Jerry Bonkowski

NASCAR America live at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN: 2018 Hall of Fame class named

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs for 90 minutes on NBCSN from 5:30 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Parker Kligerman in Stamford, Connecticut while Krista Voda anchors coverage from the NASCAR Hall of Fame for today’s naming of the Hall’s 2018 induction class. Voda will be joined by Jeff Burton and Nate Ryan.

On today’s show:

  • Today we are live from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, where we’ll reveal the 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class as well as the recipient of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Plus, we’ll hear from the members of the newly elected class while our panel of experts weigh-in with their reactions.
  • Marty Snider will also be at the Hall for several interviews.

Just a reminder, on Friday we’ll preview the biggest day in motorsports with reports from Monaco, Indianapolis, and of course, Charlotte. It’s the NASCAR America Motorsports Special at 3:30 ET on NBCSN.

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.

Charlotte weekend schedule: NASCAR Cup, Xfinity action

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Make sure you have plenty of coffee and energy drinks this weekend, as Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 is the season’s longest race on the NASCAR Cup circuit.

The 400-lap, 600-mile race begins just before dusk and continues late into the evening on the 1.5-mile oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Martin Truex Jr. won last year’s 600 in record-setting, dominating form, leading 392 of the scheduled 400 laps.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has never won a 600 – let alone never won a Cup race – at CMS, is looking to win in what will be his second-to-last Cup race at his home track before he retires at season’s end.

Charlotte has been a tough track for Earnhardt. In 33 previous starts, he has zero wins, just six top-5 and 12 top-10 finishes. His best finishes to date have been a pair of third-place showings (fall 2004 and spring 2015).

Kyle Larson comes into the race still atop the points lead and is looking for his first win at Charlotte. So, too, are guys like Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney and others.

Here’s the complete weekend schedule (all times are Eastern):

Thursday, May 25

11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. – Cup garage open

1:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

2 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. – First Cup practice (Fox Sports 1)

4 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. – First Xfinity practice (FS1)

6 p.m. – 6:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (FS1)

7:15 p.m. – Cup qualifying (multi-vehicle, three rounds) (FS1, Performance Racing Network)

Friday, May 27

Track and garages are closed

Saturday, May 27

6:30 a.m. – Xfinity garage open

7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Cup garage open

9 – 9:55 a.m. – Second Cup practice (FS1)

10:05 a.m. – Xfinity qualifying (multi-vehicle, three rounds) (FS1)

11:15 a.m. – Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting

11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. – Cup final practice (FS1)

12:30 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

1 p.m. – Xfinity Hisense 4K TV 300 (200 laps, 300 miles) (FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, May 28

12:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

4 p.m. – Driver/crew chief meeting

5:20 p.m. – Driver introductions

6 p.m. – Coca-Cola 600 (400 laps, 600 miles) (FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

 

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NASCAR America: Slugger Labbe says why he left Richard Childress Racing (video)

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Slugger Labbe announced Monday that after six seasons, he would be leaving the No. 3 team of Austin Dillon and Richard Childress Racing.

While he does not rule out a potential return to RCR at some point in the future, for now he’s just taking a break and fielding potential opportunities from other organizations.

Justin Alexander will take over as Dillon’s crew chief immediately, just in time for arguably the most difficult race on the schedule, Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

My Home Tracks: New Mexico’s the Land of Enchantment and home of Cardinal Speedway

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The state of New Mexico is known more for IndyCar racing, with the Unser family being the state’s favorite sons.

Al Unser won four Indianapolis 500s, brother Bobby three and Al’s son Al Jr. a two-time winner (this weekend’s 500 marks the 25th anniversary of Little Al’s second 500 triumph).

But there’s a strong grassroots racing scene in the Land of Enchantment, particularly in the far southeast corner of the state at Cardinal Speedway, a half-mile dirt track in the little town of Eunice.

NASCAR America continues its My Home Track series of 50 states in 50 shows.

Wednesday, we visit New York state.

2018 NASCAR schedule changes: EVP Steve O’Donnell breaks it down (video)

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On Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell joined us to discuss the NASCAR Cup schedule changes in 2018, including running a road race at Charlotte and having Indianapolis be the final race before the playoffs.

“I’m real excited about these changes,” said O’Donnell, who cited unprecedented cooperation between NASCAR, its teams, drivers and sponsors to reach agreement on the schedule changes.

Among the key changes: Las Vegas will kick off the 10-race playoffs in 2018 (Chicagoland Speedway, which will have hosted the last seven playoff openers, will return to its more traditional race date in early July/late June and serve as a run-up to the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona.

Several other changes include:

  • The fall playoff race at Charlotte will move up a couple weeks in the schedule and also incorporate competition on both the infield road course and part of the speedway itself.
  • After 14 years as the deciding race to qualify for the NASCAR Cup playoffs, Richmond International Raceway will now become the second race of the playoffs.
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway will see it’s Brickyard 400 go from late July to become the final qualifying race for the playoffs in early September.

Catch up on all the changes in the above video.