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Tyler Reddick unveils Kyle Petty tribute for Darlington Xfinity race

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Tyler Reddick will pay tribute to NASCAR on NBC analyst Kyle Petty with his paint scheme for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway (4 p.m. ET on NBC).

The defending series champion’s No. 2 Chevrolet will be made to resemble Petty’s 7-Eleven car from the late 1980s.

It’s the scheme Petty won his first Cup Series race with at Richmond in 1986.

More: Retro paint schemes for Southern 500 weekend

Reddick will have blu, an electronic cigarette company, as his primary sponsor with 7-Eleven as a secondary sponsor.

“The Throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway is always one of my favorite races of the year because I love NASCAR history and it’s so fun to celebrate the heritage of our sport at one of NASCAR’s oldest and most exciting tracks,” said Reddick in a press release. “I grew up watching Kyle Petty race, so being able to celebrate his career and impact on the sport is special to me. I’m so thankful to be able to participate in NASCAR’s Throwback weekend and honor an icon of the sport this year.”

The tribute to Petty means three of NASCAR on NBC’s analysts will be represented this weekend at Darlington.

Dale Jarrett is being honored by Corey LaJoie in the Southern 500 with an old Xfinity scheme.

Jeff Burton’s rookie Cup scheme will be on Justin Haley’s Xfinity Series car.

Bump and Run: Was Chad Knaus wrong to goad William Byron to retaliate?

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Was Chad Knaus wrong to essentially tell William Byron to stand up for himself vs. Kyle Busch at Watkins Glen and hit Busch’s car?

Nate Ryan: Yes, as Jeff Burton and Kyle Petty said on NASCAR America, Knaus has a greater responsibility as not just a crew chief but mentor for the 21-year-old Byron. While encouraging his driver to be assertive was fine, demanding a specific course of action that put his car at risk was unwise with Byron, who will follow orders from a seven-time champion crew chief with an overachiever’s zeal.

Dustin Long: Yes. One of the things you often hear is that drivers shouldn’t let spotters drive the car. The same standard should be applied to crew chiefs. Emotion should not dictate decisions.  Chad Knaus’ comments over the radio — where every team member could hear the order — put Byron in a corner. If he didn’t follow through, would his team feel as though Byron wasn’t doing all he could to defend them? That doesn’t help team dynamics. Of course, going off to hit somebody and possibly damage one’s car doesn’t do anyone any good. Busch saw Byron coming from behind, slammed the brakes and that increased the damage to Byron’s car when he struck Busch. This all could have been avoided if people — starting with Knaus — had better control of their emotions.

Daniel McFadin: While it maybe didn’t work in execution, I think it had the desired impact Knaus was seeking: A teaching moment where a veteran crew chief told a young driver to stand up for himself. Byron proved under his nice guy demeanor is someone who isn’t a pushover.

Jerry Bonkowski: No. Knaus was merely getting Byron to stand up for himself. While the delivery of that message went awry and Byron wrecked his own car — and his chances of winning — it still is refreshing to see Byron send a message to both Kyle Busch and the rest of the Cup Series that he won’t be pushed around. Byron has been somewhat tentative at times since coming to the Cup Series. This could be a watershed moment for him. 

Biggest shock at Watkins Glen: Bubba Wallace’s actions and comments about his incident with Kyle Busch? Jimmie Johnson’s comments about Ryan Blaney? Something else?

Nate Ryan: Wallace’s comments were nearly as striking as his revenge on Busch, and the latest in a series of high-profile incidents that are ensuring the No. 43 driver’s relevance even without results.

Dustin Long: Bubba Wallace’s comments were attention grabbing, but what Jimmie Johnson had to say about Ryan Blaney was more personal than we’ve seen the seven-time champion often go with a competitor. That provided the greatest shock value. It just shows the pressure Johnson and the No. 48 team feel in their bid to make the playoffs.

Daniel McFadin: Johnson’s comments for sure. The only other time I can remember him having even a mild post-race interaction with another driver was with Kurt Busch at Pocono in 2011. “Just keep filing things away. I remember this stuff,” Johnson said then. “There’s a couple of guys out there that have been pushing their luck, too.”

Jerry Bonkowski: I lean toward Bubba. The irony is Kyle Busch gave Bubba his first big chance and first full-time NASCAR ride in the Truck Series in 2013 and 2014. Still, Wallace had the right to stand up for himself and wasn’t going to be pushed around or intimidated by his former boss. Something tells me, though, that this isn’t the end of the Busch-Bubba feud. Rather, it may just be getting started.

If one race is enjoyable, should NASCAR consider a doubleheader weekend at Watkins Glen in the future?

Nate Ryan: Love the idea, though it probably would require striking a race from another track. If NASCAR were open to the concept, there are some ISC tracks that should have only one race (namely, Michigan).

