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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

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: Getting a Foothold in 21st Century NASCAR

2016 Phoenix I CUP AJ Allmendinger pack racing Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Think Small One of the chief worries about NASCAR’s charter system when it was instituted this year was how new teams would be able to get a foothold in the sport, and while that is a concern on paper, in practice, the charter system changes very little, because teams entering the spot already have the …

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Beyond The Cockpit: Michael Annett Trying to Prove Himself on the Track

2016 Las Vegas CUP Michael Annett car Matthew T Thacker NKP

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP)

Michael Annett is in his third full Sprint Cup season, the second for HScott Motorsports. Admittedly so, 2016 has been one of the toughest years on the Iowa native since coming to NASCAR. Before heading to Daytona in February, Annett had aspirations of performing better than 2015. The organization had experience coming in the door …

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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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The Underdog House: Would-Be Winners and Hangers-On

2016 Michigan I CUP Ryan Blaney John Harrelson NKP

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

(We’re changing things up a little this week; instead of focusing on races past, we’ll take a look ahead at our small teams and the outlook down the stretch.  Hate it and want to see more on how they fared in the races? Let me know.  Want to see more like this? Let me know!  …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams from Michigan to Darlington

2016 Pocono I CUP Ryan Blaney John Harrelson NKP

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

Tommy Baldwin Racing Regan Smith, No. 7 APC Chevrolet Looking back: Michigan International Speedway was one of Smith’s better runs on a 1.5-to-2-mile speedway this year, with a 26th-place finish and a lap led on his tally. Smith said afterward that he feels like his team is learning some things that will help them in …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams From Bristol to Michigan

2016 Pocono I CUP Landon Cassill Anthony Lumbis Sr.

(Photo: Anthony Lumbis, Sr.)

Tommy Baldwin Racing Regan Smith, No. 7 APC Chevrolet Looking back: Smith had a brush with the wall just past the quarter mark of the race, bringing out the first caution of the day after the restart Sunday following the earlier competition yellow.  Even so, he managed to avoid further trouble while others couldn’t do the …

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Annett Out at Bristol for Illness; Allgaier to Sub

2016 Fontana CUP Michael Annett Brett Moist NKP

(Photo: Brett Moist/NKP)

Justin Allgiaer will drive the No. 46 Chevrolet for HScott Motorsports in tonight’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night race at Bristol Motor Speedway in place of regular driver Michael Annett.  According to the team’s Twitter feed, Annett is feeling under the weather with flu-like symptoms. Due to flu-like symptoms, Michael Annett won't compete in tonight's …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams from Pocono to Watkins Glen

2016 Pocono II CUP Chris Buescher champagne Logan Whitton NKP

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Tommy Badwin Racing Regan Smith, No. 7 APC Chevrolet Looking back: Chris Buescher wasn’t the only small-team driver who scored a top finish Monday. Smith’s third-place run ties his organization’s best finish ever and marks TBR’s top finish not on a restrictor-plate track.  Sound strategy played into the team’s hands and Smith walked away with his …

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The Underdog House: Tracking NASCAR’s Small Teams From Indy to Pocono

2016 Indianapolis CUP Patrick Carpentier car Logan Whitton NKP

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Indianapolis represented a mixed bag for the small teams this week, with finishes ranging from 14th for rookie Chris Buescher to 40th for Matt DiBenedetto, thanks to an untimely engine expiration.  Indy is a tough track for teams that are a step or two behind the elite teams in both handling and horsepower, and next …

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