Race Weekend Central

The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams From Indy to Pocono

2016 Indianapolis Cup Patrick Carpentier Car Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Indianapolis represented a mixed bag for the small teams this week, with finishes ranging from 14th for rookie Chris Buescher to 40th for Matt DiBenedetto, thanks to an untimely engine expiration.  Indy is a tough track for teams that are a step or two behind the elite teams in both handling and horsepower, and next …

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Matt Kenseth Docked 15 Points Following Loudon Win

2016 Loudon I Cup Mattkneseth Woohoo Matthew T Thacker Nkp

The race-winning team from Loudon was penalized following post-race inspection. Matt Kenseth’s No. 20 team was docked 15 points and crew chief Jason Ratcliff was fined $25,000 for failing laser inspection following the New Hampshire 301. Multiple teams were warned for failing pre-qualifying inspection. The No. 1 of Jamie McMurray, No. 3 of Austin Dillon, …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams from Loudon to Indy

2016 Loudon I Cup Michael Annett Reed Sorenson Racing Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

NASCAR has a few tracks that are fairly unique in layout.  Among those are both new Hampshire Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway-a flat one-mile oval with long straights and tight turns – think big Martinsville – and a huge, flat, rectangular behemoth with four separate corners and four straights to match.  These tracks are …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams from Kentucky to New Hampshire

2016 Pocono I Cup Ty Dillon Car Anthony Lumbis Sr.

(Photo: Tony Lumbis Sr.)

So… what makes a small team? Yep, I addressed this last week, but again, we’ll give it one more time for those race fans who missed the last edition. I’m frequently asked how I categorize NASCAR’s teams, and I’m sure lots of people have a different definition, but I look at a couple of things …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams from Daytona to Kentucky

2016 Daytona Ii Cup Michael Mcdowell Michael Annett Racing Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

What makes a small team? I’m frequently asked how to categorize NASCAR’s teams. I look at a couple of things when I make the list each spring: budget and performance.  Small teams simply don’t have the budgets of the larger ones, even middle-tier organizations.  They may have alliances with bigger teams, but that doesn’t mean everything gets handed …

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Kyle Larson’s Crew Chief Suspended for Lug Nut Violation

2016 Pocono I Cup Kyle Larson Chad Johnston Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Another lug nut penalty was issued this week following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono. Chad Johnston, who crew chiefs the No. 42 car of Kyle Larson, was hit with a P3 penalty for failing to have all lug nuts properly installed on the car following the race. He was suspended for the …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Matt DiBenedetto’s Career-Saving Moment

2016 Kansas I Cup Matt Dibenedetto Brett Moist Nkp

(Photo: Brett Moist / NKP)

Tears flowed down 24-year-old Matt DiBenedetto’s face just seconds after crossing the finish line at Bristol Motor Speedway in mid-April. Competing for a team that considers a top-20 finish a victory, finishing sixth during the Food City 500 helped the young man realize that dreams can indeed come true. DiBenedetto landed a part-time slot with …

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5 Points to Ponder: Great Expectations

What to Expect: It’s hard to know what exactly will to expect this Saturday night with the new format for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The revised rules will certainly make for some interesting strategy in the second set of fifty laps before we finish up with the 13-lap sprint to …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: A Monstrous Matt Kenseth Comeback

2016 Dover I Cup Matt Kenseth Jason Ratcliff Trophy Matthew T Thacker Nkp

Who’s in the headline – The 2016 season has been anything but stellar for Matt Kenseth. After a near miss at Daytona he’s only managed one top 5 finish before Sunday, and that as a fourth last weekend at Kansas. Sunday Kenseth was in the mix but didn’t look like he’d be in contention for …

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NASCAR Reveals Current Top 5 in Sprint Fan Vote

2016 Kansas I Cup Matt Dibenedetto Brett Moist Nkp

(Photo: Brett Moist / NKP)

If you’re curious about which drivers are most likely to snag this year’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race fan vote, you can now know the top five, at least. NASCAR has released the names of the top five vote-getters in the fan vote so far for the race, which will be held May 20, through May 11. …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Brad Keselowski Drops Malachi Crunch on the Talladega Demo Derby for Second Win of the Season

2016 Talladega I Cup Brad Keselowski Champagne John Harrleson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrleson / NKP)

Who’s in the headline – Brad Keselowski won his first Cup race at Talladega in 2009. While he isn’t mentioned in the same breaths with Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt or Tony Stewart when plate racing prowess is discussed, the bottom line is he won his fourth plate race at Talladega on Sunday. Even though the …

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Couch Potato Tuesday: Are FOX’s Poor NASCAR Ratings Fixable With Better Coverage?

2016 Richmond I Cup Regan Smith Carl Edwards Jimmie Johnson Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Welcome back.  Sunday had a great finish, eh?  Not too often that someone executes the bump n’ run on their own teammate.  I’ll fully admit that I was surprised that Carl Edwards was willing to do it. Also, there was a bit of an uproar surrounding Samantha Busch cussing at the finish after the aforementioned …

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