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NASCAR won’t use traction compound at Pocono Raceway

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NASCAR will not use any traction compound this weekend at Pocono Raceway despite a plea from Denny Hamlin to do so.

PJ1 traction compound was applied to the lower and a higher groove in all four corners at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The traction compound was applied on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights for the next day’s events.

The intent was to create other lanes for competitors to run to create closer racing.

Hamlin politicked last weekend at New Hampshire for the traction compound to be used this weekend.

“I’d like to openly petition (that) we need PJ1 at the top of Turn 3 Pocono,” Hamlin said. “When we had that new fresh asphalt up there, it completely changed the racing at Pocono, and I really believe that it could do wonders for that race track.

“It’s been such a single-file race track ever since the repave (before the 2012 season). There’s a handful of tracks (where it) really could help the racing and so putting it in the high side of (Turn) 1, the high side of 3 at Pocono would be a fantastic idea.”

Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, explained Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive” why the traction compound won’t be used at Pocono Raceway.

“Turn 3 at Pocono was one of the places where it was going to be applied,” Miller said of a proposal. “That’s a third-gear corner for the competitors. Little bit difficult to kind of anticipate what the gearing change might be. We don’t want to change anything up for the competitors. Obviously we’re going very fast down the front straightaway at Pocono. Elevating the speed in Turn 3 only makes that more.

“There’s a lot of factors that go into (using a traction compound). We kind of look at its potential at a lot of places. We know where it works and we’re getting more and more scientific with the application and understanding what we’re doing and it may or may not expand to other places. But until we’re ready and we fully understand what we’re doing, we’ll be a little bit slow getting it to other places.

“The last thing we want to do is to make a race weekend potentially have a story around the VHT not working. We’re cautiously moving forward with it.”

Pocono isn’t the only track Hamlin says could use the traction compound.

“I know that Texas, it’s a big challenge because we run fast there anyways, but that track is so wide,” Hamlin said. “I mean, just put a strip way up there where you never think we’ll go and eventually someone will go up there and they’ll keep testing it and next thing you know, we’re going to have two-wide racing.

“You know, these tracks that are really one-lane based, it could really do wonders and I like – really like the direction that the tracks and NASCAR have gone on it applying it and they’ve done a good job of being more consistent with where they put it from year to year.”

Hamlin also said he would be for using the traction compound at Indianapolis Motor Speedway but knows there would be challenges with getting that approved.

“I guess it will work at Indy, but certainly would love to see it tried,” Hamlin said. “I mean Indy is a great candidate. Now are you going to get people from Indy to buy – to take the risk with their surface, you know? They’re a little finicky about that kind of stuff.”

NASCAR America: Bubba Wallace on qualifying: ‘It’s our job to cheat the system’

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Much of the talk in NASCAR this week has been around the controversial final round of Cup qualifying at Auto Club Speedway, which saw no drivers make a qualifying run after they left pit road too late to make a lap.

Bubba Wallace didn’t advance to the final round, but he’s been in a similar situation. In 2014 at Michigan, Wallace was in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at ACS’ sister track. Qualifying for that event ended with only one truck, driven by Ryan Blaney, reaching the start-finish line in time to make a lap.

“It’s our job to cheat the system,” Wallace said on NASCAR America presents Motormouths. “In today’s world, with the package and how it works out, if you’re the front car, you’re the tow. You’re the tow truck. You’re towing everybody else behind you. You’re at a disadvantage. No one wants to be at a disadvantage.

“So we’re going to cheat the system until they do something about it. Then we’re going to find a new way to cheat the new system.”

Watch the above video to see Wallace discuss more about how he fared during the West Coast Swing.

Updated entry lists for Cup, Truck at Martinsville

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Here are the entry lists for this weekend’s races.

Cup – STP 500 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox Sports 1)

Thirty-six cars are entered for the sixth Cup race of the year. D.J. Kennington is listed in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports entry.

Jeb Burton is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 52 Ford.

Click here for the entry list.

Gander Outdoors Truck – Martinsville 250 (2 p.m. ET Saturday on Fox Sports 1)

Thirty-nine trucks are entered. Those also entered in the Cup race are Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Ross Chastain. Bubba Wallace is entered in AM Racing’s No. 22 truck.

Click here for the entry list.

NASCAR America Motormouths at 5 p.m. ET with Bubba Wallace

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America presents Motormouths airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Rutledge Wood hosts with Kyle Petty and they’ll be joined by special guest Bubba Wallace.

Fans will have the chance to call into the show to ask questions.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Indy 500 analyst role part of looking forward for Danica Patrick

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It’s been 10 months since Danica Patrick last competed in an auto racing event and she is completely fine with that.

Patrick was last seen in a cockpit in last May’s Indianapolis 500, part of her mini-retirement tour from racing that also included a run in the Daytona 500.

Now she’ll be back at the track, serving as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26.

It will be an interlude to her post-racing career.

“I really don’t miss racing,” Patrick said during a teleconference Wednesday.  “I’m really happy. I selfishly set out (with) the intention I wanted to travel a lot. I’ve definitely done that. Also working on my other businesses.”

Without racing, Patrick is able to look over her “Warrior” clothing line and her Somnium wine. She’s also been a host of ESPN’s Espy Awards show.

“I’m not a look-back kind of person, I’m a look-forward (person),” Patrick said. “This is something that’s part of looking forward. This is something totally new and different for me. It’s coming at a place where I have a lot of history, but it hasn’t been my job, which is why I’m going to work really hard to make sure I’m ready, like anything else I do that’s different.

Since retiring, Patrick said she watches racing “when I can.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Patrick said. “It’s allowed me new opportunities like this.”

This won’t be the first time Patrick has served in an analyst role for a race. She did the same for some Xfinity Series race broadcasts in the last few years of her NASCAR career.

“It’s very good to have had that experience,” Patrick said. “Obviously I was giving my driving experience sort of perspective and that insight, which is something I’m going to be doing again. But it was a guest spot.

“This is firm and established, part of a small team of two with Mike (Tirico) and I. I think there’s going to be a lot more preparation involved, I’m going to need to know a lot more information.”

Patrick said there will be one difference in her Indy 500 experience this year compared to the eight times she competed in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I didn’t purposely look at the buildup of the day,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to see the fans rolling in, all the pomp and circumstance. I really liked to keep it quiet. I wanted to just walk out there and have it be the event, not let myself get built up too much in my head with nerves, just the platform, the iconic event that it was, the millions of people. I just wanted to stay focused and go do it.

“This time, I’m sure I will see the buildup. I’m sure I’ll see the place fill in and turn from a quiet, peaceful, magical place, (and) at the shot of a cannon it’s going to start unraveling. That will be a cool perspective for me that I purposely haven’t really watched closely.”

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