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Team Penske extends deals with Shell, Joey Logano, Todd Gordon

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Joey Logano, crew chief Todd Gordon and sponsor Shell all have extended their contracts with Team Penske for 2022 and beyond, the team announced Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

The announcement marks the second consecutive day that a NASCAR team has announced a driver and sponsor contract extension. Joe Gibbs Racing revealed Thursday that it had signed Denny Hamlin and sponsor FedEx to a multi-year extension.

Logano’s contract was set to expire after the 2018 season, team owner Roger Penske confirmed. The extension is a play on Logano’s car number (22). Team officials declined to say how much beyond 2022 the contracts go. Penske said that Shell would be the primary sponsor for more than 30 races a season on Logano’s car.

Logano, the 2015 Daytona 500 champion, won the Clash on Sunday to begin Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. He has 15 Cup victories since joining Team Penske in 2013 and has never finished worse than eighth in the points during that time. Twice he’s gone to the season finale in Miami with a chance to win the championship, finishing a second last year.

Penske said that the long-term commitments announced Friday are “a priority for me.

“I want long-term commitments and people want them from us,’’ Penske said. “It’s the same thing with the drivers. I think a driver with a solid ride for a long time, it’s all he’s going to worry about rather than ‘Is my deal up?’ and then you get all this commotion around the driver. It’s a real calming effect.’’

MORE: How Penske took chance on Joey Logano

Penske confirmed that Brad Keselowski’s contact is set to expire after this season but that they’re working on an extension.

Penske and Shell executives touted the deal in how it helps Penske’s businesses, including Penske Truck Leasing and the Penske Automotive Group, while also helps Shell extend its footprint.

“It gave us a chance to combine the business side,’’ Penske said.

Said Istvan Kapitany, Executive Vice President, Shell Global Retail, of the deal: “What is so exciting about the Penske relationship with Shell is the strategic nature of it and also the fact that it is a global opportunity for both of us to grow together. In Shell, we do believe in long-term strategic partnerships. Ferrari is a partner with us for more than 60 years. We believe with Penske we found the partner who can be with us at least for 60 years.’’

The partnership also can play a role on the track, noted Colin Abraham, President, Shell Lubricants Americas.

“We can formulate the oil to suit the vehicle and to suit the engines and it’s a wonderful test track for us with formulation development,’’ he said. “We have scientists working literally week by week looking at the performance of the engine and the performance of the oil, even changing the oil during the season to try to get some more horsepower. It’s almost like a live laboratory to test products.’’

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NASCAR America: Chase Elliott ‘biggest surprise’ of Cup playoffs

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Only two drivers are safely in the third round of the NASCAR Cup playoffs. Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski secured spots through their wins at Charlotte and Talladega.

That leaves six spots to be decided Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

NASCAR America analysts Parker Kligerman and Kyle Petty broke down the drivers competing for spots. Both of them agreed that Chase Elliott, who has finished in second in three of the five playoff races, has a great chance to make it all the way to the championship race in Miami.

“If Talladega had played out, he was either going to be in victory lane or in the top two or three,” Petty said. “When you look at that, he has had the most solid playoffs of any driver out there. We keep talking about the big three: Larson, Busch and Truex. This guy is a sleeper. But he’s my No. 4.”

Said Kligerman: “He’s been the biggest surprise. That 24 team has been incredible through the playoffs. One thing I’ve noticed about that team, just speaking to (crew chief) Alan Gustafson, speaking to Chase, it’s almost as if they want that first win more than they care about the playoffs.”

Watch the above video for more on the playoff drivers.

Friday’s NASCAR Cup, Xfinity schedule at Kansas Speedway

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Things get started today for the pivotal weekend at Kansas Speedway.

The NASCAR Cup Series will have its elimination race in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400, where four of the 12 remaining playoff drivers will not advance to the Round of 8.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series begins its Round of 8 with Saturday’s Kansas 300.

But it all begins today, as Cup has its first practice (the other two are Saturday) and qualifying, while the Xfinity Series will have its two practice sessions.

Here’s how today’s schedule shapes up:

(All times are Eastern)

10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. — Cup garage open

12 – 8:30 p.m. — Xfinity garage open

1 – 2:25 p.m. — First Cup practice (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network)

2:30 – 3:25 p.m. First Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

5 – 5:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

6:15 p.m. – Cup qualifying (multi-vehicle, 3 rounds) (NBCSN, MRN)

NASCAR: Will Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch advance in playoffs?

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The last two drivers to win NASCAR Cup titles are in precarious positions ahead of the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Kyle Busch, the 2015 champion, is outside the top eight in ninth. He sits seven points behind defending champion Jimmie Johnson.

NASCAR America analysts Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman debated who they think had the best chance to advance to the Third round after Sunday.

Petty put his money behind Busch, who has finished in the top five in each of his last five starts at the 1.5-mile track.

“He’s one of the big three: Truex, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson,” Petty said. “I don’t see where these (last) two races (Charlotte, Talladega) have changed anything. The one thing Kyle Busch brings into Kansas City … he brings speed. These guys have had speed all year-long.”

Johnson on the other hand has produced only four top fives all season and just one since he won at Dover in June.

But Kligerman explained why he thinks the seven-time champion will prevail on Sunday.

“Jimmie Johnson knows how to pass and that is what has become evident throughout this season,” Kligerman said. “No, they have not had the fastest cars at Hendrick Motorsports. No, they have not qualified well. They’ve actually been sort of abysmal at qualifying of late.

“… He has three wins this year. Two of those he started at the back.”

Watch the video for more.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Daniel Hemric, Daniel Suarez’ racing roots

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America begins at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to preview the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut.

On the show:

  • We’ll debate which past Cup Series champion will advance to the Round of 8. Defending champion Jimmie Johnson currently leads 2015 champ Kyle Busch by only seven points for the final transfer spot. Who has the edge going into Kansas this Sunday? This elimination race will be a heated competition just to finish above the cut line. Log on to NBCSports.com/NASCARVote and weigh in!
  • Xfinity Series playoff driver Daniel Hemric calls into the show to talk about his chances of advancing to the championship four in Miami. He’ll also describe his experience being one of the four drivers to participate in the recent tire test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway “Roval.”
  • We take a look at the Daniel Suarez’s Racing Roots and discuss his transition from Xfinity Series champion to Monster Energy Cup Series rookie.
  • Parker Kligerman hops into the iRacing simulator to preview Sunday’s elimination race at Kansas, as well as the Formula 1 race in Austin, Texas.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you can also watch it via the online stream at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.