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NBCSN to broadcast special NASCAR America, Cup Awards at 8 p.m. ET

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NBCSN will have complete coverage of tonight’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards from Las Vegas, as the sport salutes Joey Logano‘s championship.

A special edition NASCAR America will air at 8 p.m. ET. with red carpet coverage. Carolyn Manno hosts and is joined by Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman. Marty Snider will be on the red carpet for driver interviews. Reigning Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon also will serve as a reporter on the red carpet.

The Awards show airs at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Rutledge Wood and Kelli Stavast host. Along with honoring Logano, the show will feature the announcement of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Most Popular Driver. With Dale Earnhardt Jr. an analyst for NBC Sports, his streak of 15 consecutive Most Popular Driver awards will end.

Xfinity practice report from Miami

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Final Practice

Ryan Reed posted the fastest lap in final practice for the Xfinity race at Miami with a speed of 166.451 mph.

He beat Austin Cindric (166.195 mph) by .050 seconds. Cindric was also second in the first practice session.

Elliott Sadler (165.873) posted the third fastest time.

Playoff contenders Tyler Reddick (165.766) and Christopher Bell (165.710) rounded out the top five.

Playoff contender Cole Custer (165.578) scraped the wall late in the session, but not before posted the sixth fastest time. His damage was not sufficient enough to force him to roll out a backup car.

“I just tried to get too much into Turn 3,” Custer told NBCSN’s Marty Snider at the end of the session. ” I started trying to run the top to get comfortable a little bit and I  just kind of crossed over the line.”

Daniel Hemric (164.289) was the slowest of the contenders.

Bell (163.311) posted the quickest 10-lap average in final practice followed by fellow contender Custer at 162.920.

Reddick was fourth-best on this chart with Hemric seventh among 21 drivers who posted at least 10 consecutive laps.

Click here for complete results.

First Practice

Christopher Bell posted the fastest lap in Friday’s first practice for the Miami Xfinity race with a speed of 167.193 mph. Bell was docked 30 minutes of practice time for failing inspection three times at Phoenix.

He beat Austin Cindric (166.410) by .152 seconds.

Playoff contenders Daniel Hemric (165.431) and Cole Custer (165.375) were third and fourth respectively.

John Hunter Nemechek (165.006) rounded out the top five.

In seventh, Tyler Reddick (164.394) was the slowest among the playoff contenders.

Nemechek posted the quickest 10-lap average in this session with a speed of 162.254.

Bell (161.658) had the second-best 10-lap average. Reddick (161.567) was third on this chart.

Click here for complete results.

 

NASCAR America: With penalty, Rodney Childers gets head start on Miami car

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Last week, Rodney Childers sat out the first race of a two-race suspension for an infraction at Texas. Instead of going to Phoenix and sitting in a suite to monitor the situation close by, he set up shop at the team’s shop in North Carolina.

Childers monitored the race from there and as it turned out, that might have been a blessing in disguise.

“It did work out good. We were able to get some updates done on Friday that we would normally not be able to do till Monday,” Childers told Marty Snider on Monday’s edition of NASCAR America. “I had the whole shop kind of turned upside down at one point, but overall everybody was working hard on (the Miami car) and trying to get it prepared the best we could.

“It wasn’t terrible, but I definitely missed being at the racetrack.”

Perhaps the only time during the race when Childers felt a moment of panic came at the end of Stage 1 when Harvick lost a tire on his way to a certain stage win.

After two late nights on Monday and Tuesday, the No. 4 team will load up the car Wednesday and head for the track with some extra attention having already been given by Childers. That could make the difference in how fast the car rolls off the hauler.

“Overall we’ve been very good every time we’ve been down there (in Miami). I think we finish in the top three or four every race – all four that we’ve been down there. We feel we’ve got strong cars this year. Probably better than what we’ve been.”

In his last four starts at Miami, Harvick finished fourth last year, was third in 2016, second in 2015 and won both the race and the championship in 2014.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m.: Kevin Harvick’s penalty and preparations for Miami

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m ET on NBCSN with a look at the repercussions of Kevin Harvick‘s Texas penalty.

Carolyn Manno is in Stamford and is joined by Kyle Petty and Nate Ryan from the Charlotte studio.

On today’s show:

  • Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 team’s major penalties from Texas are still reverberating. No longer locked into the championship four, Harvick holds the final spot by only a few points. But with the playoffs heading to Phoenix, he’s coming to his best track – and a 10th win in the desert would send him to Miami. Today, we’ll focus on Harvick and the Bottom 4 – Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola, and Clint Bowyer – as they head for the biggest race of the season!
  • SiriusXM’s Pete Pistone joins the show with his thoughts on the Harvick penalties, including how they’re being perceived beyond the NASCAR world. Teams constantly pushing the limits to gain performance is a fact of life in the garage. But when a team crosses the line, does that tradition end up hurting the sport’s image?
  • Already in the championship four with a win at Martinsville, Joey Logano and the No. 22 Team Penske crew are having to balance preparations between this weekend and the finale in Miami. Crew chief Todd Gordon shares how they’re doing it in an interview with Marty Snider. Plus: How has the continuity of the No. 22 pit crew and road crew helped Logano contend for a title once again?
  • The Xfinity Series is heading for its own playoff elimination race on Saturday at Phoenix, where Elliott Sadler hopes to lock into the championship four. No matter what, Sadler faces the final two races of his career as a full-time driver. Can the 43-year-old veteran earn an opportunity that few athletes receive – to go out as a champion?

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 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

NASCAR America: Clint Bowyer crew chief Mike Bugarewicz: ‘We don’t quit’

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With a 73-point deficit to the cutoff, Clint Bowyer is in a must-win situation heading into this week’s Phoenix race (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC) in order to advance to the championship finale.

“(Round 3) has been a tough one on us,” Mike Bugarewicz, Bowyer’s crew chief, told NASCAR America’s Marty Snider on Tuesday’s show. “It’s definitely challenging us. But that’s what the (playoffs are) all about. … But we have one more shot to make it through to Homestead and we don’t plan to give up yet.

“The question just comes down to be are we going to be a car that can contend for the win on Sunday outright racing them or are we going to have to get strategic and try to figure out a way to get in position. One way or another, we don’t quit.”

Bowyer faces an uphill battle. Phoenix has not been one of his better track over the course of his career. With an average finish of 18.4 in 26 starts, it ranks third-worst behind Darlington (22.8 in 13 starts) and Atlanta (20.4 in 18 starts). Bowyer has not scored a top five at Phoenix since 2008 when he finished second to Jimmie Johnson.

In fact, he’s had only one top 10 in his last 10 Phoenix races (a sixth this spring).

“At the end of the day, you’re still in contention for the big prize,” Bugarewicz said. “Is it going to be a little harder to get there? Absolutely, but at the end of the day we race for wins every week, so this is no different.”

For more, watch the video above.

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