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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The Underdog House: DiBenedetto Writing a Resume on Concrete


(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top of the Class Matt DiBenedetto is driving like his career depends on it. Well, it sort of does, but the world is getting a really good look at how competitive the fire in him is and how impressive he can be when he turns that pressure into motivation. More than three years after DiBenedetto …

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Friday Faceoff: Who Would Be the Most Surprising Driver to Miss the Cup Playoffs?


(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win put Kevin Harvick only two Cup wins behind team owner Tony Stewart. Assuming Harvick eventually eclipses Stewart’s mark, who has the more impressive NASCAR resume? Michael Massie: I’d still say Stewart because of the two more championships and because he took a leap of faith to start his own …

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The Underdog House: Road Warriors

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(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top of the Class Matt DiBenedetto might need a new nickname soon. “Guido” is fun and everyone loves “DiBurrito,” but “King of the Road” might be just as fitting. The 27-year-old from Grass Valley, CA landed sixth in the final rundown at Watkins Glen International on Sunday (August 4). This coming after he raced to …

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Friday Faceoff: Should Drivers Go Toe To Toe On Social Media?

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(Photo: NASCAR via Getty Images)

For the second time in less than a year, Jimmie Johnson will have a new crew chief. Was the move necessary and will it help their results? Mark Kristl: The move felt like a Hail Mary from Hendrick Motorsports. In his first year with Ally as his sponsor, Johnson has underperformed. Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman …

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The Underdog House: A Different (Tri)Angle


(PHOTO: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top of the Class The majority of the battles for supremacy in terms of underdogs in 2019 have been between Chris Buescher and Matt DiBenedetto. Sunday (July 28) at Pocono Raceway was just more of the same. Buescher and the No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevy took top dog honors, but not by much. His …

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Friday Faceoff: How Late Is Too Late to Finish a Race?

2019 Daytona IWSC Rain Phil Allaway

(Photo: Phil Allaway)

Ryan Newman moved into a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff spot based on his finish last week, bumping Jimmie Johnson. Who is more likely to make the postseason? Frank Velat: Neither deserves to be in at this point, but that’s a whole other story. Ryan Newman has the immeasurable advantage known as momentum. He’s …

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The Underdog House: A Little Magic in the Air


(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top of the Class For the second time in a month, Matt DiBenedetto ruled the underdog roost with a top-five finish. He took fifth position on Sunday (July 21) in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota was fast all weekend. DiBenedetto put the car …

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Friday Faceoff: Is Age a Valid Reason to Get a Playoff Waiver?


(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Kurt Busch openly admitted to some retirement consideration prior to his win last week. Who hangs it up first: Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick or Busch? Joy Tomlinson: My first thought is Jimmie Johnson since his last Cup Series win was over two years ago. He and his new crew chief seem to have started working together …

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The Underdog House: The Other Kind of Kentucky Horsepower

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Photo: Danny Peters

Top of the Class Chris Buescher reclaimed the top slot among the “other guys” on Saturday night (July 13) in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. The No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet crossed the stripe in 10th position. The result was his fourth top 10 in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series …

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Friday Faceoff: What Does the Future Look Like for Justin Haley?

2019 Daytona I NXS Justin Haley NKP

(Photo: NKP)

Justin Haley joined Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne as modern-era drivers to win in their first three starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Which of those drivers’ career will Haley’s most likely resemble? Adam Cheek: Jamie McMurray. He has enough talent to not be a relative bust like Bayne, but he’s …

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The Underdog House: Independents Day


(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Top of The Class Justin Haley came into this weekend’s races at Daytona International Speedway thinking that he was owed a bit of justice after having his first career Xfinity Series win taken away for going below the yellow line last summer. He may have figured the score was as close to even as it …

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Friday Faceoff: Will the Summer Showdown At Daytona Be Mild or Wild?

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL USA Saturday 1 July 2017 Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing, DEWALT Flexvolt Toyota Camry World Copyright: Matthew T. Thacker NKP

The traditional-style plate races so far this year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series have been varied from wild (Daytona International Speedway) to tame (Talladega Superspeedway). What scenario is more likely this week? Frank Velat: Talladega became notorious for having one crash-marred race after another to the point that drivers now seem to go …

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