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BK Racing not renewing David Ragan’s contract for 2017

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David Ragan will not have his contract with BK Racing renewed and is departing the team after the completion of his one-year deal, the team confirmed to NBC Sports after Motorsports.com first reported the news.

Ragan joins his 2016 teammate Matt DiBenedetto in leaving the team. DiBenedetto announced Thursday he had “decided to go in a different direction.”

“BK Racing has agreed not to renew David Ragan’s contract for next year,” team owner Ron Devine said in a statement to NBC Sports. “Everyone wishes David the best of luck in his career. BK Racing will continue to restructure as an ongoing effort to improve our on-track performance in the NASCAR Monster Energy Premier Series, and we will be announcing our 2017 driver line up in the near future.”

Ragan, 30, has been in NASCAR since 2004 and made his debut in NASCAR’s premier series in 2006 before competing full-time for the next 10 years.

He finished 33rd in the final point standings while DiBenedetto placed 35th.

Ragan’s best result in 2016 was 16th in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Ragan’s premier series career began at Roush Fenway Racing in 2006. He joined Front Row Motorsports in 2012 and after driving in the 2015 Daytona 500, split the rest of the season with Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing as a substitute driver.

Ragan has two premier series wins, at Daytona in 2011 and Talladega in 2013.

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.