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Second of four Xfinity Dash 4 Cash races is this Saturday at Bristol

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The second installment of the four-race 2017 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus program takes place this Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway with the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300.

Justin Allgaier took the first D4C title and the $100,000 prize last month at Phoenix. If Allgaier can win Saturday at Bristol as well as the other two upcoming D4C races at Richmond and Dover, he will take home an additional $600,000 for $1 million in total earnings.

“Ultimately as drivers we are all looking for the win,” Allgaier said. “If you don’t win, you want to have a high finish and earn that nice consolation prize. But if you can do both at the same time, it’s even better.

“That influx of money is great for the Xfinity teams and it helps with budgets. If we could win the Bristol Dash 4 Cash, it would be a huge moment for us.”

While several other Xfinity drivers also want what Allgaier is pursuing, the Riverton, Illinois native has some good history on his side at Bristol.

It was at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” that Allgaier earned his first career Xfinity Series win in 2010. All told, Allgaier has made 12 career starts in NASCAR’s junior series, with his win, five top-fives, seven top-10s and an average finish of 12.7.

In addition, Allgaier has been very successful at Bristol of late, with top-10 finishes in each of the last four races there, including a runner-up finish in his most recent start there last summer.

What’s more, Allgaier has now won two Dash 4 Cash races in a row: Phoenix this season and the fourth and final D4C race last season at Indianapolis.

This will be the third Dash 4 Cash race at Bristol. Daniel Suarez won in 2015 and Erik Jones in 2016.

The XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program began in 2009. This weekend will mark the third time Bristol Motor Speedway has hosted the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program. Daniel Suárez won the first Dash 4 Cash check at Bristol in 2015 and Erik Jones won it in 2016.

“That action you’ve seen [at other tracks] is always going to be doubled at Bristol,” said Xfinity Series rookie driver Daniel Hemric. “You’re already on edge here, running side-by-side, nose-to-tail. The action is going to be intense and everyone is going to be amped up that much more.”

Dash 4 Cash format and eligibility: 

  • Coors Light Pole Qualifying will determine the starting positions for the race.
  • The field will then begin the race with Stage 1, followed by Stage 2 and the Final Stage.
  • Based on the participation guidelines announced last year, drivers with more than five years of full-time experience are restricted from the four races in the Dash 4 Cash program.
  • The top two finishing NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers who have declared for series points in each of the two stages will make up the four-driver Dash 4 Cash field for the Final Stage. Once Stage 1 is complete, the two drivers who lock into the main field won’t have their position counted against other Dash 4 Cash-eligible drivers following Stage 2 to ensure a four-driver field.
  • The field will then begin the race with Stage 1, followed by Stage 2 and the Final Stage. At Bristol Motor Speedway: Stage 1 (Ends on lap 85), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 170), Final Stage (Ends on lap 300).
  • The highest finisher in the final stage among the four Dash 4 Cash drivers wins the Dash 4 Cash and a $100,000 prize.
  • If a driver earns two Dash 4 Cash bonus wins over the four Dash 4 Cash races, that qualifies them for the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs.

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Dale Jr’s priorities shifted last season while away from track (video)

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. is unsure how the rest of his life will look now that he’s made the decision to retire.

On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Greg Biffle and Kyle Petty discussed how Junior’s time away last season prepared him for his retirement decision.

Sponsor expanding its partnership with Danica Patrick’s team

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Stewart-Haas Racing announced Wednesday that Code 3 Associates will partner with One Cure initiative for three races on Danica Patrick‘s car this season and that Code 3 Associates will add another race on Patrick’s car.

Code 3 Associates is using its partnership with One Cure, a project led by the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center, will be on Patrick’s car at Kansas Speedway (May 13), the Monster Energy Open at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 20) on All-Star weekend and Aug. 19 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Code 3 Associates will serve as the primary sponsor of Patrick’s car June 25 at Sonoma Raceway.

“We need a new way to find potential cures for cancer, and pets may provide the answer,” said Dr. Rodney Page, director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center. “Cancer is cancer, so what is learned in pets being treated for cancer holds promise to benefit people and vice versa. This approach is known as comparative or translational oncology, and it is the core of the One Cure concept. This partnership helps educate more people about comparative oncology and improves the lives of all cancer patients, whether they have two legs or four.”

“Code 3 Associates has championed animal welfare for more than 25 years, and One Cure allows us to take what’s learned from treating animals that are fighting cancer to people who are fighting the same battle,” added Nan Stuart, founder, Code 3 Associates. “Danica and Stewart-Haas Racing have been strong advocates for animal welfare and this extension of our partnership with them helps more people understand and appreciate One Cure’s mission.”

