Stage lengths announced for Watkins Glen, Pocono races

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At least two tracks have announced the length of stages that will be implemented this season as part of enhancements to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series.

NASCAR announced on Jan. 23 that it would add stages to every NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series race this season. The top-10 finishers of each of the first two stages will be awarded additional points, with the winner receiving one playoff bonus point.

At Watkins Glen International, the road course will have stages of different lengths for both series.

For the Cup race, the first two stages will be 20 laps each: Laps 1-20 and Laps 21-40. The final stage will go from Laps 41-90.

For the Xfinity race, the first two stages will also be 20 laps each: Laps 1-20 and Laps 21-40. The final stage will go from Lap 41-82.

“The new stage-based format is going to further drive excitement and close racing at Watkins Glen International,” WGI President Michael Printup said in a media release. “Finishes at The Glen have been historically exciting for our great fans, especially in recent years, and we can’t wait to see what these changes do for the competition here.”

At Pocono Raceway, the Pocono 400 (June 11) and Pennsylvania 400 (July 30) will have identical three-stage formats.

The first two stages will go 40 laps each with an 80-lap final stage from Laps 81 through 160.

“We are excited to be part of such collaboration and enhance both the race and fan experience,” Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky said in a release. “This new format will now create three winning moments instead of one and should lead to some incredible racing.”

Stage lengths for the June 10 Pocono Green 250 Xfinity race and the July 29 Pocono Mountains 150 Camping World Truck Series races at Pocono are still to be determined.

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NASCAR America: Looking back at Cup winners this year (video)

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The NASCAR Cup Series is through 19 racers. There are 17 more races to be contested, including seven before the Cup playoffs.

It’s been a rough time for many and a successful time for a select few.

There’s still plenty of racing to go. Who will see their name added to the list of winners in 2017 and, more importantly, who still wins a race to make it in the playoffs?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Can Team Penske get back on track in Indianapolis? (video)

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Roger Penske is used to winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He owns a record 16 Indy 500 victories there.

But Penske still has yet to win a Brickyard 400 at IMS. While in other years, Team Penske’s chances may have been stronger, coming into the 2017 Brickyard 400 is a whole other ballgame.

Joey Logano has struggled terribly in the last 10 races. Since winning at Richmond (which was eventually encumbered due to a post-race inspection penalty), Logano has had seven finishes of 21st through 37th. He’s also dropped from fifth to 13th in the standings.

Teammate Brad Keselowski has had his own struggles, dropping from third to eighth in the standings.

The biggest problem that seems to be impacting Team Penske is a lack of speed, more so on Logano’s car, but an issue nonetheless for both cars.

Can Team Penske snap out of its funk and find the speed it’s been missing Sunday, and potentially give Captain Penske his first NASCAR Cup win at the track that means so much to him?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Kyle Busch needs to be aware of Martin Truex Jr. at Brickyard (video)

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Kyle Busch is well aware of his wins drought, not having won in his last 36 Cup starts.

But he also gains confidence and optimism from having won the last two Brickyard 400s.

So how will that impact the weekend?

On Friday’s NASCAR America, Dale Jarrett said Indy “plays into Busch’s hand,” but also to look out for Martin Truex Jr.

Check out the video above.

 

 

NASCAR America: Significance of winning at Indianapolis (video)

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On Friday’s edition of NASCAR America, two-time Brickyard 400 winner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Brickyard-winning crew chief Slugger Labbe, who led Paul Menard to a Brickyard 400 win, both discussed the importance of winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — as well as how to do it.

Check out the video above.