Tuesday, 09 August 2022
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There’s something about the 54 car this year in the Xfinity Series. The car has taken an amazing 11 checkered flags in the 2021 season: 5 courtesy of Cup champion Kyle Busch (who thankfully has moved on from Xfinity racing, allegedly); 1 from Truck Series regular John Hunter Nemechek, 1 from Cup racer Christopher Bell, and — most curiously — four from the young man they call Ty Gibbs (aka the team owner’s grandson). Gibbs had an amazing Saturday at Kansas, winning the Xfinity race, taking the ARCA pole, and nearly winning the ARCA race (he lost on the final restart). Oh, and he also claimed the ARCA championship.

Did I mention Ty Gibbs is only 19 years old (yes, he was born in October of 2002, in case you didn’t already feel old).

The hype around him is unlike anything we’ve seen about a young driver like this since, perhaps, Joey Logano in his “sliced bread” days. (Of note: The team Logano drove as a teen — Joe Gibbs Racing)

Posted On Sunday, 24 October 2021 05:30 Written by
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How does NASCAR follow up a historic weekend at Talladega?


With a weekend full of drama at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite tracks in all of NASCAR (The track’s been so much fun since it’s arrival, I honestly feel like sending Marcus Smith a thank-you card for coming up with the idea in the first place).

It was a very newsworthy weekend, both on the track and off. Here are my initial reactions to some of the big news that we got to take in this weekend.

Harvick vs. Elliott

Well, this rivalry certainly came to a head this weekend. After several weeks of openly holding a grudge against Elliott for the way Elliott raced him at Bristol, Harvick acted on those feelings at the Roval, punting Elliott during Sunday’s race. Unfortunately for Happy Harvick, Elliott was able to continue on (despite a flapping bumper cover that should have gotten him black-flagged), eventually securing a place in the next round of the playoffs while Harvick ultimately did not. Harvick’s day, perhaps in a bit of karma, ended when he wrecked himself while Chase was lurking in the background and no doubt ready to give payback. Before he could get there, Harvick froze up and did the job himself. 

After the race, Harvick basically confirmed he had spun Elliott on purpose, but Elliott had the ultimate last wor, saying he wished Harvick a “Merry Offseason and Happy Christmas”. My first thought after hearing the comment was the “Y’all wanna see a dead body?” meme, as Harvick’s got nothing he can say in response.

As a fan, it was great drama, and I’m pretty sure that puts an end to their on-track battles for this year. I don’t expect any more shunts between the two, but you can bet Harvick will do his best to hold up Chase and prevent him from winning the title, if they are ever near each other in the final races.

Either way, whether you like Chase or Harvick or neither one of them, the fans are the ones who are coming out on top here, as we’re seeing genuine rivalries play out in a sport where those are mostly a thing of the past.

Posted On Monday, 11 October 2021 05:14 Written by
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After the long weekend we experienced at Talladega — with three wild races all ending with first-time winners, and the ultimate capper of Bubba Wallace making history with his first career win after a strong charge to the front before the rains hit — there’s a lot that can be said.

I could talk about all the “firsts” that happened with Bubba’s win at Talladega, and there’s a lot of them, but that’s been covered ad nauseam. 

I could talk about the historical importance of Bubba’s win — but all you have to do is watch Bubba’s emotional interview after the win was announced and you’ll see in his eyes and hear it in his voice as he absorbs the reality of what he’s achieved and why it matters. I couldn’t say it any better than he did in that interview, nor would I try. And if you as a fan can listen to that interview, and still try to claim that this isn’t a significant win, I suggest you learn a little bit about history. 

The two big stories I see coming out of this weekend are that the underdogs can come out on top with enough dedication and hard work over many years, and that our nation still has some work to do until the type of milestone achieved by Bubba on Monday is no longer a newsworthy event.

Posted On Saturday, 09 October 2021 07:07 Written by
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BROOKLYN, Mich. — They say every lap counts in racing, but most importantly the last lap counts.

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney proved that to be the case on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, when he led the final 8 laps to take the victory in his Ford after the race was dominated by Chevy drivers Kyle Larson and William Byron.

A strong push by Kyle Busch on the last restart, reminiscent of the type of push needed to win at superspeedway tracks, helped Blaney’s cause as he battled for the win.

“Yeah, got a great push by the 18 on the restart, was able to get clear there. Michigan is a matter of pretty much running wide open and trying to play the air game. I hate you have to race that way. That's how you have to run. Worked out for us,” Blaney said.

Posted On Sunday, 22 August 2021 23:03 Written by
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BROOKLYN, Mich. — In a sport like NASCAR, where it generally takes many years to establish yourself as a competitive team, it’s rare to see a new team break through as a serious contender for race wins and championships. That’s especially true at the Cup level, but also at the Xfinity level, where a few teams have dominated wins for years (Joe Gibbs Racing, Jr. Motorsports, Team Penske, etc.).

That’s what makes the rise of Kaulig Racing over the past few years a truly inspiring story that fans should embrace. It reminds me of how Furniture Row Racing grew from a small, upstart team based in Denver to winning a title with Martin Truex Jr., before eventually shutting down.

Hopefully, Kaulig doesn’t follow the last part of that blueprint, as they’re a team on the rise (entering Cup full-time in 2022, in addition to maintaining its Xfinity teams) that would be a strong addition to the garage for decades to come.

Posted On Sunday, 22 August 2021 16:15 Written by
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