in 2020,” Mayer said. “I had so much fun racing in that series this year and learned so much at every race. The competition was tough, and I’m sure it will be even better next year. With the series combining, it will give me the opportunity to race against some new drivers and become more competitive. Hopefully we can go out and win a bunch of races and take home another East series championship.”

Posted On Saturday, 09 November 2019 22:49 Written by
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