Race Weekend Central

The Underdog House: A Texas Curveball

2016 Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Texas

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Think Small Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, with its shift from day to night after an hours-long rain delay, did do one thing well: it showed a clear disparity between the elite teams and those striving to reach that mark one day. The intermediate tracks are plentiful on the Cup schedule …

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Beside The Rising Tide: NASCAR’s Tidal Wave-Around Rule

It was a late October day in Virginia, paired with temperatures that felt more like Memorial Day and not a cloud in the sky. There was a race that actually started prior to 1:30 at Martinsville, the scenic and historic half-mile short track nestled in a historic area ablaze in autumnal foliage. Good ol’ short track racing, side-by-side, …

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The Underdog House: Are Small-Time NASCAR Drivers Damaged Goods?

Cup Martinsville Martinsville Speedway Aj Allmendinger

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Think Small It’s an easy mistake to make: falling into the trap of thinking most of the drivers racing for NASCAR’s smaller teams are damaged goods.  Sadly, it’s one that even team owners often fall into.  How often have young, talented drivers taken rides in this group hoping for some exposure only to be overlooked?  …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Jimmie Johnson Sets the Table for a Run at Title Seven with Victory at Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson Sunlight Burnout Martinsville Cup 2016 Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Who’s in the headline – Jimmie Johnson had eight wins at Martinsville Speedway entering this weekend’s activities. While that is an impressive number, he had gone six races without a win and had not finished better than ninth in the last four. The race wasn’t a dominating effort by the No. 48 team, but they …

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Who’s Hot & Who’s Not: Waiting For The Big One Edition

2016 Pocono Ii Cup Joey Logano John Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

When it comes to restrictor place races at Talladega and Daytona, the big question is, when will the big one happen? As in, when will we see a big crash with at least seven or eight cars involved. If you were waiting on that to happen during Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Talladega, then you …

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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 Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 Hollywood Casino 400

2016 Kansas Speedway Nscs Kevin Harvick Checkered Flag Photo Credit Nascar Via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Intermediate tracks like Kansas are rarely kind to lesser-funded single-car teams, but this week, one of those teams broke up the party at the front for much of the weekend, including late in the race. AJ Allmendinger had a fast car, as evidenced by his 10th-place start, and …

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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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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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