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Thirteen Cup teams to participate in Phoenix test

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Eight-time track winner Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rookie Daniel Suarez will be among those testing Tuesday and Wednesday at Phoenix Raceway.

Thirteen Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will take part in the test. Each organization is allowed to have one team at the session.

The test will mark the first time since July that Earnhardt will be on track with other cars. He missed half of last season with a concussion. The only time he’s been in a car since July was a one-day test at Darlington Raceway in December as part of the process to gain approval to return to competition.

This week’s test marks the first time Suarez will be with the No. 19 team after Carl Edwards unexpectedly announced Jan. 11 that he would not drive in NASCAR this season. Suarez, who won the Xfinity title last year, has not driven in a Cup race.

Harvick has the most wins at the track. He won at Phoenix last March. This will be his first time in a Ford with Stewart-Haas Racing making the switch from Chevrolet.

Here is who will be testing Tuesday and Wednesday:

AJ Allmendinger – JTG Daugherty

Aric Almirola – Richard Petty Motorsports

Austin Dillon – Richard Childress Racing

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Hendrick Motorsports

Daniel Suarez – Joe Gibbs Racing

Erik Jones – Furniture Row Racing

Joey Logano – Team Penske

Kevin Harvick – Stewart-Haas Racing

Kyle Larson – Chip Ganassi Racing

Michael McDowell – Leavine Family Racing

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Roush Fenway Racing

Ryan Blaney – Wood Brothers Racing

Ty Dillon – Germain Racing

Also testing:

Alex Bowman – Chevrolet

Landon Cassill – Ford

JJ Yeley – Toyota

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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.