Atlanta, New Hampshire Motor Speedway enter Super Bowl wager

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A lot will be at stake next Sunday – honor, bragging rights and free NASCAR tickets.

When the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots face off in Houston for Super Bowl 51, they won’t just be representing their cities and fans.

Thanks to a friendly wager, they’ll also be representing their closest NASCAR tracks, Atlanta Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Both facilities are owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc.

AMS is located in Hampton, Georgia, about 50 minutes south of where the Falcons have played at the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta. NHMS is in Loudon, New Hampshire, 107 miles north of Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

David McGrath, NHMS’ executive vice president and general manager and Ed Clark, Atlanta’s president and general manager, have agreed to a wager that would impact the next Cup Series victory lane celebration at either track and give a group of fans tickets to other’s next race.

Here are the stakes of the wager, which will be decided beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET next Sunday on Fox.

If the Falcons win:

  • Atlanta Falcons flag to be hung outside New Hampshire Motor Speedway office building the following two days and during the New Hampshire 301 NASCAR race week July 10-16.
  • McGrath will present Clark and the March 5 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 race winner with New England lobster in Victory Lane while wearing a Falcons jersey.
  • Four Falcons and Atlanta Motor Speedway fans will win premium tickets to the July 16 New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ($500 value).

If the Patriots win:

  • New England Patriots flag will be hung outside Atlanta Motor Speedway office building the following two days and during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR race week Feb. 27-March 5.
  • Ed Clark will present David McGrath and the July 16 New Hampshire 301 race winner with Georgia peaches in Victory Lane while wearing a Patriots jersey.
  • Four Patriots and New Hampshire Motor Speedway fans will win premium tickets to the March 5 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway ($400 value).

The trash talking has already commenced between the two tracks and the executives.

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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.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

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.