NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Talladega preview, Hendrick Motorsports interviews

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5 – 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and features more coverage of Wednesday’s news that Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus will not work together in 2019.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Parker Kligerman from the NBC Stamford Studio.

On today’s show:

  • Marty Snider sits down with Johnson and Knaus to get their thoughts on the decision and outlook on the future. We’ll also hear from the driver who will be working with Knaus in 2019, William Byron.
  • Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Pete Pistone calls in with his take on the Johnson/Knaus split and what the fans have been saying.
  • “The Mayor” Jeff Burton speaks to Joey Logano, who is seeking his fourth career win at Talladega and a ticket into the Round of 8. Are Logano and Team Penske the teams to beat this Sunday. Parker talks about Team Penske’s strategy for this weekend.
  • Plus, Carolyn and Parker reveal their Fantasy picks for Sunday, along with a preview of Parker’s new show “Proving Grounds” that makes its debut on Oct. 21 on NBCSN.

The latest episode of the “Dale Jr. Download” airs from 5:30 – 6 p.m. ET.

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.

Bump & Run: Who will win an 8th Cup title first? Jimmie or Chad?

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With Hendrick Motorsports announcing Wednesday that seven-time champions Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus will not paired together next year for the first time since 2001, the NASCAR on NBC team debated some of the key topics moving forward.

Who wins an eighth title first? Jimmie or Chad?

Jeff Burton: Jimmie Johnson

Kyle Petty: There will be no 8th title. Remember I’ve seen this show with my Dad and Dale Inman. My Dad was never really a threat again. Dale won an 8th championship with Terry Labonte. I don’t believe William Byron to be the next Terry Labonte. Together they were once “The Team.” Time and the sport changes.

Dale Jarrett: I think if it’s done, it’s going to be Jimmie. I think he’s got a couple of more opportunities at this.

Parker KligermanJimmie. Nothing against Chad, as I think he is as much a part of their success as Jimmie, but the tool with which Chad will go to battle with is still being sharpened and shaped. Jimmie, on the other hand, has experience and cunning to make up for any pitfalls.

Nate Ryan: Just like Dale Inman, Knaus will win his eighth with another driver.

Dustin Long: Neither. They both remain with seven titles.

Daniel McFadin: Knaus. His expiration date as a crew chief is further out than Johnson’s as a driver but not by much. I don’t think Johnson will ever reach eight.

Dan Beaver: Perhaps Chad, but probably neither. All good things must come to an end and Jimmie Johnson will not earn another. He’ll come close a time or two just like Richard Petty after winning his seventh in 1979 but something will continue to keep him from advancing to the final round. Chad’s opportunity to win another championship will not come with William Byron, but it is hard to know with whom he’ll be paired in the future.

 

Which of the last six races is the best for Jimmie and Chad to win together this year?

Jeff Burton: Martinsville

Kyle Petty: My Magic 8-Ball says … ”None”

Dale Jarrett: I think they have two. I think this weekend at Talladega, obviously, is an opportunity for anybody, but I think Martinsville is probably still their best shot that they have. With Jimmie’s experience and the things they’ve been able to do short-track racing, I think that is their best shot. I think even that’s a long shot from what I’ve seen this year.

Parker Kligerman: Martinsville – Need I say more?

Nate Ryan: Texas Motor Speedway. The top-five speed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway bodes well for their final race together at the 1.5-mile oval they’ve conquered seven times.

Dustin Long: Martinsville but even that won’t be easy. While he won the playoff race there in 2016, Johnson has two top-10 finishes in his last eight starts. Still, this is a track with so much history for Hendrick Motorsports that it would be fitting if it happened there.

Daniel McFadin: Martinsville. Their nine grandfather clocks speak for themselves.

Dan Beaver: Jimmie Johnson has nine wins at Martinsville with the most recent coming in 2016. That is a track where they can pull a little strategy at the end to get track position and Johnson knows how to do the rest.

 

Who is the next driver at Hendrick Motorsports to win the title?

Jeff Burton: Chase Elliott

Kyle Petty: Chase Elliott… or ask me again when Jimmie retires and we see who takes his place!

Dale Jarrett: Chase Elliott. That’s the next at Hendrick Motorsports and could be this year.

Parker Kligerman: Jimmie Johnson. He will win one more before he hangs up the helmet. At least that is what the race fan in me wants to believe.

Nate Ryan: Chase Elliott. He’ll be among the championship four this season and could capture the 2019 title.

Dustin Long: Chase Elliott. It won’t be this year but his time is coming.

