TALLADEGA, AL - OCTOBER 21: Matt Tifft, driver of the #11 Brain Gear/Surface Sunscreen Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 21, 2016 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Matt Tifft driving JGR’s No. 19 Xfinity car, will be sponsored by Tunity at Daytona

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Matt Tifft will take over for Daniel Suarez in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 Xfinity Series car this season and will be sponsored by Tunity for multiple races, beginning with the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Tifft will be JGR’s only full-time Xfinity driver this season. Joe Gibbs Racing’s website lists Suarez and Kyle Busch as driving the No. 18 car and Erik Jones as driver of the No. 20.

Tifft replaces Suarez after his unexpected promotion to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series following Carl Edwards‘ departure from the sport.

Surface Sunscreen and BrainGear will also be full season partners on the No. 19 car as associate sponsorship roles at Daytona and in primary sponsorship roles that will be announced later.

This season will be Tifft’s first full-time campaign in a national NASCAR series after three part-time seasons in the Camping World Truck Series and two in the Xfinity Series.

The Ohio-native climbs into the No. 19 less than a year after he missed a large portion of the 2016 season recovering from surgery that removed a low-grade brain tumor.

Tifft will look to defend the No. 19 team’s Xfinity championship.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to compete full time in NASCAR, so the chance to drive for the best team in the industry and coming off the No. 19’s championship run is pretty cool,” Tifft said in a press release. “Already (crew chief Matt) Beckman and I have gone to work and I’m really looking forward to getting started this year. I think it’ll be an incredible opportunity and I can’t wait to get rolling.”

Beckman is entering into his first season as a crew chief in the Xfinity Series.

“To date, the off-season has been pretty hectic, but productive at the same time. We have expended considerable energy assembling a great group of guys to compete in the Xfinity Series with Matt Tifft,” Beckman said in a press release. “Ultimately, our goal is to live up to the standards of the No. 19 JGR effort from 2016 and compete for the Championship, once more, as the season winds down in Homestead later this year.”

In 36 starts in the Xfinity and Truck series, Tifft has one top five in each series, both coming last season. His best finish in Xfinity was fifth at Kentucky and in Trucks he finished fifth at Charlotte.

Tifft makes his debut in the No. 19 on Feb. 25 in the Powershares QQQ 300.

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NASCAR America live at 6 p.m. ET: Daytona 500 recap, Kurt Busch interview

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America recaps all the major stories that came out of the 59th Daytona 500, which was won for the first time by Kurt Busch.

The episode airs from 6 – 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Krista Voda hosts with Dale Jarrett from Stamford, Connecticut. Jeff Burton and Kyle Petty join them from Burton’s Garage.

Voda will interview Busch just under 24 hours after the biggest win of his NASCAR career.

If you can’t catch the show on TV, you also can watch it via the online stream at http://nascarstream.nbcsports.com

If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you plug-in that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Kurt Busch’s Daytona 500 winning car has a new home for the next year

59th Annual DAYTONA 500
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Kurt Busch’s Daytona 500-winning Ford Fusion has finally stopped rolling after adding an extra few hundred feet to its mileage log.

One day after capturing “The Great American Race,” the No. 41 was placed on permanent display for the next year at Daytona International Speedway’s Daytona 500 Experience Museum during Monday morning’s traditional race winner’s breakfast.

It was the first win for Stewart-Haas Racing in its first regular season race in Ford colors and power.

Check out some of the photos of the car and the festivities:

And then, last but not least, the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 championship trophy is safely ensconced in its new home at Stewart-Haas Racing in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

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Atlanta to host 2,500th race in Cup history, last on current surface

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Photo courtesy Atlanta Motor Speedway
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This weekend’s NASCAR action at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with all three major series running, will provide some interesting storylines.

First and perhaps most important, Sunday’s Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 will be the last race ever held on the current track surface.

A complete repaving of the 1.54-mile high-speed quad oval track is slated to begin later this spring.

To make Sunday’s race all the more unique and momentous, it will also be the 2,500th race in Cup history.

AMS, which first opened in 1960, has had the same racing surface for the last 20 years, since its last repaving in spring 1997. That makes it the second oldest current surface in NASCAR.

During that time, it has played host to 31 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, 19 Xfinity Series races and 15 Camping World Truck Series events.

Among some of the highlights over the years on the outgoing surface:

* Dale Earnhardt’s 0.01-second margin of victory over Bobby Labonte in 2000. It would be Earnhardt’s 75th career Cup win and the second-to-last win of his storied career (won at Talladega that fall).

* In his third Cup start after the tragic death of Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500, Kevin Harvick would take the re-numbered No. 29 to victory lane at Atlanta, capturing a 0.006-second margin of victory over Jeff Gordon.

* Carl Edwards’ first Cup win and the first of two wins for him in both Atlanta races in 2005.

* AMS’s first-ever night race in 2009.

* Sunday marks AMS’s 102nd 500-mile race. No other track on the circuit has hosted as many races of that length.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sunday could also be a big day for defending and seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Having won both the 2015 and 2016 Cup races at AMS, Johnson is looking to become the first driver in track history to win three consecutive races there.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen won four times in as many years (1961 to 1964) at AMS, but they were not consecutive. Another Hall of Famer, Cale Yarborough, also won three straight spring races (1967 to 1969), but failed to win any of the fall races those same years at the track.

Johnson is also looking to extend his overall supremacy at the track, being the only active driver to have ever won there five times in a career (all on the current racing surface).

NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt holds the record for most wins ever at AMS with nine triumphs.

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Alex Bowman driving for GMS Racing in Atlanta Truck race

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, walks through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 5, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
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Alex Bowman isn’t getting much time off between NASCAR starts.

Two weeks after he drove Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s No. 88 in the Advance Auto Parts Clash, Bowman will make his first start this year in a race that counts. He will drive GMS Racing’s No. 24 truck in the Camping World Truck Series’ Active Pet Control 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Bowman is filling in for Justin Haley, who at 17, is too young to race on tracks 1.5-miles long or bigger due to NASCAR rules.

The defending K&N East Pro Series champion, Haley turns 18 on April 28.

The race will only be Bowman’s second start in the Truck Series. He made his first in 2015 at Michigan International Speedway for JR Motorsports. He started 16th and finished 11th that day.

Bowman continues to capitalize on his performance last season when he helped fill in for Earnhardt in the No. 88 while he recovered from a concussion. Bowman made 10 starts in the No. 88, which included winning the pole for the fall race at Phoenix Raceway. That qualified him for the Clash, which he finished third in.

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