For the first time since he retired following the 2016 season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Tony Stewart climbed back into a NASCAR Cup car on Wednesday.
It’s not like he had a sudden change of heart and wanted to un-retire.
Rather, Stewart took part in his annual “Smoke Show” fantasy racing camp at Texas Motor Speedway.
The camp has raised over $1 million dollars for children’s charities by giving fans who donate a full day of what it’s like to be a NASCAR Cup driver.
The 15 fans who took part got to ride in a Cup car with Stewart giving them likely the ride of their lives, as well as turning keys over to the fans to drive Cup cars themselves under controlled conditions.
On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, we presented a special video replay of some of the activities that took part at TMS the day before.
Stewart, who seemed to have a constant smile on his face throughout the day’s activities, also took time to say how bullish he remains about Kevin Harvick‘s chances of advancing in the NASCAR Cup playoffs.
Check out the video above and, who knows, maybe you’ll want to take part in next year’s “Smoke Show” at TMS.
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.
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.
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.
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)