NASCAR announces stage lengths of all 2017 Cup, Xfinity, Truck races

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NASCAR on Thursday announced the enhanced format stage lengths for each race in all three national series in 2017.

The new format begins with next weekend’s season-opening races at Daytona International Speedway for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

The 59th edition of the Daytona 500 will mark the debut of the enhanced format in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The first two stages will be 60 laps each, while the final stage will be 80 laps, for a total of 200 scheduled laps.

The new three stages bring a new sense of strategy for crew chiefs, drivers and teams, particularly with fuel mileage and tire wear.

“Every track is unique for its characteristics in length, surface and overall racing conditions,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said in a release. “We worked closely with race teams on expected fuel and tire runs over the entirety of an event when considering stage lengths.

“And in the end, stage lengths were decided based upon what would provide the best race for fans.”

For the full list of stages for the remainder of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, as well as the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series seasons, see below.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 60 120 200
Atlanta Motor Speedway 85 170 325
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 80 160 267
Phoenix International Raceway 75 150 312
Auto Club Speedway 60 120 200
Martinsville Speedway 130 260 500
Texas Motor Speedway 85 170 334
Bristol Motor Speedway 125 250 500
Richmond International Raceway 100 200 400
Talladega Superspeedway 55 110 188
Kansas Speedway 80 160 267
Charlotte Motor Speedway 115 230 400
Dover International Speedway 120 240 400
Pocono Raceway 50 100 160
Michigan International Raceway 60 120 200
Sonoma Raceway 25 50 110
Daytona International Speedway 40 80 160
Kentucky Speedway 80 160 267
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 75 150 301
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 50 100 160
Pocono Raceway 50 100 160
Watkins Glen International 20 40 90
Michigan International Raceway 60 120 200
Bristol Motor Speedway 125 250 500
Darlington Raceway 100 200 367
Richmond International Raceway 100 200 400
Chicagoland Speedway 80 160 267
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 75 150 300
Dover International Speedway 120 240 400
Charlotte Motor Speedway 90 180 334
Talladega Superspeedway 55 110 188
Kansas Speedway 80 160 267
Martinsville Speedway 130 260 500
Texas Motor Speedway 85 170 334
Phoenix International Raceway 75 150 312
Homestead-Miami Speedway 80 160 267
Please note the Final Stage may be extended as outlined in Section 10.11 Official Completion.

 

 

NASCAR XFINITY Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 30 60 120
Atlanta Motor Speedway 40 80 163
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Phoenix International Raceway 60 120 200
Auto Club Speedway 35 70 150
Texas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Bristol Motor Speedway 85 170 300
Richmond International Raceway 75 150 250
Talladega Superspeedway 25 50 113
Charlotte Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Dover International Speedway 60 120 200
Pocono Raceway 25 50 100
Michigan International Speedway 30 60 125
Iowa Speedway 60 120 250
Daytona International Speedway 30 60 100
Kentucky Speedway 45 90 200
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 25 50 100
Iowa Speedway 60 120 250
Watkins Glen International 20 40 82
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 20 40 75
Bristol Motor Speedway 85 170 300
Road America 10 20 45
Darlington Raceway 45 90 147
Richmond International Raceway 75 150 250
Chicagoland Speedway 45 90 200
Kentucky Speedway 45 90 200
Dover International Speedway 60 120 200
Charlotte Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Kansas Speedway 45 90 200
Texas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Phoenix International Raceway 60 120 200
Homestead-Miami Speedway 45 90 200
Please note the Final Stage may be extended as outlined in Section 10.11 Official Completion.

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 20 40 100
Atlanta Motor Speedway 40 80 130
Martinsville Speedway 70 140 250
Kansas Speedway 40 80 167
Charlotte Motor Speedway 40 80 134
Dover International Speedway 45 90 200
Texas Motor Speedway 40 80 167
Gateway Motorsports Park 35 70 160
Iowa Speedway 60 120 200
Kentucky Speedway 35 70 150
Eldora Speedway 40 90 150
Pocono Raceway 15 30 60
Michigan International Speedway 30 60 100
Bristol Motor Speedway 55 110 200
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 20 40 64
Chicagoland Speedway 35 70 150
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 55 110 175
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 35 70 146
Talladega Superspeedway 20 40 94
Martinsville Speedway 50 100 200
Texas Motor Speedway 35 70 147
Phoenix International Raceway 40 80 150
Homestead-Miami Speedway 40 80 134
Please note the Final Stage may be extended as outlined in Section 10.11 Official Completion.

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NASCAR America teaming up with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

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Wednesday will mark the beginning of a new relationship between NASCAR America and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. ET, a NASCAR on NBC personality will appear on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive,” which is hosted by Pete Pistone and Mike Bagley.

Analyst Steve Letarte will be the first guest.

Pistone will also make regular appearances on NASCAR America.

Pistone joined NASCAR America Tuesday night to preview the new relationship and the storylines heading into the second half of the NASCAR season.

The main theme of the discussion was the building frustration for Joe Gibbs Racing, which is winless through 16 races. Though the driver getting the most attention has been Kyle Busch, there’s three other drivers who are looking to win, including Denny Hamlin.

“We had his crew chief Mike Wheeler on the ‘Morning Drive’ last week and the frustration, you can feel it there,” Pistone said. “They also felt a bit optimistic, especially going to Sonoma because he runs so well there, he ran so well and almost won the race last year until Tony Stewart got him on the last lap. … I still think there’s optimism there in the 11 camp, they’re finding the speed they’ve been missing so far in the first half of the year. The next race at Daytona could be the place you see Denny Hamlin bust down the door to victory lane.”

