Getty Images

NASCAR, NBCSN announce 2019 regional series broadcast schedule

Leave a comment

NASCAR and the NBC Sports Group on Friday announced the 2019 broadcast schedules for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, as well as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. All races will air on NBCSN.

The overall schedule features a total of 37 regional events at 27 different racetracks across the U.S., including each series’ openers and championship finales.

Things kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. ET, with the K&N Pro Series East opener that takes place this Sunday at Central Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway.

The K&N Pro Series West season opener at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway airs Tuesday, March 5, at 6 p.m. ET.

The Whelen Modified Tour season opener at Myrtle Beach Speedway airs Thursday, March 21, at 6 p.m. ET.

As for airing dates and times for each series’ championship races, they are: K&N Pro Series East, Friday, Oct. 11, at Dover International Speedway; Whelen Modified Tour, Thursday, Oct. 17, at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; and the K&N Pro Series West, Thursday, Nov. 14, at ISM Raceway.

Here’s the full schedule (all times Eastern):

NBCSN COVERAGE
RACE DATE SERIES TRACK AIR DATE TIME
Sun, Feb 10 K&N Pro East New Smyrna Speedway Wed, Feb 13 6 p.m.
Thu, Feb 28 K&N Pro West Las Vegas Motor Speedway Tue, Mar 05 6 p.m.
Sat, Mar 16 Whelen Modified Myrtle Beach Speedway Thu, Mar 21 6 p.m.
Sat, Mar 30 Whelen Modified South Boston Speedway Wed, Apr 03 4 p.m.
Sat, Mar 30 K&N Pro West Irwindale Speedway Wed, Apr 03 6 p.m.
Sat, Apr 06 K&N Pro East Bristol Motor Speedway Thu, Apr 11 4 p.m.
Sat, May 04 K&N Pro East South Boston Speedway (Twin #1) Wed, May 08 6 p.m.
Sat, May 04 K&N Pro East South Boston Speedway (Twin #2) Thu, May 09 6 p.m.
Sat, May 11 K&N Pro West Tucson Speedway (Twin #1) Wed, May 22 4 p.m.
Sat, May 11 K&N Pro West Tucson Speedway (Twin #2) Wed, May 22 7 p.m.
Sat, May 18 Whelen Modified Wall Stadium Speedway Thu, May 23 7 p.m.
Sat, Jun 01 K&N Pro East Memphis International Raceway Wed, Jun 05 6 p.m.
Sat, Jun 01 Whelen Modified Seekonk Speedway Wed, Jun 05 7 p.m.
Sat, Jun 08 K&N Pro West Colorado National Speedway Thu, Jun 13 6 p.m.
Sat, Jun 15 K&N Pro East Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thu, Jun 20 6 p.m.
Sat, Jun 22 K&N Pro West Sonoma Raceway Thu, Jun 27 6 p.m.
Sat, Jun 29 K&N Pro West Douglas County Speedway Thu, Jul 04 6 p.m.
Fri, Jul 19 Whelen Modified New Hampshire Motor Speedway (All-Star) Thu, Jul 25 6 p.m.
Sat, Jul 20 K&N Pro East New Hampshire Motor Speedway Mon, Jul 29 6 p.m.
Sat, Jul 20 Whelen Modified New Hampshire Motor Speedway Wed, Jul 31 6 p.m.
Fri, Jul 26 K&N Pro East/West Iowa Speedway Wed, Jul 31 7 p.m.
Fri, Aug 02 K&N Pro East Watkins Glen International Wed, Aug 07 6 p.m.
Wed, Aug 14 Whelen Modified Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Wed, Aug 21 6 p.m.
Thu, Aug 15 K&N Pro East Bristol Motor Speedway Wed, Aug 21 7 p.m.
Sat, Aug 17 K&N Pro West Evergreen Speedway Thu, Aug 22 6 p.m.
Sat, Aug 24 K&N Pro East/West Gateway Motorsports Park Thu, Aug 29 6 p.m.
Sat, Aug 31 Whelen Modified Oswego Speedway Thu, Sep 05 6 p.m.
Sat, Sep 07 Whelen Modified Riverhead Raceway Wed, Sep 11 6 p.m.
Sat, Sep 21 K&N Pro East New Hampshire Motor Speedway Wed, Sep 25 6 p.m.
Sat, Sep 21 Whelen Modified New Hampshire Motor Speedway Thu, Sep 26 6 p.m.
Sat, Sep 28 K&N Pro West Meridian Speedway Fri, Oct 04 6 p.m.
Sun, Sep 29 Whelen Modified Stafford Motor Speedway Fri, Oct 04 7 p.m.
Fri, Oct 04 K&N Pro East Dover International Speedway Fri, Oct 11 6 p.m.
Sat, Oct 12 K&N Pro West All American Speedway Thu, Oct 17 6 p.m.
Sun, Oct 13 Whelen Modified Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thu, Oct 17 7 p.m.
Sat, Oct 26 K&N Pro West Kern County Raceway Park Thu, Oct 31 6 p.m.
Sat, Nov 09 K&N Pro West ISM Raceway Thu, Nov 14 6 p.m.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Sixth season of NASCAR America returns Monday at 5 pm ET on NBCSN

