Race Weekend Central

2-Headed Monster: Is NASCAR Downsizing the Way to Go for Success?

2016 Texas I Cup Trevor Bayne Racing John Harrelson Nkp

This week’s Frontstretch debate question: a number of race teams have been downsizing their organizations in terms of teams in the past few years. Most recently, Roush Fenway Racing wound up in Victory Lane with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. this past weekend after downsizing from three full-time teams in 2016 to two full-time teams in 2017. Does NASCAR downsizing have …

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Aric Almirola Hit with L1 Penalty Post-Talladega

2017 Texas I Cup Aric Almirola Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

On Sunday, Aric Almirola‘s No. 43 Smithfield Foods Ford failed the post-race rear wheel steer laser test after finishing fourth at Talladega.  As a result, NASCAR has issued an L1-level penalty against the No. 43 team.  Almirola will lose 35 points and the team loses 35 owners points.  The point penalty will drop Almirola from 17th to …

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The Underdog House: Small Teams Impress at Talladega

2017 Talladega I Cup Cole Whitt Car John K Harrrelson Nkp

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

Think Small This past weekend’s action at Talladega illustrated again what can happen when the racing is more in the hands of the drivers. There were several different names at the top eager to display their talent.  Aric Almirola nearly pulled off the weekend double, and David Ragan overcame crash damage to finish in the …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Avoids the Big One, Makes Big Last-Lap Pass At Talladega

2017 Talladega I Cup Rricky Stenhouse Jr Checkered Flag Nigel Kinrade Nkp

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Who’s in the headline Restrictor plate racetracks are always the great equalizer. This weekend, Talladega Superspeedway’s parity roulette wheel landed on the name Ricky Stenhouse Jr. It wasn’t a shock Stenhouse was able to make it to Victory Lane Sunday, in large part because he had the fastest car in qualifying by a substantial amount. But …

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Almirola Wins Eventful XFINITY Series Race at Talladega

Nascar Xfinity Series Sparks Energy 300 Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Al Usa Saturday 6 May 2017 Aric Almirola, Fresh From Florida Ford Mustang World Copyright: Rusty Jarrett Nkp

(Photo: Rusty Jarrett NKP)

After a long and eventful Saturday, Aric Almirola took home the win at the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his third career XFINITY Series victory and second at a restrictor plate track. He was followed by Elliott Sadler, Joey Logano, Ben Kennedy, and Erik Jones. CATANZARETI: Almirola Continues Plate Racing Success Almirola …

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XFINITY Breakdown: Aric Almirola Continues Plate Racing Success with Talladega Victory

Nascar Xfinity Series Sparks Energy 300 Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Al Usa Saturday 6 May 2017 Aric Almirola, Fresh From Florida Ford Mustang World Copyright: Rusty Jarrett Nkp

(Photo: Rusty Jarrett NKP)

As they wrecked down the backstretch of Talladega Superspeedway, it was a mirrored finish of last July’s XFINITY Series race at Daytona for Aric Almirola. Except this time, they raced back under green. For the second time on a plate track, it was Almirola who scored the victory for Biagi DenBeste Racing. Leading 13 laps, …

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Did You Notice?: Joe Gibbs Racing Still Lags Behind at One-Quarter Pole

2017 Martinsville Cup Zach Catanzareti Daniel Suarez

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Did You Notice? … The difference a year makes for Joe Gibbs Racing? This time last year, JGR had won five of nine races and had all four drivers firmly within playoff position. This time around? The organization is 0-for-9. Of its four-driver team, only Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin are in playoff position. Matt Kenseth hadn’t even led a …

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The Underdog House: Changes in the NASCAR Ranks

2017 Richmond I Cup Michael Mcdowell Pack Racing Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Think Small The 2017 season is at the quarter mark after nine races, and some trends are taking shape.  Wood Brothers Racing has established itself at the top of the class, which was to be expected after the team increased its alliance with Team Penske this year. Even within the group, the haves and have …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Logano Pulls Richmond Robbery From Keselowski, Kenseth

2017 Richmond I Cup Joey Logano Confetti Rusty Jarrett Nkp

(Photo: Rusty Jarrett / NKP)

Who’s In The Headline It took pit strategy to get Joey Logano up front at Richmond International Raceway, but no one on the No. 22 team is complaining this Monday morning. Not when you have a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series trophy on your mantle. After a late caution, while restarting behind cars that stayed on …

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Aric Almirola With Richmond Top 10: ‘We Needed That’

2017 Cup Richmond Zach Catanzareti Aric Almirola

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Storming out of the gate with a top-five finish in February’s Daytona 500, it’s been another tough season for Richard Petty Motorsports and Aric Almirola. In fact, you could call that 500-miler their only bright spot through the opening eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, which have seen only one top-15 finish since the season …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR’s Best-Kept Secret

2017 Texas I Cup Cole Whitt Matt Dibenedetto Racing Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Think Small It feels like NASCAR’s small teams get a bad rap right from the start from some fans and even media.  Too often, they’re lumped into a “backmarkers” category, often mocked for their poor performance compared to rivals.  To hear some people talk, you’d think they went out every week and ran in the 20’s …

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The Underdog House: No Margin For Error With NASCAR’s Small Teams

2017 Las Vegas Cup Ryan Blaney Timmy Hill Racing John Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

No Margin For Error Last week, we looked at the importance of improvement for small teams.  For those that realistically just can’t compete with their powerhouse rivals on a weekly basis, it’s a better measure than finishes alone. It’s also an important step for those teams a step ahead of the game, ones in position to one …

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