NASCAR Cup Series

CM Punk PUMPS…YOU…UP for NASCAR on NBC Sports (Video)

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“You want to be the best in the world? Well guess what…so does everybody else.”

That’s how CM Punk opens his NASCAR primer ahead of coverage returning to NBC Sports this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois and continuing throughout the rest of the regular season and entirety of the playoffs.

Coverage begins on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and streaming live via the NBC Sports app.

With only 10 races remaining in the regular season, the push for the playoffs is officially on. As CM Punk ends the video above, “what are [drivers] going to do to be the one standing at the top when it’s all said and done?”

The wait is over. We all get to find out starting this weekend.

Saturday’s NASCAR schedule at Sonoma, Gateway

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There’ll be lots of racing action Saturday both on the West Coast and in the nation’s heartland.

Sonoma Raceway will play host to NASCAR Cup qualifying for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350, as well as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race later in the afternoon.

More than 2,000 miles east, the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will have a one-day show at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway near St. Louis with two practices, qualifying and the CarShield 200 race in the evening.

Here’s how the schedule at both tracks looks:

(All times Eastern)

Sonoma Raceway forecasts sunny skies and a high of 91 degrees for Saturday with no chance of rain.

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

3:10 p.m. – Cup qualifying; multi-car/two rounds (FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASAR Radio)

4:45 p.m. – K&N Pro Series West race; 50 laps/126 miles (Airs on NBCSN on June 27 at 6 p.m. ET)


World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway forecasts a temperature of 76 degrees and a 18% chance of rain at the start time for the Truck Series race.

The first scheduled practice session at 11:35 a.m. and qualifying were cancelled due to rain.

10:30 a.m. – Truck garage opens

5-5:55 p.m. ET – Final Truck practice

8:30 p.m. – Driver-crew chief meeting

9:30 p.m – Driver introductions

10 p.m. – CarShield 200; 160 laps/200 miles (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Preliminary entry lists for Cup at Sonoma, Trucks at Gateway

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After a week off, the NASCAR Cup Series is back in action this weekend at Sonoma Raceway, just north of San Francisco.

Meanwhile, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will compete at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis.

The Xfinity Series enjoys this weekend off before it returns at Chicagoland Speedway on June 29.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for this weekend’s Cup and Truck races:

Cup – Toyota/Save Mart 350 (3 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1)

There are 38 cars entered for the race around the twisting road course in Napa Valley’s wine country.

JJ Yeley will make his second Cup start of the season, driving the No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Ford.

Cody Ware will be back in the No. 52 Ford for Rick Ware Racing.

Justin Haley will make his second career Cup start, piloting the No. 77 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports.

NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman will make his seventh start of the Cup season in the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota.

Click here for the preliminary entry list.


Trucks – Gateway 200 (10 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1)

A total of 32 trucks are entered in this race.

Johnny Sauter will miss the race due to a suspension from NASCAR for his actions at Iowa Speedway. ThorSport Racing has not announced a substitute driver yet.

There is no driver listed yet for the No. 0 Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing Chevrolet or  Beaver Motorsports’ No. 1 Chevrolet

Camden Murphy makes his second start of the season, driving the No. 8 Nemco Motorsports Chevrolet.

Daniel Sasnett makes his second start of the season, piloting the No. 32 Reaume Brothers Racing Chevrolet.

Bryant Barnhill makes his first start of the season and second of his Truck career in the No. 34 Reaume Brothers Racing Chevrolet.

Kyle Benjamin makes his third start of the season, driving the No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet.

Following his Truck Series debut at Iowa, Chandler Smith will drive the No. 46 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

Christian Eckes makes his second Truck start of the season, piloting the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

Click here for the preliminary entry list.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR’s weekend schedule at ISM Raceway in Phoenix

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The NASCAR season moves into the middle of the three-race West Coast swing this weekend with Cup and Xfinity races at ISM Raceway in the Phoenix suburb of Avondale, Arizona.

Unlike the first three races of the season, the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will not be part of this weekend’s event. That series is off until March 23 at Martinsville.

Here’s the weekend’s schedule with TV and radio info:

(All times are Eastern)

Friday, March 8

10:30 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 (, Motor Racing Network)

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

5:05 – 5:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (FS1)

6:10 p.m. – Cup qualifying; multi-vehicle, three rounds (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Saturday, March 9

9 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

10 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Cup garage open

11:35 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. – Cup practice (FS1, MRN)

12:40 p.m. – Xfinity qualifying; multi-vehicle, three rounds (FS1)

1:45 p.m. – Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting

2:05 – 2:55 p.m. – Cup final practice (FS1, MRN)

3:30 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

4 p.m. – iK9 Service Dog 200 Xfinity race; 200 laps/200 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, March 11

9 a.m. – Cup garage open

12:30 p.m. – Cup driver/crew chief meeting

1:50 p.m. – Cup driver introductions

3:30 p.m. – TicketGuardian 500 Cup race; 312 laps/312 miles (Fox, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Bayley Currey to make Cup debut at Phoenix for Rick Ware Racing

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Rick Ware Racing announced Wednesday Bayley Currey will make his Cup Series debut this weekend in the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway in suburban Phoenix.

Currey, 22, of Driftwood, Texas, is a mechanical engineering student at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte. He will drive the No. 52 Ford Mustang with sponsorship from the Jacob Companies, MTEL-ONE, BYRNA and Baja Manufacturing.

“I am extremely excited to compete in Rick’s car for the first time,” Currey said in a RWR media release. “I have been working in Rick’s shop since 2017 and it has been awesome to see how Rick Ware Racing has progressed.

“I am thankful to be able to get behind the wheel where obviously the main goal is to run all the laps, but I really enjoy racing at ISM Raceway and I think if we can keep everything in line we will come away with a good run!”

Currey has 13 Xfinity Series starts, with a career-best finish of 21st last fall at Texas Motor Speedway. He also has 16 career starts in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, with a best finish of 10th at Phoenix in fall 2017.

He’s also competed in the Sunoco Southern Super Late Model Series, ASCS2 Mini-Sprint Cars, Asphalt Modifieds, INEX Legends Cars, INEX Bandolero’s and go-karts.

Follow @JerryBonkowski