Greg Biffle

NASCAR America: Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle draft their dream four-car teams

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Of all the major national sports leagues, NASCAR is the only one that doesn’t have some sort of draft to fills its ranks of drivers at its top level.

With the drafts for the NBA and NHL coming up this weekend, NASCAR America decided to have its own mock draft.

Analysts Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle each selected drivers for their own dream four-car team.

Here’s who each analyst picked:

Jeff Burton

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Joey Logano

Greg Biffle

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Ryan Blaney

Which four drivers would you pick?

Watch the above video to hear why they picked each driver.

NASCAR America: You want rivalries? Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski have the best one in NASCAR

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There’s been a lot of talk these days about driver personalities and rivalries and whether there are enough of either.

One of, if not the most contentious current rivalry in NASCAR, is between Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski.

Their years long rivalry flared up again last week at Michigan when they were involved in a Lap 1 accident in the Xfinity race.

NASCAR America analysts Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle gave their takes on the drivers and what it takes for a natural rivalry to form.

“What’s needed is close competition, close battles for wins and close battles for position on the race track, which inevitably lead to rivalries,” Burton said. “You can’t have the second without the first. Everybody puts so much emphasis on ‘what’s the next rivalry’ or ‘what is the current rivalry.’ Sometimes we miss it and it’s sitting right in front of us.”

And when it comes to personalities? Everyone’s different.

“If Kyle Larson‘s a little more reserved than Kyle Busch, that’s perfect because people are people and you have to be yourself,” Burton said. “Have drivers been made a little bit afraid to say somethings because they don’t want to make their sponsors mad? 100 percent that’s true. … This thing about no personalities, I don’t buy it. I see it every week. I see the passion, I see the energy, I see the enthusiasm. That is not why these grandstands are not full. I don’t believe it for a minute.”

Watch the video for the full discussion.

NASCAR America: Sonoma Raceway a challenge for young drivers

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There will be a lot of inexperience this weekend at Sonoma Raceway.

While there will be five “road course ringers” in Sunday’s Cup race, four of them will be making their first starts in the Cup series.

Then you have drivers like rookie Daniel Suarez, who will make his first start on the road course.

He and Ryan Blaney will be starting in Saturday’s K&N Pro Series West race in order to get more track time.

NASCAR America analysts Greg Biffle and Jeff Burton explain why the track that hosts NASCAR’s first road course of the year is such a challenge for young drivers.

“To go there and to have to mount your seat different, shift the gears and use the brake, stay on the track and not make mistakes, it’s a complicated thing,” Biffle said. “It’s a difficult thing for drivers to race for half a season and go do this. The good thing is we road race again not too far after this (at Watkins Glen) which I think is a good thing for the sport and drivers.”

Said Burton, “It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could drive the car. It’s that I didn’t know what the car needed. … When you don’t have a feel for road racing, what is a car supposed to do? Why aren’t I as fast as I need to be? Am I slow in the right (turns)? Am I not getting into the corner deep enough? It’s so difficult to identify what’s not right.”

Watch the rest of the video for the full discussion.

NASCAR America at 5:30 p.m. ET: Sonoma preview, rivalries, 50 States: Washington

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs for 90 minutes beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to preview the weekend’s action at Sonoma Raceway.

Krista Voda hosts in Stamford. Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle join her from Burton’s Garage.

On today’s show:

  • The Cup Series hits the road this weekend at Sonoma, its first road course event of 2017. Which winless drivers are seeing Sonoma as an opportunity to strike? How will NASCAR’s young stars deal with the twists and turns in Northern California? What are the biggest challenges that drivers and teams must face out there? And which memorable Sonoma moments made our top five list?
  • NASCAR is a sport built on rivalries – but is the one between Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch the best in the sport right now? And where does it stack up against other great rivalries of the past?
  • With the NHL and NBA set to host their drafts this week, our drivers Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle will follow suit. Which NASCAR drivers would they draft to build their own dream team?
  • Double stops on My Home Track: 50 States in 50 Shows with Washington and West Virginia. Today, we visit dirt track Deming Speedway in Washington, then take a cross-country trip to the asphalt oval Ona Speedway in West Virginia.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you also can watch it via the online stream at http://nascarstream.nbcsports.com

If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5:30 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

and on Facebook

NASCAR America: Dale Jr.’s crew chief breaks down his woes, short-term goals

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Not much has gone right for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his final NASCAR Cup Series season and that trend reared its head again last weekend at Pocono.

Earnhardt finished 38th in the Pocono 400 after a bad shift on a restart resulted in a race-ending mechanical problem.

NASCAR America’s Dave Burns talked with Earnhardt’s crew chief, Greg Ives, about the season so far and what the team’s looking forward to.

“Looking at the system, the transmission, the shifter that Dale uses, nothing was different, nothing was different from what he had in the past,” Ives said. “The nice thing about having in-car camera and all the technology we have now, we kind understand the situation Dale was in.”

Earnhardt is winless so far this year and most point to the upcoming Coke Zero 400 at Daytona as his best shot at winning. But Ives has a different viewpoint.

“You look at every track the same way I think,” Ives said. “You look at Michigan, he has two wins there. Sonoma, we’ve run really well there in the last two years there. I felt like we had an opportunity to win without a late-race accident with Carl Edwards. We go into each track with a loot of confidence. I think that confidence comes from a lot of preparation and effort.”

Watch the above video for the full interview.

When it comes to the cause of Earnhardt’s bad shift, NASCAR America analysts disagree.

Reporter Nate Ryan believes it’s a result of a lack of muscle memory due to having missed 18 races at the end of last year, including the second Pocono race. Analyst Greg Biffle sees it as there being a minor difference in the transmission and not a lack of confidence.

“I’ve pulled it into second gear many times in my career, it’s easy to do,” Biffle said. “Nothing has changed from the team’s side. I’m telling you, the seating position or the stiffness in the spring, I don’t know how many times I’ll tell you the team says there’s nothing different, but something’s different.”