NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 54: Danica Patrick

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When Danica Patrick made the transition from IndyCar to NASCAR, it necessitated learning entirely new ways to communicate about the handling characteristics of a race car.

As she prepares for a future beyond racing, she is embracing another new vernacular: Fashion design.

“While I love clothes, I’m also learning what things are called,” Patrick said during the latest NASCAR on NBC podcast. “I learned that I really love a raglan sleeve.

“I’m learning a lot as I go because it’s important to know so I can communicate with the designers.”

Patrick is launching her first clothing line. “Warrior,” which will be available Jan. 2 on HSN, will focus on the “athleisure” trend.

“I think we all have a lot of hope, excitement that it could be big,” she said.

The clothing line and a book (“Pretty Intense”) planned for a 2018 release are among several off-track projects that comprise a long-term strategy to sustain Patrick, who will turn 35 in March, as a marketable personality after her NASCAR career has ended.

“I’m definitely not on the front side of my career,” said Patrick, who is more than 11 years removed from becoming the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500. “It’s important to use the platform I have as a transition and a launching pad, really. I don’t know when that transition is going to happen.

“The projects are about building something. … There is potential upside that is way, way more than an endorsement because there’s no end in sight, and if it’s successful, it won’t end anytime soon.”

Other topics discussed by Patrick on the podcast:

–How new sponsor Nature’s Bakery has made it easier to align her personal and professional branding (and her hopes of one day creating her own fig bar for the sponsor);

–Her disappointing 2016 Sprint Cup season and her expectations for 2017;

–Why she decided to tweet recently about the president-elect;

–What it’s like hanging out around friends with kids;

–How Tony Stewart’s transition from driver to owner might return him to being a mentor.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone. It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

Here are time codes to provide easy referencing while listening to the episode.

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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.