Watch the above video for more from Pete Pistone.

NASCAR America: Sprint racing keeps Kyle Larson in shape for NASCAR

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Kyle Larson is in the midst of his best NASCAR Cup Season to date. He leads the points standings and has two wins, at Auto Club Speedway and Michigan Speedway.

You might be able to attribute his hot streak to another form of racing.

Larson, a product of the dirt racing circuit, told NASCAR America’s Marty Snider the 25 sprint car races he’s allowed to drive in each year by Chip Ganassi Racing keep him on his toes physically.

“I’ve gotten a little bit into working out this year, I’d rather race to get my exercise in,” Larson said. “Racing to me is fun, but also exercise and it keeps your mind in it. You’re putting yourself in more racing situations than everybody else in the field. I think it definitely benefits me.”

Larson maybe spent by this time next week. Following Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona (at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC), Larson will compete in four straight days of sprint cars race in Pennsylvania.

The Ganassi driver goes to Daytona looking to finish what he started in the Daytona 500. He was leading at the white flag before he ran out of gas in Turns 1 and 2.

“It’s difficult, it’s a long race,” Larson said. “There’s so much that goes on throughout the race, it’s hard to catch on TV. But we’re figuring it out all it in the car and learning who is good to work with and who is not. It’s interesting. It’s definitely a different style of racing I’m getting used to.”

Larson’s best finish in at Daytona was sixth place in last year’s July race.

Watch the above video for the full interview.

 

NASCAR America: Scan All: Anger and miscommunication at Sonoma Raceway

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Some people like to call road courses the new short tracks in NASCAR and at the end of Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma, many cars backed up that assessment.

When there’s beat up cars, that means tempers flared, which makes for an interesting edition of NASCAR America’s Scan All. This week’s version gives you some of the best scanner traffic from Kevin Harvick‘s win at the California track.

Highlights include:

  • Israeli-born driver Alon Day, making his Cup debut, telling crew chief Randy Cox he can’t understand his accent. “You have to talk a bit slower so I can understand every word.”
  • “I needed a lot more help on that. The spotter doesn’t tell me ****.” – Danica Patrick after her Lap 14 accident with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • “We’ve got your in-car camera here. That was fun to watch. A little scary, but fun to watch.” – Crew chief Ernie Cope to AJ Allmendinger after he went from 11th to first in one lap on a restart.
  • “This year just could not get any better,” the sarcastic response of Kyle Busch to receiving a pit road speeding penalty.

Watch the above video for more from Scan All.

The Ragged Edge: ‘Days of Thunder’ celebrates 27 years

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Back in the yesteryear of 1986, Paramount Pictures released a little movie called Top Gun.

Directed by Tony Scott and starring a young actor named Tom Cruise, the movie depicted a hot-shot, hard-headed fighter pilot named Pete “Maverick” Mitchell who competed for supremacy at an aviation school against a rival nicknamed “Ice Man.”

Backed by the sounds of Kenny Loggins, the Righteous Brothers and Cheap Trick, the two rivals clashed in the skies and on volleyball courts, all while Maverick flirted with a his female instructor, ‎Kelly McGillis’ “Charlie.”

The movie made a lot of money.

Three years later, they made the same movie … sort of. This time, Cruise was piloting stock cars in the world of NASCAR.

Twenty-seven years ago today, Days of Thunder roared into theaters on matched perfect and staggered special tires.

Once again directed by Scott and with the same golden color palate from Top Gun, Cruise portrayed Cole Trickle as he faced off with Michael Rooker’s Rowdy Burns, clashed egos with Robert Duvall’s Harry Hogge and did some more flirting, this time with his doctor, played by Nicole Kidman.

It didn’t make a lot of money, grossing $82 million domestically to Top Gun‘s $176 million.

But who cares?

Almost 30 years later, it’s still the closest fictional representation of NASCAR that’s ever graced the silver screen (we don’t need to mention a certain Will Farrell movie).

Was it completely faithful to stock-car racing?

Of course not, especially since there’s nothin’ stock about a stock car.

Did it have a have bizarre editing that made it look like a race was taking place at Daytona, Darlington and another track at the same time?

You betcha’.

Did the late Bobby Hamilton make his first Cup start driving a car used in the movie?

It’s true! Hamilton qualified third at Phoenix in the No. 51 Chevrolet owned by Hendrick Motorsports and even led five laps.

As absurd as the move could get, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel gave the movie a positive review. Decades later, Days of Thunder had enough authenticity to have an impact on those in the sport today.

“Makes you feel old, doesn’t it?” Dale Earnhardt Jr. told the New York Times in 2010, the movie’s 20th anniversary. “It was interesting to see our sport be put into the mainstream and be a part of that. I think it did a lot for our sport to be honest with you even though the critics weren’t solid on the movie and lot of people had different opinions about it. It got our sport a lot of exposure. The movie was fun to watch, regardless of whether it’s good or not.”

 (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)

Four years ago, Kurt Busch paid tribute to the movie by racing one of the paint scheme’s from the movie in the July Xfinity race at Daytona.

Then there’s his brother, Kyle.

Kyle Busch goes by the nickname “Rowdy,” which was the name of Rooker’s character in the movie.

Two years ago, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, his crew chief Adam Stevens, Joe Gibbs and Busch’s wife, Samantha, put their best foot forward for a recreation of the Days of Thunder trailer to promote the Crispy line of M&M’s.

Though in this video, Busch assumed the Cole Trickle role.

He’s no Tom Cruise.

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