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Kevin Harvick advocates rotating All-Star Race and putting the showcase up for bid

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After being held at Charlotte Motor Speedway for 31 of the previous 32 years, the All-Star Race needs a change in venue, Kevin Harvick says.

Several venues.

During his “Happy Hours” show Tuesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, the 2007 winner of the All-Star Race suggested rotating the event between short tracks, naming the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee, Iowa Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway as potential locations. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver also suggested the event be put up for bid.

“I live in Charlotte, I love going to Charlotte, but I’m of the opinion that the All-Star Race should move around,” Harvick said. “It’s obviously been in Charlotte a long time, but to have some intrigue and different things going around with it, I think it would be fun to take to a place like Nashville, Iowa or Bristol.”

Since its inception in 1985, the All-Star Race has been held annually at Charlotte with the exception of the 1986 event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Harvick said there needed to be “stipulations” that the event should be accompanied by a week of All-Star Race festivities for fans (resurrecting the Pit Crew Competition, for example) that would be resemble the companion events to all-star games in the NBA or Major League Baseball.

“It should be a week of things that promote our sport in a city that has bid to have our All-Star Race there,” the 2014 Cup Series champion said. “As I look at all those things, a place like Nashville would be a lot of fun to go in and rebuild the fairground racetrack and take it to a track with so much history in our sport and be able to showcase that and update that racetrack and have a made-for-TV-type event.”

NASCAR announced its format last week for the Monster Energy All-Star Race at Charlotte. The May 20 event will feature an optional tire for the first time and the same format as the 1992 race.

Staff picks for today’s Cup race at New Hampshire

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Here’s a look at who the NBC Sports staff is picking to win today’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Nate Ryan

Kyle Busch. He puts last week’s disappointment behind him with another fast car and (this time) a clean day in the pits.

Dustin Long

Denny Hamlin. He sweeps New Hampshire and Toyota continues its dominance at this track.

Daniel McFadin

Kyle Larson. After charging through the field from the rear in July and finishing second, the No. 42 team finishes the job today.

Jerry Bonkowski

Kevin Harvick. He hasn’t been heard from much recently, but this is the kind of track Harvick is at his best. He wins and moves on to the Round of 12.

Today’s Cup Series race at New Hampshire: Start time, weather, TV/radio info

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LOUDON, New Hampshire – The middle race of the first round of the playoffs offers teams that had a bad start a chance to recover or fall further behind.

The pressure builds with the 16-team field cut to 12 after next weekend’s race at Dover.

Here are the details for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern):

START: Marc Del Vecchio, chief technology officer, ISM Connect, will give the command to start engines at 2:07 p.m. Green flag is set for 2:15 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 300 laps (317.4 miles) around the 1.058-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 75. Stage 2 ends on Lap 150.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Cup garage opens at 8:30 a.m. The driver/crew chief meeting is at noon. Driver introductions are at 1:30 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Marine Corps Veteran, “The Singing Trooper,” Daniel M. Clark will perform the Anthem at 2:01 p.m., followed by a flyover from two F-15C Eagles from the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race at 2 p.m. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. on NBCSN with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 1:30 p.m. The Performance Racing Network radio broadcast begins at 1 p.m. on goprn.com and affiliates. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts a temperature of 81 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at race time.

LAST TIME: Denny Hamlin led 54 of 301 laps to win the July race. Kyle Larson placed second. Martin Truex Jr. was third. Kevin Harvick led the final six laps to win this race last year. Matt Kenseth was second. Kyle Busch placed third.

 STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup

 

Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer tied at top of Xfinity playoff standings

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Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer are tied for the top spot in the Xfinity playoff standings after the playoff opener at Kentucky Speedway.

Each driver has 2,057 points.

Allgaier finished third after bouncing back from losing a tire on Lap 19 and going two laps down. He was two laps down for 27 laps and one lap down for 30 before getting back on the lead lap.

Custer, who finished fifth, won the first two stages of the race, earning two playoff points in the process.

The top five in points are Allgaier, Custer, Elliott Sadler (-2), Daniel Hemric (-5) and William Byron (-6).

Click here for the points standings.

Results from Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway

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Tyler Reddick scored his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win, leading a 1-2 finish for Chip Ganassi Racing on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Reddick beat teammate Brennan Poole by 14.5 seconds in the playoff opener.

Reddick is the seventh different winner in the last seven series races. He led twice for 66 laps. Reddick had not led any laps until Saturday night.

Playoff contender Justin Allgaier rallied from two laps down after a right front tire went down early in the 200-lap race to finish third. Ryan Preece placed fourth. Rookie Cole Custer, who won both stages, finished fifth.

Click here for race results