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Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage to receive distinguished alumni award

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Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage is going back to college.

The veteran motorsports promoter is heading back to his alma mater, Middle Tennessee State, this weekend to receive the school’s highest alumni honor.

Gossage will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, which according to a media release, “is presented to an alumnus representing excellence and distinction through their professional career, loyal support and service to the broader community.”

Gossage will accept the award during MTSU’s homecoming celebration Friday at 4 p.m. ET. He’ll also be honored at a variety of other activities on campus over the course of the weekend.

“It will be great to see the homecoming parade and the crowds along East Main and the pride the students have,” Gossage said. “It’s just really great to see that this was the place I picked when I was coming out of high school and look at how it has succeeded.

“It’s obviously doing something right. The university and Dr. McPhee (MTU president Dr. Sidney McPhee), they are doing things right. That’s why I’m proud to say I’m from Middle Tennessee.”

A Nashville native, Gossage earned a degree from the school’s former College of Mass Communications. He is in his 21st year of running Texas Motor Speedway.

“As I think back on Middle Tennessee State, it was a great place to learn and a great place to grow up,” Gossage said. “It’s one of the most fortunate decisions of my life.

“Thirty-eight seasons later, I’m still in the racing business and it has been very good to me. It’s exploded at a level and grown at a pace that I could have never foreseen.

“But I was fortunate to be at the right place, at the right time with the skills I had learned at Middle Tennessee. I was able to apply it and have success.”

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Denny Hamlin posts fastest lap in Saturday morning Cup practice

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LOUDON, N.H. – Denny Hamlin had the fastest lap in Saturday morning’s Cup practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, leading the field with a lap of 132.942 mph.

He was followed by Ryan Blaney (132.526 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (132.462), Kyle Busch (132.406) and Kevin Harvick (132.356).

Harvick ran the most laps at 50. Harvick told NASCAR on NBC broadcaster Rick Allen in the garage that he ran so many laps to see how much the speed falls off as the tires wear. Jimmie Johnson was next with 42 laps run.

There were no incidents in the 50-minute session.

Ryan Blaney had the best 10-lap average at 131.767 mph.

Click here for the speed chart.

Start time of Sunday’s Cup race moved up to 1 pm ET

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LOUDON, N.H. – The start time for Sunday’s Cup race has been moved up to 1 p.m. ET because of the threat of rain, NASCAR announced.

NBCSN will broadcast the race. NBCSN’s coverage begins at noon ET.

The wunderground.com forecast for 1 p.m. ET Sunday calls for a 49 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms. There is a threat of rain throughout the day.

Kurt Busch won the pole for Sunday’s race.

Two Cup teams to be penalized practice time Saturday at New Hampshire

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LOUDON, N.H. – Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne each will miss 15 minutes of Saturday’s final practice session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for inspection issues, NASCAR announced.

Hamlin is being penalized for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice last weekend at Kentucky. Kahne is being penalized for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice Friday at New Hampshire.

Final practice is scheduled to go from 12:35 – 1:25 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

NASCAR’s Saturday schedule for New Hampshire Motor Speedway

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Today’s schedule at New Hampshire Motor Speedway includes two Cup practice sessions and the Xfinity Series race at the “Magic Mile.”

Here’s the full schedule with TV and radio info.

(All times are Eastern)

Saturday, July 21

7 a.m. — Xfinity garage opens

8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. — Cup garage open

10:05 – 10:55 a.m. — Cup practice (CNBC)

11:05 a.m. — Xfinity qualifying; multi-vehicle/three rounds (CNBC)

12:35 – 1:25 p.m. — Final Cup practice (NBCSN)

1:30 p.m. — Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting

3:30 p.m. — Xfinity driver introductions

4 p.m. — Lakes Region 200 Xfinity race; 200 laps/211.6 miles (NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)