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Who is Hot and Not ahead of the Bristol night race

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When Jimmie Johnson won at Bristol Motor Speedway last April, he accomplished something unusual in the recent history at “Thunder Valley.”

His win came with his pit stop on the backstretch of the half-mile track. That was the only time in the last six Bristol races a driver has won while pitting on the backstretch.

Johnson’s win was also just the fourth time in the last 14 Bristol starts that a driver not associated with Team Penske or Joe Gibbs Racing won. It was the second straight after Kevin Harvick won last August’s race. The only other instances were Kasey Kahne in the spring 2013 race and Carl Edwards (then at Roush Fenway Racing) in the spring of 2014.

Going further, Joe Gibbs Racing (eight wins) and Team Penske (four wins) combined to win 12 of the last 17 Bristol races. Four different drivers won for JGR and two different drivers won for Team Penske.

Here is a look at who is hot and not ahead of Saturday’s night race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Who is Hot

Erik Jones

• Finished third at Michigan to tie his best-career finish
• Finished top 10 in the last three races, best streak of his career.
• Finished 17th at Bristol in April.
• Two Xfinity wins at Bristol.

Kyle Busch

• Finished 10th at Michigan after being penalized for pitting before pit road was open.
• Finished top 10 in the last three races to tie his best streak this season.
• Won from the pole at Pocono for only win of 2017. Had four wins at this point in 2016.
• Five Bristol wins, but last was in 2011.
• Finished 29th or worse in five of the last six races at Bristol (DNF after Accident in last three).

Kevin Harvick

• Finished 13th at Michigan
• Finished top 10 in 12 of the last 17 races.
• Won this race last year, one of two Bristol wins
• Finished top 10 in the last four Bristol races including three top threes.

Brad Keselowski

• Finished 17th at Michigan after winning the pole, worst finish in the last five races.
• Series-leading 11 top-fives this season.
• Two-time Bristol winner, in 2011 and 2012.
• Finished 18th or worse in four of the last five races at Bristol including 34th in April.

Who is Not

Kurt Busch

• Finished 11th at Michigan. Only two top-10 finishes in the last seven races.
• Three DNFs in the last seven races.
• Just 10 top-10 finishes this season after having 16 through 23 races in 2016.
• Has not had back-to-back top 10s since Richmond and Talladega.
• Five Bristol wins but last was in 2006. Four of the five wins came in the Spring race.
• Only three finishes better than 14th in the last 12 races at Bristol.

Austin Dillon

• Finished seventh at Michigan for first top-10 finish since winning at Charlotte in May.
• Only three top-10 finishes this season. Had 10 at this point last year.
• Five top-15 finishes in seven Bristol starts. Best finish of fourth in this race last year.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

• Finished 14th at Michigan. Last top-10 finish was at Sonoma in June.
• Only two top 10s in the last 11 races.
• One Bristol win in 2004 night race.
• Finished 38th with DNF after accident in April.

Joey Logano

• Finished 28th at Michigan. Tenth finish outside the top 20 in the last 14 races.
• Won at Richmond but was encumbered for failing post-race inspection.
• Now 98 points outside the bubble, must win to make the playoffs.
• Finished top 10 in five of the last six races at Bristol including two wins.

NASCAR America: How Daniel Suarez found out he was replacing Carl Edwards (video)

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On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Daniel Suarez recalled the moment he got the call that he was being promoted to replace Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Cup Series at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Suarez was at dinner back home in Mexico with family and friends when JGR officials called and him to be ready for a teleconference in a few moments.

Suarez stepped away, telling his dinner partners he’d be back shortly — which ultimately lasted 40 minutes.

When he returned to the dinner table, he couldn’t tell anything about the phone call — JGR officials swore him to secrecy — but he eventually revealed that he had been promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series to replace Edwards, who had decided to take a hiatus from his racing career.

Check out the video above.

 

 

Tonight’s Cup race at Kentucky: Start time, weather, TV/radio info

http://nascar.nbcsports.com/2017/07/07/matt-kenseth-probably-wont-return-to-joe-gibbs-racing-in-2018-but-wants-to-keep-racing-cup/
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Joe Gibbs Racing remains winless this season in Cup. The weekend started with Matt Kenseth saying he doesn’t have a ride for 2018 and doesn’t believe returning to JGR is an option. The good news for JGR is that the organization has won three of the six races at Kentucky. Kyle Busch has two wins and Kenseth one. 

Here are the particulars for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Tom Greco, president and CEO of Advance Auto Parts, will give the command for drivers to start engines at 7:37 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 267 laps (400.5 miles) around the 1.5-mile speedway.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 30

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 80. Stage 2 ends on Lap 160.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Cup garage opens at 1 p.m. The drivers meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Driver introductions are at 7 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Linkin’ Bridge, from America’s Got Talent on NBC, will perform the Anthem at 7:31 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race at 7:30 p.m. Coverage begins with at 6 p.m. with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 7 p.m. Performance Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at goprn.com. PRN’s coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts 78 degrees at race time with a 1 percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Brad Keselowski led 75 of 267 laps to win. Carl Edwards placed second. Ryan Newman was third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

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

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The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is in Northern California for the first race of the season on a road course. There have been eight different winners in the past eight years at Sonoma: Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart. Will there be a ninth different winner today?

Here are the particulars for today’s race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Cristela Alonzo, voice of Cruz Ramirez in Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3, and Renee Doss, Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician, will give the command for drivers to start engines at 3:08 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 3:20 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 110 laps (218.9 miles) around the 1.99-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 25. Stage 2 ends on Lap 50.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Cup garage opens at 10 a.m. The drivers meeting is at 1 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:20 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Natalie Gallo, Transcendence Theatre Company’s Broadway Under the Stars, will perform the Anthem at 3:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race at 3 p.m. Its coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at goprn.com. PRN’s coverage begins at 2 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts 73 degrees at race time with a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Tony Stewart won this race a year ago after a last-lap duel with Denny Hamlin, who finished second. Joey Logano was third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for today’s starting lineup

Carl Edwards surfaces, doesn’t miss racing: ‘I’m enjoying life and it’s good’

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Cancel the APB, take his face off the milk cartons.

Carl Edwards has been found. The former NASCAR Cup star surfaced Saturday at Sonoma Raceway – representing a former sponsor at an event that had been previously scheduled.

Edwards is happy, hale and hearty.

Yet if you think that returning to a racetrack means Edwards will be getting behind the wheel of a race car once again, forget about it.

But he hasn’t lost his wicked sense of humor, either.

“I’ve been talking to a bunch of people and weighing my options — no, just kidding,” he said with a laugh, according to JeffGluck.com.

Then Edwards got serious.

“I haven’t talked to anyone and I haven’t even considered coming back,” Edwards said. “Not right now.

“I think it’s pretty clear if I really want to do something, then I would do it. But like I said in January, I would talk to Coach (Joe Gibbs) first — and I haven’t had any conversations about that.”

Gluck noted that Edwards did write a thank-you note to Gibbs recently that reiterated the opportunity to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing and that the organization supported him when he decided to leave racing after last season.

Given that racing has been part of his life for more than half his life, it was interesting to hear Edwards, who turns 38 in August, say he hasn’t kept up much with NASCAR nor watched many races since he walked away from the sport.

But he is doing some good. He’s continuing to fly medical patients to treatment in his private plane.

Saturday was the first time Edwards has been at a racetrack since Atlanta Motor Speedway in early March.

He then added, per ESPN.com, “I’m probably happier and more content [than in March],” Edwards said. “You know how change is. You make a change, and there always is good and bad and there’s uneasiness. But, man, I’m enjoying life and it’s good.”

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