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Daniel Suarez eligible to compete in the Clash at Daytona

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NASCAR has confirmed that Daniel Suarez is eligible to compete in the Advanced Auto Parts Clash on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.

Suarez is the replacement for Carl Edwards in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19. He is eligible for the 75-lap exhibition race due to NASCAR citing the unique situation of JGR having prepared a car with sponsorship prior to Edwards’ surprise departure from the sport.

Edwards had qualified for the race through his career best six poles in 2016.

Clint Bowyer, who is replacing Tony Stewart in the No. 14, is not eligible for the event due to Stewart-Haas Racing knowing about Stewart’s retirement ahead of time and not preparing a car.

In December, Hendrick Motorsports announced Alex Bowman would drive the No. 88 in the Clash after he won the pole for the fall race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Greg Biffle is eligible for the event, but does not have a ride announced for 2017.

Drivers can become eligible for the Clash in four ways:

Winning a pole the previous season, being a previous Clash winner, being a past Daytona 500 pole-winner and qualifying for the previous season’s Chase.

Here are the drivers eligible for this year’s Clash.

2016 Coors Light Pole Awards winners (14)
Greg Biffle, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Carl Edwards (Daniel Suarez), Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr.

Former Clash Race Winners (2)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart (retired)

Former Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Award winners (1)
Danica Patrick

2016 Chase drivers (3)
Chris Buescher, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray

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NASCAR America: Jimmie Johnson’s patience propels him to victory lane in Food City 500

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Jimmie Johnson is known for his patience behind the wheel. Where other drivers may get too hot under the collar and over-react, Johnson is typically cool as a cucumber — and that’s helped lead him to many of his 82 career NASCAR Cup wins.

That patience once again played out in Johnson’s win Monday in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, only his second career triumph (and first in seven years) at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”

On Monday’s NASCAR America, Greg Biffle and Kyle Petty discussed Johnson’s patience throughout Monday’s race.

 

 

Heavy foot on pit road foils Kyle Larson once again at Bristol

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Kyle Larson did everything he could to win Monday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

He led a race-high 203 laps in the 500-lap event, including dominating Stage 1, leading all 125 laps, as well as the first 77 laps in Stage 2.

But Larson, known for the heavy foot he has, saw that need for speed at the wrong time likely cost him the win.

When Erik Jones wrecked on Lap 422, Larson came to pit road and was too fast across two consecutive timing zones on the front straightaway en route to his pit stall.

“I was just pushing on pit road and messed up there,” Larson said after the race. “To start the race, I was the leader, I would run all my greens down pit road, and then once I fell back … down the straightaway I was running one red and flashed the second red real quick, and I guess that was all she wrote.”

NASCAR penalized Larson for speeding on pit road, dropping him to the back of the longest line, restarting in 20th place with 72 laps left in the race.

“Yeah, I knew I gave the race away there,” Larson said. “(I’m) disappointed in myself. I think I speed on pit road every single time I come to Bristol. So, I’ve got to clean that up.”

There’s that heavy foot admission once again.

Ironically, it was Larson’s first speeding penalty this season.

To his credit, Larson was able to quickly climb back up the grid, but couldn’t finish higher than sixth.

Still, Larson tried to a positive spin on things as he began to leave the track.

“I don’t know what more you could ask out of this place,” Larson said. “This is the best track we go to, most exciting place, and I love coming here.”

But he doesn’t like the way he came out of it once again, thanks to that darn heavy foot.

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NASCAR America: Dale Jarrett, Kelli Stavast recap Bristol driver performances

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After waiting out 28 straight hours of rain, Monday’s rescheduled Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway produced a rather exciting race.

The addition of adhesive to the lower grove at the track gave drivers additional grip that led to side-by-side and even three-wide racing.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Kelli Stavast discussed the top driver performances in Monday’s race.

 

 

NASCAR America: My Home Track: Maine’s Oxford Plains, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway

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NASCAR America’s My Home Track series continued Monday as we visited Maine, otherwise known as the Pine Tree State.

Not only is it a great state for racing, including places like Oxford Plains and Beach Ridge Motor Speedway, Maine also lays claim to NBCSN’s own Steve Letarte, who paid homage to his home state in Monday’s edition of NASCAR America.