Race Weekend Central

NASCAR 101: Michael McDowell’s Series-Leading Stat in 2017

Mcdowell Daytona

(Photo: John K Harrelson / NKP)

Kasey Kahne. Ryan Newman. Jeff Gordon. Jamie McMurray. Paul Menard. Those are the five drivers who have led a very specific statistic in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the last five seasons. Clearly it has nothing to do with the championship; none of these drivers have won one since 2001 (and Gordon’s the only one …

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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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Who’s Hot & Who’s Not In NASCAR: Live Edition

2017 Charlotte All Star Cup Kyle Busch Checkered Flag Nkp

(Photo: NKP)

After having endured two rain outs and going back to Pocono Raceway for Monday races last year, it was a perfect weather day at the Northeast Pennsylvania track on Sunday. So, yes, it was in one sense a perfect day to be there, but in another sense, maybe not so much considering the lack of …

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The Underdog House: Sponsorship Changes on the Horizon?

2017 Richmond I Cup Michael Mcdowell Pack Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Think Small With Target pulling out of motorsports after this year, it leaves just two NASCAR teams on the circuit using a single primary sponsor for all 36 races. Jimmie Johnson‘s No. 48 has backing from Lowe’s (and Kobalt Tools, manufactured and sold by the store) while the No. 11 run by Denny Hamlin has FedEx.  That leaves …

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Pocono Fan Fest Success from All Sides

2017 Cup Pocono Fan Fest Zach Catanzareti Kurt Busch

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Pocono Raceway held it’s first annual NASCAR Fan Fest Friday evening, with several top names in the sport coming out and interacting with the fans. From signing autographs to taking pictures and even pretending to be rap star Eminem, it was a positive experience for most folks in attendance. At the Fest, held at the Infield Block …

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Michael McDowell, Leavine Family Racing: Small Team that Could

2017 Las Vegas Cup Michael Mcdowell Helmet John Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson / NKP)

With less than a handful of laps remaining in Sunday’s Brickyard 400, Michael McDowell was in prime position to improve a career-best effort of fourth, coming earlier this month at Daytona International Speedway. Getting involved in one of the cautions that caused the final 10 laps of the event to last more than an hour, …

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Who’s Hot & Who’s Not In NASCAR: Darkness On The Edge Edition

2017 Fontana Cup Kasey Kahne Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

NASCAR had rain, sunshine and wild racing while flirting with the darkness at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. It also had wrecks, a lot of wrecks. Which brings the question of if there are a lot of wrecks, does that make it good racing? That’s sure to be a hot topic this week. HOT I had …

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Who’s Hot & Who’s Not in NASCAR: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2, Joe Gibbs 0 Edition

2017 Daytona Ii Nxs Ricky Stenhouse Jr Rusty Jarrett Nkp

(Photo: Rusty Jarrett/NKP)

Daytona International Speedway brought the usual excitement, accidents along with underdogs competing for the win at a restrictor plate track on a Saturday night. And you know what? It was riveting television. Any time you go into the last lap of a race and Michael McDowell has a legitimate shot at winning, well, that’s a …

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5 Points to Ponder: NASCAR Approaching Halfway Home

2017 Daytona Ii Cup Pack Racing From Behind Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

ONE: Halfway Home Hard to believe it, if I’m honest, but with Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway we’ll be half way home. For such a long series, the half way point always somewhat surprises me. You would have thought by now it wouldn’t be the case; given I’ve written this column for …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Survives the Daytona Pandemonium For Second Career Victory

Rfr Leading Daytona

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP)

Who’s in the headline – It took Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 157 races to visit Victory Lane for the first time. It only took eight more to make a return trip. Stenhouse made a late-race pass coming to the white flag and held off the competition to lead the final two laps to score the victory. …

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Michael McDowell Records First Career Top-Five Finish at Daytona

2017 Las Vegas Cup Michael Mcdowell Helmet John Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson / NKP)

Entering Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing was on a hot streak of six consecutive top-25 finishes, a career-long for the Arizona native. McDowell started the event from 23rd, quickly moving up the scoring pylon. By the conclusion of Stage 1, the No. 95 sat sixth, picking …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR About to Get Silly?

2017 Kansas I Cup Michael Mcdowell Car Barry Cantrell Nkp

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Think Small Track surfaces aren’t the inly thing heating up as summertime hits full swing.  NASCAR’s Silly Season is coming, and while so far, it’s been confined to rumblings and rumors, there’s potential for things to blow up.  While most of the speculation concerns the bigger teams in the sport, including who will fill the …

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