Race Weekend Central

David Ragan Carrying Momentum into Goody’s Fast Relief 500

Cup 2016 Nascar Kentucky David Ragan Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty NKP)

For David Ragan, Martinsville Speedway would be an ideal place to have a season-best performance. Though it’s been a trying season for Ragan, who is in the closing stages of his first year with BK Racing, this weekend at Martinsville has been a breath of fresh air for more than one reason. Kicking off with …

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Jamie McMurray Paces 2nd Martinsville Practice

Cup Martinsville Jamie Mcmurray Martinsville Speedway

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

He may not own a Grandfather Clock, but Jamie McMurray is looking strong at Martinsivlle Speedway. One of the first drivers out onto the relatively cool 0.526-mile oval, McMurray clocked in a lap of 19.566 seconds (96.780 mph).  That was enough for McMurray to lead the way in second practice on Saturday, beating Joey Logano …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR’s House of Cards Falling Down?

Think Small The news that’s trickled in through the last week should be making everyone in the sport take pause and think about the health of several of its teams.  The snowball got rolling last week when it was reported that Tommy Baldwin Racing was in the process of selling its charter to Leavine Family …

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The Underdog House: Smaller NASCAR Teams Could Use Factory Support

2016 Kansas Ii Cup Pack Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Think Small It’s a given that NASCAR’s small teams don’t have the money and equipment that the bigger ones do. But a closer look reveals there is another piece of the puzzle missing many people don’t think about: factory support. While several of the smaller teams do have alliances with larger ones, manufacturer funding is generally reserved …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Cole Whitt Reed Sorenson Charlotte Cup 2016 Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Think Small Smaller NASCAR teams are constantly talking about improvement, and it’s something for which there is always room.  However, improvement goals vary, and that is necessary because teams in the group are all at different stages of development as teams. One team’s goal of top-20 finishes may be totally unrealistic for another. There is …

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David Ragan Leading On & Off the Racetrack

2016 Kentucky Cup David Ragan Matt Dibenedetto Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Many things have changed in recent years for David Ragan. Swapping race teams, adapting to different crew chiefs and starting a family has made for a busier lifestyle for the Georgia native. 2016 is Ragan’s first season with BK Racing, an organization that is trying to build resources to become a super team. On paper, …

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The Underdog House: Getting a Foothold in 21st Century NASCAR

2016 Phoenix I Cup Aj Allmendinger Pack Racing Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Think Small One of the chief worries about NASCAR’s charter system when it was instituted this year was how new teams would be able to get a foothold in the sport, and while that is a concern on paper, in practice, the charter system changes very little, because teams entering the spot already have the …

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The Underdog House: What Small Teams Want You to Know

2016 Kentucky Cup Casey Mears Car Reflection Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Think Small I had a conversation this past weekend with Germain Racing driver Casey Mears, and I asked him the one thing he wished that NASCAR fans understood about his job. Mears offered the following assessment. “The thing I wish more fans knew is just how difficult it is to get one of these cars …

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The Underdog House: Which Small Sprint Cup Team Blew Us Away At Chicago?

2016 Chicago Cup Landon Cassill Joey Gase Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Think Small. That’s the motto for this column as I take a larger look at the teams still trying to make a name for themselves in the Cup Series despite fewer resources and a far more difficult mountain to climb. Writer’s Note: What follows is another fresh look for this column, one I expect to stick with.  There are …

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The Underdog House: Would-Be Winners and Hangers-On

(We’re changing things up a little this week; instead of focusing on races past, we’ll take a look ahead at our small teams and the outlook down the stretch.  Hate it and want to see more on how they fared in the races? Let me know.  Want to see more like this? Let me know!  …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams From Darlington to Richmond

2016 Darlington Cup Chris Buescher Zach Catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Tommy Baldwin Racing Regan Smith, No. 7 Nikko RC Road Rippers Chevrolet Looking back: Smith is a former Darlington winner, and he raced the track very well on Sunday night and netted a top-20 finish to show for it.  It was exactly the kind of race TBR needs to have: smart, clean, and driver getting …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams from Michigan to Darlington

2016 Pocono I Cup Ryan Blaney John Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

Tommy Baldwin Racing Regan Smith, No. 7 APC Chevrolet Looking back: Michigan International Speedway was one of Smith’s better runs on a 1.5-to-2-mile speedway this year, with a 26th-place finish and a lap led on his tally. Smith said afterward that he feels like his team is learning some things that will help them in …

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