Daniel McFadin

NASCAR writer for NBCSports.com. Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth. Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.
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Pop quiz! Kaz Grala surprised with driver’s license test

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What’s one of the worst ways you could start a weekend?

How about having to cram for a test you didn’t know you had to take?

And what if that test had to be taken at the Department of Motor Vehicles?

Welcome to Kaz Grala‘s nightmare and our favorite thing on NASCAR Twitter today.

The Richard Childress Racing driver was met with this scenario Friday when he journeyed to the DMV to switch his Massachusetts license for a North Carolina one.

Let the cramming begin! Are North Carolina traffic signs just like those in Massachusetts?

The tension builds….

Grala could lose his license if he drives faster than 75 mph. Can he get a waiver from NASCAR?

Whoa, we were sweating bullets there for a minute. Now comes the hard part. Some helpful reminders before you leave the parking lot:

  • Doughnuts are for after the race, not during it.
  • You can’t bring your spotter along for the test.
  • When traffic slows down near an exit, just keep your foot on the gas and drive right by them on the outside. It’ll work, your tires are matched perfect and staggered special.

He did it! Kaz Grala is your latest licensed driver in the state of North Carolina.

Now what’s the most important thing we learned from all this?

The next time you see the RCR driver, make sure to put extra emphasis on Kaz Edward Grala.

Updated entry lists for Xfinity, Trucks at Iowa Speedway

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Xfinity and Truck Series teams will have the NASCAR stage to themselves this weekend when they make their first trip of the year to Iowa Speedway.

The Cup Series will enjoy its second off weekend of the year for Father’s Day.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for this weekend’s races at the .875-mile track, which will host a second Xfinity race in July.

Xfinity Series – Circuit City 250 (5:30 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1)

There are 39 entries for the race.

Former Richard Childress Racing driver Shane Lee will make his season debut with H2 Motorsports in the No. 28 Toyota.

Ryan Ellis will make his first start of the year in B.J. McLeod Motorsports’ No. 99 Toyota.

Joe Graf, Jr. is entered in his second race in RCR’s No. 21 Chevrolet. Graf failed to qualify for last weekend’s race at Michigan.

Ronnie Bassett Jr. is now entered in DGM Racing’s No. 90 Chevrolet, replacing Alex Labbe.

Justin Allgaier won this race last year, beating Christopher Bell and Daniel Hemric. Bell won the July race last year over Allgaier and Kyle Benjamin.

Click here for the entry list.

Truck Series – M&M’s 200 (8:30 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1)

There are 33 trucks entered in the race, which is the second in the three race “Triple Truck Challenge.”

One truck will not qualify for the race.

Ross Chastain is entered in the No. 44 Chevrolet for Niece Motorsports. Kyle Benjamin is entered in the team’s No. 45 Chevrolet.

Riley Herbst is entered is Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 46 Toyota for his second start of the year.

After Greg Biffle‘s win at Texas Motor Speedway, ARCA driver Chandler Smith is entered in KBM’s No. 51 Toyota for his first career Truck start.

Tyler Ankrum is now entered in NEMCO Motorsports’ No. 87 truck, replacing Joe Nemechek.

Reaume Brothers Racing’s No. 32 Truck with Daniel Sasnett is no longer entered.

Brett Moffitt won this race last year over Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson.

Click here for the entry list.

Austin Dillon to be enshrined in Little League Hall of Excellence

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Long before he was a Daytona 500 and Coca-Coca 600 winner, Austin Dillon enjoyed the stage of another sport – the Little League World Series.

The Richard Childress Racing driver competed in the baseball tournament in the summer of 2002 playing for Southwest Forsyth County (North Carolina) Little League. He went 1-for-4 while his team failed to secure a win.

Seventeen years later, Little League International will enshrine Dillon in the Little League Hall of Excellence. Dillon was chosen for his “dedication to the values of Little League, and for his outstanding service as a role model within the community.”

“Little League teaches you how to work with a team and put in a lot of hard work and effort,” Dillon told the Little League website. “The coach that we had taught us the importance of fundamentals and hard work, and that’s something you can take in everything you do. I still use a lot of those team philosophies that we used in Little League in everything I do today.”