NBC Sports
2 Comments

* Season Six of NBCSN’s Motorsports Show to Feature New Look and Daily Themed Episodes Highlighting Latest News Across the Industry

* NASCAR America Monday to be Hosted by NASCAR on NBC’s Race Team Including Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett and Steve Letarte

* NASCAR America PresentsThe Dale Jr. Download – Featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Tuesday, February 12 at 5 p.m. ET

* Motormouths Episodes on Wednesdays to Feature Live Call-In Opportunities for Fans

* Motorsports Hour on ThursdaysShines a Spotlight on NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA, Supercross, Motocross, and all Motorsports

STAMFORD, Conn. – February 7, 2019 – NASCAR America, NBCSN’s daily motorsports show, returns for its sixth season this Monday, February 11 at 5 p.m. ET, and will feature an all-new look, theme, studio and weekly schedule.

Airing weeknights at 5 p.m. ET, NASCAR America will originate directly from NBC Sports Group’s updated studio in NASCAR’s heartland of Charlotte, N.C.

As part of the show’s rebranding, each weeknight will showcase a different theme focused on the sport of NASCAR, its drivers, teams, fans and the motorsports industry at large. In addition, select episodes will include opportunities for fans to call in live and speak with NASCAR America hosts, analysts, drivers and other guests.

Listed below is the season six linear and digital episode debut schedule for NASCAR America.

Monday, February 11

  • NASCAR America Monday: Hosted by NASCAR on NBC’s Race Team including the “Mayor” of NASCAR Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton), Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett (@DaleJarrett), and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte (@SteveLetarte), NASCAR America Monday will focus on the previous weekend’s races, and include highlights, “Turning Points”, driver interviews, expert analysis, and signatureNASCAR America segment Scan All.

Tuesday, February 12

  • NASCAR America Presents The Dale Jr. Download: Every Tuesday, NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver for an unprecedented 15 consecutive years (2003-17) and winner of two Daytona 500s, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@Dalejr) co-hosts NASCAR America with Mike Davis. Produced on-site at Dirty Mo Media Studios in Mooresville, N.C., episodes on Tuesday will expand to one hour, and feature the same unparalleled perspective, candid commentary, and first-person insight of The Dale Jr. Download that fans have come to love.

  • NASCAR America Splash & Go: In addition to NBCSN’s linear telecast on Tuesday, NBC Sports Digital will feature multiple editions of NASCAR America Splash & Go segments, featuring the news of the day, breaking news, race shop reports and interviews. NBCSports.com’s lead motorsports writer Nate Ryan (@nateryan) will host Splash & Go digital segments and will be joined by a collection of NASCAR on NBC analysts. NASCAR America Splash & Go will be available on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Wednesday, February 13

  • NASCAR America Presents Motormouths: Hosted by NASCAR on NBC’s Rutledge Wood (@rutledgewood) and Marty Snider (@HeyMartysnider), alongside auto racing icon Kyle Petty (@KylePetty), Motormouths Wednesdays will feature a light-hearted approach to the traditional show, and include regular opportunities for fans to call in to NASCAR America and speak with hosts, analysts, drivers and other guests live on TV.

  • NASCAR America Debrief: As a compliment to Wednesday’s telecast of NASCAR America on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Digital will present NASCAR America Debrief, a digital exclusive show available on the NBC Sports YouTube Channel beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Nate Ryan will host NASCAR America Debrief, and will be joined by select NASCAR on NBC analysts and guests from that day’s linear telecast. NASCAR America Debrief will follow the same light-hearted approach as Motormouths, with an emphasis on additional viewer and fan engagement.

