Race Weekend Central

The Underdog House: Small NASCAR Teams Still Fighting Hard

2017 Kansas I CUP Aric Almirola Russell LaBounty NKP 1

(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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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Entry List: Can-Am 500

2017 Kansas II CUP Kyle Busch John K Harrelson NKP

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads west this weekend to Phoenix International Raceway for the 30th annual Can-Am 500. It’s an elimination race in the Round of 8 as this event sets the Championship 4 for Homestead-Miami Speedway. Coming off last weekend’s late-race pass of Martin Truex Jr. at Texas Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick has …

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The Underdog House: Small NASCAR Teams Thrive At Short Tracks

Ryan Blaney New Hampshire

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

2017 Kansas II CUP Corey LaJoie Barry Cantrell NKP

(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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NASCAR 101: The Decline of NASCAR’s Team Count

ef8ee0dd62f7bec2c2c60f152b5e7248 11

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

For an extremely brief moment earlier this week, a new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team had joined the fray. StarCom Racing’s No. 00 showed up on the entry list for Dover International Speedway with Derrike Cope as its driver, becoming the 40th entry for the race. However, by Tuesday night, Cope and co. had …

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

2017 Las Vegas CUP Landon Cassill Nigel Kinrade NKP

(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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5 Points to Ponder: The Future of Richard Petty Motorsports

2017 Richmond I CUP Aric Almirola racing Russell LABounty NKP

(Photo: Russell Labounty/NKP)

ONE: Smithfield’s Shifting Gears Away From Richard Petty Motorsports Tuesday morning (Sept. 12), Smithfield announced it’s leaving Richard Petty Motorsports to join one of the Stewart-Haas Racing Fords. After six years partnering with the No. 43, the strength of SHR’s multi-car organization (which has two of its four cars in the playoffs) became too good to …

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The Underdog House: The Invisible NASCAR Season

2017 Richmond II CUP Corey Lajoie pack Racing John K Harrelson Harrelson photography Inc

(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 Reaches NASCAR Cutoff Weekend

2017 Richmond II CUP Kyle Busch pack racing Nigel Kinrade NKP

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/NKP)

Ah yes, cutoff weekend.  Where some drivers jump for joy while others kick the can.  Last weekend, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series was in action at Richmond International Raceway for the last race of the regular season.  You had long runs and short runs.  Stretches of constant side-by-side racing and times where not much was …

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Derrike Cope, Premium Motorsports Part Ways

Darlington Cup 2017 Derrike Cope Throwback Mike Neff

(Photo: Mike Neff)

Coming off his 36th-place finish in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Derrike Cope and Premium Motorsports have parted ways, effective immediately. Cope has competed in 13 races this season for Premium in both the Nos. 55 and 15 Chevrolets, completing 86 percent of laps run. …

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