Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: What’s Next for Danica Patrick & Richard Petty Motorsports?

2017 Pocono Cup Zach Catanzareti Darrell Wallace Jr.

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

It’s mid-September, and the NASCAR silly season is really heating up. Teams need to get deals done, sooner rather than later, whether they like it or not. The paperwork needs to be filled out as organizations begin to map out their line-ups for the 2018 season and beyond. However, as crunch time hits, Smithfield Foods …

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Aric Almirola Departing Richard Petty Motorsports at End of 2017

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Go Bowling 400 Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Ks Usa Friday 12 May 2017 Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports, Smithfield Ford Fusion World Copyright: Brett Moist Nkp

Aric Almirola (Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

Richard Petty Motorsports will have a new look next season. On the same day as Smithfield’s announcement that the company would not return to RPM and its No. 43 Ford for 2018, the team announced Aric Almirola will also not return to the car. Almirola has been the car’s primary driver for six years. He’s also …

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5 Points to Ponder: The Future of Richard Petty Motorsports

2017 Richmond I Cup Aric Almirola Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell Labounty/NKP)

ONE: Smithfield’s Shifting Gears Away From Richard Petty Motorsports Tuesday morning (Sept. 12), Smithfield announced it’s leaving Richard Petty Motorsports to join one of the Stewart-Haas Racing Fords. After six years partnering with the No. 43, the strength of SHR’s multi-car organization (which has two of its four cars in the playoffs) became too good to …

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Smithfield Foods Splits with RPM to Join Stewart-Haas Racing for 2018

2017 Texas I Cup Aric Almirola Car John K Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson / NKP)

Smithfield Foods will end their primary sponsorship of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford after the 2017 season. The company announced Tuesday it will join Stewart-Haas Racing as a sponsor in 2018 after over five years with RPM. “The decision to leave Richard Petty Motorsports and join Stewart-Haas Racing was difficult,” a statement from Smithfield on …

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The Underdog House: The Invisible NASCAR Season

2017 Richmond Ii Cup Corey Lajoie Pack Racing John K Harrelson Harrelson Photography Inc

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/Harrelson Photography Inc.)

Think Small Ah, fall.  Race fans can welcome cooler temperatures, cheer for their favorites in the playoffs…and kiss the chance of seeing the smaller teams mentioned during the broadcast goodbye. With the exception of Ryan Blaney, who made the postseason, all other underdogs will fade into the background of championship talk. That goes for any …

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Did You Notice?: The Fine Line Of NASCAR Drivers’ Personal Lives & Where It All Went Wrong

Jeremy Mayfield Credit Lat Photographic

Credit: LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC

Did You Notice? … The taboo subject of an athlete’s personal life? The topic came up Sunday night after Cody Ware went off on Twitter following a wreck involving fellow Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series underdog Matt DiBenedetto. The point here isn’t to delve into what was said or whether it was even true. It’s if that …

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Up to Speed: Rumors Fly for Richard Petty Motorsports

In the midst of a silly season that has been particularly silly, a series of reports popped up this week about the future of Richard Petty Motorsports.  The King’s team potentially has a lot on its plate in the next few months.  At the moment, there is no guarantee that Aric Almirola will return to …

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Couch Potato Tuesday: NBC Provides Good Bristol, Struggles With Progression

2017 Bristol Ii Nxs Pack Racing Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

For many, many years, Bristol Motor Speedway in August was one of the crown jewels of NASCAR’s schedule.  The introduction of the Chase (now Playoffs) in 2004 has weakened the weekend slightly.  However, it is still a good time to catch some action. Before we get started, NASCAR announced last week that they will be …

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XFINITY Breakdown: Kyle Busch Cruises to Another Bristol Victory

Kyle Busch Bristol Burnout

(Photo: Rusty Jarrett / NKP)

When Kyle Busch claimed his fifth career XFINITY Series pole Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, he was the odds-on favorite to take the checkered flag. Busch dominated, leading 186 of 300 laps and winning the opening stage in commanding fashion after fighting off Justin Allgaier over the first 50 circuits. But when the No. 18 …

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2017 Frontstretch Podcast Powered by DraftKings – Episode 22: Twisty Turns

Pack Racing Michigan

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Episode 21: Twisty Turns Frontstretch Podcast with Dustin Albino, Joseph Wolkin and Zach Catanzareti In this week’s episode brought to you by DraftKings, Dustin, Joe and Zach discuss Martin Truex Jr.’s title hopes, Hendrick Motorsport’s youth movement, Kyle Busch v. Brad Keselowski, free agency talks with Aric Almirola and a preview of racing at Michigan International Speedway! This week’s episode was brought …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Aric Almirola Relieved to Be Back, Focused on His Future

2017 Cup New Hampshire Zach Catanzareti Aric Almirola

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

The famed No. 43 Ford is the machine Aric Almirola continues to pilot since he first stepped behind the wheel of the sky blue car in 2012.  As Richard Petty Motorsports is in the midst of a transformation, forming its own chassis department at the start of 2016, Almirola began to see the massive undertaking pay off …

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The Underdog House: Curbing Spending Would Be Good For NASCAR

2017 Watkins Glen Cup Michael Mcdowell Aric Almirola Racing John K Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

Think Small Dale Earnhardt Jr. was addressing the media at Watkins Glen last weekend when the subject turned to driver contracts and salaries.  The NASCAR economic climate, as everyone knows has changed drastically in recent years.  When the NASCAR fad was at its height almost 20 years ago, corporate interest and driver income skyrocketed. For a while, that …

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