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NASCAR America to air iRacing All-Star event at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN

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NBC Sports, iRacing and NASCAR have come together to present the first-ever eNASCAR live-event on television. The world’s best NASCAR iRacers will compete in the first live event on TV as part of Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, airing at 5 p.m. ET.

NASCAR America’s Krista Voda, Parker Kligerman, and AJ Allmendinger will host along with iRacing team owners Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton, who will join for pre-and post-race commentary from the NBC Sports Charlotte studio.

Kligerman, also an iRacing team owner, will be racing from the NBC Sports simulator in Stamford, Conn., in the eNASCAR iRacing All-Star event.

“The trio of NBC Sports, iRacing and NASCAR has been terrific in wanting to work together to find new ways to bring current and new fans into the NASCAR scene,” says Jeff Behnke, Vice President of NASCAR Production at NBC Sports Group “For five years, the simulator has been used on NASCAR America to showcase tracks and racers around the USA and this new four-race venture will be a natural extension of that teamwork.”

“This is a landmark moment for iRacing, and all racing esports,” said Tony Gardner, president, iRacing. “We’re incredibly excited to work with NASCAR and NBC Sports to bring our world-class simracers to a live national television audience for the first time on NBCSN. We expect the action to be intense, and we can’t wait for the green flag to drop this Thursday.”

“Our eNASCAR platforms bridge the gap from one race weekend to the next, delivering NASCAR-style racing to our fans through the rapidly growing esports space,” said Tim Clark, senior VP and chief digital officer, NASCAR. “This new collaboration with our partners at iRacing and NBC Sports is an example of how esports is allowing us to evolve the way we engage our fans.”

“It’s going to be really cool to take part in live iRacing action on NASCAR America,” said Kligerman. “I’ve seen firsthand just how exciting these races can get, and I can’t wait to give our viewers an inside look at what it’s like to face off against the best in the world. It’ll serve as a great preview of what it’s like to compete for the fans tuning in to watch our real-world coverage on NBCSN this weekend!”

iRacing is the leading online simulation racing game where competitors race head-to-head from around the world. Following this week’s event, iRacing will return to NASCAR America on NBCSN on the last Thursday of every month for a four-race series. More information on the three future iRacing events on NBCSN will be revealed in the coming weeks.

In addition to the eNASCAR iRacing All-Star events being broadcast on NBCSN, iRacing and NASCAR also have a professional esports series known as the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series, where drivers from around the world compete for over $100,000 in prize money in a year-long championship. Other notable team owners in the series include NBC Sports’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR stars Clint Bowyer and Austin Dillon. NBCSN provides weekly coverage of the series on NASCAR America.

Tune in to NASCAR America on NBCSN this Thursday at 5PM ET to watch iRacing NASCAR action. Be sure to follow @iRacing and @NASCARonNBC on Twitter for live updates during the race. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iRacing.com.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch 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.

Chase Elliott wins Cup Most Popular Driver award

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Chase Elliott was selected as the NMPA Most Popular Driver in a fan vote announced during Thursday’s NASCAR Awards show.

It is the second consecutive victory for Elliott in the category.

“Honored to have two,” Elliott said. “It’s really more than a trophy or award. It is about the people you see at the race track.”

It is the 29th consecutive year that either an Elliott or Earnhardt has won the award.

The last driver not named Elliott or Earnhardt to win this award was Darrell Waltrip in 1990.

Other award winners included:

The Bill France Award of Excellence, an award that is not given every year, was presented to car owner Joe Gibbs for his signifiant contribution to the sport.

The NMPA Myers Brothers Award for outstanding contribution to the sport was presented to Darrell Waltrip.

The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award is Joe Vaughn, who has volunteered for nearly two decades, raising both awareness and funds on behalf of the Project HOPE Foundation, based in Greenville, South Carolina. The foundation’s mission is to provide a lifespan of services to the autism community to help families, open minds, promote inclusion and expand potential.