Thursday, February 14

  • NASCAR America Presents The Motorsports Hour: Featuring NASCAR on NBC host Krista Voda (@kristavoda), with NASCAR drivers and analysts A.J. Allmendinger (@AJDinger) and Parker Kligerman (@pkligerman), NASCAR America’s Motorsports Hour on Thursday will highlight the upcoming weekend’s NASCAR races, and also shine a light on the latest news surrounding IndyCar, IMSA, American Flat Track, Supercross, Motorcross, Mecum collector car auctions, and all of motorsports. Additional analysts will include former IndyCar drivers Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell, former IMSA GT driver Calvin Fish, as well as Motocross and Supercross legend Ricky Carmichael.

NASCAR America’s Fan Fridays will return to NBCSN in July, live from the site of select NASCAR on NBC races, and will be broadcast from NBC Sports’ Peacock Pit box set located on pit road.

NASCAR America is also available on the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TV’s.

NASCAR ON NBC

NBC Sports Group returns for its fifth season of NASCAR on NBC coverage beginning Sunday, June 30 from Chicagoland Speedway.

The official home of the NASCAR Playoffs, NBC Sports Group will present the final 20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Xfinity Series races, and select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events in 2019.

NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR programming also includes NBCSN’s daily motorsports show NASCAR America, coverage of NASCAR’s Awards Ceremonies, the annual NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony, as well as original programming specials.

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

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

Drivers agree: Charlotte Roval race is ‘going to be crazy’

1 Comment

Whether drivers and teams are ready, Roval week is here for the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series.

Four drivers will be eliminated from title contention in Sunday’s Cup race (2 p.m. ET on NBC) at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Xfinity race (3 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN) is the second race in the opening round of that playoffs. Xfinity teams will get to run the road course/oval configuration for the first time Thursday. When Cup teams tested in July, a number of them got off course. 

Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer are the four drivers outside the cutoff line to advance to the next round. Ryan Blaney holds that final cutoff spot heading into Charlotte. Click here for the standings.

Here’s what drivers are saying about the Roval:

Denny Hamlin (29 points out of final cutoff spot)

I learned quite a bit from the Charlotte test, I thought we were one of the best cars there at that test. I am optimistic, but I tell you it’s going to come down to qualifying well with the limited amount of passing zones at that race track, you can definitely get stuck behind somebody for an extended period of time.”

Jimmie Johnson (6 points out of final cutoff spot)

“I learned a lot at the road course test, but I don’t know if I have a better feeling about how the race is going to go. The track has countless areas for bad things to happen; things will just end your day. So passing zones are going to be extremely difficult to figure out, I think it’s going to be a day about really minimizing your own mistakes and you’ll be able to maintain track position pretty well. But, it’s going to be crazy.”

Alex Bowman (5 points ahead of first driver outside cutoff)

“Best places on the track to pass are going to be pit road. I have one of the best pit crews in the business so, I plan on using that. And the most treacherous is the whole track, so it’s going to be interesting for sure. It’s a very treacherous race track. There are really very few passing opportunities at all. It’s super narrow. Obviously you’re out on the oval for some of it, but I don’t really think you’re going to have the opportunity to use that to pass. All the breaking zones are pretty tight and technical and it’s going to be pretty tough to pass. … If you’re going in there and need to make up points, or whatever, it is going to be a tough day.”

Austin Dillon (10 points ahead of first driver outside cutoff)

“I think the whole track is treacherous, there are places that you could bust your tail at any moment being over aggressive. (It) can gain you speed but also can take you out from jumping a curb.”

Kurt Busch (15 points ahead of first driver outside cutoff)

“That Roval cutoff race is going to be gut-wrenching for plenty of different reasons. The extra stress that is going to come with the Roval, that one’s going to be a tough one.”

Kyle Larson (17 points ahead of first driver outside cutoff)

“It’s really easy to step over the line and crash. I think it is going to be a crazy race. Don’t really know what to expect. And it is hard to pass, I don’t really know where you can pass. We will find out when we get out there on the track.”

Aric Almirola (23 points ahead of first driver outside cutoff)

“I think the hardest part of the Roval is all of it. I really don’t know what the best opportunity to pass is. I have got some ideas but until you get cars on the race track running around each other … it is going to be hard to identify that. Running by yourself, you know you can gauge on what you could think would be an opportunistic place. I could tell you one place that is going to be incredibly hairy to pass and it is going to be that chicane on the back straightaway or trying to run two wide through there is going to be about impossible. So it is just the matter of whether or not you get position on the other guy and if he is willing to give it up or not.”

Friday 5: Former Cup champ proposes rule change for road courses

Getty Images
5 Comments

Are there too many stages in a road course race?

Former champion Kevin Harvick wonders that after racing at Sonoma and Watkins Glen this year — and a playoff race at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval to come for the Cup Series.

