Casey Mears talks about how Germain Racing has grown since its early days as a start-and-park team to where it is now in an appearance on NASCAR America this week. Mears also shares the story of how he ended up in a stock car — Sterling Marlin’s stock car — and discusses how this season has started for him this year.
Ryan Blaney was fastest in the Cup Series’ final practice session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Blaney posted a top speed of 133.572 mph.
Blaney also had the best 10-lap average.
Matt DiBenedetto‘s left-rear tire shredded twice during the session.
“Not a lot of warning, I’ll tell you that,” DiBenedetto told NBCSN after the first tire problem. “I went down into (Turn) 1 and I was passing (Landon Cassill), as soon as we got down into the corner I don’t know if we ran over something or what but the left rear went down in a hurry.”
DiBenedetto, who qualified seventh for Sunday’s race, was able return to the track to make a lap right before the session ended.
LOUDON, N.H. — Alex Bowman will be moving to his third Cup car of the weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and this Camaro isn’t even his.
After suffering a driveshaft failure in qualifying Friday that ruined his primary car, Bowman crashed his backup No. 88 Chevrolet in final practice Saturday on the 1.058-mile oval.
Hendrick team members immediately began scrambling to prepare the backup No. 48 Chevrolet of teammate Jimmie Johnson for Bowman (Hendrick’s fourth driver, William Byron, already was in a backup after crashing Saturday morning).
Hendrick Motorsports vice president of competition Jeff Andrews told NBCSN’s Dave Burns that the team elected to use Johnson’s car instead of Chase Elliott‘s No. 9 because Johnson’s car had a traditional paint scheme that made the switchover more favorable to wrapping the car in the No. 88’s sponsor colors and logos.
“To rewrap the 48 vs. the 9, that’s a better option for us in terms of body tolerances and things like that,” Andrews said. “There’ll be only decals to rip off (Johnson’s car) due to the fact that the base coat is a paint and then we’ll apply the 88 wrap to that 48 chassis and body.
“Obviously we’ve got a great group of guys. Unfortunately, we’ve been put through a lot the last couple of days, but we’ll get through it, and we’ll line up and go racing tomorrow. It’s been a tough day, but we’ll get through it.”
Crew chief Greg Ives gathered all of Bowman’s team in the No. 88 hauler after the wreck.
“I think for Alex and the team, you just have to keep track of the big picture here, and we have to stay focused and not panic and go out tomorrow and do the best we can in the race,” Andrews said. “Certainly yesterday was not Alex’s fault. We had a mechanical failure there, and today we’re not really sure what happened there, but obviously at this point in time, we just need to get the best car underneath Alex and the race team.”
Matt DiBenedetto also suffered two tire problems on his No. 95 Toyota (without sustaining major damage) during the final practice, which was paced by Ryan Blaney.
Defending Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick has a new title: Father-to-be.
Reddick, 23, announced on Instagram Saturday that he and girlfriend Alexa De Leon are expecting their first child.
The Richard Childress Racing driver made the announcement while the Xfinity Series is competing in New Hampshire.
The birth of the child will make Reddick one of only two drivers in the top 10 in Xfinity points who have children. Justin Allgaier, who is 33, is the other.
Bell won this race a year ago. Will the dominance of the Xfinity Series’ Big 3 continue or will a new winner emerge?
Here is all the info you need for today’s race:
(All times are Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given at 4:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:16 p.m.
PRERACE: Garage opens at 7:30 a.m. Qualifying is at 11:05 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1:30 p.m. Driver introductions are at 3:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. by Pastor Mark Warren. Ellen Kane will perform the National Anthem at 4:01 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (211.6 miles) around the 1.058-mile track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 45. Stage 2 ends on Lap 90.
TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. with Countdown to Green on NBCSN. The Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 3:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.
FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly sunny skies and a temperature of 94 degrees and a 2% chance of rain at the start of the race.
STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.