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JD Motorsports to field a three-car Xfinity Series program in 2017

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JD Motorsports announced Tuesday that it will have two of last season’s drivers return for 2017, while bringing back a third driver who previously drove for the organization.

Team owners Johnny Davis and Gary Keller will see the return of last year’s drivers Ross Chastain and Garrett Smithley, as well as the return of Harrison Rhodes, who raced for the team in 2015.

Chastain, 24, will mark his third straight season with the team. Smithley, 24, returns to the team for his sophomore season. The 23-year-old Rhodes returns to the team for a full season after having driven in 28 races for the organization in 2015.

“We feel like we have a great young group of drivers who will give us a three-way shot at doing well this season,” Davis said in a post on the team’s Facebook page. “We know what all of these guys can do, and all of them have run a lot of laps with us. So we won’t be starting over. It’s more like a continuation of where we’ve been headed.”

JD Motorsports is based in Gaffney, South Carolina.

Chastain, of Alva, Florida, finished 16th in the Xfinity Series last season, with a top season finish of 11th at Daytona International Speedway.

Smithley, of Peachtree City, Georgia, finished 18th last season. His top result was 12th at Talladega Superspeedway.

Rhodes, of High Point, North Carolina, had a best run of ninth at Daytona with the team in 2015.

The 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series season begins Feb. 25, with the PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona.

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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.