Race Weekend Central

The Frontstretch 5: Next Drivers to Find Victory Lane

2017 Texas I Cup Chase Elliott Logan Whitton Nkp

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Chase Elliott It’s actually a bit surprising that Elliott hasn’t gotten a win yet.  He’s come close quite a few times, leading multiple laps at Phoenix and Martinsville as well as in the Daytona 500. May was difficult for the 21-year-old second-generation driver, with a best finish of 24th, but June kicked off with a …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Martin Truex Jr. Shakes Kansas Monkey As Aric Almirola Sustains Serious Injury

2017 Kansas I Cup Aric Almirola Russell Labounty Nkp

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Who’s in the headline – Handicapping Cup Series races is very difficult. With 40 cars in a full field, and 20 capable of winning on the right day, it can be like throwing darts to figure out a favorite. The odds at the drop of the green flag Saturday night had Ryan Blaney and Martin …

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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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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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The Underdog House: The Great Equalizer

2017 Bristol I Cup Jeffrey Earnhardt Car Matthew T Thacker Nkp

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Think Small Short tracks are popular with race fans because there is almost always some action somewhere in the field.  Cars are close together, tempers flare and drivers are aggressive.  Another reason to enjoy this type of racing is that short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville more so than Richmond) usually level out the playing field …

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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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Kevin Harvick Wins First Cup Pole in Texas

2017 Kevin Harvick Cup Russell Labounty/nkp Texas Nascar

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Sweeping all three rounds, it was a perfect qualifying day for Kevin Harvick. Especially the final session, where Harvick ripped around the 1.5-mile Texas track in 27.217 seconds [198.405 mph] to win the pole for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. It is the 19th pole of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup career, first at Texas …

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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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The Underdog House: NASCAR’s Intermediate Track Blues

2017 Atlanta Cup Matt Dibenedetto Car

Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP

Think Small It can be said that the real NASCAR season starts at Atlanta. The Intermediate track season kicked off last weekend and the results were fairly predictable of the small teams this week.  In general at a 1.5 to 2-mile track, these teams struggle to keep up.  You might see a couple of teams …

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not: NASCAR Wreck It Ralph (and Almost Everybody Else) Edition

2016 Daytona Ii Cup Kurt Busch John Harrelson Nkp

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

The season-opening Daytona 500 gave NASCAR fans a little bit everything. There was that last-lap pass for the lead, which is beginning to become a trademark for the Great American Race. There were plenty of battles for the lead and for positions throughout and a lot less riding around waiting for the end of the …

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The Underdog House: Small Teams Thriving and Surviving in Daytona

2017 Daytona Cup Zach Catanzareti Joey Gase Bk Racing Corey Lajoie

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Think Small Well, Daytona is in the rearview mirror. Depending on who you ask, that’s either a real bummer or can’t come too soon, depending on how the race went. The thing about plate tracks is that they’re such an opportunity for teams to compete—if they’re lucky and avoid trouble.  They can also become exercises …

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Friday Faceoff: Who’s the Top NASCAR Rookie For 2017?

2016 Xfinity Iowa

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Carl Edwards pulled off a move that shocked the racing community, announcing he’ll step away from NASCAR competition full-time.  If Edwards has really hung ’em up for good, what is his legacy in the sport?  Is he a future Hall of Famer? Amy Henderson, Senior Editor: I think he goes down as one of the …

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