Comcast NBCUniversal to sponsor Matt Tifft’s Xfinity car at Daytona (VIDEO)

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Comcast NBCUniversal will partner with Joe Gibbs Racing to sponsor Matt Tifft’s Xfinity car this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

Tifft will drive the NBCUniversal Salute to Service Toyota Camry. Comcast NBCUniversal will celebrate the U.S. military during this weekend’s NASCAR Salutes event at Daytona by hosting more than 50 local service members and their families.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense recently named Comcast NBCUniversal as a recipient of the 2017 Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Freedom Award, the highest honor the Department of Defense awards to employers for support of their National Guard and Reserve employees. Comcast NBCUniversal is on track to hire more than 10,000 veterans, National Guard and Reserve members and military spouses by the end of this year.

“Comcast NBCUniversal is honored to recognize those who have served our country through our Salute to Service partnership with Matt Tifft and Joe Gibbs Racing,” says Carol Eggert, Senior Vice President of Military and Veteran Affairs, Comcast Cable, and Brigadier General (Ret.), U.S. Army. “We support our nation’s military community and value the tremendous contributions of those who serve our country.”

Fans can tune in at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday for the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 on NBCSN. At that race, Comcast NBCUniversal will host about 50 local service members and their families from military bases in Florida and Georgia, providing a VIP experience that includes grandstand tickets and access to activities and events. The company also worked with NASCAR to replace the Xfinity windshield header on all NASCAR Xfinity Series cars with the names of military installations from all five branches.  Examples include: Patrick Air Force Base 45th Space Wing; USCG Station Port Canaveral; and the 514th Air Mobility Wing out of Trenton, NJ.

“It is a true honor to partner with Comcast and NBCUniversal for NASCAR Salutes this weekend in Daytona, and specifically to recognize the 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Georgia on our car,” says Tifft. “NASCAR has always done a tremendous job recognizing our military members and their families, and the commitment Comcast has to those who serve our country is incredible. I’m just thankful to have a chance to be a part of it all.”

This year, Comcast NBCUniversal ranked in the top 10 on Military Times’ “Best for Vets Employers” list, No. 4 on GI Jobs Magazine’s 2017 “Military Friendly Employer” list, and No. 1 in Military Spouse magazine’s “Top 100 Military Spouse Friendly Employers” list.  Beyond hiring, the company has also engaged with and supported the military community in a variety of ways.  In the past year alone, Comcast has streamed the Summer Olympics to active duty and retired military personnel and their families at no cost; helped members of the military community to start their own businesses through its national partnership with Bunker Labs; and through NBC News, the company has highlighted the challenges that military caregivers face as part of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes campaign.

Stage 1 winner AJ Allmendinger blows engine at Sonoma

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AJ Allmendinger lost the engine on his No. 47 Chevrolet on Lap 33 of Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway, not long after winning Stage 1.

Allmendinger was running in 13th when the engine blew, a result of a bad shift. It is his first DNF at Sonoma.

The JTG Daugherty Racing driver, a favorite to contend in road course races, had started the race in fifth and made it to second before drifting back.

Once the race leaders pitted with four and three laps left in the stage, Allmendinger took the lead.

Allmendinger has started in the top five in the last five Sonoma races and not finished better than 14th.

“I haven’t missed a shift on a road course in 10 years,” Allmendinger told Fox Sports 1. “Just me. I was trying to be so patient, so smooth with it. It was unexpected. It’s on me. I let everybody down here.”

Jamie McMurray also experienced a mechanical issue that caused his engine to shut off and lose oil pressure. He was pushed to the garage.

 

 

NASCAR community pays tribute to World of Outlaws driver killed in crash

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The NASCAR community paid tribute to World of Outlaws driver Jason Johnson, who died after a sprint car crash Saturday night at Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Raceway.

Johnson crashed after a restart racing for the lead. Witnesses said that Johnson’s car flipped and went through billboards outside Turn 3, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Johnson won the 2016 Knoxville Nationals. He finished sixth in the points last year in the World of Outlaws.

 

Today’s Cup race at Sonoma: Start time, lineup and more

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There has been a different winner in each of the last nine Cup races at Sonoma Raceway, site of today’s Cup race. Those nine winners have been Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick.

Will there be a 10th different winner at the road course?

Here is all the information for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley will give the command to start engines at 3:01 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:13 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: Garage opens at 10:30 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:20 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEMBroadway Under The Stars in Sonoma Valley, Transcendence’s Meggie Cansler will perform the anthem at 2:55 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 80 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kevin Harvick led the final 22 laps to win last year’s race. Clint Bowyer placed second. Brad Keselowski finished third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for full qualification results.

Staff picks for today’s Cup race at Sonoma

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Here’s a look at who the NBC Sports staff is picking to win today’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.

Nate Ryan

Martin Truex Jr. He probably had the best car at Sonoma last year; his team closes the deal this season.

Dustin Long

Kevin Harvick. No one can stop him on an oval or a road course.

Daniel McFadin

William Byron pulls off a shocking win in his first Cup race at Sonoma.

Dan Beaver

Jamie McMurray seesaws through the field, but gets track position in the closing laps.