Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Things That Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time

2016 Texas I Nxs Cars On Pit Road Nascar Via Getty Images

(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

1. All these seats In the late 1990s, as NASCAR became a more common water cooler topic, tracks added seats upon seats … seats that they’re regretting to the point of removing a lot of them. Sometimes, less is more, and the building boom was all about the moment instead of considering that most fads …

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2016 Frontstretch Podcast – Episode 17: Rainy Underdogs and A Foggy Chase Picture

2016 Pocono Ii Cup Ricky Stenhouse Jr Pack Racing Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

On this week’s podcast, Matt Stallknecht is joined by weekly guest Aaron Bearden to discuss a number of topics before this weekend’s Brickyard 400, including… Breakdown/Recap of the this weekend’s weather-marred events in Pocono The legitimacy of Chris Buescher’s win Buescher’s effect on the Chase picture Night racing at Pocono Analysis of weather’s effect on NASCAR …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the Pennsylvania 400

2016 Pocono Ii Cup Chris Buescher Bob Osborne Trophy Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? Repeat after me: there are no cheap wins in NASCAR.  A top finish is hard to come by, no matter what the circumstances.  The great thing about racing is that it’s about more than just a fast car—it’s about strategy and making things work under the rules.  Chris …

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in NASCAR: Foggy Mountain Edition

2016 Pocono Ii Cup Jeff Gordon Tony Stewart Racing Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Supposedly it’s the middle of summer, but if you were fortunate enough to spend a lot of time at Pocono Raceway on Sunday and then again on Monday, it would have been easy to think that summer days and summer nights were gone. Monday turned into one of those “if you don’t like the weather, …

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Chris Buescher Attempts to Change Chase Picture with Pocono Victory

2016 Pocono Cup Chris Buescher Zach Catanzareti

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

The fog appeared at the right time for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Chris Buescher. The reigning XFINITY Series champion has always dreamed about winning at NASCAR’s premier division, but couldn’t imagine his dream would come true. After a Lap 91 restart, Buescher made contact with Brian Scott, who stacked up the tail end of …

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Chris Buescher Confident Heading into Second Half of Rookie Season

Chris Buescher Indianapolis 2016 Cup Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

On the heels of a career-best 14th-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Chris Buescher sees light at the end of the tunnel. A season filled with many low spots, the No. 34 team is starting to its stride. Making six starts for Front Row Motorsports in 2015, primarily competing for the XFINITY Series championship with Roush …

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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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Couch Potato Tuesday: NASCAR TV Creates Dale Jr. Sub Narrative

Sometimes, you have to sit back and think about things.  Today’s critique marks the 600th combined TV critique for Frontstretch between Couch Potato Tuesday (and its former title, Talking NASCAR TV) and The Critic’s Annex.  Where does the time go?  Crikey. New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosted a Joe Gibbs Racing benefit last week.  It says …

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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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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2016 FireKeepers Casino 400

2016 Michigan I Cup Tony Stewart Pack Racing John Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson / NKP)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? If anyone thought that Tony Stewart was going to simply ride quietly into the sunset, he set them straight on Sunday, qualifying third and driving to his second top 10 of the year. Stewart’s struggles since his 2013 injury have been well-documented, but it’s hard to say that he doesn’t have a …

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