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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.

NASCAR America: Austin Dillon has earned right to drive the No. 3

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Early Monday morning, Austin Dillon drove the No. 3 Chevrolet to the NASCAR Cup Series’ victory lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was the number’s first visit there since October 2000, when Dale Earnhardt won his final race at Talladega Superspeedway.

The number has only been back in the Cup Series since 2014, when Richard Childress’ grandson, began driving full-time in the Cup Series.

On NASCAR America, two drivers from different generations, Dale Jarrett and Parker Kligerman, responded to the historic moment for the sport and for Richard Childress Racing.

“I assure you Dale Earnhardt would appreciate the efforts that have been made by Richard Childress and Austin Dillon to make all this happen,” Jarrett said. “There are going to be people who say about last night he was lucky to win this race. You’re not lucky to win any race. You have to put yourself into a position. You have to have a fast enough race car to make fuel mileage work in certain conditions. … This man has worked very hard to get where he is and he did a tremendous job. When you save that much fuel, you know exactly what you’re doing as a race car driver.”

Watch the video for the full segment and for Parker Kligerman’s thoughts.

NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 80: Jeff Burton on stage racing and its origins

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Stage racing started in NASCAR this season.

But NBCSN analyst Jeff Burton believes that is only the first stage of the new approach to counting championship points.

“You’re going to see stage racing in other forms of motorsports,” he said on last week’s episode of the NASCAR on NBC podcast. “Any series that have people racing for championships and points, stage racing is more exciting to watch and more exciting to do and rewards people that run the best the most.”

Burton discussed the origins of stage racing in the podcast. The NASCAR veteran was among the key discussions that led to its implementation, including a large meeting at Las Vegas late last year.

There were many options considered (including heat races) before the new system was announced in January.

“There were some crazy ideas, and many were mine,” Burton said with a laugh, adding that the vetting process had an air of good faith in the greater interests of racing. “It was one of the best things I’ve ever been involved in. The process was right, 100 percent.”

Other topics discussed on the podcast:

–Why the “win and you’re in” concept under the old system actually meant “win and you’re done”;

–Why drivers are never trying as hard as they think they can;

–How stage racing was a good example of how NASCAR could learn from what works in other professional sports while maintaining its differentiation.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.

It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 79: Jason Weigandt on Supercross, Monster and Jimmie Johnson

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Motocross journalist and broadcaster Jason Weigandt joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss the Supercross finale and the start of Outdoor season.

Weigandt, the editor of Racer X online magazine, also discussed how Monster Energy’s new title sponsorship of NASCAR has been perceived in Supercross, which the company has backed since 2008, and why he believes Jimmie Johnson isn’t NASCAR’s most popular driver despite his success.

Weigandt is the play-by-play announcer for the 2017 motocross season, which will be shown on NBCSN as well as on the NBC Sports Gold package (which will offer all motos, qualifiers and practices for the 12-round season as well as on-demand access to the past two seasons).

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.

It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

 

NASCAR America: 50 States in 50 Shows: North Dakota

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Today’s edition of “50 States in 50 Shows” profiles Nodak Speedway in Minot, North Dakota.

The 3/8-mile dirt track is located 110 miles north of Bismarck and is located on the grounds of the North Dakota State Fair.

Watch the video for the full look Nodak Speedway.