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Beyond the Cockpit

Beyond the Cockpit: Josh Wise Optimistic Despite First-Year Struggles with The Motorsports Group

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade /
NKP)

Josh Wise is no longer a start-and-park driver. His days of entering the Sprint Cup garage after a handful of laps on race day are long gone.  However, Wise has continuously faced adversity in his time at NASCAR’s premier level, going from the ego-lowering start-and-park jobs, to losing his job eight weeks after …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Garrett Smithley on His Accelerated Ride up the NASCAR Ladder

Photo: Nigel Kinrade
NKP

Oh, how much can change in a year’s time.  For Garrett Smithley, the 24-year-old Georgia native was working as a driver instructor at the Richard Petty Driving Experience following a successful run in Bandolero and Legend cars, before he even stepped foot in a NASCAR stock car. At the start of …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Patrick Carpentier on Danger, Success & Why He Races

NASCAR via Getty Images

Patrick Carpentier, racing the Indianapolis 500 in 2005, starting from pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and winning five times in CART during one of its darkest times, is quite appreciative of his time in the spotlight. Growing up in Quebec, Canada, the now-44- year-old made an unlikely return …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Aric Almirola Dishes on Daytona Win, 2016 Struggles

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

It’s been a season of highs and lows for Richard Petty Motorsports veteran Aric Almirola. Fresh off of two solid years in 2014 and 2015, the first of which led to a Chase berth, Almirola and RPM have struggled to find speed and consistency in 2016.  After finishing inside of …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Austin Dillon Building on Momentum with RCR

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

The cowboy-hat-and-sunglasses look is one that is natural for Austin Dillon. The North Carolina native walked around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage on Friday morning as smooth as silk, casually signing autographs and pausing momentarily to take pictures with fans. But the former Camping World Truck and XFINITY series champion …

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Beyond The Cockpit: Paul Menard Taking More Risks in Unknown Future

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Known to the world as one of the quietest guys in NASCAR, Paul Menard sits in an interesting spot in his career. He is in the midst of his sixth full season with Richard Childress Racing, a team that has won 11 races since 2011, nine of which came with …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Travis Kvapil on Making His Career in Racing

(Photo: MAKE Motorsports)

Beth Lunkenheimer, Frontstretch.com: You made the natural progression out of working with cars in your dad’s garage to racing. Was there ever any doubt that racing was what you wanted to do? Travis Kvapil: There was never a doubt it was what I wanted to do. I knew somehow I …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Austin Wayne Self on Coming Home to Texas

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Austin Wayne Self made his ARCA Racing Series debut in 2013. Running just six races, he posted five top-10 finishes, including a runner-up result at Winchester Speedway (Ind.). Over the next two years, Self ran 39 of 40 races, scoring one win (2015) and a combined 25 top-10 results, en …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Kyle Larson Smarter Now Than in Rookie Season

(Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

Appropriately driving the No. 42 Target Chevrolet, Kyle Larson has been the target of conversation in the Sprint Cup Series since 2014. At that time, Larson was hot off his first and only full-time XFINITY Series season in 2013, before making the jump to the Cup ranks, where he replaced …

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