Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Notable Numbers as NASCAR Heads to Bristol

2017 Talladega I Cup Matt Kenseth Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade NKP)

1. 100.2 That’s Matt Kenseth’s driver rating at Bristol, best among all active Cup Series drivers. This number is significant in that Kenseth does not have a win in 2017, and this weekend’s race might be his best shot. He’s currently got a playoff spot on points, but a win would add some needed insurance. …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR Sponsor Woes Not Limited to Small Teams Anymore

2017 Michigan Ii Cup Matt Dibenedertto Landon Cassill Racing Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Think Small The economic climate in NASCAR is chilly in recent years, and teams are struggling to find sponsorship.  From the bottom to the top of the NASCAR food chain and back again, teams are searching for backing, many simply to exist.  Someone has to pay the bills after all. But the fight for existence …

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Friday Faceoff: How Much Is Left in Jimmie Johnson’s Tank?

2017 Dover I Cup Jimmie Johnson Rick Hendrick Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

19-year-old William Byron was named to replace Kasey Kahne at Hendrick Motorsports in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018. Are teams rushing youngsters through the ranks too fast in an effort not to lose them to another team, or are drivers more prepared at a younger age than in the past? Bryan Gable: William …

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The Underdog House: Curbing Spending Would Be Good For NASCAR

2017 Watkins Glen Cup Michael Mcdowell Aric Almirola Racing John K Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

Think Small Dale Earnhardt Jr. was addressing the media at Watkins Glen last weekend when the subject turned to driver contracts and salaries.  The NASCAR economic climate, as everyone knows has changed drastically in recent years.  When the NASCAR fad was at its height almost 20 years ago, corporate interest and driver income skyrocketed. For a while, that …

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The Frontstretch 5: Under-the-Radar Silly Season Moves You Need to Watch

2017 Cup Pocono Zach Catanzareti Ty Dillon

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

1. Ryan Blaney to Team Penske This move wasn’t really a surprise since Blaney was already under contract with Team Penske, and the team was just biding its time with sponorship before pulling the trigger on a third car. It was a huge domino because if sets off a potential chain reaction of changes that could …

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The Underdog House: Sponsorship Changes on the Horizon?

2017 Richmond I Cup Michael Mcdowell Pack Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Think Small With Target pulling out of motorsports after this year, it leaves just two NASCAR teams on the circuit using a single primary sponsor for all 36 races. Jimmie Johnson‘s No. 48 has backing from Lowe’s (and Kobalt Tools, manufactured and sold by the store) while the No. 11 run by Denny Hamlin has FedEx.  That leaves …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: The Downside of NASCAR Alliances

Martin Truex, Jr. is pretty much the king of the hill in NASCAR this season. He leads driver points by 48 markers, is tied with Jimmie Johnson for the most wins in the Cup Series this season and has 14 stage wins. That’s double the number of Kyle Busch, who’s second on that list with …

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The Frontstretch 5: Things That Have Run on Track at Pocono

2016 Pocono Ii Cup Jimmie Johnson Racing Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

1. A groundhog that regretted its decision and another that probably didn’t As driver Stephen Leicht found out the hard way in 2012 during a practice session at Pocono, in racecar vs. groundhog, the racecar wins. Leicht was the driver unfortunate enough to hit the rodent as it crossed the racing surface, and there wasn’t much …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR’s Small Teams Make It Work At Indy

2017 Indianapolis Cup Matt Dibenedetto Car Matthew T Thacker

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Think Small Indianapolis Motor Speedway isn’t exactly a track known for being kind to underfunded teams.  It’s a track where aerodynamics and horsepower rule, and enough of both of those to win races usually comes at a price too steep for most of the small teams, because it begins on shaker rigs and in the …

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The Frontstretch 5: Drivers Who Need a Win to Make the Playoffs & Can Actually Get One

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Monster Energy Nascar All Star Race Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, Nc Usa Friday 19 May 2017 Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing, Motorcraft/quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford Fusion And Clint Bowyer, Stewart Haas Racing, Haas Automation Ford Fusion World Copyright: Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

There are just seven races left for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers to earn a spot in the season playoffs, and with 11 in on race wins, the competition for the five remaining spots is hot and heavy. A few drivers—Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray—look like they’ll make it in on …

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The Underdog House: How Small Teams Play a Role In Silly Season

2017 Las Vegas Cup Matt Dibenedetto Landon Cassill Racing John Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

Think Small Silly Season is heating up, and it could be a big one, with lots of drivers changing teams.  Among the small teams, the biggest name in the rumor mill is Ryan Blaney, who could make the jump to Team Penske next year if the team can secure sponsorship for a third car.  But …

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