The countdown to this years’ throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway began Monday with Ryan Blaney revealing his retro paint scheme on NASCAR America.
With the help of NBC Sports analysts Kyle Petty, Blaney announced his No. 21 Ford will have Petty’s 1987 paint scheme in the Sept. 3 Southern 500, which will air on NBCSN.
This is the third year for NASCAR’s throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway
Petty drove for Wood Brothers Racing from 1985-88, when he earned two of his eight Cup wins with the team and scored 19 top five and 48 top-10 finishes. He placed in the top 10 in points in three of his four seasons with the Wood Brothers.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Petty’s win in the Coca-Cole 600.
Blaney will be making his third start in the Southern 500. His best finish in his first two starts was 13th last season.
“When he was with us, Kyle used to build his own aluminum seats,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said in press release.. “He won a total of eight Cup races. He’s a talented singer and guitar player. He’s done great work with the Victory Junction Camp and the Kyle Petty Charity Ride, and he’s an excellent TV commentator.
“Kyle can do anything he wants to do. He’s that talented. We’re happy to have his name back on our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion for the Southern 500 at Darlington.”
The Intimidator won 34 times at Daytona and his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., has added 17 of his own wins in his NASCAR career. His last chance to add to the “Earnhardt mark” on Daytona comes Saturday in the Coke Zero 400 (7:30 p.m. ET on NBC).
NASCAR America’s analysts discussed what the legacy of the Earnhardt name is with Earnhardt Jr.’s impending retirement.
“The way their lives were intertwined, what they did on the race track has been intertwined,” Kyle Petty said. “The way the fans perceive what Senior was, what Junior is and what Junior has meant for this sport. What he has done recently as a leader of the sport, he has stepped into his father’s shoes. … When Junior stood up last year and said I’m not getting in that car because of my head injuries, I’m going to sit out.’ That’s leadership.
NASCAR America teaming up with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Wednesday will mark the beginning of a new relationship between NASCAR America and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. ET, a NASCAR on NBC personality will appear on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive,” which is hosted by Pete Pistone and Mike Bagley.
Analyst Steve Letarte will be the first guest.
Pistone will also make regular appearances on NASCAR America.
Pistone joined NASCAR America Tuesday night to preview the new relationship and the storylines heading into the second half of the NASCAR season.
The main theme of the discussion was the building frustration for Joe Gibbs Racing, which is winless through 16 races. Though the driver getting the most attention has been Kyle Busch, there’s three other drivers who are looking to win, including Denny Hamlin.
“We had his crew chief Mike Wheeler on the ‘Morning Drive’ last week and the frustration, you can feel it there,” Pistone said. “They also felt a bit optimistic, especially going to Sonoma because he runs so well there, he ran so well and almost won the race last year until Tony Stewart got him on the last lap. … I still think there’s optimism there in the 11 camp, they’re finding the speed they’ve been missing so far in the first half of the year. The next race at Daytona could be the place you see Denny Hamlin bust down the door to victory lane.”
Watch the above video for more from Pete Pistone.
NASCAR America: Sprint racing keeps Kyle Larson in shape for NASCAR
Kyle Larson is in the midst of his best NASCAR Cup Season to date. He leads the points standings and has two wins, at Auto Club Speedway and Michigan Speedway.
You might be able to attribute his hot streak to another form of racing.
Larson, a product of the dirt racing circuit, told NASCAR America’s Marty Snider the 25 sprint car races he’s allowed to drive in each year by Chip Ganassi Racing keep him on his toes physically.
“I’ve gotten a little bit into working out this year, I’d rather race to get my exercise in,” Larson said. “Racing to me is fun, but also exercise and it keeps your mind in it. You’re putting yourself in more racing situations than everybody else in the field. I think it definitely benefits me.”
Larson maybe spent by this time next week. Following Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona (at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC), Larson will compete in four straight days of sprint cars race in Pennsylvania.
The Ganassi driver goes to Daytona looking to finish what he started in the Daytona 500. He was leading at the white flag before he ran out of gas in Turns 1 and 2.
“It’s difficult, it’s a long race,” Larson said. “There’s so much that goes on throughout the race, it’s hard to catch on TV. But we’re figuring it out all it in the car and learning who is good to work with and who is not. It’s interesting. It’s definitely a different style of racing I’m getting used to.”
Larson’s best finish in at Daytona was sixth place in last year’s July race.
Watch the above video for the full interview.
NASCAR America: Scan All: Anger and miscommunication at Sonoma Raceway
Some people like to call road courses the new short tracks in NASCAR and at the end of Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma, many cars backed up that assessment.
When there’s beat up cars, that means tempers flared, which makes for an interesting edition of NASCAR America’s Scan All. This week’s version gives you some of the best scanner traffic from Kevin Harvick‘s win at the California track.
Israeli-born driver Alon Day, making his Cup debut, telling crew chief Randy Cox he can’t understand his accent. “You have to talk a bit slower so I can understand every word.”