Watch NASCAR Cup Awards Show at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN

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Get settled into your favorite easy chair, make sure you have plenty of snacks and beverages on hand and get ready for the last big event of 2019 on the NASCAR schedule: tonight’s NASCAR Awards Show.

The show will be broadcast on NBCSN from 8-10:30 p.m. ET from Nashville, Tennessee, for the first time. And if you miss some of the show, don’t worry, there’ll be a replay immediately afterward, also on NBCSN.

Kyle Busch will be the main attraction for tonight’s show, being celebrated for winning his second NASCAR Cup championship this past season.

Also, the 2019 NASCAR Cup Most Popular Driver award winner will be revealed. Will it be defending winner Chase Elliott, reigning champion Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Matt DiBenedetto … or someone else? You definitely need to tune in to find out.

And to get you in the mood, we’ll replay Wednesday’s Burnouts on Broadway at 7 p.m. ET, also on NBCSN.

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Will Daniel Suarez race for Richard Childress Racing in 2020?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The president of Richard Childress Racing said it is a “longshot” that Daniel Suarez will drive a third Cup entry for the organization in 2020 but said RCR would like to have Suarez drive its No. 2 Xfinity car next year.

Suarez has not decided where he’ll race in 2020 after losing his ride with Stewart-Haas Racing this year.

Suarez has been linked with RCR. A third Cup entry would require RCR to acquire another charter for that car. It also could mean that the organization would need to hire additional people if they expanded to three full-time cars.

“I think that would be a long shot in a Cup program,” Torrey Galida told NBC Sports about Suarez in a third RCR Cup entry. “We’ve talked to him about an Xfinity program. We’d love to have him in an Xfinity car, and we think we could win another championship next year with Daniel. He’s a very talented young man.”

Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 Xfinity car will run the full season with multiple drivers in 2020. Myatt Snider and Anthony Alfredo have been announced to drive that car. Galida said the team is looking at Kaz Grala, Austin Dillon and possibly two-time series champ Tyler Reddick driving that car in select races.

RCR ran the No. 21 car in nine of 33 Xfinity races this past season. It ran the No. 2 car in every race.

If Suarez, the 2016 Xfinity champion, drove for RCR in the Xfinity Series next year, it would be with the organization’s No. 2 car.

“We could still do that and we would do that,” Galida said of a full-time Xfinity effort for Suarez. “That’s the kind of opportunity we would be interested in.”

Galida said it just is a matter of hearing what Suarez decides.

“I think he knows what we’ve got to offer, and I think he’s just weighing his alternatives and trying to determine what is best for him,” Galida told NBC Sports. “I’m sure that going back to the Xfinity Series is not his first choice. I think in the right equipment it could be a really good move for him.”

Galida said they could go into January before hearing from Suarez but noted that “the sooner the better. People are your biggest issue. You want to put the right people around him.”

Next April’s Xfinity race at Bristol to have new sponsor

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Bristol Motor Speedway announced Thursday that partner Alsco, along with Darden Restaurants and its Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen brand, will sponsor next April’s Xfinity Series race there.

The Cheddar’s 300 presented by Alsco will take place on Saturday, April 4, 2020.

Alsco is a global leader in uniform and linen rental services. In addition to its entitlement at Bristol Motor Speedway, Alsco will take part in Xfinity Series entitlements at three other Speedway Motorsports Inc. racetracks: Kentucky Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Alsco’s initial entitlement at BMS came this past April with the Alsco 300 Xfinity Series race, won by Christopher Bell, who earned a $100,000 bonus through Xfinity’s Dash 4 Cash program.

Alsco is also a sponsor for Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and JR Motorsports.

“Bristol is the place for historic finishes and close, hard-knock racing action,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager at Bristol Motor Speedway. “Alsco and our new friends at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen understand the reputation of racing at The Last Great Colosseum and we’re ready to show them an incredible experience. The Cheddar’s 300 presented by Alsco is a must-see event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule.”

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