NASCAR America Motormouths: Biggest takeaway in first 7 Cup races

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The NASCAR America crew on Wednesday’s “Motormouths” edition gave fans an education, so to speak.

When host Marty Snider asked “what’s your biggest takeaway in the first seven races of the year,” analysts Kyle Petty and A.J. Allmendinger broke things down on what has stood out the most to them through the first one-fifth of the NASCAR Cup season.

First, here’s what Petty had to say:

My takeaway this past week is optimism. I think that finally the package is coming into its own at a decent racetrack where we can see it really work. I didn’t see it at Atlanta, didn’t see it at Phoenix, you heard drivers complain about what it was doing, and we didn’t see what we thought we were going to see.

My biggest takeaway is there’s two organizations (Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske) that are just kicking everybody’s rear end, and there are some teams that have not risen to the occasion that I really thought would be in the mix right now, like the Hendrick organization. I think they did show up (at Texas), but I didn’t see them show up in the first six races – I’ll say Chase showed up at Martinsville.

They obviously took the first four to five races and said they have to do something, they have to revamp, and that shows the power of Hendrick Motorsports. You know how hard it is, when you start a season behind, you don’t catch up until you go to the next season a lot of times. An organization like Hendrick can be behind and catch up quick.”

Next, it was Allmendinger’s turn. And his admitted “shocker,” to no one’s surprise, was not a shocker at all:

This may not be a shocker to anybody, but Kyle Busch can pretty much drive anything in any type of package. I know Denny Hamlin won this weekend and he won at Daytona, and some of it was Kyle’s mistake like hitting the fence in traffic, but if that didn’t happen he’s still probably going to win the race.

It’s just crazy to me how good the guy is at figuring out and that 18 team as a whole, no matter what they give us, meaning NASCAR, that they’re going to go out and figure out how to make him fastest and Kyle Busch, more often than not, is going to figure out how to drive it better than anybody else – and he’s doing that.”

Petty wrapped up the back-and-forth by echoing Allmendinger’s take on Busch:

Kyle Busch is in a position where he can look back on a year and say there’s three that I just messed up, where most drivers look at the end of the year and say there’s three that I only had a shot to win. He has a shot legitimately to win every single week we go to the racetrack so far.”

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Sioux Chief to sponsor ARCA Showdown, East Series to race at Nashville Fairgrounds

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ARCA announced Saturday that Sioux Chief Manufacturing will be the entitlement sponsor of its 10-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown in 2020.

Sioux Chief Manufacturing is a Missouri company that designs and manufactures rough plumbing products, parts, and accessories for residential, commercial, industrial and government applications

Sioux Chief has been involved in ARCA since 2015 as a race event sponsor and special awards program sponsor and sponsored ARCA’s former Short Track Challenge.

As part of the deal, a newly increased point fund, combined with race purses, owner plan, and contingency awards, will offer teams a chance to compete for a share of over $920,000 in posted awards throughout the series.

The Sioux Chief Showdown will bring together the best drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West, formerly known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Those events, held on oval tracks 1.25-miles in length and under and road courses, offer drivers who may not be able or eligible to run the full 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule the opportunity to run for a championship. Combined with the overall ARCA Menards Series championship, and the East and West championships, drivers will have four separate championships to compete for in 2020.

The announcement was made at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Also present was promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises, who announced that the ARCA Menards Series East would compete at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 2.

The Tennessean reported this week that the Nashville Fairgrounds was negotiating with Sargent to promote at least three races at the short track in 2020. Sargent’s involvement in the track comes after Nashville’s Fair Board voted to terminate its agreement with Formosa Productions to run the track over outstanding debt.

The ARCA Menards Series has competed at the Fairgrounds the last five seasons. The ARCA Menards Series East, formerly known as the K&N Pro Series East, competed there from 2007-08.

GMS Racing reveals full-time driver-crew chief lineup, number assignments

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GMS Racing has announced its full-time driver-crew chief lineup for the 2020 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season and number assignments for its trucks:

– Chad Norris has been named crew chief for Brett Moffitt and the No. 23 Chevrolet team. Moffitt drove the No. 24 in his first season with the team. Norris has been with GMS Racing for two years and directed the effort that delivered the team its 2018 Xfinity Series win at Talladega.

– Chad Walter will lead Tyler Ankrum and the No. 26 team. 2020 will be Ankrum’s first season with GMS Racing. Walter served as an engineer for Ankrum this season at DGR-Crosley. Walter has five wins and 42 top fives in 208 Xfinity Series starts as crew chief.

– Kevin “Bono” Manion is paired with Zane Smith on the No. 21 Chevrolet. 2020 will be Smith’s first full-time Trucks season after competing part-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Manion has 24 wins as crew chief across all three national series since 2003. He led Martin Truex Jr. to his two Xfinity Series titles.

– Jeff Stankiewicz will remain as the crew chief for the No. 2 team piloted by Sheldon Creed.

Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

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NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.

 

Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Joey and Caitlin Gase welcome twin sons

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Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase and his wife Caitlin are now parents to twin boys

The babies were born on Wednesday. Their names are Jace and Carson.

More: Brad and Paige Keselowski welcome second daughter