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Joey Logano, Ty Dillon adapting to sleepless nights as new fathers

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — It’s been three weeks since Joey Logano and wife Brittany welcomed their first child, Hudson, into the world.

How bad has the kid wrecked Logano’s sleeping habits?

“Dude. Dude,” Logano said Wednesday during the NASCAR Media Tour when asked by an older media member. “You have no idea. I’m sure you know. Actually, you should know. You know.”

Three fellow Cup drivers definitely know.

Ty Dillon, Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick joined Logano in having children in the last few months.

Dillon and his wife Haley became parents for the first time with daughter Haley in late November. Menard and his wife Jennifer had their second child at the beginning of November. Kevin and DeLana Harvick welcomed their first daughter, Piper Grace, before the New Year.

On Wednesday, Logano was euphoric about the amount of sleep he got the night before thanks to his brother-in-law taking his shift.

“It’s a big day today,” Logano said. “I have never felt better with seven hours of sleep in my life. This is great. Usually it is about four, so this is awesome.”

Three weeks in, the 27-year-old Team Penske driver has reevaluated some aspects of his work-home life balance.

“Mainly that I can’t halfway do something,” Logano said. “When I go to work, I have to be 100 percent at work and when I go home, I have to put my phone down, and that’s it. I have to learn to do that a little better probably. Sometimes it is hard to detach. That is probably one of the biggest things I think that will be very important moving forward as he gets older. There is a time for work and a time for family. I need to do 100 percent at each one of those and not try to do 50 percent at all of them. It just doesn’t work. I don’t think that is the best avenue at least.”

The late nights of trying to rock Hudson to sleep have been a humbling experience.

“I think it probably changes the perspective you have of your parents a lot,” Logano said. “I tell you I appreciate them a lot more. Not that I didn’t before but holy moly. I sit there in the middle of the night and it is three in the morning and he is crying his eyeballs out at me and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, my parents had to do this for me. I was like this at one point.'”

For Dillon, the 25-year-old father gets introspective during his late night tours of duty.

“When I’m sitting there at midnight or one in the morning trying to rock her back to sleep or hold her and just kind of looking into her and seeing small parts of myself and my wife in her is the coolest feeling in the world,” Dillon told NBC Sports.

The Germain Racing driver said he has realized “what life is truly about.”

“Just looking at what life starts as gives you such a perspective on living,” Dillon told media members. “So I hope to take what I’ve learned from being her father for just two months and kind of adapt it to every aspect of my life and the appreciation for what I have and what I am and who I am.”

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

It’s the second time around the baby block for Harvick and Menard.

Even so, the Harvick household has been a “war zone” since Piper Grace arrived, complete with Harvick having to walk around in a protective mask.

“Keelan (his first-born) was a handful the first couple of weeks trying to get adapted to someone else taking some of the attention,” Harvick told NBC Sports. “Then we all got sick the third week. So we’ve had Piper quarantined in one room. I was quarantined in another room. Mom and Keelan were in the middle of the house. I’ve been walking around with a mask on for three days. Finally got to get rid of my mask. I feel like everything is starting to flow as a house of four instead of a house of three. The family travel will be different for sure. But we also have to make sure that Keelan gets to do the things that he’s accustomed to doing and being a part of. That will be a main focus of family for sure.”

Harvick said he was “scared to death” when Keelan was born. But things are different the second time around with a baby girl.

“You expect no sleep, you know you’re going to get pooped and spit up on,” Harvick said. “There’s going to be some challenges of getting it all situated.”

According to Menard, his new-born son already has racing on the mind.

“I was holding him on the couch the other day and I had a little race car on my hoodie,” Menard told NBC Sports. “I had a Wood Brothers Racing sweatshirt on and it had a little race car on it and he stared at it for 20 minutes so I know we’re already in trouble with him.”

Menard said his son will get likely his first exposure to racing at next month’s Daytona 500.

MESSY SITUATION

For a long time Dillon told people he wouldn’t change any child’s diapers unless it was his own.

That time is here.

“The moment finally came and the first diaper up and this black tarry substance is in there and I’m changing the diaper very slowly and using like 20 wipes and every detail,” Dillon told NBC Sports. “She’s almost two months and a week (old) now and I can change diapers blindfolded and in zombie mode at two in the morning in like five seconds. It’s funny how you develop.”

Logano said his favorite moments as a dad so far have come in those late-night sessions with Hudson.

“You’re changing diapers and he’s crying and yelling and fussing at you and then he decides to take a leak all over you,” Lognao told NBC Sports. “At the time it’s not that funny but now it’s funny. If you’re a parent you understand. A few weeks ago someone told me this I’d say, ‘What is wrong with you?’ I get it now. Everything ends up great. You can get crapped on and you still like it. Go figure.”

