Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: Can JTG Daugherty Racing Improve with Hendrick Data?

2017 Cup New Hampshire Zach Catanzareti Jtg Daugherty Racing Chris Buescher Aj Allmendinger

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

We’re hurtling towards the end of the NASCAR season, and this weekend, three champions will be crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Despite what it seems to be on television, not everything in NASCAR at the moment revolves around the playoffs. There are plenty of other stories in the sport at the moment. Obviously, the biggie is …

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The Underdog House: Small NASCAR Teams Still Fighting Hard

2017 Kansas I Cup Aric Almirola Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Think Small With just one race to go in 2017, it’s been a mixed bag of a season for the sport’s smaller teams.  Furniture Row Racing has set the gold standard for them. It’s taken a one-car, outsider organization to the top echelon of NASCAR’s elite teams within five years. That’s a model others can …

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The Underdog House: Small NASCAR Teams Thrive At Short Tracks

2017 Nascar Monster Energy Cup Series, New Hampshire

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/ NKP)

Cup Series racing at Martinsville is about survival and persistence. The on-track action always ruffles some feathers, best evidenced by the late-race incident between alpha dogs Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott. What was happening between Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney served as the consolation sideshow. PETERS: What Happens Now For Hamlin & Elliott? But at Underdog …

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Who’s Hot & Who’s Not In NASCAR: Elimination and Advancement Edition

2017 Kansas Ii Cup Martin Truex Jr Woohoo John K Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

Maybe Sunday’s race at Kansas is an example of why NASCAR shifted its schedule to make this an elimination race. The normally snoozish 1.5-miler at least had the added drama of seeing drivers eliminated, or advancing, into the final eight of the playoff rounds. Unfortunately, NASCAR can’t do this at all of its 1.5-milers, but …

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The Underdog House: Where was the Outrage… For Corey Lajoie?

2017 Kansas Ii Cup Corey Lajoie Barry Cantrell Nkp

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Think Small Checking out social media on Monday, there were a lot of posts expressing outrage at Matt Kenseth being parked Sunday at Kansas for having too many crewmen working on his car after damage put him on the five-minute clock.  Kenseth’s disqualification took him out of the playoffs in what may be his last …

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The Underdog House: Surviving NASCAR Talladega… Sort Of

2017 Talladega Ii Cup Michael Mcdowell Brad Keselowski Racing Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Think Small One thing that struck me when I first started in NASCAR was that if you spent enough time looking, you could see fans at a race who supported every driver in the field.  T-shirts, hats, and bumper stickers were among the ways they proclaimed their loyalty. Fast forward a couple of decades, and …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR Must ‘Cope’ With Slow Cars On Track

2017 Las Vegas Cup Landon Cassill Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Think Small After last weekend’s race at Richmond Raceway, where Derrike Cope brought out a late caution while racing several laps down, fans and some media suggested Cope should have been removed from the track by NASCAR long before the incident. That group, which included regular season champion Martin Truex Jr., claimed Cope was so far in …

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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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Couch Potato Tuesday: NBCSN Has Fun in Darlington, Forgets Stuff

Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 Darlington Raceway, Darlington, Sc Usa Friday 1 September 2017 Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Sport Clips Toyota Camry World Copyright: Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Labor Day Weekend is traditionally one of the biggest race weekends of the year.  Basically every series of note was in action last weekend with the exception of IMSA. Before we get started, news came out on Sunday that Daniel Suarez lost sponsorship from Subway due to Suarez appearing in a piece that aired on …

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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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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Martin Truex Jr Slows Down Just Enough to Win Watkins Glen

2017 Watkins Glen Cup Martin Truex Jr Woohoo Rusty Jarrett Nkp

(Photo: Rusty Jarrett / NKP)

Who’s in the headline – Martin Truex Jr. won four races in 2016, but admitted in post-race interviews that they learned a lot more about winning during that season. He feels like they have everyone doing better jobs this year, and the result is a championship caliber team that has the most wins in the …

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AJ Allmendinger Wanted More, Lacked Where It Counted at Watkins Glen

2017 Cup Watkins Glen Zach Catanzareti Aj Allmendinger

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

The results page will show what was a good day Sunday at Watkins Glen International for JTG Daugherty Racing: an 11th-place finish for Chris Buescher and a ninth for AJ Allmendinger. With both drivers sitting outside the top 25 in points, the I Love New York 355 was particularly rewarding, as they also were the …

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