Aric Almirola

NASCAR Numbers Game: Taking stock of the 2013 Sprint Cup season

David Smith crunches the numbers to reveal some telling stats in the Cup Series
David Smith crunches the numbers for the Sprint Cup Series in his weekly "NASCAR Numbers Game" column.

The off week prior to the race at Indianapolis serves as a welcome respite to everyone in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series except crew chiefs who might be on the hot seat. One casualty of “chopping block week” occurred Tuesday morning when BK Racing relieved Pat Tryson of his duties as the head wrench for David Reutimann’s No. 83 entry.

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 (Martinsville) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

NASCAR's oldest track on the circuit kickstarts its longest stretch of 2021
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Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 (Martinsville) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

The Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway kickstarts the largest portion of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule. This April 10 showdown (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) is the first of 17 consecutive weekends of racing, running all the way through July 18 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

 

Instacart 500 (Phoenix) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

Will Sunday be Chase Elliott's first time in victory lane in 2021?
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Instacart 500 (Phoenix) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

Last November was Chase Elliott's coronation as NASCAR champion, becoming kingmaker at the ripe old age of 24. This Sunday's Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX) is the first visit back to the one-mile oval where the sport's Most Popular Driver won it all in just his fifth full-time season on tour.

 

A little less than five months later, he's learning how hard it is to stay on top of the mountain.

 

Pennzoil 400 (Las Vegas) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

Can NASCAR's big names reassert themselves at the front in Sin City?
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Pennzoil 400 (Las Vegas) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

Las Vegas is the town of Cinderella stories born at midnight, a place where one roll of the dice turns the moneyless into millionaires. It's the type of rags-to-riches story that's defined NASCAR's 2021 season, Michael McDowell's Daytona 500 triumph sparking three straight first-time winners heading into this year's Pennzoil 400.

 

Dixie Vodka 400 (Homestead) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

Can NASCAR go 3-for-3 on first-time winners?
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Dixie Vodka 400 (Homestead) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

For the first time since 1950, NASCAR has two first-time winners in the first two races heading into the Dixie Vodka 400. A Cinderella story in Michael McDowell paired with a rising talent meeting his potential (Christopher Bell) means fresh faces inside their playoff field already. Heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway, a third straight week in Florida, can the sport go an unprecedented three-for-three?

 

NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway

Alex Bowman on the pole as the field is set for the 63rd Great American Race
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NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway

It's a new year but the same old complex qualifying mess for NASCAR when it comes to the 2021 Daytona 500. After both Duel qualifying races, the full 40-car field is locked in for the race (Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX). But for new fans, the same question always comes up.

 

How'd they do it?

 

Hollywood Casino 400 (Kansas) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

Kansas Speedway kicks off the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8
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Hollywood Casino 400 (Kansas) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

And then... there were eight. The semifinal round of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs starts Sunday with the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Just four races remain to complete a season no one thought might happen at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic several months ago.

 

Bank of America ROVAL 400 (Charlotte) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

Can reigning NASCAR champ Kyle Busch stave off playoff elimination?
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Bank of America ROVAL 400 (Charlotte) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

Five races down, five races remain in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Charlotte Motor Speedway plays host to the Bank of America ROVAL 400 this weekend, a race on the infield road course that will officially cut the playoff field from 12 to 8.

 

NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Denny Hamlin sits on the pole a second straight week for NASCAR's 2020 road course finale
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NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

NASCAR heads to its second and final road course race of 2020 with the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race on Sunday is the final one in the Cup Series Round of 12 and will eliminate four additional drivers from the championship chase.

 

Cook Out Southern 500 (Darlington) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

NASCAR's postseason begins with one of its crown jewel events
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Cook Out Southern 500 (Darlington) NASCAR Preview and Fantasy Predictions

It's hard to believe but the NASCAR postseason has arrived, on schedule despite a two-month COVID-19 suspension. One of the sport's crown jewel events, the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, will serve as the playoff opener on Sunday night (Sept. 6) as the Cup Series begins its 10-race championship chase.

 

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