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NASCAR weekend schedule for Cup and Xfinity at Daytona

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NASCAR kicks off the final 20 races of the 2017 NASCAR Cup season with this weekend’s racing action at Daytona International Speedway.

It also marks the return of NASCAR to NBC Sports and NBCSN for that 20-race stretch, which includes the 10 races leading up to the playoffs and the playoffs.

The main event this weekend is Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400. Brad Keselowski is the defending race winner. It will also be Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s final Cup start.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series also will be at Daytona with the Coca-Cola Firecracker 400 on Friday. Aric Almirola won last year’s race. Almirola will not  defend that win because he continues to heal from injuries sustained in a wreck during the May 13 Cup race at Kansas.

Here’s the full race weekend schedule at Daytona (all times Eastern):

Thursday, June 29

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

2 – 2:55 p.m. – Xfinity first practice (NBCSN)

3 – 3:55 p.m. – Cup first practice (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network)

4 – 4:55 p.m. – Xfinity final practice (NBCSN)

5 – 5:55 p.m. – Cup final practice (NBCSN, MRN)

Friday, June 30

9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

12 p.m. – Xfinity garage opens

2:10 p.m. – Xfinity qualifying (single vehicle/two rounds) (NBCSN)

3:45 p.m. – Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting

4:10 p.m. – Cup qualifying impound (single vehicle/two rounds) (NBCSN, MRN)

7 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

7:30 p.m. – Xfinity Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 race (100 laps, 250 miles) (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Saturday, July 1

3 p.m. – Cup garage opens

5:45 p.m. – Cup driver/crew chief meeting

6:50 p.m. – Cup driver introductions

7:30 p.m. – NASCAR Cup Coke Zero 400 race (160 laps, 400 miles) (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

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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.