A.J. Allmendinger

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NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Recap of Kurt Busch’s Kentucky win

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET and will recap Kurt Busch’s win over younger brother Kyle on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Jeff Burton is joined by A.J. Allmendinger and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett to discuss that and other storylines.

If you can’t catch either of today’s shows 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.

Xfinity practice report at Daytona: A.J. Allmendinger fastest in return

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A.J. Allmendinger turned the fastest lap at 194.902 mph in the Xfinity Series opening practice Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.

Chris Cockrum was second, followed by Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson and Tyler Reddick.

Justin Allgaier, Chase Briscoe, Michael Annett, John Hunter Nemechek and Sheldon Creed rounded out the top 10.

A second practice session was canceled because of lightning in the area.

Allmendinger, who joined NBC Sports Group as an auto racing analyst this year, will be making his first start this season with Kaulig Racing. His most recent NASCAR start was in the Monster Energy Cup Series last Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Friday night’s race at Daytona will mark Allmendinger’s first Xfinity start since Aug. 4, 2018 at Watkins Glen International and his first Xfinity oval race since Nov. 8, 2008 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Click here for speeds from the  Xfinity practice session at Daytona.

Entry lists for Cup, Xfinity at Daytona

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Get ready for lots of fireworks this 4th of July weekend – both on and off the race track at Daytona International Speedway.

This race marks the first time the 2.5-mile track hosts a Cup race without restrictor plates since 1988, utilizing instead the tapered spacer – which we’ve already seen used once this year at Talladega Superspeedway.

Both the Cup and Xfinity Series will be in action at Daytona. The Truck Series is off until July 11 at Kentucky Speedway.

Here are the updated entry lists for this weekend’s races:

Cup – Coke Zero Sugar 400 (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC)

There is a full 40-car field of cars and drivers entered for this race.

For the second time this season, Garrett Smithley is entered in Premium Motorsports’ No. 15 Chevrolet.

Quin Houff will drive the No. 15 for Premium Motorsports.

Ross Chastain will be in the No. 27 for Premium Motorsports.

B.J. McLeod makes his ninth start of the season for Petty Ware Racing in the No. 51 Ford

J.J. Yeley makes his third start of the season for Rick Ware Racing in the No. 52 Ford.

Joey Gase makes his first start of the season for Rick Ware Racing in the No. 53 Chevrolet.

Brendan Gaughan makes his third start of the season for Beard Racing in the No. 62 Chevrolet.

Justin Haley is back in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.

And Parker Kligerman makes his eighth start of the season in the No. 96 Toyota for Gaunt Brothers Racing.

Last year, Erik Jones earned his first career Cup win in this race. Martin Truex Jr. was second and A.J. Allmendinger finished third.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Circle K Firecracker 250 (7:30 p.m. ET Friday on NBCSN)

There are 42 cars entered. Four cars will not make the race.

Sheldon Creed makes his third Xfinity start of the season and the first for JR Motorsports in the No. 8 Chevrolet.

A.J. Allmendinger makes his first Xfinity start of the season in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

Joe Nemecheck makes his second Xfinity start of the season in the No. 13 Motorsports Business Management Toyota.

Riley Herbst makes his fifth start of 2019 in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Joe Graf Jr. makes his second start of 2019 in the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

Chris Cockrum makes his third start for ACG Motorsports in the No. 25 Chevrolet.

Shane Lee makes his third start for H2 Motorsports in the No. 28 Toyota.

Austin Hill makes his Xfinity Series debut in the No. 61 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota.

Jeffrey Earnhardt is on the entry list with the No. 81 XCI Racing Toyota but stated on Twitter that the team would not be competing this weekend. 

A spokesperson for True Speed Communications, which had done PR for XCI Racing, said they had no additional info and that its agreement with the team was only through Chicagoland.

Caesar Bacarella makes his third start of 2019 in the No. 90 DGM Racing Chevrolet.

Cody Ware makes his second Xfinity start of the season in the No. 99 B.J. McLeod Motorsports Toyota.

Kyle Larson won this race last year, followed by Elliott Sadler and Christopher Bell.

Click here for the entry list.

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NASCAR America Motorsports Special, 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

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The biggest weekend in motorsports also means one of the biggest editions of the year for NASCAR America as well, with today’s expanded 90-minute Motorsports Special from 3:30 to 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

We’ll go in-depth about Sunday’s doubleheader, IndyCar’s Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, its longest race of the season.

Today’s Motorsports Special will feature host Krista Voda along with A.J. Allmendinger, Steve Letarte and the man who will drive the pace car for the Indy 500 and NASCAR On NBC analyst, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

If you can’t catch either of today’s shows 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.

NASCAR America Motormouths: Would Kurt Busch really wreck Kyle?

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Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America’s Motormouths could not have picked a better day to discuss the rivalry between brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch. After all, Wednesday was National Siblings Day.

When older brother Kurt said after Sunday’s race at Bristol that he would have wrecked younger brother Kyle if he had the chance to do so to get the win, our analysts Rutledge Wood, Kyle Petty and A.J. Allmendinger gave their respective take on the subject.

Is there a real rivalry between the brothers, or were they just posturing after Sunday’s race?

Wood posed this question: “Are we seeing a different Kurt Busch now than we’ve seen over the last few years?”

Said Petty, “I think we’re seeing a different Kurt Busch. I think he’s been consistent the last part of last year and really good this year, really consistent. … (There’s a) happiness factor).”

Wood chimed in about Kurt, noting: “To me, the one thing you definitely notice is there definitely is a happiness factor and a piece about him. … There were times, watching him at Stewart-Haas (before moving to Chip Ganassi Racing this season), where he was really valued and ‘Kurt’s our guy,’ and then there were other days when I couldn’t tell the difference.”

Added Allmendinger, “I think (Kurt) was valued at that 41 team. He came in and helped elevate the team. The team was started because of him. (Team co-owner) Gene Haas wanted his name on the car, wanted a guy that could win a race with Gene Haas’ name on the car. … Kurt Busch now feels like he’s wanted. Chip Ganassi Racing wanted him to show up and put this team back up-front. Your attitude changes when you feel like you’re wanted. At Stewart-Haas Racing, sure he brought some value to the team, but this was Kevin Harvick’s organization. That car was only started because Gene Haas wanted him in that car. Now with Chip Ganassi, people want him there and it shows in his attitude when he runs consistent every weekend.”

Petty also recalled how the Busch brothers had a celebrated feud when Kyle was still driving for Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 5.

“Go back to the (2007) All-Star Race when Kyle wrecked Kurt and they didn’t speak for six or seven months and they had to have the Grandma summit, where their grandmother had to get them together.”

So given the elder Busch brother’s comments at Bristol, could either bro dump the other if it comes down to it this Saturday at Richmond? Time will tell.

One guy who doesn’t have to worry about sibling rivalry is Allmendinger, who deadpanned he was glad “I’m an only child.”

To see the whole Motormouths segment about the Busch brothers, check out the rest of the video at the top of this story.

Follow @JerryBonkowski