NASCAR America analysts discuss key storylines entering season

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The NASCAR season is almost here and so is the return of NASCAR America on NBCSN.

NASCAR America will be back on the air at 6 p.m. ET Monday. NASCAR on NBC analysts Steve Letarte, Kyle Petty, Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett and Parker Kligerman are ready for the start of the season.

With that in mind, they each talked about the storyline that intrigues them the most entering this season.

Steve Letarte: I’m a true believer that of the 16 playoff spots there are going to be four or six of them that will be determined on points alone. I think that leaving Richmond in September we’re going to look at the stage points awarded determining what four of six drivers there are. I think that those are basically going to determine what driver in that mid-tier that was not fortunate enough to win a race moves forward.

Kyle Petty: Stewart-Haas Racing. Move to Ford and lack of sponsorship as a whole for the company. How will this affect Kevin Harvick, arguably the most consistent championship driver since joining SHR.

Jeff Burton: The format changes, the points changes, how they influence the races, I think that is going to be fascinating to watch.

Dale Jarrett: I think probably like everybody else, how does the new format impact the racing first and foremost and then, eventually what this looks like when we get to the playoffs. How do all the points add up with the drivers getting those opportunities? Does it create racing in a different way? I’m really excited to see this. I’m glad the changes were made. Now, that they have been made, everybody understands where the rules are, and I know this is something that will evolve over the season. In the beginning of the year I’m really anxious to see how does it impact the racing and is it better for the fans.

Parker Kligerman: I know the much vaunted enhancements will be a major storyline for the year simply because they will eventually decide the champion in a new way and may affect the races in ways we have never seen before.

With that said, I believe something bigger is occurring as we head into 2017. With the addition of a new title sponsor, the enhancements, continual shuttering of downforce and the intrigue of maybe using those under-utilized road courses in the tracks we go to, NASCAR is entering a brand new era of possibilities we haven’t seen in this sport. Ever. 

NASCAR America begins its fourth season at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 13 on NBCSN