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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 America: What should Joe Gibbs Racing do about Kyle Busch’s pit crew?

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The first race of Kyle Busch‘s 2017 playoff run did not go well.

After leading 85 laps and winning the first stage, Busch’s day was plagued by consecutive miscues by his new pit crew, which had just been swapped with the one for his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez.

After pitting early in the stage because of a loose tire, the No. 18 was penalized for crew members going over the wall too soon.

Busch went two laps down and ultimately finished in 15th, one lap down.

On NASCAR America, Parker Kligerman and Kyle Busch addressed the situation Busch’s team finds itself in after one playoff race and what they should do. Both believe JGR should continue with the pit crews as is.

“Is this nerves? Here’s a team that Daniel has run sixth, seventh and eighth (with)” Petty said. “Now you’re asking them to pit for a car that’s running for the championship. The pressure ramps up. Everything’s a little more intense at the sharp end of the stick than when you’re lost in the crowd. Did that get them yesterday? It was just a mental let down. A mental mistake by the gas man to step over the wall. Over than that, I think they could’ve recovered and I think they will recover. This is one race.”

Said Kligerman: “I agree with the decision of going with the 19’s pit crew, because they used analytics. … I’m glad to seem them do that. They saw the numbers, they said ‘this team is better, let’s use them. This is what we’re going to go off of.’ But that doesn’t account for the human factor, which is that you are pitting for a different driver and drivers enter the box differently.”

Watch the video for the full discussion.

NASCAR America: Testing of tires during races ‘fairly common practice’ for NASCAR

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Eyebrows were raised during Sunday’s Cup Series playoff opener at Chicagoland Speedway when NASCAR officials disappeared into a blue tent to test tires belonging to the teams of Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., dunking them in water.

But Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said it is a “fairly common practice” Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.”

“It’s been going on for a few years,” O’Donnell said. “It’s something we’ve done just to make sure for the competitors, everybody’s on a level playing field. It helps us with Goodyear as well to make sure the tires are legit, which we’ve always found they are.”

It’s an issue the crew chiefs for Busch and Truex are OK with.

“Usually when you’re running good, they’re going to come take them,” Cole Pearn said Sunday. “That’s fine. They’re just doing their due diligence, doing what they should be doing. No issue there.”

NASCAR America’s Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman weighed in on the story and why fans need to know about NASCAR’s practices concerning tires.

“This is something fans haven’t known about,” Petty said. “This is something maybe the guys inside that square, fenced-in area called the garage area all know about and just take for granted. But the fan … they want to know. ‘Why are you guys doing this? What’s this all about?'”

Said Kligerman: “It’s good that they’re doing this because they’re checking on the fact that teams could be trying to cheat the rules a little bit by making the airs leak out of the tires, therefore having a car on the long run that would be really fast because it would keep the right air pressure.”

Watch the above video for more.

Report: Lawsuit reveals Farmers Insurance paid $666,000 a race to sponsor Kasey Kahne

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Almost a year after Farmers Insurance announced it would cease sponsoring Kasey Kahne following the 2017 season, a report by ESPN reveals that Farmers Insurance paid Hendrick Motorsports roughly $666,000 a race to sponsor the No. 5 Chevrolet in 2017.

ESPN’s report is based on documents in a lawsuit filed by Sports Marketing Consultants related to “a dispute on the percentage of commissions owed on the deal” between Farmers Insurance and Hendrick Motorsports.

Farmers Insurance, which has sponsored Kahne for six seasons, was the primary sponsor on the No. 5 car in 12 races from 2015-17. There are three races left on the 2017 deal.

Farmers was on the No. 5 when Kahne won the Brickyard 400 in July.

Great Clips announced it would also cease sponsoring Kahne in May. A few weeks after the Brickyard win, Kahne’s only victory since 2014, Hendrick announced he would not be back in the No. 5 next season.

Farmers’ initial contract ran from 2012-14, when it sponsored the No. 5 for 22 races each season. Farmers paid Hendrick $13.5 million in 2012, $14.04 million in 2013 and $16.348 million in 2014, according to the ESPN report.

With the decrease to 12 races a year beginning in 2015, the company paid $7.6 million that season, $7.8 million in 2016 and $8 million this season.

The report also describes various performances bonuses for Hendrick in the initial three-year deal, such as winning a race ($450,000-$550,000) and the Cup championship ($1,157,895).

Read the ESPN story for more details on the contracts.

MORE: Kasey Kahne has new crew chief for rest of playoffs

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Social Roundup: Jimmie Johnson helps out with Lowe’s Hurricane Irma relief efforts

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A day after opening the NASCAR Cup playoffs, Jimmie Johnson went to work helping victims of Hurricane Irma in Florida.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver traveled with one of his daughters to Naples, Florida, to work with his sponsor, Lowe’s, to help those whose lives were upended by the storm that impacted the state last week.

Johnson helped to install air conditioning units, clear away fallen trees and more in his efforts.

The trip to Florida comes after Johnson and his fellow Hendrick drivers established the Team Hendrick Disaster Relief Fund in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. With a goal of $500,000, the fund has raised just over $341,500 so far.

Below is a look at Johnson’s day in Florida.