NASCAR Mailbag: Where is the advantage?

I realize money buys speed but what do top tier teams (Gibbs, Hendrick) have access to that mid-tier teams do not have?  Engines appear equal so I find it amazing that top teams can massage the front grill, shocks and springs and create such an advantage. - From Richard

Thanks for the question Richard, one of the biggest advantages larger teams have is their engineering staff and with it the simulation programs they work with. Also, teams with large manufacturer support generally get more wind tunnel time. All of those things combine to help make the car the most aerodynamically efficient, regardless of the track on which teams are competing or the rules being used. - Jim Utter

From where did Rick Ware Racing get his charters?  It seems to be a big secret. 

Rick Ware Racing's most recent charter came from Richard Petty Motorsports, which is why one of its entries is called Petty-Ware Racing. The other, I believe, came from TriStar Motorsports. - Jim Utter

Can the leader of the race cross the double yellow line if they are in front by several car lengths? - From Johnny

Johnny, assuming we are talking about the rules on superspeedways, any car can go below the double yellow line as long as they aren't doing so to advance their position. So, in your example of a race leader many car lengths ahead of his nearest competitor, yes he could drive below the double yellow line without penalty (although there will unlikely be any advantage to doing so). - Jim Utter

Just wanted to confirm, but Ricky Stenhouse Jr is signed through after the 2021 season with Roush Fenway Racing, right? So that means he's not going anywhere anytime soon, unless Jack Roush feels the driver has run its course.  Also, Ryan Newman is also rumored to be in a three year deal that would as well be up after the 2021 Season! - From Zach

Zach, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is signed with Roush Fenway Racing through the 2021 season, as are a majority of the sponsors currently on his No. 17 Ford. When Ryan Newman's signing with Roush was announced, his contract length was described by the team as "multi-year." - Jim Utter

From the editor, also read:

NASCAR Mailbag: Car setups and more addressed this weekNASCAR Mailbag: Will Jimmie Johnson rebound in 2019?

Something on your mind? 

If you have a specific question for one of us feel free to send it in. Did something happen at the track that you want to know more about but couldn’t find the answer anywhere? Send us a question.

Questions can be sent any day of the week and we’ll post answers in a timely fashion in our NASCAR section at Get your questions in and be sure to follow every NASCAR series all season long on

To follow for the latest NASCAR news:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR Xfinity Series

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 

NASCAR (Canada) Pinty’s Series 

NASCAR Whelen Euro Series

NASCAR Mexico Series 

Fans submit your questions each week to Responses will be reported generally once a week during the NASCAR season. Please submit your questions to the above email address.

You can also reach Jim Utter, Nick DeGroot and Tim Southers on Twitter at @jim_utter, @ndegroot89 and @TimSouthers, respectively. Use the hashtags #AskJim, #AskNick or #AskTim when submitting a question through Twitter.