Daniel McFadin: Chase Elliott, just due to his current success and amount of experience in top equipment. Though I wouldn’t put it past Alex Bowman to sneak one in before William Byron starts heating up.

Dan Beaver: Chase Elliott in 2018.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Leavine Family Racing news, Todd Gordon interview

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to preview this weekend’s racing at Talladega.

Marty Snider hosts with Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte & Nate Ryan from Charlotte.

On today’s show:

  • We’ll discuss today’s news that Leavine Family Racing has hired Matt DiBenedetto to drive the No. 95 car for the next two years. Plus, LFR will leave Chevy for Toyota. What this deal mean for both driver and organization? How will it impact other drivers who have yet to announce their plans for 2019?
  • We’ll reveal the three finalists for the 2018 Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award.
  • Jeff Burton sits down with Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon as the Team Penske No. 22 Ford crew bids for a Talladega sweep.
  • Nate Ryan joins the show to discuss the effect that sports wagering had on the race weekend at Dover.
  • We’ll also celebrate Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 44th birthday. We’ll reveal some of the unique ideas his fans had for birthday gifts.

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.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Dover review, ‘On the Clock’

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and reviews all the action from the weekend’s racing at Dover.

Krista Voda hosts with Kyle Petty and Jeff Burton from the Charlotte Studio.

On today’s show:

  • Krista, Kyle & Jeff will reviews Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway. Brilliant pit strategy helped Chase Elliott gain the track position he needed to take the checkered flag and a spot in the Round of 8. We’ll hear from Elliott’s crew chief Alan Gustafson on what led to his gutsy call.
  • For the majority of Sunday’s race, Stewart-Haas Racing was in command. However, a variety of issues denied SHR the win. We’ll hear from drivers Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch & Clint Bowyer and get their reaction on Sunday’s result.
  • Kyle and Jeff will break down all 12 playoff drivers, but their time is limited. We’ll see how they fare in a game we call “On the Clock.”
  • We’ll recap Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, make a Social Pit Stop and check in to see how our broadcasters fared in Fantasy action.

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.

NASCAR America: 2019 rules package is ‘huge for the sport’

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On Monday night, NASCAR announced the rules package for 2019: A combination of aerodynamic changes and engine configurations designed to put the racing back into the drivers’ hands.

Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte and Dale Jarrett weighed in on the effect of those changes in Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America.

“This is huge for the sport,” Burton said. “This is a major change from where we are today. After trying something from the All-Star package, trying something at the Xfinity level and using all of the technology that’s available to NASCAR today that never has been before because of the OEMs (manufacturers) making available the simulators – all of the data they use to help develop a package … that NASCAR believes is going to put on a better race on a racetrack.”

The goal of the rules package is to reduce the aerodynamic sensitivity of the cars.

The rules package is designed in a way to “not take (the race) out of the drivers’ hands,” Burton continued. “That is a major key. To do it this way … throughout the whole industry and the end result being closer racing, by reducing some power in places, by adding some drag – doing all those things together. This is a big change for the sport.”

For 2019, there will be a limited number of options with the rules package. Aerodynamic changes that include a taller spoiler, larger splitter and wider radiator pan to increase downforce, but there will be different engine rules for short tracks and road courses compared to ovals 1.3 miles or longer.

“One size rarely fits all,” Letarte said. “There was a conversation that we were going to have multiple different rules for multiple venues to try to provide the best racing. … When you really get down to the nuts and bolts of that, while it seems great, it’s not really reality.”

The cost of adhering to a different rules package every week is prohibitive and would keep teams from fielding the most competitive cars.

One of the biggest changes is a 200 horsepower reduction on tracks 1.3 miles or larger.

What does it mean for the drivers?

“Speed doesn’t always equate to better racing,” Jarrett said. “Sometimes you’re just so much on the edge that it can’t create the side-by-side racing, which is what this sport was built on. … We hear these drivers talking about so many times as they get closer to another car they can’t get any closer than that even though they may be faster, they can’t get to that rear bumper.”

The combination of reduced horsepower and bigger holes in the air is intended to create the type of racing that fans enjoyed in this year’s All-Star Race.

“(The drivers) want to be relevant, they want to be important,” Jarrett said.

NASCAR America analysts agreed that the difference in a few miles per hour will be imperceptible to the fans and whatever small discrepancy they see will be far outweighed by the closer, side-by-side action on the track.

“As long as the racing is more entertaining for me to watch and the best drivers still have the best advantage because they are the most talented, then I’m a fan of whatever the rules may be,” Letarte said.

For more, watch the videos above.

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