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FanVision closes due to impact of COVID-19 pandemic

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FanVision Entertainment, the company that produces video devices used by race fans at NASCAR events, has ceased operations due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The news was announced in a statement from Racing Electronics, the company which sold and supported FanVision devices at NASCAR tracks through a license with FanVision Entertainment.

Racing Electronics, which is owned by NASCAR, can no longer sell or support the devices.

“We recognize this news will be met with disappointment by motorsports fans across the country who utilized FanVision’s products as part of their at-track experience,” Racing Electronics president Chad Willis said in a statement.

“To help fans and industry members transition to Racing Electronics products, we are working with existing FanVision device owners to solve their race day needs. When Racing Electronics returns to the track, fans and industry members will have access to all the sounds that make racing so special.”

RCR, Hendrick to collaborate on Chevy engine

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Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing will team up on research and development of a common Chevrolet engine after the conclusion of the 2020 season, the teams announced Thursday.

The two organizations will continue to function independently as they “fully leverage the knowledge and intellectual property of our two successful programs to advance Chevrolet’s engine for NASCAR,” they said in a joint statement.

Engines produced by Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing (via ECR Engines) have earned a combined 20 Cup titles and the two teams have totaled 369 Cup wins.

Jeff Andrews, the new executive vice president at Hendrick Motorsports, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive” Thursday that discussions about the venture between his team and RCR began two years ago.

“The day was going to come when we really needed to figure out how to get these two programs together,” Andrews said. “A tremendous amount of talent, people and a tremendous amount of equipment and resources between the two programs. How could we do this? How could we take the longstanding heritage between these two companies and get that together to start working on an alliance that truly would produce the ultimate powertrain for Chevrolet NASCAR?”

RCR is headquartered in Welcome, North Carolina and Hendrick’s campus is in Concord, North Carolina.

“I think when you step back and look at it, ultimately you have to get to a point to where, when you have these resources and you have these people, we have to do what’s best for Chevrolet, first and foremost, to continue to push their performance and get them back to the front of the field and get them wins and championships,” Andrews said. “Really, we work together in a very similar fashion. We started two years ago on the aerodynamic side with our groups working very close together and we’re kind of taking somewhat of that template and applying to the engine side in starting this joint alliance.”

Chevrolet last won a Cup title in 2016 when Jimmie Johnson earned his record-tying seventh championship. Since then, Chevy has not had a car reach the championship four.

The Cup Series is in the middle of the Round of 12. The series races Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

Of the 12 cars that remain, four are Chevrolets: Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon, Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch.

Chevrolet cars have won six times through 30 races this season. That’s compared to seven wins in all of 2019, four in 2018 and and 10 in 2017.

NASCAR weekend schedule for Talladega

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The NASCAR playoffs roll on this weekend to Talladega Superspeedway.

All three national series will be racing on NASCAR’s largest oval. The weekend will be capped off by the Cup Series’ Round of 12 race.

More: Denny Hamlin on pole for Cup race at Talladega

MORE: 2021 Cup schedule features new tracks, bold changes 

Here is the weekend schedule for Talladega:

(All times Eastern)

Friday, Oct. 2

Noon – 2 p.m. – Driver motorhome parking (screening in progress)

1 – 3 p.m. – Truck Series haulers enter (screening and equipment unload)

3 – 9 p.m. – Truck Series garage open

3 – 8 p.m. – Truck Series garage access screening

3:30 – 4 p.m. – Truck Series rookie meeting (teleconference)

5:30 p.m. – Xfinity rookie meeting (teleconference)

6 p.m. – Xfinity driver-crew chief meeting

8:30 – 10:30 p.m. – Xfinity haulers enter (screening in progress)

 

Saturday, Oct. 3

7:30 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Xfinity garage access (screening in progress)

10 a.m. – Truck Series garage opens

10 a.m. – Noon – Truck Series garage access (screening in progress)

12:45 p.m. – Truck Series drivers report to vehicles

1 p.m. – Truck Series race; 94 laps/250.04 miles (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

4 p.m. – Truck Series haulers exit

4:05 p.m. – Xfinity drivers report to cars

4:30 p.m. – Xfinity race; 113 laps/300.58 miles (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

5:30 p.m. – Cup rookie meeting (electronic communication)

6 p.m. – Cup driver-crew chief meeting (electronic communication)

7:30 p.m. – Xfinity haulers exit

8:30 – 10:30 p.m. – Cup haulers enter (screening in progress and equipment unload)

 

Sunday, Oct. 4

7 a.m. – Cup garage opens

7 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Cup garage access screening in progress

1:30 p.m. – Cup drivers report to cars

1:30 p.m. – Driver introductions

2 p.m. – Cup race; 188 laps/500 miles (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

6:30 p.m. – Cup haulers exit

2021 NASCAR Cup schedule features new tracks, bold changes

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The 2021 Cup schedule features the first race on a dirt track for the series in more than 50 years, three new venues and six road course points races.

