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Dale Earnhardt Jr. kicks off JR Nation Appreci88ion campaign

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s JR Nation Apreci88ion tour begins this weekend as he makes what is scheduled to be his final Cup start at Daytona International Speedway.

Earnhardt, the 14-time most popular driver who is retiring from full-time Cup driving after this season, will pay thanks to fans in the final 20 races of the season.

The JR Nation Apreci88ion Tour will have a heavy presence on social media with the #Apreci88ion hashtag. Earnhardt will release weekly videos recollecting memories and milestones achieved at each of the tracks. JR Nation Appreci88ion merchandise will be available at his souvenir trailers at the track and at ShopJrNation.com.

“My expectations were very low when I started racing – I just wanted to pay my bills,” Earnhardt said in a statement. “If I could pay bills and make a living by racing, that was a win.

“Now some 18 years later, I look at what became of it, and I just feel grateful. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of so many people, especially fans. So as I visit tracks for the last time in this role, that is my motivation. I’m going to drive as hard as I can for the people who made an 18-year Cup career possible.”

Watch Earnhardt’s final Cup ride at Daytona at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC.

Also, catch a replay of his 2004 Daytona 500 win from 7-9 p.m. ET Thursday on NBCSN and join the conversation on Twitter by using #NASCARThrowback.

 and on Facebook

 

NASCAR America: Looking back at Cup winners this year (video)

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The NASCAR Cup Series is through 19 racers. There are 17 more races to be contested, including seven before the Cup playoffs.

It’s been a rough time for many and a successful time for a select few.

There’s still plenty of racing to go. Who will see their name added to the list of winners in 2017 and, more importantly, who still wins a race to make it in the playoffs?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Can Team Penske get back on track in Indianapolis? (video)

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Roger Penske is used to winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He owns a record 16 Indy 500 victories there.

But Penske still has yet to win a Brickyard 400 at IMS. While in other years, Team Penske’s chances may have been stronger, coming into the 2017 Brickyard 400 is a whole other ballgame.

Joey Logano has struggled terribly in the last 10 races. Since winning at Richmond (which was eventually encumbered due to a post-race inspection penalty), Logano has had seven finishes of 21st through 37th. He’s also dropped from fifth to 13th in the standings.

Teammate Brad Keselowski has had his own struggles, dropping from third to eighth in the standings.

The biggest problem that seems to be impacting Team Penske is a lack of speed, more so on Logano’s car, but an issue nonetheless for both cars.

Can Team Penske snap out of its funk and find the speed it’s been missing Sunday, and potentially give Captain Penske his first NASCAR Cup win at the track that means so much to him?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Kyle Busch needs to be aware of Martin Truex Jr. at Brickyard (video)

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Kyle Busch is well aware of his wins drought, not having won in his last 36 Cup starts.

But he also gains confidence and optimism from having won the last two Brickyard 400s.

So how will that impact the weekend?

On Friday’s NASCAR America, Dale Jarrett said Indy “plays into Busch’s hand,” but also to look out for Martin Truex Jr.

Check out the video above.

 

 

NASCAR America: Significance of winning at Indianapolis (video)

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On Friday’s edition of NASCAR America, two-time Brickyard 400 winner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Brickyard-winning crew chief Slugger Labbe, who led Paul Menard to a Brickyard 400 win, both discussed the importance of winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — as well as how to do it.

Check out the video above.