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Poll: Vote for NASCAR’s greatest driver

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On Friday, NASCAR.com revealed the results of poll it conducted with 19 Cup drivers that covered six categories.

Among the topics drivers were polled:

# Greatest driver of all-time

# Driver who will win the 2020 championship

# Best active crew chief

We decided to take those questions, tweak them a little bit and pose them to you.

Greatest Driver of All-Time

With 37% of the vote, Jimmie Johnson‘s peers voted him the greatest NASCAR driver to grace the track, besting four other choices: Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Kyle Busch and David Pearson.

We’re giving you one more option in our poll, with the addition of four-time champion Jeff Gordon.

 

2020 Cup Championship Pick

The 19 drivers polled by NASCAR.com voted Denny Hamlin as their choice to win the title with 53% of the vote. Kevin Harvick got 47%.

We’re opening the choices to the current top 10 drivers in the Cup point standings, plus an “other” option.

 

Best Crew Chief

Behind every great driver is a crew chief calling the shots. NASCAR.com’s poll saw Rodney Childers, who works with Kevin Harvick, voted best crew chief with 63% of the vote. Second place, Chris Gabehart (Denny Hamlin’s crew chief), received 16%.

Who do you think is the best crew chief who can be found in the Cup Series garage?

Joey Logano: ‘I’ve tried to treat everyone like they have COVID-19’

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With a recent uptick in positive test results for COVID-19 in parts of the country, NASCAR driver Joey Logano isn’t taking anything to chance.

“I’ve tried to treat everyone like they have COVID-19,” Logano said during a media teleconference Friday afternoon. “That’s at least my way of trying to stay safe.”

The philosophy works for Logano, which is significant partly because one member of Team Penske tested positive for the virus nearly a week ago, along with two employees of Stewart-Haas Racing.

There is also a reported increase of positive tests and hospitalizations in the Charlotte area, according to The Charlotte Observer.

“If you look at Team Penske, I can’t speak for all the teams, but they are very strict at how seriously they’re taking this virus,” Logano said. “Everybody in that place has a mask on all day long. If you get on a team plane, you’re (wearing a) mask and rubber gloves the whole time.

“They’ve done a really good job at that. If you look at who else they needed to quarantine after that, it’s a very small group because everybody has been so strict at Team Penske to where it doesn’t shut down our whole race shop.

“We’ve done a real good job social distancing where we can, but also wearing our PPE (personal protective equipment) all the time. That’s the most important things we can do.”

“Some of the best advice I’ve gotten out of this whole thing is assume everybody has coronavirus and what would you do? You’re obviously not going to shake someone’s hand, you’re going to stay a little more distant, you’re going to wear your mask, you’re going to wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer. You’re going to do that stuff.

“If you have that mindset that the person next to you has COVID-19, you’re going to obviously be nervous about it. So I’ve tried to treat everyone like they have COVID-19. That’s at least my way of trying to stay safe. Our sport has done a real good job at it and I think Team Penske has done even better, in my opinion.”

In another teleconference earlier in the day, Greg Ives, crew chief for Alex Bowman and the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE also spoke about precautions he and the organization are taking — particularly when teams are on the road at races — in light of the virus resurgence.

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro of Alex Bowman. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“On an individual basis, you have to have those conversations with each guy that you have on your team,” Ives said. “From the comfort level of traveling to different areas. I’ve had that conversation with them.

“The other thing is, everybody at Hendrick Motorsports is taking this time seriously. When we are traveling to Pocono, how are we going to feed our guys and supply them with the food they need? It may sound trivial, but (one way is) not having them go to restaurants to potentially expose them.

“And we’ve come up with plans where basically we give them the meals they need so they are only going to one location. Making sure they eat at the track versus going out to somewhere else. Those types of things, even from how we are feeding the guys to how we are protecting them, is definitely very much important to not only myself, but everybody at Hendrick Motorsports.

“I feel like we’re doing it the best way, the safest way. For those that may feel uncomfortable in those scenarios or situations, we’re definitely hearing their voice and taking the proper protocol.”

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NASCAR community reacts to race postponements due to COVID-19

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A few hours before cars and trucks would take to the track, NASCAR announced the postponement of this weekend’s races in Atlanta and next weekend’s races at Homestead due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The announcement came with President Trump expected to declare a national emergency Friday afternoon.

Members of the NASCAR community took to social media to share their thoughts on an unprecedented moment in the sport.

NASCAR America’s MotorMouths at 5 p.m. ET: Harrison Burton, Greg Ives

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Today’s episode of MotorMouth airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Marty Snider hosts and is joined by Kyle Petty, Steve Letarte and Nate Ryan.

Harrison Burton, the newest winner in the Xfinity Series, will join the show via FaceTime. Greg Ives, crew chief for Alex Bowman, speaks with Dave Burns. We’ll also discuss Chip Ganassi expressing his displeasure with a video Denny Hamlin posted on social media after his incident with Kyle Larson on Sunday.

You can call into the show via 844-NASCAR-NBC or submit your questions/comments via Twitter using #LetMeSayThis.

If you can’t catch today’s show 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.

Winners and losers from Las Vegas

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WINNERS

Paul Wolfe — Great call to have Joey Logano not pit before the final restart. Of course it helped that six other cars stayed out. Still, the top two cars came down pit road and Logano, running third, stayed out and won.

Matt DiBenedettoFinishes second in his second race with the Wood Brothers.

Jimmie JohnsonScored his first top-five finish since last summer’s Daytona race.

Bubba Wallace Decision not to pit allowed him to finish sixth, giving him his best Cup finish on a 1.5-mile track.

LOSERS

Todd Gordon and Greg Ives— For every high, there is a low. Gordon apologized on the radio to Ryan Blaney for calling him to pit road while leading before the final restart. Blaney finished 11th. Ives called Bowman to pit road while running second before the final restart. Bowman finished 13th. Ives tweeted that he was “VERY frustrated with my call at the end not to game on old tires, especially in Vegas.”

19 pit crew — Martin Truex Jr.’s pit crew got him into the lead under caution after Stage 2 but he had to return to pit under that caution to tighten loose lug nuts. Said Truex after the race: “We just need to quit having mistakes on pit road.”

William ByronLined up second on the final restart but contact with Matt DiBenedetto led to a tire rub and Byron falling back before he was involved in the crash that ended race. He finished 22nd.