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Beyond the Cockpit

Beyond the Cockpit: Mike Bugarewicz Guiding Tony Stewart in Final Chase Run

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade /
NKP)

Mike Bugarewicz’s career as a crew chief in NASCAR’s premier division was one that got off to a distinctive start. The longtime engineer was named three-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart’s crew chief for his final full-time season heading into 2016. However, after Stewart was injured over the off-season …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Richmond’s Dennis Bickmeier Implementing Fresh Ideas

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier is on a mission to make fans enjoy race weekends as much as possible. The man who took over operations at the 3/4-mile track in 2011 has since spearheaded an effort that makes fans the VIPs during its two NASCAR weekends. As Bickmeier, who formerly …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Mikhail Aleshin Had No Second Thoughts of Racing in U.S.

Photo: INDYCAR Media

When Ryan Hunter-Reay sat in disbelief when asked about Mikhail Aleshin‘s comeback from a season-ending crash at Auto Club Speedway in 2014, Aleshin replied with a statement that runs deep in his racing background: “Don’t forget, I’m from Russia.” Suffering multiple broken bones and a concussion in that Fontana accident, Aleshin made his …

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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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