Race Weekend Central

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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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Matt Kenseth Wins One More While Brad Keselowski Survives and Advances

2017 Phoenix II CUP Matt Kenseth celebrates Logan Whitton NKP

Who’s in the headline – The cutoff race before Homestead-Miami Speedway was bitter for Matt Kenseth last year. This season, it is extra sweet for him, as he scored his 39th victory in what could be the penultimate NASCAR race of his career. Kenseth ran down Chase Elliott with 10 laps to go to position …

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Ryan Blaney, William Byron Top Phoenix XFINITY Series Practices

2017 Phoenix NXS William Byron Car Russell LaBounty NKP

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

On Friday, XFINITY Series teams took to the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway for two practice sessions.  William Byron was fastest overall for the day with a lap of 27.343 seconds (131.661 mph). Practice No. 1 In the early afternoon practice, Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney was fastest with a lap of 27.404 seconds (131.368 mph).  Blaney’s …

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Who’s Hot & Who’s Not in NASCAR: The Closer Returns Edition

9-10 September, 2016, Richmond, Virginia USA Kevin Harvick and Rodney Childers © 2016, Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

While what happened in the final laps of Sunday’s race at Texas was plenty interesting, the actual race to make the championship four got a bit less interesting heading into the next and final elimination race at Phoenix this coming Sunday. While anything can happen in racing, the chances of high drama in Arizona will …

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NASCAR XFINITY Series Entry List: Ticket Galaxy 200

2017 Texas II NXS Daniel Hemric Christopher Bell Jared C Tilton getty images for texas motor speedway

(Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The NASCAR XFINITY Series heads west this weekend to Phoenix International Raceway for the 19th annual Ticket Galaxy 200. It’s their final playoff race in the Round of 8 before the Championship 4 is set to battle for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway. There are 40 cars on the penultimate preliminary entry list, meaning the …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Kevin Harvick Breaks Script and Wins an Intermediate Race in 2017

2017 Texas II CUP Kevin Harvick woohoo Jonathan Ferrey getty images for texas motor speedway

(Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Who’s in the headline – For the first time, in what has seemed to be the history of racing, a Ford passed a Toyota on track with pure speed. That is fake news, but it has seemed that way for much of the season. On Sunday, Kevin Harvick chased down Martin Truex Jr and passed him …

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Ryan Blaney Soars to Top of Charts in 1st Cup Practice at Texas

2017 Talladega II CUP Ryan Blaney John K Harrelson NKP

(Photo: John K Harrelson / NKP)

Ryan Blaney was fastest in opening practice at the Texas Motor Speedway on Friday. A 27.009-second lap put Blaney fastest of the 40 cars in the session. Fellow playoff driver Denny Hamlin finished second, 0.100 behind Blaney. Kurt Busch finished third in the session followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth. Jimmie Johnson, who won the …

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2017 Frontstretch Podcast Powered by DraftKings – Episode 34: Big Doings in Texas

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX USA Sunday 9 April 2017 Ryan Blaney Martin Truex Jr, Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER BOATS Toyota Camry World Copyright: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Episode 34: Big Doings in Texas Frontstretch Podcast with Dustin Albino, Zach Catanzareti and Phil Allaway In this week’s episode brought to you by DraftKings, Dustin and Zach are joined this week by Phil as they recap the hot night at Martinsville Speedway. After dissecting the final laps with Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, Texas Motor Speedway …

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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: Halloween Trick or Treat Edition

2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series, New Hampshire

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Halloween came a couple of days early for drivers and teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Sunday. It seemed once the new lights at the half-mile paperclip oval turned on, so did the intensity as the laps began to wind down. Whether it was a trick, a treat, or somewhere …

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Ryan Blaney Salvages Top 10 at Martinsville

2017 martinsville cup zach catanzareti ryan blaney

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

His best friend, Darrell Wallace Jr., said earlier in the week that Ryan Blaney used to hate racing at Martinsville Speedway. After seeing the carnage and tempers that Blaney survived en route to an eighth-place finish in the First Data 500 on Sunday, it’s easy to see why. The race weekend started with good times …

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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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