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Great Clips to end sponsorship of Kasey Kahne’s team after this season

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Great Clips will end its sponsorship of Kasey Kahne’s team at Hendrick Motorsports after this season, Hendrick Motorsports confirmed Wednesday.

ESPN.com first reported the news.

In September, it was announced that Great Clips had signed a two-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports to serve as a primary sponsor of Kahne’s team through the 2018 season.

The deal was for Great Clips to serve as a primary sponsor in 10 races annually.

Great Clips issued a statement to NBC Sports that also stated the company was ending its sponsorship of Kasey Kahne’s World of Outlaws team with driver Daryn Pittman.

“Great Clips will exit two of its motorsports programs at the end of 2017: NASCAR and World of Outlaws. After a nearly 20-year run in NASCAR, Great Clips will focus more of its marketing efforts in new and emerging platforms.

“The Great Clips #5 will take its final turn with Kasey Kahne behind the wheel on Nov. 21 at Miami’s Homestead racetrack.

“Driver Daryn Pittman will be behind the wheel in the final World of Outlaws race for Great Clips on Nov. 4 at Concord, North Carolina.

“We’ve had a great run with NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Kasey Kahne, World of Outlaws, and Daryn Pittman,” said Steve Hockett, Great Clips President. “These racing programs provided us with a platform to expand our brand. From the early days as Kasey’s first full-time sponsor in 2003, he has represented us well on and off the track. Our decision is purely a business one made after careful study about where to pursue more new customer growth through our overall marketing mix.”

“While Great Clips involvement with NASCAR and World of Outlaws wraps up with the 2017 season, the brand will continue its presence in NHRA through 2018. Great Clips will look to grow visibility in other areas such as Monster Jam, college football, and college basketball. The brand will also expand into innovative digital spaces that align with our strategy for new customer growth.

“We want to thank Hendrick Motorsports, Kasey Kahne, NASCAR, World of Outlaws, Daryn Pittman and our Great Clips racing fans for their tremendous support and loyalty over the years,” Hockett said.

Last year, Farmer’s Insurance decided that it would end its sponsorship of the team after the 2017 season. Farmer’s Insurance has been the primary sponsor of Kahne’s car in five of the first 12 points races, including the Daytona 500. Farmer’s Insurance is to be on the car for 12 races.

Great Clips has been with Hendrick Motorsports since 2012. Great Clips signed an extension in July 2013 through 2016 for the company to serve as the primary sponsor in 10 races annually. 

Kahne’s car will have Great Clips as the primary sponsor this weekend at Dover International Speedway. This will be the fourth time Great Clips has been the primary sponsor of Kahne’s car this season. Great Clips also was the primary sponsor earlier this year at Phoenix, Martinsville and Bristol.

Kahne enters this weekend 20th in the points. He has three top-10 finishes in 12 races this season. His best result is a fourth-place finish at Atlanta in March.

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Staff picks for today’s Cup race at New Hampshire

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Here’s a look at who the NBC Sports staff is picking to win today’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Nate Ryan

Kyle Busch. He puts last week’s disappointment behind him with another fast car and (this time) a clean day in the pits.

Dustin Long

Denny Hamlin. He sweeps New Hampshire and Toyota continues its dominance at this track.

Daniel McFadin

Kyle Larson. After charging through the field from the rear in July and finishing second, the No. 42 team finishes the job today.

Jerry Bonkowski

Kevin Harvick. He hasn’t been heard from much recently, but this is the kind of track Harvick is at his best. He wins and moves on to the Round of 12.

Today’s Cup Series race at New Hampshire: Start time, weather, TV/radio info

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LOUDON, New Hampshire – The middle race of the first round of the playoffs offers teams that had a bad start a chance to recover or fall further behind.

The pressure builds with the 16-team field cut to 12 after next weekend’s race at Dover.

Here are the details for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern):

START: Marc Del Vecchio, chief technology officer, ISM Connect, will give the command to start engines at 2:07 p.m. Green flag is set for 2:15 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 300 laps (317.4 miles) around the 1.058-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 75. Stage 2 ends on Lap 150.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Cup garage opens at 8:30 a.m. The driver/crew chief meeting is at noon. Driver introductions are at 1:30 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Marine Corps Veteran, “The Singing Trooper,” Daniel M. Clark will perform the Anthem at 2:01 p.m., followed by a flyover from two F-15C Eagles from the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race at 2 p.m. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. on NBCSN with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 1:30 p.m. The Performance Racing Network radio broadcast begins at 1 p.m. on goprn.com and affiliates. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts a temperature of 81 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at race time.

LAST TIME: Denny Hamlin led 54 of 301 laps to win the July race. Kyle Larson placed second. Martin Truex Jr. was third. Kevin Harvick led the final six laps to win this race last year. Matt Kenseth was second. Kyle Busch placed third.

 STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup

 

Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer tied at top of Xfinity playoff standings

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Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer are tied for the top spot in the Xfinity playoff standings after the playoff opener at Kentucky Speedway.

Each driver has 2,057 points.

Allgaier finished third after bouncing back from losing a tire on Lap 19 and going two laps down. He was two laps down for 27 laps and one lap down for 30 before getting back on the lead lap.

Custer, who finished fifth, won the first two stages of the race, earning two playoff points in the process.

The top five in points are Allgaier, Custer, Elliott Sadler (-2), Daniel Hemric (-5) and William Byron (-6).

Click here for the points standings.

Results from Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway

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Tyler Reddick scored his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win, leading a 1-2 finish for Chip Ganassi Racing on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Reddick beat teammate Brennan Poole by 14.5 seconds in the playoff opener.

Reddick is the seventh different winner in the last seven series races. He led twice for 66 laps. Reddick had not led any laps until Saturday night.

Playoff contender Justin Allgaier rallied from two laps down after a right front tire went down early in the 200-lap race to finish third. Ryan Preece placed fourth. Rookie Cole Custer, who won both stages, finished fifth.

Click here for race results