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NASCAR reducing practice time for Cup, Xfinity, Truck teams

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NASCAR confirmed Thursday that teams in its top three series will have less practice time this season.

Weekend schedules for upcoming races at Daytona, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Auto Club Speedway show that Cup teams will have at least an hour less practice time at each track compared to last year. Cup teams also will have one less day to practice at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Daytona 500.

While the schedules are listed as tentative, NASCAR does not expect any major changes to them before those events.

Among the reasons given for the reduction of practice is that teams stated they did not need as much on-track time. The changes also are being done to make the weekend more efficient.

Most weekends are expected to have less practice time. There will be a few exceptions. NASCAR is expected to give teams additional practice in July at Kentucky (additional layer of asphalt added to track) and Texas in April (repave).

At Daytona, there will be nine total Cup practice sessions compared to 10 last year. However, each Cup team will able to take part in eight sessions (each qualifying race will have its own practice session). Last year, Cup teams had 10 hours, 35 minutes of practice time at Daytona. This year, teams will have a maximum of 7 hours, 20 minutes.

Elsewhere, Cup teams will have one less hour of practice at Atlanta, 1 hour, 25 minutes less practice at Las Vegas and 1 hour, 30 minutes less practice at Auto Club Speedway.

Those are the only weekend schedules that have been released by NASCAR at this point. Cup teams will have 1 hour, 45 minutes of practice (divided by two sessions) at each of those tracks this year

Xfinity teams will have 1 hour, 25 minutes less practice time at Daytona and 30 minutes less practice at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Auto Club.

Camping World Truck Series teams will have 30 minutes less practice at Daytona and Atlanta.

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NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 90: Roger Slack

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Eldora Speedway general manager Roger Slack joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss his track’s past, present and possible future with NASCAR.

Slack detailed the run-up to the initial “secret” test with Tony Stewart and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon that led to scheduling a Camping World Truck Series race that recently completed its fifth edition.

Slack also discussed the storied history of Eldora, which opened in 1954 and was bought by Stewart 50 years later.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.

It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

NASCAR America: How Daniel Suarez found out he was replacing Carl Edwards (video)

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On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Daniel Suarez recalled the moment he got the call that he was being promoted to replace Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Cup Series at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Suarez was at dinner back home in Mexico with family and friends when JGR officials called and him to be ready for a teleconference in a few moments.

Suarez stepped away, telling his dinner partners he’d be back shortly — which ultimately lasted 40 minutes.

When he returned to the dinner table, he couldn’t tell anything about the phone call — JGR officials swore him to secrecy — but he eventually revealed that he had been promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series to replace Edwards, who had decided to take a hiatus from his racing career.

Check out the video above.

 

 

NASCAR America: What Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other (video)

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Daniel Suarez appeared on Wednesday’s live broadcast of NASCAR America from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina,

One of the funniest segments of Suarez’s visit was a video and verbal collage of how much he and his fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other — all in good humor, of course.

Check out the video above where Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch answer the “tough questions” about themselves, as well as how they feel about their fellow teammates.

NASCAR America: Daniel Suarez’s journey from Mexico and VW Beetles to NASCAR champion (video)

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In winning last year’s Xfinity Series championship, Mexican native Daniel Suarez became NASCAR’s first international champion.

It was the culmination of a journey that began with his father and, interestingly enough, Volkswagen Beetles.

Check out Suarez’s story and the thoughts about his success and prowess by our NASCAR America analysts in the video above.

Speaking of VW Beetles, Suarez’s father sold his restoration shop to fund his son’s racing dream. Years later, Daniel repaid his father by purchasing a new restoration shop for him. See the video below.