The enshrinement is the highest honor that Little League can bestow.

“Each year, we look to find those men and women who have gone on from their days as Little Leaguers to take those values and life lessons they learned on the playing field to their role as leaders in the community,” said Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener. “Austin Dillon has proved to be a tremendous leader both on the racetrack and as a role model for the future generation of our world. We are honored to present this award to Austin and are excited to hopefully welcome him back to Williamsport to relive the magic he experienced in 2002.”

Roger Penske approves of shorter NASCAR schedule, Cup-IndyCar doubleheaders

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The Captain has spoken.

Roger Penske, one of two owners to field cars in both NASCAR and IndyCar, would like to see the two worlds merge for doubleheader weekends between the Cup Series and IndyCar.

In an appearance Friday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive,” Penske discussed the possibility of a doubleheader in relation to also shortening the NASCAR schedule.

“I would love to (see) us run on the same weekend,” Penske said. “It would be fun to fans to see the difference of the IndyCars and also the NASCAR cars. … We’re going to have to disrupt some of this as we go forward. That might be one of the things to do.”

Penske’s words come with the weight of being the defending Cup championship owner and the reigning Indy 500 winning owner, which resulted in two trips to the White House since April. Team Penske is also coming off Joey Logano‘s win Monday in the Cup race at Michigan.

The discussion of potential a Cup-IndyCar doubleheader has been prevalent since May, with Cup drivers expressing their support of it along with IndyCar President Jay Frye, who said it “would be a game-changer in a good way.”

But earlier this month IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said that while he’s “not opposed” to it, he called the prospect a “long shot.”

Said Penske, “We’re going to talk about two races on one weekend, because one of the things we have to do is take a look at this (NASCAR) schedule and the future because when you think about 36-38 weekends, if we can take five or six of those and make those doubleheaders and let our guys go home.”

NASCAR is experimenting with a doubleheader weekend next year by holding two Cup races at Pocono Raceway June 27-28.

“We do that in Supercars in Australia, we run Saturday and Sunday, typically a smaller race on Saturday and the big event on Sunday and we have seven crew members with each car, plus a couple of engineers and a team leader,” Penske said. “We do that with one car at the track.”

Penske sees financial and personal benefits to tightening up a schedule that runs from February to November.

“It can be done and again I think that’s something we’ve got to look at from cost perspective,” Penske said. “From a personal perspective I think we’ve got to think about the life these guys have on the road and what we need to make them be home more. Those are things that I know that (NASCAR President) Steve Phelps and certainly (CEO and Chairman) Jim France understands.

“And we’re going to see changes probably in the rules, we’re going to see changes in the schedule, I think we’ve got to tie it together with our media partners … and say ‘What’s better? How can we make this sport better?’ People maybe want to see shorter events. People’s timeline that they have to be able to watch some of these events, is it three hours? Is it an hour-and-a-half? What gives us the best results from a commercial perspective as far as I’m concerned.”

 

NASCAR America: Who can challenge the Xfinity Series’ Big 3?

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Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Cole Custer have clearly staked out their territory in the Xfinity Series this season with three wins each.

But who are the drivers that can challenge the trio in the coming summer months?

Parker Kligerman and AJ Allmendinger discussed it on NASCAR America’s The Motorsports Hour.

Allmendinger believes veteran Justin Allgaier, who won at Iowa Speedway last year, is a threat.

“He’s been there, he’s done it for so long,” Allmendinger said. “He’s so consistent. You know at times he’s going to put himself in position to win races. … He’s the easy answer. But I look at guys like Noah Gragson, Justin Haley and John Hunter Nemechek. They’re young drivers, brand new to teams … In the second half of this regular season, will they be able to step up?”

Meanwhile, Kligerman championed Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe.

“He’s the teammate of one the Big 3 in Cole Custer,” Kligerman said. “I just think he’s doing everything he needs to be learning, riding hot on the heels of Cole Custer, he’s right there (sixth) in points. He’s had some good runs, he won in the Truck Series, he won on the Roval last year in the Xfinity Series and I just think he’s due.”

Watch the above video for more.