Responding to fan interest, the series adds three road course events to the 2021 schedule. Those new races are May 23 at Circuit of the Americas, July 4 at Road America and Aug. 15 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The other points races on road courses in 2021 will be at Sonoma, Watkins Glen and the Charlotte Roval. The Daytona road course will host the Busch Clash exhibition race.

The race that might gain the most attention, though, could be the March 28 Cup race at Bristol. The track will be converted to dirt.

There are no midweek races. Pocono Raceway continues to have the only doubleheader weekend. There is a two-week break in late July/early August during the Olympics. NBC’s portion of the schedule will begin with the June 20 race at Nashville Superspeedway.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president & chief racing development officer, says the plan is to have practice and qualifying for new venues (Circuit of the Americas, Road America, Nashville) and new configurations (Indy road course) along with key events (Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600 and Phoenix championship weekend). The plan is for the other races to be one-day shows.

The schedule is flush with change. Here’s a look at those changes:

NEW EVENTS

March 28 – Bristol Dirt race: It is the first Cup race on dirt since 1970 at Raleigh, a race won by Richard Petty.

May 9 – Darlington: The track that NASCAR returned to after the season was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic this year will host two races in 2021. The track adds a spring date and it will be run on Mother’s Day. It will be only the third time in the last 40 years Cup has run on Mother’s Day. The added race comes from Michigan International Speedway, which will have one race in 2021.

May 23 – Circuit of the Americas: Inaugural race for the series on the road course in Austin, Texas that has hosted Formula One and IndyCar, among other series.

June 13 – All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway: First time the All-Star race has been held at this track. Marks third different year for the event after being in Charlotte in 2019 and Bristol this year.

June 20 – Nashville: The 1.333-mile track will hold its first race for Cup. The track hosted Xfinity and Truck races from 2001-11. The date comes from a Dover, leaving that race with one NASCAR race weekend in 2021. This weekend begins NBC Sports’ coverage of NASCAR races.

July 4- Road America: Will host the Cup Series for the first time. Gets holiday weekend with July 4 date. The date comes from Chicagoland Speedway, which will not have a NASCAR race in 2021.

July 11 – Atlanta: Kentucky race date moves to Atlanta to give track a second race. The first race at the track in 2021 will be March 21.

Aug. 15 – Indianapolis road course: After comping on the oval since 1994, Cup moves to the road course. Will be a part of a race weekend with the IndyCar Series. 

OTHER DATES OF NOTE

Feb. 21 – Miami: Moves to second race of the season and comes a week after Daytona 500.

Feb. 28 – Auto Club: Moves up a week earlier and this will be its last race as a 2-mile track. Track will be converted into a short track after this event for 2022.

April 10 – Martinsville: Track hosted its first night race in June but did not have fans because of the coronavirus. This April race will be at night. Provided fans will be allowed at that point, it will be their first time to witness a night Cup race there.

July 25 & Aug. 1: No Cup races because of the Olympics. 

Sept. 5 – Nov. 7: Cup playoffs. Same 10 tracks as 2020. Only difference is Texas and Kansas flip-flop weekends in the Round of 8. Texas will open that round on Oct. 17. Kansas will follow on Oct. 24. Round of 8 ends at Martinsville on Oct. 31. Phoenix again will host the title race, doing so Nov. 7.

 

2021 NASCAR CUP SERIES SCHEDULE

(Times, weekend schedule and TV info to be announced later)

 

Date Race / Track
Tuesday, February 9 Clash (Daytona Road Course)
Thursday, February 11 Duel at Daytona
Sunday, February 14 Daytona 500
Sunday, February 21 Homestead-Miami
Sunday, February 28 Auto Club
Sunday, March 7 Las Vegas
Sunday, March 14 Phoenix
Sunday, March 21 Atlanta
Sunday, March 28 Bristol Dirt
Saturday, April 10 Martinsville
Sunday, April 18 Richmond
Sunday, April 25 Talladega
Sunday, May 2 Kansas
Sunday, May 9 Darlington
Sunday, May 16 Dover
Sunday, May 23 COTA
Sunday, May 30 Charlotte
Sunday, June 6 Sonoma
Sunday, June 13 All-Star (Texas)
Sunday, June 20 Nashville Superspeedway
Saturday & Sunday, June 26-27 Pocono Doubleheader
Sunday, July 4 Road America
Sunday, July 11 Atlanta
Sunday, July 18 New Hampshire
Sunday, August 8 Watkins Glen
Sunday, August 15 Indianapolis Road Course
Sunday, August 22 Michigan
Saturday, August 28 Daytona
Sunday, September 5 Darlington
Saturday, September 11 Richmond
Saturday, September 18 Bristol
Sunday, September 26 Las Vegas
Sunday, October 3 Talladega
Sunday, October 10 Charlotte Roval
Sunday, October 17 Texas
Sunday, October 24 Kansas
Sunday, October 31 Martinsville
Sunday, November 7 Phoenix
  • Races in bold are playoff races