NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The Underdog House: Small Teams Thriving and Surviving in Daytona

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(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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NASCAR 101: Your Cheat Sheet to Cup Series’ Team & Driver Changes

clint bowyer 2017 daytona

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

Good lord, is it really that time of year again? Despite an offseason that frankly felt like a four-week break, it is indeed true: NASCAR racing is back, and even though you just now figured out who Kaulig Racing is and finally learned how to spell half the new Camping World Truck Series drivers’ names, too bad, …

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TriStar Motorsports Returning to Cup Series with Cole Whitt

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

TriStar Motorsports will return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2017 with Cole Whitt as its driver, piloting the No. 72 Ford beginning at Daytona International Speedway later this month. 2017 will mark the third time in Whitt’s career that he has had a full-time ride in the Cup Series, after qualifying …

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The Underdog House: Putting A Wrap On 2016

2016 Charlotte All Star Showdown CUP Michael McDowell Casey Mears racing Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Think Small It’s hard to believe the 2016 season is over—it seems like just yesterday that it began, full of promise and hope.  For some of the teams on this page, it’s been, by all counts, a good season—one of accomplishment and improvement.  For others it’s been a struggle, financial or performance, often both as …

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Cole Whitt: ‘I Just Spun the Tires’

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Cole Whitt chose not to pit in the final five laps at the season-ending NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, vaulting him from the back of the lead lap right into the lead. Moments later, he was vaulted right into the center of controversy. Whitt, whose car was already slower than the drivers who …

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The Underdog House: Are Small-Time NASCAR Drivers Damaged Goods?

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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Think Small It’s an easy mistake to make: falling into the trap of thinking most of the drivers racing for NASCAR’s smaller teams are damaged goods.  Sadly, it’s one that even team owners often fall into.  How often have young, talented drivers taken rides in this group hoping for some exposure only to be overlooked?  …

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The Underdog House: Smaller NASCAR Teams Could Use Factory Support

2016 Kansas II CUP pack racing Russell LaBounty NKP

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Think Small It’s a given that NASCAR’s small teams don’t have the money and equipment that the bigger ones do. But a closer look reveals there is another piece of the puzzle missing many people don’t think about: factory support. While several of the smaller teams do have alliances with larger ones, manufacturer funding is generally reserved …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Cole Whitt Reed Sorenson Charlotte Cup 2016 Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Think Small Smaller NASCAR teams are constantly talking about improvement, and it’s something for which there is always room.  However, improvement goals vary, and that is necessary because teams in the group are all at different stages of development as teams. One team’s goal of top-20 finishes may be totally unrealistic for another. There is …

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The Underdog House: What Small Teams Want You to Know

2016 Kentucky CUP Casey MEars car reflection Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Think Small I had a conversation this past weekend with Germain Racing driver Casey Mears, and I asked him the one thing he wished that NASCAR fans understood about his job. Mears offered the following assessment. “The thing I wish more fans knew is just how difficult it is to get one of these cars …

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The Underdog House: Which Small Sprint Cup Team Blew Us Away At Chicago?

2016 Chicago CUP Landon Cassill Joey Gase racing Russell LaBounty NKP

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Think Small. That’s the motto for this column as I take a larger look at the teams still trying to make a name for themselves in the Cup Series despite fewer resources and a far more difficult mountain to climb. Writer’s Note: What follows is another fresh look for this column, one I expect to stick with.  There are …

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