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Goodyear tire info for Richmond Raceway

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NASCAR makes its first visit of the season to Richmond Raceway this weekend, and with it will come a new set of Goodyear Eagle Intermediate Radials in both Cup and Xfinity.

Teams in both series will run the same tire set-up, making Richmond the only track at which both series will run the two distinct Goodyear tire codes.

Richmond is currently one of the more high tire wear race tracks on the NASCAR circuit,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing in a media release. “While we’ve seen a little less wear with this new, higher downforce rules package than we’ve had over the past few years, tracks like Atlanta and Fontana and Richmond still wear tires.

“The tires this weekend feature the same compounds we’ve been running at Richmond for the past several seasons, and being able to lay rubber on this track creates multiple racing grooves and more side-by-side racing as drivers move around to find the fastest line.

Compared to what was run at Richmond last year, both the left-side and right-side tires feature construction updates. As on most NASCAR ovals of one mile or less in length, liners will not be used in tires at Richmond.

Also, tires at Richmond will have more stagger (difference in height between the shorter left-side tire and the taller right-side tire) built into the tire set-up.

Here’s the tire info for this weekend’s races:

Set limits – Cup: Three sets for practice, one set for qualifying and 10 sets for the race (nine race sets plus one set transferred from qualifying or practice); Xfinity: six sets for the event.

Tire Codes: Left-side – D-4874; Right-side – D-4876

Tire Circumference: Left-side — 2,214 mm (87.17 in.); Right-side – 2,244 mm (88.35 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front – 12 psi; Left Rear – 12 psi; Right Front – 30 psi; Right Rear – 27 psi

Friday schedule at Bristol Motor Speedway

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As Dale Earnhardt Jr. loves to say, “It’s Bristol, baby,” and the big race weekend starts today at the legendary Bristol Motor Speedway.

Both Cup and Xfinity Series teams will be in action on the .533-mile track.

Here is today’s schedule, including TV and radio info:

(All times are Eastern)

10 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Cup garage open

11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

1:35 – 2:25 p.m. – Cup practice (No TV, NASCAR.com)

3:05 – 3:55 p.m. – Xfinity practice (Fox Sports 1)

5:05 – 5:55 – Final Xfinity practice (FS1)

6:10 p.m. – Cup qualifying; multi-car/three rounds (FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Kyle Busch has an idea for NASCAR’s Xfinity and Truck limits

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Kyle Busch would entertain the opportunity to pursue the one NASCAR championship that has eluded him – in the Gander Outdoor Truck Series – when his Cup career is over.

But he’s got an idea that would allow him to run both series concurrently and address the limits on Cup drivers running in lower series.

“Why don’t you let us run as many races as we want to run and then once we miss one, we’re done?” Busch pondered after his victory Saturday in the TruNorth Global 250 truck race at Martinsville Speedway. “So if I go all the way to (the June 15 race at Iowa Speedway) in the trucks and run 10 races and can’t go to Iowa, I’m done.

“You can race for points or whatever and so if that ever came down to that, then maybe there’d be an opportunity years down the road that then you can run multiple series and try to go after a championship that way.”

What was NASCAR’s reaction to the plan?

“That’s probably the first time I’ve said that or thought about it,” Busch said with a laugh. “Now that it’s out there … there’s not a damn fan that’s ever going to let it happen.”

Indeed, Busch’s 201st career victory in a NASCAR national series drew the usual outrage on social media Saturday, both from his Rowdy Nation legion of fans and those who vehemently believe he should be limited beyond the NASCAR cap of five truck races and seven Xfinity races allowed for full-time Cup drivers.

Busch has won in seven of 11 starts in trucks, Xfinity and Cup this season.

“Could have been nine or 10 (victories) probably, that’s what the scary part is if it wasn’t for simple mistakes,” Busch said. “Overall, it’s been fun. It’s a damn shame I’m only allowed five and seven.”

Busch has two 2019 starts left in trucks: at Texas Motor Speedway next week and Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.

He said the chances are solid for going 5 for 5.

“I’d like to think Texas is a good place,” he said. “I think our guys have a good baseline. Charlotte is always one of my best tracks, favorite tracks and enjoy running there with the trucks, especially. There’s a good opportunity.

“It’s kind of an expectation (to win every race). We just go out, work hard and smart, and today we let the race play itself out and come to us.”

Busch won the 2009 Xfinity championship in the last season in which he ran full time in NASCAR’s top two series. He has focused solely on Cup full time since then, and NASCAR has changed rules over the past eight years limiting the ability to run for more than one title.

Despite 148 starts (and 54 victories), he is yet to run a full truck season, but the 2015 Cup champion has said he’d like to become the first driver to win a championship in each of NASCAR’s top three series.

Drivers to take part in Cup Las Vegas organizational test

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Las Vegas Motor Speedway has announced a roster of 14 drivers who will take part in the first Cup organizational test of the year on Jan. 31-Feb. 1.

The test on the 1.5-mile track will be one of the first opportunities for teams to test the 2019 rules package that includes a tapered spacer.

The drivers who will take part:

Brad Keselowski (Team Penske)

Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports)

Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing)

Kurt Busch (Chip Ganassi Racing)

Ryan Newman (Roush Fenway Racing)

Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing)

Clint Bowyer (Stewart-Haas Racing)

Landon Cassill (StarCom Racing)

Matt DiBenedetto (Leavine Family Racing)

Ryan Preece (JTG Daugherty Racing)

Paul Menard (Wood Brothers Racing)

Ross Chastain, David Ragan and Drew Herring are also scheduled to be at the track. They will be driving manufacture wheel force cars.

The test will be the first on-track time for Kurt Busch, Newman, Preece and DiBenedetto with their new teams.

The test is tentatively scheduled to run from 11 am to 9 pm ET on Jan. 31 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Feb. 1.

A section of the main grandstands and pit road will be open to fans at the test.

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Kyle Larson spins in final Cup practice at Pocono

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The left front of Kyle Larson‘s car made light contact with the inside wall after a Turn 1 spin with a minute left in final practice Saturday at Pocono Raceway.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver was able to drive the No. 42 Chevrolet back to the garage. Larson was ninth fastest in the session.

Joey Logano was fastest in the session, ahead of Kevin Harvick (fastest in first practice), Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola and Jimmie Johnson.

Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Larson and Chase Elliott rounded out the top 10.

Click here for the speed chart from the final practice.

Next up for the Cup Series is qualifying at 4:10 p.m. ET for Sunday’s race.