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Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin among seven drivers held from Pocono practice

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Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Chris Buescher and BJ McLeod will be held out of the final 15 minutes are Saturday’s first Cup practice at Pocono Raceway.

The 50-minute session on the 2.5-mile track will begin at 9 a.m., the first of two practices Saturday at Pocono for Sunday’s race. The five drivers are being penalized because their cars failed prerace inspection twice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Reed Sorenson and Timmy Hill also will be held from the final 15 minutes for being late to prequalifying inspection at Chicagoland Speedway last month.

Under a new qualifying schedule being used at a few races this season (most recently at Chicagoland), Cup Series cars won’t be inspected prior to Cup qualifying at 4:10 p.m. Saturday.

Prerace inspection will occur directly after qualifying ends at Pocono, and any cars that fail will have their qualifying times disallowed.

 

Preliminary entry lists for Pocono, Iowa

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Cup and Camping World Truck teams will be in action this weekend at Pocono Raceway, while NASCAR Xfinity teams will be at Iowa Speedway.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each event:

Cup – Gander Outdoors 400 (2:30 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN)

Thirty-nine cars are entered for the race at Pocono Raceway.

Reed Sorenson is listed in the No. 7. Ross Chastain is listed in the No. 15. JJ Yeley is listed in the No. 23. BJ McLeod is listed in the No. 51. Timmy Hill is listed in the No. 66. Corey LaJoie is listed in the No. 72. Kyle Weatherman is listed in the No. 99.

Click here for Cup entry list

Xfinity – U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by The Rasmussen Group (5:20 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

Forty cars are entered for the Xfinity Series’ second visit of the year to Iowa Speedway.

Casey Roderick will make his first Xfinity start since 2012, driving the No. 23 car for GMS Racing. Max Tullman will drive the No. 26 for Tullman-Walker Racing, a new team seeking to make its first series start.

With Cup in Pocono, the only driver entered there and at Iowa is Ross Chastain.

Click here for Xfinity entry list

Camping World Truck – Gander Outdoors 150 (1 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1)

Thirty-two Trucks are entered for this event at Pocono Raceway.

Kyle Busch is the only Cup driver entered. He’ll drive the No. 51.

Click here for Truck entry list

Jesse Little set for Cup debut at Kentucky with Premium Motorsports

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Jesse Little, son of former Cup driver Chad Little, will make his Cup Series debut Saturday at Kentucky Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN), driving Premium Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet.

Little, 21, has 18 starts in the Camping World Truck Series since 2015. His best result is sixth earlier this season at Iowa Speedway.

“I’m very humbled by this opportunity to make my Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend at Kentucky,” Little said in a press release. “There’s no expectations for Saturday night’s race other than to take the green flag and see the checkered flag. I would like to thank (owner) Jay Robinson for giving me the opportunity to gain valuable experience behind the wheel.”

Little will be the sixth driver to pilot the No. 7 this season, joining Danica Patrick, Reed Sorenson, J.J. Yeley, DJ Kennington and Jeffrey Earnhardt. Earnhardt delivered the team its best result last weekend at Daytona, finishing 11th.

Chad Little made 217 Cup starts between 1986 and 2002. He is NASCAR’s managing director for technical inspection and officiating.

Driver lineup set for Charlotte road course tests in July

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Charlotte Motor Speedway announced the driver lineup for the two days of testing that will take place in July on the track’s road course.

NASCAR created two separate test days. Tests will be July 10 and July 17. Both sessions will go from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET with a lunch break from noon to 1 p.m. ET.

The tests are open to the public.

The Cup series races on Charlotte’s road course Sept. 30 in the playoffs.

Scheduled to test on July 10

Martin Truex Jr.

Jimmie Johnson

Chase Elliott

Kevin Harvick

Clint Bowyer

Denny Hamlin

Daniel Suarez

Brad Keselowski

Paul Menard

Trevor Bayne

Jamie McMurray

Austin Dillon

Chris Buescher

Kasey Kahne

Michael McDowell

Gray Gaulding

Landon Cassill

B.J. McLeod

Scheduled to test on July 17

Kyle Busch

Erik Jones

Ryan Blaney

Joey Logano

Kyle Larson

Aric Almirola

Kurt Busch

Alex Bowman

William Byron

Bubba Wallace

Ryan Newman

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

AJ Allmendinger

Ty Dillon

Matt DiBenedetto

Corey LaJoie

David Ragan

Reed Sorenson

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Cup team’s debut stirs debate on value of smaller part-time teams

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The entry of NY Racing for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 has stirred talk about the value of smaller teams unable to compete a full season in Cup after a comment from the chairman of the Race Team Alliance.

NY Racing is entered in its first Cup race of the year. JJ Yeley is the driver. The team announced Tuesday a multi-year deal with Steakhouse Elite as sponsor. The team is owned by John Cohen, whose previous Cup teams ran 16 races between 2012-15. His team’s best finish was 32nd in the 2015 Daytona 500 with Reed Sorenson. His teams also failed to qualify for seven races and withdrew five times.

The entry of NY Racing means one car will fail to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600. The five teams going for the four spots available for non-charter teams are those of BJ McLeod (No. 52, Rick Ware Racing), Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 55 Premium Motorsports), Timmy Hill (No. 66, Motorsports Business Management), Parker Kligerman (No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing) and Yeley.

NY Racing’s entry drew the ire of Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing and chairman of the Race Team Alliance. Kauffman tweeted about NY Racing’s entry and then responded to a few who questioned him.

Kauffman’s tweet drew a response from Xfinity driver Tommy Joe Martins, who has been vocal about the importance of smaller teams in NASCAR’s national series and the need to raise the profiles of such teams. Martins responded to Kauffman’s comments with a series of tweets.

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