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Tonight’s All-Star Race at Charlotte: Start time, weather, TV/radio info

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Jimmie Johnson seeks to extend his record of wins to five in the All-Star Race tonight, while a number of drivers, including pole-sitter Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski, seek their first win in this event.

Here are the particulars for the race:

(All times are ET)

START: Triple Crown winning jockey Victor Espinoza will give the command for drivers to start engines at 8:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:16 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 70 laps in four segments around the 1.5-mile track.

SEGMENTS: First segment is 20 laps. Second segment is 20 laps. Third segment is 20 laps. Final segment is 10 laps.

ALL-STAR RACE SPECIAL RULES: 

  • The field will be trimmed to 10 cars for the final 10-lap segment. The winner receives $1 million.
  • The winner of each of the first three stages will lock up a spot in the final stage provided they remain on the lead lap after the third stage.
  • The cars with the best average finish in the first three stages will make up the remaining spots in the 10-car final stage.
  • Those 10 cars will be lined up by average finish of the first three stages and given the option to pit. Exit off pit road determines the starting order for the final stage.
  • Each team will have one set of option tires to use at their discretion. Teams that choose to put on these tires to start the final stage must start behind those that choose to start that stage on regular tires.
  • Only green-flag laps count in the final 10-lap segment.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Cup garage opens at 1 p.m. The drivers meeting is at 2:30 p.m. Driver introductions are at 7:38 p.m.

MONSTER ENERGY OPEN:

  • Command to start engines at 6:07 p.m.
  • Green flag scheduled for 6:15 p.m.
  • Race features three stages: The first stage is 20 laps. The second stage is 20 laps. The final stage is 10 laps.
  • Winner of each stage advances to All-Star Race
  • Final spot to All-Star Race goes to fan vote winner.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Calysta Bevier will perform the Anthem at 8:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race at 8 p.m. with its coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at mrn.com. MRN’s coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts 83 degrees at race time with a 2 percent chance of rain.

LAST YEAR: Joey Logano passed Kyle Larson with two laps to go to win last year’s race. Brad Keselowski finished second and Dale Earnhardt Jr. placed third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for All-Star starting lineup

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.

 

NASCAR America: Austin Dillon: Feels good to beat Jimmie Johnson in ‘chess match’

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Following the first win of his NASCAR Cup Series career, Austin Dillon said he was proud of his team for coming out on top in a “chess match” against Jimmie Johnson.

“We’re chasing down what I consider ‘The GOAT’ (Greatest of All Time),” Dillon told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns. “Jimmie’s tied with the best of the best. To beat him in a little chess match there at the end, it feels real good. At a track I’ve seen him win multiple races sitting in the stands.”

Dillon was able to make his last tank of gas stretch 70 laps, two more than Johnson, on his way to winning the Coca-Cola 600.

The win comes at a track Dillon has competed on since the early days of his career.

“I grew up racing in the 1/5-mile here, Bandeleros and Legends cars, to get my first win here, there’s nothing better,” Dillon said.

Watch the video for the full interview and to hear Richard Childress’ thoughts on the win.

Something finally goes right for Erik Jones in first Coca-Cola 600

Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Image
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CONCORD, N.C. — For the first time since March, fortune finally bounced in Erik Jones‘ favor.

That was after a piece of debris bounced through his grille.

On Lap 20 of the Coca-Cola 600, debris from a wreck between Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski littered the frontstretch of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Jones, running in the top 10, managed to avoid the wreck itself. But the rookie couldn’t avoid whatever caused a football-sized hole in the nose of his No. 77 Toyota.

“You start the day off like that and you’re like, ‘Man, it’s not going to be easy,'” said Jones, who finished a career best seventh. “That kind of hurt us all day, I think. Not a ton. Obviously we had still had a fast car, but it was definitely slowing us down some.”

Competing in the longest race of his career to date, the episode looked like the latest in a series of misfortunes that have plagued the driver, who turns 21 on Tuesday.

Jones entered the race with two DNFs in the last three points races and three DNFs if you counted the previous weekend’s All-Star Race.

Before the All-Star Race, Jones caused three cautions at Kansas Speedway for spins before finishing 22nd. He wrecked out at Talladega in a big crash and the week before that was eliminated at Richmond when the race was five laps old.

Entering the longest race of the year, Jones had just one top-10 finish, eighth at Phoenix.

Following the accident Sunday, Jones restarted 27th. The rest of the night was “smooth” on the way to his best finish in 15 Cup starts.

“I think we had a top-five car,” Jones said. “Kind of missed on a couple of adjustments at the end, got behind on the racecar a little bit. Just kind of fell back at the end.”

By the halfway point at Lap 200 and after a 1 hour and 39 minute rain delay, he was in eighth. During the 400-lap race, his average running spot was 11.8.

“We didn’t have any troubles in the pits,” Jones said. “We didn’t have any troubles on the track (after the Lap 20 accident), we had a pretty good car all night. So it was just nice to have a solid night. I feel like we’re plenty capable of running in the top 10 every week, we just got to keep having days and night like this.”

Jones is now 18th in the points standings and 10 points ahead of fellow rookie Daniel Suarez.

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