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GEICO to sponsor restart zone at 11 ISC tracks, starts this weekend

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GEICO is expanding its NASCAR involvement, the company announced Friday at Talladega Superspeedway.

  • First, GEICO will sponsor the on-track restart zone at Talladega this entire weekend. Then, beginning in 2017, GEICO will sponsor the on-track restart zone at 11 of International Speedway Corporation’s racetracks that hold NASCAR events.

Those tracks that will carry the GEICO Restart Zone next season are Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Daytona International Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, Richmond International Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway and Watkins Glen International. Auto Club Speedway is not included.

  • Second, GEICO will continue its entitlement of the GEICO 500 through 2019, including Talladega’s 50th anniversary in that same year, as well. GEICO has been an entitlement partner with Talladega since 2014.

“We’re excited about extending our relationship with GEICO, one of the largest auto insurers in the U.S.,” Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch said in a media release. “This race, known for its thrilling on-track action at NASCAR’s most competitive track, will continue to provide an incredible platform for GEICO to engage with fans.”

  • Third, GEICO – which is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the U.S. – will continue holding naming rights to campgrounds at eight ISC facilities: Chicagoland, Darlington, Daytona, Homestead-Miami, Phoenix, Richmond, Talladega and Watkins Glen.

“The GEICO partnership is a great example of how large brands can leverage the power of ISC’s scale,” ISC Chief Marketing Officer Daryl Wolfe said in a release. “GEICO has been a terrific partner to the Sport for years and this new agreement is a testament to how a brand such as GEICO can leverage the Sport in multiple and distinct areas, while continuing to drive engagement with the most brand loyal fans in all of Sports.”

Geico also sponsors the No. 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup car of Casey Mears.

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NASCAR America: Kyle Busch questions Xfinity rules package at Indy

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Kyle Busch isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and he certainly did so after Saturday’s  Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NASCAR implemented a number of changes to make the racing closer, tighter and more exciting — including restrictor plates, a larger rear spoiler, aero ducts, and a smaller splitter — and achieved all that on many fronts.

But not for the younger Busch brother, who wasn’t pleased with the rules package. Was it actually designed to specifically slow him down rather than to even out things for the entire field?

Or was he just simply upset because he didn’t win a third Xfinity race in a row at IMS?

Check out how our NASCAR America analysts gauged the Xfinity changes in the above video.

 

TriStar Motorsports team owner Mark Smith passes away

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Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports, died Saturday at his home, after a long battle with cancer, the team announced Monday. He was 63.

He began his racing career building engines for his brother Jack’s drag car in the 1970s. He moved his family from the West Coast in the early 1990s to pursue a career in NASCAR. He was the owner of TriStar Motorsports and Pro Motor Engines.

TriStar Motorsports fields the No. 14 in the Xfinty Series with JJ Yeley and the No. 72 in the Cup Series with Cole Whitt. The team stated the team will continue operations under the management of Bryan Smith, son of Mark Smith.

“It was dad’s dream to own and operate a NASCAR team,” Bryan Smith said. “He devoted his life to that dream and his family plans to honor his wishes by continuing our efforts in his memory.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Victory Junction Gang victoryjunction.org or NOVA (National Organization for Vehicle Access, part of the BraunAbility) novafunding.org.

The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. ET, Aug. 1 at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, North Carolina. They have created a Facebook page where you are encouraged to leave a story for the family to enjoy. (facebook.com/Remembering-Mark-Smith-301261653675224)

NASCAR America: Analysts break down Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. wreck (video)

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Given how wild the Brickyard 400 played out, the big wreck between race leaders Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wasn’t exactly surprising.

Rather, with the way the race transpired from the opening lap, was the Busch/Truex wreck almost inevitable?

Truex got loose and washed up into the left rear of Busch’s car, sending both drivers and their respective cars into the outside retaining walls, hitting hard and ending their respective days.

Check out what our NASCAR America analysts had to say about the wreck from Monday’s show in the above video.

NASCAR America: Dale Earnhardt Jr. recaps wild Brickyard 400 (video)

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, Dale Earnhardt Jr. — who will become part of our NBC Sports Group in 2018 — looked back on a wild and intense Brickyard 400.

Earnhardt was one of several drivers whose day came to an early ending — in Junior’s case when he ran into the back of Trevor Bayne‘s car, destroying his radiator in the process.

All the mayhem and mishaps could be linked to over-aggressive driving, Earnhardt said, saying that every driver was in “attack mode,” especially on restarts.

Check out Junior in the video above.