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Joe Gibbs Racing announces Kyle Busch’s 2017 Xfinity schedule

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Kyle Busch will drive in 10 NASCAR Xfinity races this season, Joe Gibbs Racing announced Thursday. NOS Energy Drink will again sponsor the No. 18 car for Busch in those races.

Busch is the series’ winningest driver with 86 wins. He won 10 of 17 Xfinity races he started last year.

Joe Gibbs Racing also announced that crew chief Scott Graves, who led Daniel Suarez to the Xfinity title last  year, will move to the No. 18 team this season. The team has yet to announce who will drive the No. 18 in races that Busch is not.

Here is Busch’s schedule for the Xfinity Series:

March 4 – Atlanta Motor Speedway (defending race winner)

March 11 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway (defending race winner)

March 25 – Auto Club Speedway

June 17 – Michigan International Speedway

July 7 – Kentucky Speedway (defending race winner)

July 15 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway (defending race winner)

July 22 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway (defending race winner)

Aug. 5 – Watkins Glen International

Aug. 18 – Bristol Motor Speedway

Sept. 8 – Richmond International Raceway (defending race winner)

Busch is limited in the races he can run because of a rule NASCAR issued last year that some call the “Kyle Busch Rule.”

The rule states that Cup drivers with more than five years of full-time experience can compete in a maximum 10 Xfinity races (and seven Camping World Truck Series races). Such drivers are prohibited from competing in the final eight Xfinity and Truck races, marking the regular-season finale and the playoffs for each series.

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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.