The car for Kansas will feature the upcoming “Wonder Woman” movie on it. The movie debuts June 2.

 

NASCAR America live at 6 pm on NBCSN: Exclusive Dale Jr. interview

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 6 to 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Krista Voda hosts from Stamford, Connecticut, along with Kyle Petty and Greg Biffle.

Here’s what’s on today’s show:

* We continue to follow up on Tuesday’s major announcement of Dale Earnhardt’s retirement at the end of this season. One of the biggest elements of today’s show is the exclusive interview our Marty Snider had with Junior. Check out the video above for some of that interview.

 Which drivers in the Cup Series’ current crop of young talent could ultimately replace Earnhardt as the face of the sport?

* Xfinity Series points leader Elliott Sadler also joins the show to share his reaction to yesterday’s news. Sadler joined JR Motorsports last season, but his friendship with the Earnhardt family goes back much farther.

* The next stop on NASCAR America’s My Home Track: 50 States in 50 Shows tour of the USA is The Bay State: Massachusetts. This state has seen major success recently with its Boston pro sports teams, and it’s also home to one of New England’s premier short tracks, Seekonk Speedway.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you also can 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 plug-in that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final Cup season could lead to greater ticket sales

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s announcement Tuesday that he will retire from the NASCAR Cup Series after this season could help minimize attendance declines that have become common at tracks.

Asked about the impact Earnhardt could have in the final 28 races of the season, Marcus Smith, chief executive officer and president of Speedway Motorsports Inc., likened Earnhardt to another famous athlete.

“Dale Jr.’s announcement yesterday is significant, it’s similar to when Michael Jordan decided it was time for him to retire from basketball,’’ Smith said Wednesday in a conference call with investor analysts. “The opportunity for fans to see Dale Jr. race one more time is certainly special and something we expect will be inspiring to a lot of fans to come to races.’’

Speedway Motorsports Inc. reported that admissions revenue was down 4.5 percent in the first quarter this year compared to the same time last season. The first quarter covered race weekends for Atlanta and Las Vegas. SMI reported that attendance at Atlanta was “up a little bit” and attendance at Las Vegas was “down a little bit” but did not provide numbers.

Earnhardt will be the fourth major NASCAR driver to leave the Cup series since last year Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart ran their final races last season. Carl Edwards announced before the season that he would not race this year.

International Speedway Corp., which owns tracks such as Daytona, Talladega, Darlington and Homestead-Miami Speedway, cited the absence of Gordon, Stewart and Earnhardt (when he missed the last 18 races of last year) as impacting admission revenue last season.

ISC reported its fourth-quarter admissions revenue was down 9.3 percent last year from the previous season. The company hosted Cup races at Darlington, Richmond, Chicagoland, Kansas, Talladega, Martinsville, Phoenix and Homestead during that quarter.

“The impact of Jeff Gordon’s retirement was underestimated, which was compounded with Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. missing races throughout the season,’’ said John Saunders, ISC president, in January about one of the reasons for the decline.

Earnhardt’s announcement that this will be his last Cup series already has some fans purchasing or looking to purchase tickets.

Richmond International Raceway reported an increase in interest for this weekend’s race after Earnhardt’s announcement. Richmond also is selling tickets to its fall race weekend. Earnhardt is scheduled to compete in both the Xfinity and Cup races there Sept. 8-9.

The series heads to Talladega next weekend and Grant Lynch, chairman of Talladega Superspeedway, anticipates more Earnhardt fans showing up.

“If you’re going to go see him one more time, why wouldn’t you go to the track where he runs the best,’’ Lynch said. “We think that’s the a positive for Talladega. He’s always been great at Talladega. It’s an Earnhardt track. I hope folks will take the attitude that ‘Wow, I’ll get two more chances to see him,’ see him next weekend and come see us again in October.’’

The greatest demands for tickets likely will come for races at the end of the season.

Earnhardt’s final Cup race will be Nov. 19 at Homestead. The track is selling three-day weekend packages. Deposits for single-day tickets, which go on sale May 5, are being taken. That race sold out last year.

The week before Homestead, the series races at Phoenix Raceway. The track is in the renewal process for the Nov. 12 race with fall race ticket holders. The track is selling tickets to its new Club 64 section above Turn 1 now. Grandstand tickets and camping go on sale June 2.

The week before Phoenix, the series races at Texas Motor Speedway. The track is selling weekend ticket packages only at this point. The track will sell individual tickets to its fall Cup race in June. A date has yet to be determined but it will come after the June 10 IndyCar race there.

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