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?