Race Weekend Central

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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Cole Whitt Building Confidence with TriStar Motorsports

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

Late into last offseason, Cole Whitt had no intention on competing in NASCAR during the 2017 season. No ride and no opportunity meant that it could be the first time the California native wouldn’t compete in a racing series of any type since 2009. But Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports, called Whitt up, notifying the …

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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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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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Gray Gaulding, BK Racing Deal Up in Smoke: How Their Futures Impact NASCAR

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade NKP)

On paper, BK Racing is a small, underfunded Toyota team, and Gray Gaulding is a teenager many NASCAR fans had never heard of before this season. But in their quest for survival, a closer look at their deal turned sour opens a Pandora’s Box of financial questions for modern-day stock car racing. It’s a different type of …

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The Underdog House: Sponsorship Changes on the Horizon?

(Photo: Russell LaBounty/NKP)

Think Small With Target pulling out of motorsports after this year, it leaves just two NASCAR teams on the circuit using a single primary sponsor for all 36 races. Jimmie Johnson‘s No. 48 has backing from Lowe’s (and Kobalt Tools, manufactured and sold by the store) while the No. 11 run by Denny Hamlin has FedEx.  That leaves …

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Cole Whitt, TriStar Motorsports Find Morale Boost After Loss of Team Owner

(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

A 24th-place finish Sunday at Pocono Raceway may not have been a headline story this week, but the day ended on a high note for Cole Whitt. Crossing the start-finish line to complete the Overton’s 400, the memory of Mark Smith rang loud after the team owner lost his life last week after a long …

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