Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: Can JTG Daugherty Racing Improve with Hendrick Data?

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

We’re hurtling towards the end of the NASCAR season, and this weekend, three champions will be crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Despite what it seems to be on television, not everything in NASCAR at the moment revolves around the playoffs. There are plenty of other stories in the sport at the moment. Obviously, the biggie is …

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The Underdog House: Small NASCAR Teams Still Fighting Hard

(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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The Underdog House: Small NASCAR Teams Thrive At Short Tracks

(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: Elimination and Advancement Edition

(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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The Underdog House: Where was the Outrage… For Corey Lajoie?

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Think Small Checking out social media on Monday, there were a lot of posts expressing outrage at Matt Kenseth being parked Sunday at Kansas for having too many crewmen working on his car after damage put him on the five-minute clock.  Kenseth’s disqualification took him out of the playoffs in what may be his last …

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The Underdog House: Surviving NASCAR Talladega… Sort Of

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Think Small One thing that struck me when I first started in NASCAR was that if you spent enough time looking, you could see fans at a race who supported every driver in the field.  T-shirts, hats, and bumper stickers were among the ways they proclaimed their loyalty. Fast forward a couple of decades, and …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR Must ‘Cope’ With Slow Cars On Track

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

Think Small After last weekend’s race at Richmond Raceway, where Derrike Cope brought out a late caution while racing several laps down, fans and some media suggested Cope should have been removed from the track by NASCAR long before the incident. That group, which included regular season champion Martin Truex Jr., claimed Cope was so far in …

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The Underdog House: The Invisible NASCAR Season

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/Harrelson Photography Inc.)

Think Small Ah, fall.  Race fans can welcome cooler temperatures, cheer for their favorites in the playoffs…and kiss the chance of seeing the smaller teams mentioned during the broadcast goodbye. With the exception of Ryan Blaney, who made the postseason, all other underdogs will fade into the background of championship talk. That goes for any …

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Couch Potato Tuesday: NBCSN Has Fun in Darlington, Forgets Stuff

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Labor Day Weekend is traditionally one of the biggest race weekends of the year.  Basically every series of note was in action last weekend with the exception of IMSA. Before we get started, news came out on Sunday that Daniel Suarez lost sponsorship from Subway due to Suarez appearing in a piece that aired on …

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The Underdog House: Curbing Spending Would Be Good For NASCAR

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

Think Small Dale Earnhardt Jr. was addressing the media at Watkins Glen last weekend when the subject turned to driver contracts and salaries.  The NASCAR economic climate, as everyone knows has changed drastically in recent years.  When the NASCAR fad was at its height almost 20 years ago, corporate interest and driver income skyrocketed. For a while, that …

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