Jimmie Johnson cites ‘aggressive’ approach to car as cause for spin in Clash

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Jimmie Johnson says he’s not worried about spinning on his own in Sunday’s Clash, saying that the team had an aggressive setup.

Johnson’s spin brought back memories of last year’s Daytona 500 when Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chase Elliott each spun on their own in Turn 4.

On Sunday, Johnson called his incident in Turn 4 “bizarre.’’ He noted he had not been loose anywhere else on the track.

Wednesday, Johnson expressed confidence that the issue would not be repeated the rest of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.

“We can’t sit still,’’ the seven-time series champion said. “We need faster cars. Everybody is working on it. We were very aggressive in the (Clash) trying to create speed for the car. I like a loose race car, so I was willing to roll the dice. We also thought we’d be racing at night, which would help the grip level. Raced during the day (after the event was postponed by rain) and it just didn’t turn out for us.

“We have notes to fall back on. We had a very good driving car in last year’s 500 (and) two teammates that didn’t spin out in the Clash, so we have plenty of notes to go to.’’

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NASCAR America: NASCAR’s stars hit the track for the ‘Little 600’ (video)

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Like more than three dozen of his NASCAR Cup counterparts, Joey Logano is gearing up for the longest race of the year, Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

To warm up, Logano, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. and other NASCAR drivers headed to the GoPro Motorplex in North Carolina for the “Little 600.”

Check out how they fared in the above video that was on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America.


Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
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CONCORD, N.C. — Kevin Harvick will start on the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, marking the second consecutive race at Charlotte Motor Speedway he has led the field to the green flag.

Harvick, a two-time Coke 600 winner, earned the top starting spot Thursday night with a lap of 193.424 mph in his Ford. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch, who won last weekend’s All-Star Race.

Chase Elliott starts third and is followed by Matt Kenseth and rookie Erik Jones.

Points leader Kyle Larson will start 39th in the 40-car field after not making a qualifying attempt. He hit the wall in practice and then his team couldn’t get through qualifying inspection until one minute remained in the opening round of the session. The team was unable to get Larson out of the garage in time to make an attempt.

Click here for Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

Slugger Labbe: How do crew chiefs prepare for grueling Coca-Cola 600? (video)

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Veteran crew chief Slugger Labbe stopped by the NASCAR America studio in Charlotte on Thursday.

Labbe gave his perspective on how NASCAR Cup crew chiefs will prepare for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. While the race length will be the same as it has been for decades, one significant change will have crew chiefs developing strategy that they’ve never had to deal with in the 600, namely, four different race stages.

Labbe also gave his take on the positives and negatives of the Laser Inspection Station for both pre- and post-race inspections.

Check out the above video.

NASCAR: Remembering Martin Truex Jr.’s dominating 2016 Coca-Cola 600 win

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In one of the most dominating performances in NASCAR history, Martin Truex Jr. turned last year’s Coca-Cola 600 into a runaway one-man show, leading the field for 392 of 400 laps.

Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America took a look back at Truex’s record-setting win.

Check out the video above.