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NASCAR has no plans to add substance to tracks this season to enhance grip

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A NASCAR executive discounted the notion that tracks will add a substance to their racing surface to enhance grip this year.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, made the comment Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

“We’re looking at a lot of different options, meeting with Goodyear to see where and when we could apply it and how that would affect the racing on the track,’’ O’Donnell said. “A lot of different options that we hope to have on the table, maybe not necessarily at the start of 2017.’’

A substance was used at Bristol Motor Speedway before the August races for the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series and Sprint Cup Series. The Cup race saw 20 lead changes. Only one other Bristol event in the track’s last eight Cup races had more lead changes.

A substance was put on the high lane at Martinsville Speedway last weekend on the final day of a tire test there to unfavorable reviews.

Among the biggest complaints was that it made both the high lane and low lane nearly equal in lap times. Martin Truex Jr., who was among those who tested there.

“I felt like with the second groove being as fast as the first I don’t know how you would pass anyone,’’ Truex said. “The great racing at Martinsville is the fight for the bottom. If you can’t hold the bottom you’re going to get passed. In that case. I don’t believe Martinsville is a place we ought to mess with.’’

That Martinsville test was done looking ahead to 2017. Officials from the track and NASCAR told NBC Sports that the track’s surface would not be changed for the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series races there later this month.

Also during his appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, O’Donnell noted the type of racing in Sunday’s event at Charlotte Motor Speedway despite the limited practice time.

Sprint Cup teams had one practice session Friday before rain canceled two practice sessions Saturday. 

“One of the things we learned this weekend, which we’ll have to see, we’ll get some pushback from the garage, but it was nice to see teams almost just show up and have to race,’’ O’Donnell said. “We’re looking at how much practice is too much practice for an event. Maybe that is something we look at in the future as well.’’

NASCAR America: NASCAR’s stars hit the track for the ‘Little 600’ (video)

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Like more than three dozen of his NASCAR Cup counterparts, Joey Logano is gearing up for the longest race of the year, Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

To warm up, Logano, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. and other NASCAR drivers headed to the GoPro Motorplex in North Carolina for the “Little 600.”

Check out how they fared in the above video that was on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America.

 

Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
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CONCORD, N.C. — Kevin Harvick will start on the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, marking the second consecutive race at Charlotte Motor Speedway he has led the field to the green flag.

Harvick, a two-time Coke 600 winner, earned the top starting spot Thursday night with a lap of 193.424 mph in his Ford. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch, who won last weekend’s All-Star Race.

Chase Elliott starts third and is followed by Matt Kenseth and rookie Erik Jones.

Points leader Kyle Larson will start 39th in the 40-car field after not making a qualifying attempt. He hit the wall in practice and then his team couldn’t get through qualifying inspection until one minute remained in the opening round of the session. The team was unable to get Larson out of the garage in time to make an attempt.

Click here for Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

Slugger Labbe: How do crew chiefs prepare for grueling Coca-Cola 600? (video)

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Veteran crew chief Slugger Labbe stopped by the NASCAR America studio in Charlotte on Thursday.

Labbe gave his perspective on how NASCAR Cup crew chiefs will prepare for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. While the race length will be the same as it has been for decades, one significant change will have crew chiefs developing strategy that they’ve never had to deal with in the 600, namely, four different race stages.

Labbe also gave his take on the positives and negatives of the Laser Inspection Station for both pre- and post-race inspections.

Check out the above video.

NASCAR: Remembering Martin Truex Jr.’s dominating 2016 Coca-Cola 600 win

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In one of the most dominating performances in NASCAR history, Martin Truex Jr. turned last year’s Coca-Cola 600 into a runaway one-man show, leading the field for 392 of 400 laps.

Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America took a look back at Truex’s record-setting win.

Check out the video above.