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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The Underdog House: John Hunter Nemechek Just Plain Speedy in Kansas

2020 Kansas II Cup John Hunter Nemechek car NKP

Top Dog John Hunter Nemechek was back on top of the underdogs on Sunday as the rookie driver finished 17th in the Hollywood Casino 400. Nemechek earned his only career Xfinity Series win at Kansas Speedway, so perhaps we should have seen this coming. Not only that, but his first Gander RV & Outdoors Truck …

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Friday Faceoff: Is Kyle Busch’s 2020 the Worst Ever for a Defending Champ?

2020 Talladega II CUP Kyle Busch NKP

(photo: nkp)

Was Kyle Busch’s performance in 2020 the worst season ever by a defending NASCAR Cup Series champion? Luken Glover: It’s definitely in the top 3. The only factors keeping it from No. 1 are that there is no practice since the restart and that he has been running solid when chaos strikes. The two seasons …

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The Underdog House: Bubba Wallace Leads on the Long, Lonely Road Home

2020 Charlotte Road Cup Jimmie Johnson Bubba Wallace racing NKP

Top Dog Road courses at the top level of NASCAR are something of an equalizer. A good driver can elevate the performance of an entire team even without the benefit of top notch equipment or research data. So it’s a logical assumption that at least one or two underdogs will likely run competitively and finish …

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Friday Faceoff: Where Will Ty Dillon Drive in 2021?

2019 Phoenix I CUP Ty Dillon Richard Childress NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Is it better for the sport if the playoff drivers win the playoff races? Luken Glover: Yes and no. I look at someone like Jimmie Johnson, who would set the racing world on fire if he were to win one of the last NASCAR Cup Series five races. However, playoff drivers winning playoff races have …

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The Underdog House: Ty Dillon Best in Class as Underdogs Run Wild at Talladega

2020 Talladega II CUP Ty Dillon pack racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top Dog As usual, a NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway resulted in a “Big One.” No, not just a big crash, though there were plenty of those. I’m referring to a big group of underdog teams scattered throughout the top half of the finishing order. Leading the line both literally and figuratively was …

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The Underdog House: John Hunter Nemechek Loses Pit Strategy Gamble in Las Vegas

2020 Las Vegas NCS John Hunter Nemechek Car NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top Dog There hasn’t been much to get excited about for our Cup Series underdogs lately. We’ve primarily talked about the best in the category barely making the top 20 by the end of each race. Las Vegas Motor Speedway and its surrounding environment may have inspired you to bet the farm on a long …

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The Underdog House: Michael McDowell Does Better, Still Best At Bristol

2020 Bristol NCS Michael McDowell Car NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top Dog Being the top underdog each week can be a funny thing. Take for example Front Row Motorsports’ NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell. McDowell earned the proverbial best in class award for the second consecutive race at Bristol Motor Speedway last Saturday, Sept. 19, by finishing 10th. However, in the previous race at …

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The Underdog House: Virginia Is for Lovers, Not Underdogs

2020 Richmond NCS Michael McDowell Racing NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top Dog When covering underdog teams, there’s always a distinct possibility that looms over each and every race. That possibility is the potential for every Cinderella at the ball to wind up with a broken glass slipper. Or perhaps more appropriate, the ugly, well-funded stepsisters might steal all of the glass slippers. Such was the …

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Friday Faceoff: Is Ryan Blaney Already Too Far Behind?

2020DarlingtonNCSRyanBlaneyCarNKP 1

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Ryan Blaney was the biggest title contender to have a bad weekend at Darlington. Richmond is one of his worst tracks on the circuit. Has he lost his shot at advancing to the Round of 12? Luken Glover: I wouldn’t rule him out just yet. He has found more speed at some tracks he’s struggled at …

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The Underdog House: Michael McDowell Rides Again In Darlington

2020DarlingtonNCSMichaelMcDowellCarNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top Dog Michael McDowell spent numerous weeks being highlighted in this category earlier in the season, as he and his Front Row Motorsports teammate John Hunter Nemechek divided most of the top finishes between themselves. Lately, things have taken a less favorable turn. Coming into Sunday’s event at Darlington Raceway, McDowell had finished outside the …

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Friday Faceoff: Which Cup Driver Is the Best Available Free Agent?

2020MichiganNCSErikJonesRacingNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

While there is little debate about which open NASCAR Cup Series ride is the best, which free agent driver do you think is the best long-term prospect? Luken Glover: There are a solid list of guys, such as Erik Jones, Corey LaJoie and Bubba Wallace. While Jones is a very desirable talent, LaJoie is someone to keep …

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Friday Faceoff: Should the Regular Season End at Daytona?

2020DaytonaNCSAustinDillonRacingNKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photogra)

What do you think of having the NASCAR Cup Series regular season ending at a superspeedway? Zach Gillispie: Superspeedways are equivalent to 2020, in a sense; both involve drama, chaos, and a whole lot of uncertainty.  While the events of the current calendar year have flipped the racing world upside down, the Daytona International Speedway regular-season …

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