NASCAR on NBC podcast, Episode VIII: Roundtable hosted by Dave Briggs

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NBCSN host Dave Briggs makes his debut on the NASCAR on NBC podcast, leading a dissection of the 2016 season heading into Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

In our eighth episode, Briggs, Parker Kligerman and Nate Ryan hold a roundtable discussion on several major issues in NASCAR, including:

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s pledge to donate his brain for research and what it means about where drivers and the sanctioning body stand on concussion research;

–The impact of the lower downforce rules at Martinsville Speedway;

–The favorite for this race and why the balance of power could shift because of the renewed emphasis on tire management;

–The fate of Kasey Kahne;

–Evaluating the impact and message of recent penalties by NASCAR;

–The decision by defending series champion Kyle Busch to skip a postrace media session and what it means for him, the media and fans;

–NASCAR’s best- and worst-dressed;

–The emergence of Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney;

–What can be done about the dominance of Sprint Cup drivers in the Xfinity Series.

To hear those discussions and more, listen to the podcast by clicking below, or download and subscribe to it on iTunes by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone. It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here.

A breakdown of this week’s episode via time cues for easy referencing:

1:00 – Dale Jr. brain donation/concussion history

2:45 – Parker on Dale Jr. being NASCAR’s most genuine in social media

4:15 – Has the conversation on concussions changed in NASCAR?

5:15 – The dichotomy of Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on head injuries

6:15 – “A lot of drivers were scared at first about baseline testing.”

7:45 – What undergoing a concussion baseline test is like for a driver

9:45 – How NASCAR and NFL are different in concussions

10:30 – Will concussion policy be an objective for the driver council

12:00 – What ultimately drives the decisions on handling concussions

13:00 – Recapping NASCAR’s last trip to Martinsville

14:45 – Parker is ready to move on from Kenseth-Logano

16:15 – Why lower downforce will have less of an impact at Martinsville

17:45 – Could the emphasis on tire management change the game?

18:45 – The overwhelming favorite for Sunday is …

20:30 – … but there are some other candidates.

22:00 – Parker says keep an eye on the underdogs

23:00 – But is the balance of power really shifting in Sprint Cup?

25:15 – The plight of Kasey Kahne

27:15 – “This is a perplexing situation. It’s tough to watch as a driver.”

28:30 – Curse of the fourth car?

30:00 – When relationships go stale in NASCAR

32:00 – Deconstructing last week’s NASCAR penalties

33:45 – Parker on the “most ridiculous notion” in NASCAR

35:00 – Old Kyle vs. New Kyle

36:00 – The essence of Kyle Busch

37:30 – Blowing off the media comes with consequences

39:00 – NASCAR fashion and the sport’s best socks

41:00 – The 2016 starts of Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney

42:30 – “It’s been a considerable drought” for young drivers

44:15 – Another rookie to consider

45:30 – Twitter question #1 – Cup drivers in the Xfinity Series

47:30 – How a truck team budget can be the template for Xfinity

49:00 – Is it about eliminating Cup teams instead of drivers from Xfinity?

50:30 – Twitter question #2 – More feuding at Martinsville?

Sioux Chief to sponsor ARCA Showdown, East Series to race at Nashville Fairgrounds

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ARCA announced Saturday that Sioux Chief Manufacturing will be the entitlement sponsor of its 10-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown in 2020.

Sioux Chief Manufacturing is a Missouri company that designs and manufactures rough plumbing products, parts, and accessories for residential, commercial, industrial and government applications

Sioux Chief has been involved in ARCA since 2015 as a race event sponsor and special awards program sponsor and sponsored ARCA’s former Short Track Challenge.

As part of the deal, a newly increased point fund, combined with race purses, owner plan, and contingency awards, will offer teams a chance to compete for a share of over $920,000 in posted awards throughout the series.

The Sioux Chief Showdown will bring together the best drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West, formerly known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Those events, held on oval tracks 1.25-miles in length and under and road courses, offer drivers who may not be able or eligible to run the full 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule the opportunity to run for a championship. Combined with the overall ARCA Menards Series championship, and the East and West championships, drivers will have four separate championships to compete for in 2020.

The announcement was made at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Also present was promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises, who announced that the ARCA Menards Series East would compete at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 2.

The Tennessean reported this week that the Nashville Fairgrounds was negotiating with Sargent to promote at least three races at the short track in 2020. Sargent’s involvement in the track comes after Nashville’s Fair Board voted to terminate its agreement with Formosa Productions to run the track over outstanding debt.

The ARCA Menards Series has competed at the Fairgrounds the last five seasons. The ARCA Menards Series East, formerly known as the K&N Pro Series East, competed there from 2007-08.

GMS Racing reveals full-time driver-crew chief lineup, number assignments

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GMS Racing has announced its full-time driver-crew chief lineup for the 2020 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season and number assignments for its trucks:

– Chad Norris has been named crew chief for Brett Moffitt and the No. 23 Chevrolet team. Moffitt drove the No. 24 in his first season with the team. Norris has been with GMS Racing for two years and directed the effort that delivered the team its 2018 Xfinity Series win at Talladega.

– Chad Walter will lead Tyler Ankrum and the No. 26 team. 2020 will be Ankrum’s first season with GMS Racing. Walter served as an engineer for Ankrum this season at DGR-Crosley. Walter has five wins and 42 top fives in 208 Xfinity Series starts as crew chief.

– Kevin “Bono” Manion is paired with Zane Smith on the No. 21 Chevrolet. 2020 will be Smith’s first full-time Trucks season after competing part-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Manion has 24 wins as crew chief across all three national series since 2003. He led Martin Truex Jr. to his two Xfinity Series titles.

– Jeff Stankiewicz will remain as the crew chief for the No. 2 team piloted by Sheldon Creed.

Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

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NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.


Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Joey and Caitlin Gase welcome twin sons

Joey Gase
Joey Gase Twitter
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Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase and his wife Caitlin are now parents to twin boys

The babies were born on Wednesday. Their names are Jace and Carson.

More: Brad and Paige Keselowski welcome second daughter