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Carl Edwards: ‘no regret’ in stepping away after missing Daytona 500

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During a commercial shoot for Subway on Tuesday, Carl Edwards told ESPN.com he has no regrets about his decision to step away from NASCAR racing.

That was two days after Edwards only watched a portion of the Daytona 500 on TV. It was the first time Edwards had not competed in the race since 2004.

“The chance to go win the Daytona 500 is something that is really cool,” Edwards told ESPN. “But that’s one of the things that I gave up when I made the decision. But there is a lot of gain, too.

“Things have been really, really good — definitely no regret.”

Edwards was filming a Subway commercial at Concord Speedway in North Carolina with Daniel Suarez, his replacement in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 Toyota.

While Edwards was on hand to help Suarez during a test at Phoenix Raceway at the end of January, the 28-time NASCAR Cup winner wasn’t in Daytona for Speedweeks. He told ESPN he would be present this Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway to provide any help he could to the defending Xfinity Series champion.

Edwards won his first Cup race in 2005 at Atlanta.  He tallied three wins at the 1.5-mile track in 19 starts.

“This is Daniel’s team, and I’m only at the race track as a tool for Daniel to pick my brain if he wants,” Edwards said.

Said Suarez, “It’s very good to have a Cup driver to help you 100 percent (of his time) at one of his favorite places.”

In two Xfinity starts at Atlanta, Suarez finished 14th and seventh. He finished 29th in the Daytona 500 after being involved in a crash.

Click here and here for ESPN’s full reports on Edwards and Suarez.

NASCAR America: Parker Kligerman takes to simulator to show Xfinity changes at Indy (video)

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While Saturday will mark the sixth straight year the NASCAR Xfinity Series will race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there will be significant changes. 

Among the changes: the use of restrictor plates, as well as adding aero ducts to aid cars with the draft.

On Tbursday’s edition of NASCAR America, Parker Kligerman took a spin around the hallowed Indianapolis Motor Speedway — on the NBCSN iRacing Simulator, that is — to show how some of those changes will impact the cars and potentially the race.

Check it out in the video above.

Friday’s NASCAR schedule at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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Friday will be somewhat of an easy, relaxing day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Cars will only take to the track twice in the afternoon — both being Xfinity Series practice sessions, which will be on the NBC Sports App.

IMS will host the NASCAR Cup Fan Fest from 4:30 – 8 p.m. ET, followed by the NASCAR Cup hauler parade that will see transporters enter the Speedway around 9 p.m. ET.

Here’s the rest of Friday’s schedule (all times Eastern):

FRIDAY, JULY 21

9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

1 – 1:55 p.m. – First Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

3 – 3:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

NASCAR America: Pit crew members share their hidden talents

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What does a sky diver and Olympic-caliber swimmer have in common?

They make their living on NASCAR’s pit road, that’s what.

Check out two of this week’s pit crew all-star nominees, as seen on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America.

NASCAR America: Xfinity drivers react to restrictor plates at Indy (video)

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On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, several of the stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series tried to explain in three words what to expect with the use of restrictor plates in this Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

See what they said and what they’re thinking about Saturday’s race in the video above.