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Report: After 45 years, NASCAR’s Cup may have reached its end

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The Cup for NASCAR’s premier racing series may have run dry.

According to Adam Stern of SportsBusinessDaily.com, the sanctioning body will soon have a new entitlement sponsor to replace Sprint, but the new series name may not include Cup, such as the “(fill in the blank) Cup Series.”

NASCAR’s premier series has carried the “Cup” moniker since 1971. Over the ensuing 45 years, it has been known as the Winston Cup, Nextel Cup and Sprint Cup.

“Sources close to the talks said the organization has been pitching prospects on a deal without the word ‘Cup’ in the new name,” Stern wrote. “In at least some sales pitches, NASCAR has referred to the Cup Series as its ‘premier series’ with no reference to the word ‘Cup.’ ”

If that happens, Stern’s story continued, it “would represent a notable brand change if it comes to fruition. Whether NASCAR had pitched any companies on a deal that would keep ‘Cup’ included was unclear.”

NASCAR officials declined comment on the report, Stern added.

NASCAR continues to hold talks with several potential series entitlement sponsor replacements for Sprint. Recent reports claim discussions have reached an advanced stage with at least one potential suitor, Monster Energy.

If those talks end with an agreement, it is possible that a Monster Energy Cup or Monster Cup will not necessarily be a foregone conclusion.

“If Monster landed the deal and ‘Cup’ was dropped from the name, the new series would thus have a name along the lines of the ‘NASCAR Monster Series,’ ” Stern wrote.“Sources said the motivation was giving whoever lands the new title sponsor a fresh start.”

NASCAR officials have not said when the new premier series entitlement sponsor will be announced.

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NASCAR America: Is there cause for concern with Jimmie Johnson’s performance thus far?

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It’s no secret that Jimmie Johnson is off to a slow start in 2017.

The defending and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion has a starting average of 21.8 and a finishing average of 18.8 in the first five races of this season.

He has just one top-10 finish (ninth at Phoenix), along with 34th at Daytona, 19th at Atlanta, 11th at Las Vegas and 21st Sunday at Fontana.

And let’s not forget he’s 17th in the NASCAR Cup standings heading to one of his strongest tracks, Martinsville Speedway, this Sunday.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, we discussed this: After such a slow start to the season, is there a cause for concern over Johnson’s performance?

NASCAR America: Mark Martin is definitely a Kyle Larson fan

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin shared his experience of racing in his home state of Arkansas, as well as the excitement he feels watching  Kyle Larson compete in the Cup series.

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson involved in minor fender bender while leaving Fontana

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Kyle Larson‘s spectacular weekend at Auto Club Speedway — winning both Saturday’s Xfinity Series race and Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Cup event — left him feeling good.

But shortly upon exiting the facility, Larson and several others were involved in a fender-bender right outside the Speedway. Larson was a passenger, not the driver.

No one was injured, Larson tweeted.

But somehow, isn’t that strange fate?

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson’s Fontana win shows continued maturing as a driver

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Kyle Larson finally broke his streak of three straight runner-up finishes with his win in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, the crew discussed his win as well as his maturation as a driver.