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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: 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

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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.