Race Weekend Central

The Underdog House: Which Small Sprint Cup Team Blew Us Away At Chicago?

2016-chicago-cup-landon-cassill-joey-gase-racing-russell-labounty-nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Think Small. That’s the motto for this column as I take a larger look at the teams still trying to make a name for themselves in the Cup Series despite fewer resources and a far more difficult mountain to climb. Writer’s Note: What follows is another fresh look for this column, one I expect to stick with.  There are …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400

2016-chicago-cup-martin-truex-jr-woohoo-brett-moist-nkp

(Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Staying out on a late caution won this race a year ago, and while it was not the winning strategy this time around, there’s something to be said for trying to make something happen late, which was exactly the tack taken by Ryan Blaney and Kasey Kahne. While neither …

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Friday Faceoff: How Far Is Too Far?

2016 Kentucky CUP Tony Stewart helmet Russell LaBounty NKP

(Photo: Russell Labounty/NKP)

After last weekend’s race at Richmond International Raceway, one thing on everyone’s mind was the on-track spat between Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman that continued in verbal sparring afterward.  Did either driver go too far with their actions or words? Clayton Caldwell, Contributor: I respect the passion from both drivers and I understand why Ryan Newman …

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The Underdog House: Would-Be Winners and Hangers-On

2016 Michigan I CUP Ryan Blaney John Harrelson NKP

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

(We’re changing things up a little this week; instead of focusing on races past, we’ll take a look ahead at our small teams and the outlook down the stretch.  Hate it and want to see more on how they fared in the races? Let me know.  Want to see more like this? Let me know!  …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 Federated Auto Parts 400

2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Richmond

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? While Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson was getting plenty of airtime for some bold moves late in the race and a recent hot streak, Jamie McMurray was quietly getting a top-10 finish of his own (he wound up seventh) and in doing so, made them one of three multi-car organizations …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Perception Is Reality

2016 Indianapolis Cup Tony Stewart racing LOgan Whitton NKP

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

On Wednesday, NASCAR handed down a bunch of penalties, as it generally does on a weekly basis. Most weeks, the penalties are minor: written warnings for going through inspection too many times, maybe a loss of pit choice.  Every once in a while, though, the sanctioning body hands down something bigger, as happened this week with …

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The Frontstretch 5: Lessons To Be Learned from Darlington

3-4 September, 2016, Darlington, South Carolina USA Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch, Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry © 2016, Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

1. There’s still a place for the past. The success of returning the Southern 500 to Darlington on its rightful date plus the throwback theme is proof positive that the sport’s past is still relevant. It goes deeper than old paint schemes made new again; it reminds us of a time when the sport was …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams From Darlington to Richmond

2016 darlington cup chris buescher zach catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Tommy Baldwin Racing Regan Smith, No. 7 Nikko RC Road Rippers Chevrolet Looking back: Smith is a former Darlington winner, and he raced the track very well on Sunday night and netted a top-20 finish to show for it.  It was exactly the kind of race TBR needs to have: smart, clean, and driver getting …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 Bojangles Southern 500

2016 Darlington Raceway Martin Truex Jr NSCS photo credit NASCAR via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? In the “where did he come from” department, the best finish in the Hendrick Motorsports stable came from Kasey Kahne.  Kahne has been strong at Darlington in the past, so his seventh-place run shouldn’t be a surprise. But given the season Kahne’s had and how he took the stealth approach, the …

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Hamlin Paces the Field in XFINITY Series Final Practice

2016 Daytona II CUP Carl Edwards Denny HAmlin Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Denny Hamlin, who already boasts the best Darlington average finish in the Sprint Cup garage, topped the charts in the lone NASCAR XFINITY Series practice for the weekend after rain washed out Friday’s on-track activities.  Defending race winner Hamlin, with a lap speed of 172.664, outran Kyle Larson for the top spot by 0.077 seconds. …

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Friday Faceoff: Is NASCAR’s New Downforce Package Ready For 2017?

Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne Darlington Cup Retro 2015 Mike Neff-136

(Photo Credit: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

Last Sunday’s race at Michigan was the third and final in-race test of what will presumably be the 2017 Sprint Cup rules package. Is it enough to improve the racing to a satisfactory level for fans? Amy Henderson, Senior Editor: I think it will make for much better racing at the intermediates, but I’d like …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams from Michigan to Darlington

2016 Pocono I CUP Ryan Blaney John Harrelson NKP

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

Tommy Baldwin Racing Regan Smith, No. 7 APC Chevrolet Looking back: Michigan International Speedway was one of Smith’s better runs on a 1.5-to-2-mile speedway this year, with a 26th-place finish and a lap led on his tally. Smith said afterward that he feels like his team is learning some things that will help them in …

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