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NASCAR America at 6 p.m. ET: Kyle Busch joins Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 6-7 p.m. ET on NBCSN and features a guest appearance by Kyle Busch.

Rutledge Wood will host with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton joining Busch from the Big Oak Table in Charlotte.

  • We’re live from the Big Oak Table in Charlotte for another edition of Wednesdays with Dale Jr. Today, we’ll be joined 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, Kyle Busch.
  • The driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota Camry will talk about his 2018 season. He currently leads the Cup Series in race wins (5) and playoff points (30). He’ll discuss being part of the “Big Three” along with Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. and how this group of champions have separated themselves from the rest of the field.
  • What are his thoughts entering this weekend’s race at New Hampshire?
  • Busch will also give his take on several other topics, including tonight’s Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway. Kyle Busch Motorsports has three trucks in the field. Should NASCAR add a dirt race to either the Cup or XFINITY Series? We’ll get his answer tonight.
  • Plus, Kyle and Dale Jr. will answer questions provided by the fans who use the hashtag #WednesDale
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 6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

NBC Sports to debut ‘NBC Race Team Broadcast’ at New Hampshire

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As part of its way of reinventing how it presents NASCAR races to fans, NBC Sports will present an analyst-only broadcast for the July 22 Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Steve Letarte, Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will call the race from the booth. Called from NASCAR on NBC’s traditional broadcast booth above the start-finish line, the “NBC Race Team Broadcast” will bring fans closer to their favorite drivers and teams as pre-playoff competition heats up at “The Magic Mile.”

Lead broadcaster Rick Allen will report from pit road to give fans a different view of the Cup race. Allen will call the Xfinity race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this Saturday, July 21 at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN alongside Earnhardt and Burton. Letarte will contribute from the Peacock Pit Box.

Allen will return to the broadcast booth for NBCSN’s broadcast of the Cup race at Pocono Raceway on July 29.

The broadcast lineup at New Hampshire is one of many NBC Sports has used and will use to broadcast Cup races this season. Already, NBC Sports has put its broadcasters in two separate booths and had Steve Letarte on the Peacock Pit Box. Additional variations are planned later this year.

“We have a multi-option offense, and are again excited to try a different booth setup for our NASCAR Cup Series race broadcast in New Hampshire,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer & President, Production, NBC & NBCSN. “We’re putting people in positions to make it fun for the audience, and the ‘NBC Race Team Broadcast’ will bring a unique and different perspective to the race.”

 

NASCAR America: Lapped traffic contributes to exciting Overton’s 400 finish

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The thrilling end of the Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway was made all the more exhilarating because of heavy traffic in the closing laps.

When Kyle Busch ran into a three-way scrum for 15th between Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kurt Busch, he had a decision to make. Should he allow those drivers to sort it out before going around them – a move that would allow second place Kyle Larson to get to his back bumper – or should he thread the needle and become part of their battle.

Busch chose the latter.

Newman fought hard to stay on the lead lap – a trait for which Newman is famously known – and that slowed Kyle Busch enough to force him to race in close proximity to Stenhouse and Kurt Busch. Stenhouse bumped the No. 18 in the right rear and slowed him enough to allow the No. 42 of Larson to close – and create the last-lap fireworks that have been part the highlight reel ever since.

On Monday, NASCAR America analysts Parker Kligerman and Jeff Burton discussed how much should be expected from drivers who are in the process of getting lapped.

“Towards the end of the race, when it really makes a difference, that’s when you’re supposed to be hard to pass,” Newman told NASCAR America last year.

Newman’s attitude was infectious.

“In Stenhouse’s position especially, he had every right to race Newman as hard as he could and Kurt Busch was in that group there. And he actually beat Kurt Busch, so that was one point – more valuable to him in making the playoffs,” Parker Kligerman said.

Stenhouse is currently 23 points below the cutline for making the playoffs.

“I’m conflicted on this,” Jeff Burton said. “I think the leaders deserve a chance to get – this late in the race – a chance to get themselves a little bit of a free pathway, but at the same time these guys are racing for position. The thing that gets me is … Stenhouse gets into the quarterpanel of the leader of the race.”

Stenhouse also held up Larson as he tried to navigate traffic, but they did not make contact.

“I’ve been in Kyle’s position too and when you’re in his position,” Kligerman said, “you are screaming, do whatever you can to get those guys out of your way because whatever they are racing for is not nearly worth as much as what you’re racing for.”

In the end, Burton summed up the experience best. “Selfishly, as a race fan? It was awesome.”

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter.

NASCAR America: NASCAR’s best finishes

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Where does the Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway fit among NASCAR’s best finishes?

Somewhere close to the top of the list, according to NASCAR America’s analysts. But it is not the only exciting finish seen in the past couple of decades.

Richard Petty and David Pearson’s accident coming to the finish line in the 1976 Daytona 500 ranks at the top.

“They both blamed each other for this wreck. Imagine that, things never change,” Jeff Burton said of the incident.

Pearson won over Petty.

The 2001 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 featured a win by Kevin Harvick “in a photo finish over Jeff Gordon in a very emotional victory for everyone in NASCAR,” according to Parker Kligerman.

Burton described a race in which he watched the finish from the cockpit: the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway in which Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch wrecked as they took the checkers.

“These guys, off turn 4 at Darlington. Just unbelievable contact, side-by-side,” Burton said. “And they kept wrecking. The race is over and they’re still wrecking. What I love about this race is the same thing we saw this past week. Both of these guys recognized they were part of an unbelievable experience.”

Kyle Busch factored into the last lap of the 2012 Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen, but he would not be part of the race to the checkers. With oil on the track from a blown engine by Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski ran into the back of Busch and sent him spinning. Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose battled to the checkers with Ambrose scoring his second Cup win.

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter.

NASCAR America: Battling teammates, Harvick versus Busch

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The final lap of the Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway was certainly exciting when Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson traded paint in a race to the checkers that may go down as one of the best finishes ever. But it wasn’t the only battle for the lead in Sunday’s race that deserved notice.

On the final lap of Stage 2, Kevin Harvick squeezed between his teammate Kurt Busch and the wall coming out of turn four to grab the bonus point that goes along with a stage win.

Busch was not happy about getting passed.

“Never expected that from a teammate. Never expected it. Wow,” Busch said over the radio.

“You’re racing,” Jeff Burton replied during the race broadcast. “It’s a stage win, man. You’re racing.”

With a day to reflect on his comments, Burton’s opinion did not change.

“If stage racing matters – if points matter, then there are no teammates when it comes to the finish of the race or the finish of the stage.”

The dramatic last lap of Stage 2 did precisely what NASCAR hoped it would when they implemented the rule. It made racing during the middle stages of the race relevant.

“Why are we gonna watch? If Kevin Harvick is gonna let someone win the race or a stage, then why are you gonna sit in 95 degree temperature and watch that? Fans deserve to see drivers going at it.

“If you’re expecting that much from a teammate – to let you win – your expectations are way too high.”

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter.