NASCAR America: Is NASCAR ‘dumbing down’ the sport for ‘parity’?

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NASCAR will see a number of changes in 2018, from Dale Earnhardt Jr. being officially retired to an even greater presence of young drivers.

There’ll also be rules changes, particularly the number of crew members that will be allowed over the wall to service race cars. One of those changes will include gas men being unable to do anything else but just fuel cars (in the past, they’ve been able to make adjustments and help out their fellow crew members, if needed).

On Monday’s NASCAR America, analysts Dale Jarrett, Steve Letarte and Kyle Petty all gave their thoughts on the new rule changes, particularly the over-the-wall limits.

Here’s some of what they had to say:

LETARTE: “Going from six to five, in my opinion, I’m not a fan. I don’t like it. I liked pit stops better than there were seven (over the wall members). While parity is the goal and while the rules should be in place to give every team the opportunity to go out and compete, I don’t see how limiting the number going over pit road is helping this at all.

“Now there is no argument over safety. Less people over the pit wall is safer, there’s no argument. But going from six to five and basically making the gas man only the gas man, means the other four have to be the most elite athletes, the best of the best, and I don’t think that creates parity.

“If anything, I think it’s the opposite. I think that the biggest teams, the ones with the deepest pockets, the ones that can get the best of the best, the Tom Brady’s of tire changers or jackmen, will have a distinct advantage. If anything, I think this separates the playing field more than it levels it.”

JARRETT: “I just see this as being something I’m not going to be a fan of. We’ll see how it works out. NASCAR has done a lot of good things to enhance the competition over the years, but every year we seem to get in a cost-saving mode, these owners are going to spend whatever it takes and some people will probably make better money because of this.”

PETTY: “There’s been lots of innovations on pit road, and almost always when a change is made on pit road, it’s for safety. You’ll never hear me arguing about safety. … This is 2017, 2018. This is the way the game is played.

“But the problem I have for this announcement is parity, to change the sport and make it equal. We’re dumbing the sport down. We’re taking Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing have worked their rear ends off to develop (air) guns and things and to be better, now we’re saying, ‘That team over there, they can’t do that, so guess what, you don’t get to use it this week.’

“(That’s like) the Patriots play and the other team’s quarterback doesn’t have the same quarterback rating as (Tom) Brady, Brady doesn’t get to play because we’re just going to dumb the sport down so we play it to the lowest common denominator.

“That’s my problem with parity. We should not have it. It’s up to the teams to go out and know how to win, to work towards winning. It’s not NASCAR’s job, and I’ve never felt to make me a winner. … If I can’t do it, that’s life, dude. I go out of business. That’s life in the coffee, farm and grocery store business. It’s not their (NASCAR’s) job to equal the field. It’s my job as an owner or driver to put the right people in the right places to go out and win races.”

For all that Petty, Letarte and Jarrett had to say, check out the full video above.

Results, Xfinity point standings after Iowa

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Justin Allgaier had a career day, leading 182 laps and sweeping all three stages in his win at Iowa Speedway.

The JR Motorsports driver claimed his seventh career Xfinity win.

Allgaier was followed by Christopher Bell, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Brandon Jones.

Click here for results.

Points

After his second straight finish of 28th or worse, Elliott Sadler‘s point lead after 14 races is down to a four-point advantage over Custer.

The top five is completed by Hemric (-7 points), Tyler Reddick (-31) and Bell (-3).

After his win Sunday, Allgaier is sixth in the standings, 51 points back from his JR Motorsports teammate.

Click here for the full standings.

Justin Allgaier dominates in Xfinity win at Iowa Speedway

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Justin Allgaier fended off Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell to win Sunday’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Allgaier held Bell and the rest of the field at bay in a 12-lap shootout to capture his second win of the year.

The top five was completed by Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Brandon Jones.

Allgaier led a career-high 182 laps and swept every stage.

“We had a great car today, these guys did a fantastic job,” Allgaier told Fox Sports 1.

The JR Motorsports driver took the lead for the first time with two laps to go in Stage 1 when he passed pole-sitter Austin Cindric.

The win qualifies Allgaier for the playoffs. His first win at Dover was disqualified toward playoff contention after his car failed post-race inspection.

Bell placed second after starting from the rear. His car failed to get through qualifying inspection, resulting in him not making a qualifying attempt.

“Man, I just needed to be in front of (Allgaier)” Bell told FS1. “It was really good on the bottom in both corners. I just didn’t have enough to clear him.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

MORE: Race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Christopher Bell earned his fourth top-two finish of the season … Daniel Hemric claimed his fourth top-three finish in the last five races … Riley Herbst placed sixth in his series debut … Justin Haley placed 12th in his debut … Kaz Grala placed 10th for his second top 10 in four starts for Fury Race Cars … Ty Majeski finished seventh, giving Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 team its first top 10 of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Elliott Sadler cut a tire and got into the wall late in Stage 1. He finished 28th for his second straight finish outside the top 25. He had finished in the top 10 in the first 12 races … Brandon Hightower wrecked with 17 laps to go to set up the final restart. He finished 30th.

WHAT’S NEXT: Overton’s 300 at Chicagoland Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on June 30 on NBCSN

Austin Cindric wins pole for Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway

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Austin Cindric won the pole for tonight’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway, claiming his first career pole.

The Team Penske driver earned the pole with a top speed of 131.409 mph.

The rookie is followed by Daniel Hemric (130.988 mph), Brandon Jones (130.836), Elliott Sadler (130.532) and Cole Custer (130.435).

“It’s huge for me, it’s a huge weight off my shoulders as well …Being so close to so many poles these last few races with these Penske guys,” Cindric told Fox Sports 2.

Kaz Grala will make his best-career start in eighth. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Riley Herbst will start ninth in his series debut.

Seven of the starting top 10 have never won a series race.

Justin Haley will start 13th. He will be followed by Shane Lee, John Hunter Nemechek, Ross Chastain, and Ty Majeski.

Christopher Bell and Ryan Reed will start from the rear after they failed to get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt.

The race is scheduled to start at 5:14 p.m. ET.

Click here for qualifying results.

Today’s Xfinity race at Iowa: Start time, lineup and more

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series enjoys the spotlight with the Cup Series off and no Cup drivers competing in today’s race at Iowa Speedway.

There’s a good chance of seeing a new winner for this season. Only three drivers who have won this year (Tyler Reddick at Daytona, Christopher Bell at Richmond and Justin Allgaier at Dover) are entered in today’s race.

Here are the details for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Craig Abel will give the command to start engines at 5:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 5:14 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 250 laps (218.75 miles) around the 0.875-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60. Stage 2 ends on Lap 120.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 11 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 2 p.m. Qualifying is at 2:35 p.m. Driver introductions are at 4:30 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Specialist Michelle Monroe from the Iowa National Guard 34th Army will perform the anthem at 5:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 5 p.m. Coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 4:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 90 degrees and zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: William Byron won this race last June. Ryan Sieg was second. Tyler Reddick placed third. Ryan Preece won the July race. Kyle Benjamin was second. Brian Scott placed third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the lineup.