The Xfinity Series runs the final race of the Round of 8. No Xfinity driver has clinched a spot in the championship round at Homestead-Miami Speedway, meaning all four spots are up for grabs tonight.
Here is all the important info for today’s race.
(All times are Eastern)
START: Three-time Olympian Brady Ellison will give the command to start engines at 7:37 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 200 laps (200 miles) around the 1-mile track.
PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Xfinity garage opens at noon. The driver/crew chief meeting is at 5:45 p.m. Driver introductions are at 7:05 p.m.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Cathy Rankin will perform the National Anthem at 3:20 p.m.
TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race with its coverage beginning at 7 p.m. with Countdown to Green. Race coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 7 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.
FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts a temperature of 80 degrees with a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.
LAST TIME: Kyle Busch led 175 of 200 laps to win in March. Erik Jones was second and Daniel Suarez placed third in a 1-2-3 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch led 190 of 200 laps to win this event a year ago. Brad Keselowski was second and Jones third.
Ryan Blaney went to Carowinds amusement park just south of Charlotte, North Carolina, and took to periscope as he rode in the front row on the Fury 325 roller coaster, which reaches a peak height of 325 feet and then goes into an 81-degree drop.
The ride reaches speeds up to 95 mph. The coaster is North America’s longest steel coaster at 1.25 miles. The average ride time is 3 minutes, 25 seconds, and the ride crosses both the North Carolina and South Carolina border.
Stewart-Haas Racing announced Friday that it has reached an agreement with Nature’s Bakery that will include the company serving as a sponsor for four Cup races split between Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick.
Those four races will be announced at a later date.
As part of the agreement, all lawsuits between Stewart-Haas Racing and Nature’s Bakery have been dropped.
“It’s gratifying to see a difficult situation get resolved in a professional manner that suits all parties,” said Brett Frood, president, Stewart-Haas Racing. “Together, we worked diligently to find an equitable solution to our collective challenges.”
“I am a longtime motorsports fan and, particularly, a fan of NASCAR,” said Dave Marson, founder of Nature’s Bakery. “Our partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing began with direct, open conversations and that foundation allowed us to reach this agreement.”
Krissie Newman said they were looking to add a playground to make school field trips there more of a full-day experience. As they looked into such playgrounds, she met Kendra Wood, an autism teacher at Lake Norman High School, and talked to occupational therapists who provided tips on how to make a playground inclusive for all children.
“We always look for field trips to get out in the community in any sort and this is a great place,’’ Wood said. “Now that they added the playground to it, we can do an outdoor component as well.’’
That’s important because many playgrounds are not as accessible for all children.
“Playgrounds usually aren’t fun for us,’’ Wood said. “We can’t do anything. We can do pretty much everything (here). It’s such a different thing for us, but a great thing, something that I wish other communities would come and look at and try to emulate.’’
The $550,000 playground, which is 10,000 square feet, is named the Earnhardt Family Playground.
A sign says: “To honor our commitment to children and passion for nature, the Earnhardt Family dedicates this playground to Rescue Ranch to support the needs of our community and further its mission for the benefit of those who come and play here. Generations of our family have supported youth, nature and conservation, and the combination of all three. The Earnhardt Family is proud to support this inclusive playground and the hope and joy it will provide for generations to come.’’
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said the family was invited by the Newmans to visit and learn about the ranch. That led to the family supporting the playground. Others who contributed to the playground included Danica Patrick, Denny Hamlin Foundation, Evernham Family Racing for a Reason, Kevin Harvick Foundation, Brennan Poole, Marcus and Cassi Smith, Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and the NASCAR Foundation.
“It was a real good opportunity for us to get involved in our community,’’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “We look for opportunities to get involved in the community and make a difference in the community and this is a really, really incredible place.’’
There’s more Krissie Newman wants to do from building a pavilion at the playground, an adoption center, a memorial garden and a 24-hour emergency vet clinic.
“I’ve got big plans for this place,’’ she said. “I’m just starting.
“We want to teach kids and have them have fun while they’re here, have a good experience and hopefully take a little bit of Rescue Ranch away and make it part of their story. A lot of people remember where they went on field trips as a kid. I want Rescue Ranch to be one of those places in the future where they learned how to take care of animals better, respect the environment and just have a different level of compassion and empathy for living things in general.’’