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Today’s Cup race at Michigan: Start time, weather, TV/radio info

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Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer have yet to win a Cup race this season. Can any of them breakthrough today?

Here are the particulars for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Thompson Square will give the command for drivers to start engines at 3:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 3:16 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 200 laps (400 miles) around the 2-mile speedway.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 20

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60. Stage 2 ends on Lap 120.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Cup garage opens at 9:30 a.m. The drivers meeting is at 1 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:20 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Lisa Bascom will perform the Anthem at 3:02 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race at 3 p.m. Its coverage begins at 2 p.m. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at mrn.com. MRN’s coverage begins at 2 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts 79 degrees at race time with a 15 percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Joey Logano led the 138 of 200 laps to win this event a year ago. Chase Elliott was second. Kyle Larson placed third. Larson scored his first career Cup win in August at Michigan. Elliott was second. Brad Keselowski finished third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup

TO THE REAR: Jimmie Johnson (backup), AJ Allmendinger (backup), Landon Cassill (backup), Daniel Suarez (unapproved tire), Ty Dillon (qualifying time disallowed for unapproved body modification)

NASCAR America: Navigating Sonoma means plenty of twists and turns

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You turn left and turn right, what’s the big deal, right?

Actually, wrong.

Sonoma Raceway is an extremely technical racetrack full of winding turns both to the left and right.

On Thursday’s NASCAR America, Parker Kligerman took to the iRacing Simulator to show what drivers might expect on the nearly two-mile roadcourse north of San Francisco this weekend.

NASCAR America: Which NASCAR driver is ready for zombie apocalypse?

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Now there’s something you don’t hear NASCAR drivers talk about every day: how to prepare — and potentially survive — a zombie apocalypse.

Our intrepid reporter, Rutledge Wood, threw a number of NASCAR drivers for a loop when he asked them that very question.

The reactions range from incredulousness to seriousness.  Among those Rut talked with included Martin Truex Jr., Elliott Sadler, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones and Kyle Larson.

And here’s a few surprises:

  • Brad Keselowski wants to buy a tank for the apocalypse, and supposedly Dale Earnhardt Jr. is waiting to take delivery on his own tank — both to kill zombies, of course!
  • Several drivers also talked about one of their former own who reportedly has already made big plans to take on any zombies that come across his path. As Wood said, that former driver’s name rhymes with Schmarl Schmedwards.

Check out the hysterical video — trust us, it WILL make you laugh — if for nothing else the outlandish responses from some of the drivers.

But it also makes one wonder: what if a zombie is among us and he’s disguised as a zombie? What then — and who might it be?

NASCAR America: John Hunter Nemechek looks to overcome small team, funding

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The good news for John Hunter Nemechek was with his win last weekend at Gateway, he and Nemco Motorports qualified for this season’s Camping World Truck Series playoffs.

But there is potential bad news, as well: because of having one of the smallest teams in the truck series and limited funding, Nemechek and his team are going to need more financial help, lest they potentially can’t afford to race for the championship in the playoffs.

Nemechek talked about that with NASCAR America on Thursday’s show. See the above video.

NASCAR America: Papis teaching next generation of NASCAR champions

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Even though much of his racing career was spent in open-wheel competition, it may surprise some to know Como, Italy native Max Papis has a combined 95 career starts in NASCAR across its three racing series: Cup, Xfinity and Trucks.

Papis’ versatility has proven invaluable in mentoring a number of young drivers with the potential of some day becoming NASCAR champions, including current student William Byron.

Papis spent Thursday on NASCAR America talking about what makes a good young driver and how he enjoys his role as a mentor and teacher.