Race Weekend Central

The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams from Pocono to Watkins Glen

2016 Pocono II CUP Chris Buescher champagne Logan Whitton NKP

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Tommy Badwin Racing Regan Smith, No. 7 APC Chevrolet Looking back: Chris Buescher wasn’t the only small-team driver who scored a top finish Monday. Smith’s third-place run ties his organization’s best finish ever and marks TBR’s top finish not on a restrictor-plate track.  Sound strategy played into the team’s hands and Smith walked away with his …

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The Frontstretch 5: Things That Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time

2016-Texas-I-NXS-cars-on-pit-road-NASCAR-via-Getty-Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

1. All these seats In the late 1990s, as NASCAR became a more common water cooler topic, tracks added seats upon seats … seats that they’re regretting to the point of removing a lot of them. Sometimes, less is more, and the building boom was all about the moment instead of considering that most fads …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the Pennsylvania 400

2016 Pocono II CUP Chris Buescher Bob Osborne trophy Logan Whitton NKP

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Repeat after me: there are no cheap wins in NASCAR.  A top finish is hard to come by, no matter what the circumstances.  The great thing about racing is that it’s about more than just a fast car—it’s about strategy and making things work under the rules.  Chris …

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Friday Faceoff: Where Does Kyle Busch Stack Up to Racing Royalty?

Kyle Busch Martinsville Cup Sweet Taste of Victory 2016 Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

NASCAR has run three different packages at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the last three years, and none of them has produced a memorable race.  Is there anything else that can be done to make Indy live up to the hype? Mark Howell, Senior Writer: I have two suggestions:  either 1) widen the racing surface so we can …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Thoughts on a Changing NASCAR

2016 Indianapolis CUP Chris Buescher Michael Annett racing Logan Whitton NKP

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

It’s almost a week later, and I’m still reflecting on last weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Not because of the race — those have never been particularly compelling at a track steeped in someone else’s history — but because of an impromptu finale between two of the best drivers the sport has ever seen. …

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The Frontstretch 5: NASCAR Tracks That Are Weirdly Shaped

2016 Pocono I ARCA Dalton Sargeant Anthony Lumbis Sr.

(Photo: Anthony Lumbis, Sr.)

1. Pocono Raceway Fans will see the Camping World Truck and Sprint Cup series return to the Tricky Triangle this weekend, and there is certainly no other track on the current slate with such a unique shape.  It’s a true triangle, with three different straightaways and three very different turns. There’s even “What turn 4?” …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams From Indy to Pocono

2016 Indianapolis CUP Patrick Carpentier car Logan Whitton NKP

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Indianapolis represented a mixed bag for the small teams this week, with finishes ranging from 14th for rookie Chris Buescher to 40th for Matt DiBenedetto, thanks to an untimely engine expiration.  Indy is a tough track for teams that are a step or two behind the elite teams in both handling and horsepower, and next …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 Combat Wounded Coalition 400

2016 Indianapolis CUP Tony Stewart Jeff Gordon victory lap Matthew T Thacker NKP

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Kyle Busch might have dominated the race, but behind him another driver was reminding everyone why he’s got four Indy wins.  Seemingly down and out after a midrace speeding penalty, Jimmie Johnson was back in the top 10 by the end of the race and made an impressive …

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The Frontstretch 5: Cool Things About Indianapolis Motor Speedway

2014-Indianapolis-CUP-Jeff-Gordon-brick-kiss-Matthew-T-Thacker-NKP

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

1. Ride-along mechanics Can you imagine what it would be like if the crew chiefs had to ride in the car with their driver for 400 miles this weekend?  In the early days of open-wheel racing, including at Indianapolis, each car had a mechanic who rode along with the driver. The riding mechanic was there to help …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams from Loudon to Indy

2016 Loudon I CUP Michael Annett Reed Sorenson racing Matthew T Thacker NKP

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

NASCAR has a few tracks that are fairly unique in layout.  Among those are both new Hampshire Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway-a flat one-mile oval with long straights and tight turns – think big Martinsville – and a huge, flat, rectangular behemoth with four separate corners and four straights to match.  These tracks are …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 New Hampshire 301

2016 NASCAR New Hampshire

(Photo: Russel LaBounty / NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? The first excuse for Tony Stewart’s renewed strength was NASCAR manipulation. The next excuse was, “Oh, it was just because of fuel mileage.” Now, for the third time in four weeks, this 45-year-old finished inside the top 5 and there are no excuses left. Is Smoke the driver he was 10 years …

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Friday Face-off: Can NASCAR Learn from Pokemon GO?

2016 Charlotte CWTS pack racing I Matthew T Thacker NKP

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

What variable from Saturday’s race at Kentucky stood out the most to you – the racetrack’s repave and reconfiguration, Goodyear’s conservative tire choice or the low-low downforce package?  Bryan Gable, Staff Writer: I’ll go with the repave.  Goodyear’s decision to bring the super-hard tires probably contributed more to the state of the racing, but the repave was …

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