Heated Brawls + Pounding Pistons: What’s Happening in NASCAR for 2023
Esteemed driver Cale Yarborough once claimed that “Driving a race car is like dancing with a chainsaw”. Headquartered in sunny Daytona Beach, Florida, NASCAR offers up over 1500 races with drivers navigating this dance annually! There are over 100 tracks that showcase these bouts of sheer motorized skill, spanning 48 US states as well as Europe, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada. These very brave drivers actually experience up to six Gs of Force on their necks at the height of their daunting laps. If this sounds thrilling to you, keep reading to find out what’s happening in NASCAR for 2023.
What’s Happening in NASCAR for 2023
This year offers up the thrills of celebrating 75 years of pavement-scorching memories. It’s fitting that 2023’s schedule emulates everything that is timeless about NASCAR, and how thankfully some elements have remained the same. The Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum took place for the second year in a row, and the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway went off with a bang over Easter. There is still only one week of downtime in the middle of June, and the 10-race playoffs are unchanged.
Punches fly during KS Cup Series:
Just 3 days ago, Noah Gragson tracked down Ross Chastain after the checkered flag in Kansas. The two Chevy Camaro drivers both bumped each other several times throughout the race, and Chastain’s no. 1 Camaro dinged Gragson’s no. 42 sending it for a bit of a spin. Laptops and tablets nationwide were all buzzing with the news as Gragson suddenly grabbed Chastain, yielding in a heated argument and swift punch thrown.
These two trained and prepared for the challenge together, but Gragson had apparently had enough of Chastain’s breaking the “no-push” rule. During all the melee, Kyle Larson’s no. 5 NASCAR Chevy was leading on the last lap, but lost his win due to a hard bump from eventual race winner Denny Hamlin. The final standings after the dust settled from this race were as follows:
- Danny Hamlin
- Kyle Larson
- William Byron
- Bubba Wallace
- Ross Chastain
- Joey Logano
- Chase Elliott
- Martin Truex Jr
- Tyler Reddick
- Austin Dillon
Just days till the South Carolina showdown in Darlington:
The always-abrasive nature of Darlington leads to great racing tales! It is known for having probably the roughest track service on the circuit, so each story involves heavy involvement of tire wear. Cup teams sometimes may opt for a shorter pit, and go without a full fuel run! The action here takes place on May 14, with most teams wanting to keep four-tire pit stops at the top of their playbook. 36 cars are on the entry list, and former Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman is making a surprise return at the wheel of his no. 51 RWR entry.
Goodyear returns for a third year as the entitlement sponsor of the spring throwback race. This is the site where Goodyear conducted his first official NASCAR tire test back in 1954. This is the “throwback weekend” with Joey Logano as the defending race winner, with Ross Chastain in firm control of his championship standings. The start time is at 3 PM sharp, streaming live on Fox Sports Streaming and fuboTV.
All-in and asphalt ready: May 21 All-Star Race @ North Wilkesboro
On May 21, the heated summer action returns to the North Wilkesboro Speedway! The invitational winner will be determined by 200 laps, which a competition break right at the halfway point. This very traditional feeling race is perfect for the rebirth of this .625-mile track. This is the first time North Wilkesboro has been on the official NASCAR circuit since 1996. The pit-stop element is a full-on revival of the annual pit-crew competition, and Dale Earnhardt Jr himself played a huge role in preserving this site’s history.
Twenty-two drivers have already secured an All-Star Race spot. Among them are: Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Briscoe, Kyle Busch, and Chris Buescher. Just as it was last year, a limit was placed on the number of Late Model Stock drivers eligible to compete. Now the maximum number of entries has increased to 38, up from 30. The on-track activity for the CARS tour begins Wednesday, May17 and can be viewed live on FloRacing.
Sips & sensations: Charlotte hosts the Coca-Cola 600:
Memorial Day weekend gets revved up in a major way with the historic 64th running of the Coca-Cola 600! Always known for being NASCAR’s toughest test of ability, there will also be a pre-race concert featuring the sounds of the Doobie Brothers. This is the longest race on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, and a great way for diehard stock car lovers to sprawl out and enjoy a sampling of killer action.
This track is also home to one of the world’s largest high-definition TVs, mesmerizing viewers at 80 feet tall and 200 feet wide. Frequently here at Charlotte Motor Speedway, cars that are slower during the day will jump to the front as their traction increases and the suspensions take on more ideal conditions. Built in 1959, this speedway is the only all-concrete, 4-lane drag strip in the nation. Kurt Busch holds a tire-screeching qualifying record here set in 2014, as hit 198.771 mph during his lap.
The engines are ready: are YOUR drink coolers and streaming devices?
NASCAR has always been a wholeheartedly all-American tradition, as it tests build quality, agility, and driver skill! And it’s popularity has skyrocketed over the past decade. These cars generate so much downforce that they would be able to drive upside down if physics allowed. Are you excited about the NASCAR season this summer, or have you been to any memorable races in the past? Let us know in the comments below, or check out another article about criteria for truly high-performance cars.