Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Reasons to Thank Dale Earnhardt Jr. for a Career Well Spent

2017 Atlanta Cup Dale Earnhardt Jr Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

1. He goes out on his own terms You’d expect nothing less, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the person who ultimately made the call about when to step aside.  He could have done it six months ago, and some will argue that maybe he should have, but that wouldn’t really have been his decision. It …

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Friday Faceoff: Which Rookie Is Top of the Class?

2017 Phoenix I Cup Erik Jones Jimmie Johnson Racing Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP)

In the days leading up to Matt Kenseth’s announcement of a six-race sponsorship deal with Circle K Wednesday, some speculated that the announcement would concern the driver’s imminent retirement. He may not be stepping aside any time soon, but realistically, how much time does Kenseth have? Matteo Marcheschi: Matt Kenseth doesn’t have long. While he has earned …

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The Underdog House: Progress Reports for NASCAR’s Small Teams

2017 Phoenix I Cup Ryan Blaney Pack Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell Labounty/NKP)

Think Small We’re seven weeks into the 2017 season, enough time to start seeing some trends.  Since there was no Cup race this weekend, we’ll use this week to take stock of our smaller teams and who’s headed in the right direction. If you’re not sure who’s on our small team list and why, please …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Room to Move

Goodyear Tires ready for NASCAR action. Photo: NKP

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

As elusive as the printed form is, NASCAR has rules.  Sports in general have policies covering everything from how the game is played to how players dress for competition.  The rules put the competition on equal ground, at least to start. There are good teams and those who don’t perform as well, but they’re playing …

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Friday Faceoff: Who’s Hall of Fame Worthy?

2017 Nascar Hall Of Fame Induction Zach Catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

For the first time, Goodyear will bring two different tires to the All-Star Race weekend, and teams can choose between two compounds: a  harder, more durable tire that will allow them to start with better track position, or a softer, faster tire which they would start behind those choosing the harder tire. What will this …

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The Frontstretch 5: Things to Like About NASCAR 2017

2017 Texas I Cup Kyle Larson Racing Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T Thacker / NKP)

2017 is already seven races old, and so far we’ve been treated to six different winners and some new faces. And the drivers at the top aren’t the only thing that sets 2017 apart from the last few seasons. And there’s a lot to like. There are some concepts fans aren’t sold on and we’ll …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR’s Best-Kept Secret

2017 Texas I Cup Cole Whitt Matt Dibenedetto Racing Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Think Small It feels like NASCAR’s small teams get a bad rap right from the start from some fans and even media.  Too often, they’re lumped into a “backmarkers” category, often mocked for their poor performance compared to rivals.  To hear some people talk, you’d think they went out every week and ran in the 20’s …

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Friday Faceoff: Will Pre-Race Fights Bring Fans to the Stands?

2015 Texas Motor Speedway Cup Nascar Nascar Via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Kurt Busch started the year with the biggest win in his career. But ever since, he’s been struggling. What is going on with the No. 41 team? Vito Pugliese: Either a Daytona 500 hangover, or going headfirst into R&D mode having made a change from Chevrolet to Ford in the offseason. Having back to back …

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Frontstretch 5: Thoughts on NASCAR’s Attendance Dip

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

There’s no need to panic It’s easy to look at the empty seats at racetracks and wonder if the sky is falling. Sure, the empty seats are a concern, particularly for racetracks whose revenue is based directly on attendance, unlike NASCAR’s, which comes from a variety of sources including television and sponsor deals. NASCAR doesn’t …

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The Underdog House: Matt DiBenedetto & Go FAS Racing Making the Most of 2017

2017 Atlanta Cup Matt Dibenedetto Car

Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP

Think Small A few teams in this group have shown improvement this season, but one of the smallest even among the other small teams has been impressive with nearly every turn of the wheel. Go FAS Racing has struggled through the last few seasons with a revolving door of drivers, leaving the track with runs …

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Holding A Pretty Wheel: Stage Racing Changes the Game In a Good Way

2017 Martinsville Cup Zach Catanzareti Brad Keselowski Kyle Busch

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

The checkered flag flew at Martinsville Speedway as the sun dipped below the grandstand, lengthening the shadows over the backstretch.  Brad Keslowski took his victory lap as the rest of the field pulled onto pit road, battered and bruised (both cars and egos). Teams rolled their cars back onto the haulers in elation or frustration …

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Tracking the Trucks: Chase Elliott Capitalizes on Christopher Bell’s Misfortune in Martinsville

2017 Martinsville Trucks Zach Catanzareti Chase Elliott

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

In a Nutshell: Chase Elliott found himself in excellent position when leader Christopher Bell got hung up in traffic with fewer than 30 laps remaining at Martinsville Speedway.  Bell finally had enough with Austin Cindric and Kyle Donahue and tried to muscle his way through, but Cindric spun in front of Bell and swept the …

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