Dustin Long: Let’s calm down folks. Let’s wait to see how this plays out at Pocono next year. Let the bugs get worked out on the doubleheader weekend schedule and then take a hard look at it. An issue at Watkins Glen is the cars take such a beating on the curbs that teams might need another car to run the second race there. Is that feasible for all teams ˜to have a second car race ready? Let’s just see what needs to be done before running off and adding a race to that weekend at the Glen.

Daniel McFadin: Yes, please. Watkins Glen is a relatively short race. At 90 laps and with four cautions, Sunday’s race only took 2 hour and 14 minutes to complete. If the Pocono doubleheader is successful, the Glen should be the next candidate. 

Jerry Bonkowski: While I normally would say yes, this is a unique instance. Sure, Watkins Glen is a great track and great venue to watch a race. But at the same time, why give WGI (or Sonoma or the Roval) a second date on a doubleheader weekend when the Cup Series could expand its road course footprint to other tracks such as Road America, Road Atlanta, Barber Motorsports Park or the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course? I definitely like the doubleheader weekend concept and hope NASCAR adds more to the schedule, but the tracks chosen and the reasons to do so have to make the most sense.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Recapping wild Watkins Glen race

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs on NBCSN from 5-6 p.m. ET and will recap Chase Elliott’s win at Watkins Glen and the surrounding chaos on Sunday.

Steve Letarte is joined by Jeff Burton and Kyle Petty to discuss that and other storylines.

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.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Hamlin’s win, Jimmie Johnson’s new crew chief

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs on NBCSN from 5-6 p.m. ET and will recap Denny Hamlin’s win at Pocono, as well as introduce you to Jimmie Johnson’s new crew chief, Cliff Daniels. Dave Burns will have an interview with both Johnson and Daniels.

Steve Letarte will be joined by Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett to discuss those and other storylines.

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.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR America to air iRacing All-Star event at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN

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NBC Sports, iRacing and NASCAR have come together to present the first-ever eNASCAR live-event on television. The world’s best NASCAR iRacers will compete in the first live event on TV as part of Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, airing at 5 p.m. ET.

NASCAR America’s Krista Voda, Parker Kligerman, and AJ Allmendinger will host along with iRacing team owners Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton, who will join for pre-and post-race commentary from the NBC Sports Charlotte studio.

Kligerman, also an iRacing team owner, will be racing from the NBC Sports simulator in Stamford, Conn., in the eNASCAR iRacing All-Star event.

“The trio of NBC Sports, iRacing and NASCAR has been terrific in wanting to work together to find new ways to bring current and new fans into the NASCAR scene,” says Jeff Behnke, Vice President of NASCAR Production at NBC Sports Group “For five years, the simulator has been used on NASCAR America to showcase tracks and racers around the USA and this new four-race venture will be a natural extension of that teamwork.”

“This is a landmark moment for iRacing, and all racing esports,” said Tony Gardner, president, iRacing. “We’re incredibly excited to work with NASCAR and NBC Sports to bring our world-class simracers to a live national television audience for the first time on NBCSN. We expect the action to be intense, and we can’t wait for the green flag to drop this Thursday.”

“Our eNASCAR platforms bridge the gap from one race weekend to the next, delivering NASCAR-style racing to our fans through the rapidly growing esports space,” said Tim Clark, senior VP and chief digital officer, NASCAR. “This new collaboration with our partners at iRacing and NBC Sports is an example of how esports is allowing us to evolve the way we engage our fans.”

“It’s going to be really cool to take part in live iRacing action on NASCAR America,” said Kligerman. “I’ve seen firsthand just how exciting these races can get, and I can’t wait to give our viewers an inside look at what it’s like to face off against the best in the world. It’ll serve as a great preview of what it’s like to compete for the fans tuning in to watch our real-world coverage on NBCSN this weekend!”

iRacing is the leading online simulation racing game where competitors race head-to-head from around the world. Following this week’s event, iRacing will return to NASCAR America on NBCSN on the last Thursday of every month for a four-race series. More information on the three future iRacing events on NBCSN will be revealed in the coming weeks.

In addition to the eNASCAR iRacing All-Star events being broadcast on NBCSN, iRacing and NASCAR also have a professional esports series known as the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series, where drivers from around the world compete for over $100,000 in prize money in a year-long championship. Other notable team owners in the series include NBC Sports’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR stars Clint Bowyer and Austin Dillon. NBCSN provides weekly coverage of the series on NASCAR America.

Tune in to NASCAR America on NBCSN this Thursday at 5PM ET to watch iRacing NASCAR action. Be sure to follow @iRacing and @NASCARonNBC on Twitter for live updates during the race. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iRacing.com.

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.