Race Weekend Central

The Underdog House: NASCAR’s Best-Kept Secret

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Think Small It feels like NASCAR’s small teams get a bad rap right from the start from some fans and even media.  Too often, they’re lumped into a “backmarkers” category, often mocked for their poor performance compared to rivals.  To hear some people talk, you’d think they went out every week and ran in the 20’s …

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Thinkin’ Out Loud: Ryan Blaney Dominates, Jimmie Johnson Wins at Texas

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Who’s In The Headline Once Ryan Blaney faded, Jimmie Johnson got his NASCAR groove back Sunday at one of his favorite places: Texas Motor Speedway. In a dramatic drive from the back to the front, Johnson earned his seventh win in 28 starts at the 1.5-mile tri-oval. It was the top story in a Hendrick Motorsports resurgence that leaves them …

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The Big 6: Questions After The 2017 STP 500

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? The Martinsville Speedway has been a great racetrack for JTG Daugherty Racing. AJ Allmendinger finished second in the spring race last season and 10th in the fall race. It shouldn’t be surprising that both Allmendinger and teammate Chris Buescher both performed well on Sunday. Allmendinger finished sixth, coming back after …

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JTG Daugherty Racing Earns Solid Martinsville Finishes

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

JTG Daugherty Racing teammates AJ Allmendinger and Chris Buescher came into Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway with a combined one top-15 finish between in 2017. Afterwards, each had earned another of their own. Allmendinger was in contention on and off through the race but was moved up the running order late in the going …

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Tech Talk: Sideskirts, Tires, Brake Heat & Drive Off with Trent Owens

Photo Credit : Mike Neff

After the West Coast swing, the Cup series prepares to head to the one track left that was on the original schedule, Martinsville Speedway. Chris Buescher’s crew chief Trent Owens, with his connection to Richard Petty, has a special affinity for the half-mile track in southern Virginia. As the team pulls into Martinsville, there are many …

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Eyes on XFINITY: The Return of Roush Fenway Racing

They’re back. Coming off a disappointing 2016, Roush Fenway Racing has seemed to have turned the corner in both its XFINITY and Cup Series programs. Through the first five events in both divisions, the cars have been quicker and better-handling, allowing for the drivers to get all they can, finally putting up some respectable results. The …

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The Underdog House: No Margin For Error With NASCAR’s Small Teams

(Photo: John Harrelson/NKP)

No Margin For Error Last week, we looked at the importance of improvement for small teams.  For those that realistically just can’t compete with their powerhouse rivals on a weekly basis, it’s a better measure than finishes alone. It’s also an important step for those teams a step ahead of the game, ones in position to one …

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The Underdog House: NASCAR’s Intermediate Track Blues

Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP

Think Small It can be said that the real NASCAR season starts at Atlanta. The Intermediate track season kicked off last weekend and the results were fairly predictable of the small teams this week.  In general at a 1.5 to 2-mile track, these teams struggle to keep up.  You might see a couple of teams …

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The Underdog House: Small Teams Thriving and Surviving in Daytona

(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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AJ Allmendinger Starts 2017 Season with Podium Finish at Daytona

(Photo: Joseph Wolkin)

AJ Allmendinger was all smiles and jokes after the 59th running of the Daytona 500. The charismatic racer couldn’t contain himself on pit road following a third-place finish in NASCAR’s version of the Super Bowl. “It was just a solid day,” Allmendinger said. “Resilient. We didn’t have a great car. We tried to figure out …

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