“I don’t like the two stages for the road races,” Harvick said on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show this week. “The reason that I don’t like the two stages is we waste about 8-10 laps of caution between the end of the two stages. It takes some of the strategy out of the race. This week we had three sets of tires. You had two stages, so most guys put two sets of tires on and you had to stop one time (in the final stage). Then you had another set of scuffs that you used in qualifying that were available as your emergency set of tires.

“One thing about road racing to me is strategy. You see so many strategies as you go through the years and you see guys doing different things and put themselves in position to win. To me, it might be worth looking at a single stage with double points for winning the stage.’’

He’s for putting that stage beyond a fuel window, meaning teams would have to pit before the stage ended. Harvick noted that the Watkins Glen race was 90 laps and suggested putting the single stage at Lap 40 since the fuel window was about 35 laps.

“To me it doesn’t flow well at the road courses,” Harvick said of two stage breaks at a road course race. “I would like everybody to think about and look at eliminating that second stage and going to maybe just one stage, double points.”

OK, let’s look at the issues.

At Sonoma, each stage break lasted three laps. So, six of the eight caution laps in that race were related to the stage breaks.

Still, that means that 92.7 percent of the race was run under green — the second highest percentage of laps run under green in a Cup race this year (the most was the spring Martinsville race, which had 93.4 percent of the laps run under green)

At Watkins Glen, each stage break lasted three laps. So, six of the 11 laps of caution were because of stage breaks.

That means 87.7 percent of the laps run were under green. That ranks 13th best among the first 22 races.

Strategy still was a factor in both road course races. At Sonoma, teams decided if they wanted to win the stage and get the playoff point or put themselves in position to win the race.

Sonoma winner Martin Truex Jr. pitted from the lead with two laps to go in the opening stage, sacrificing one playoff point to better position himself to win the race and score five playoff points. AJ Allmendinger won that stage.

Harvick pitted from the lead before the end of stage 2 to set himself up for the finish. Denny Hamlin won the stage. Harvick went on to finish second to Truex that day.

At Watkins Glen, Kyle Busch pitted from the lead before first stage. Truex stayed on course and won the stage. Truex went on to finish second in the race to Chase Elliott, who pitted before the stage ended.

Elliott stayed on track and won the second stage. Most of the field did not pit before that break.

Strategy seemed to matter in both races even with two stage breaks.

2. A rule change to consider

Denny Hamlin’s pole last weekend at Watkins Glen wasn’t official until about 13 hours after he completed his run.

NASCAR impounded the cars after qualifying on Saturday night and inspected them Sunday morning. Any car that failed inspection the first time through had their qualifying time disallowed and started at the rear of the field.

Had Hamlin’s car failed, he would not have been recognized as the pole winner. That would have gone to the next highest qualifier that passed tech.

If NASCAR continues to have inspection the day after qualifying and take the chance of the pole winner failing, maybe it’s time for the sport to do more for race winners who fail inspection.

An argument used to be that the sport didn’t want fans who watched the race to find out hours later that there was a different winner. Admittedly, any winner that fails tech after a race loses points, loses playoff points, can’t have that win count toward playoff eligibility and that result can’t count in any tiebreaker scenario. That’s pretty powerful.

But if NASCAR is willing to strip the pole from a driver because his car failed inspection the next day, then it would seem time to do the same for a win — either leave the position vacant or give it to the next highest finishing driver that passes inspection.

If the team still wants to claim the victory and put up a winner’s banner in the shop so be it, but let the record book show something else.

3. A memorable win

Without a full-time ride, Bubba Wallace was unsure of his future last August when he competed in a Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan.

Wallace went on to win that race. It’s his last victory in NASCAR’s national series.

So how does any driver deal with such a gap since their last win?

You go through these moments where you get signs of success and the other times when you’re fighting and crawling,” Wallace said. “And those moments make you stronger, I believe. So, those days when you do click and find something, you have extra fuel to add to the fire from those tough days to go out and really get the job done.

“So, it’s not a matter of us dwelling on not winning, it’s just a matter of us trying to find something that makes our cars much more competitive. That’s a win for us right now.”

Wallace enters this weekend 25th in the points. He scored a career-best second-place finish in the Daytona 500 for Richard Petty Motorsports. His only other top-10 finish this season was eighth at Texas in the spring.

4. Bidding for a playoff spot

JD Motorsports driver Ross Chastain holds the final transfer spot for the Xfinity playoffs with six races left in the regular season. Chastain is in that position while also running the No. 15 Cup car for Premium Motorsports.

With Cup and Xfinity in two different locations this weekend, Chastain will be with the Xfinity team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and head to Michigan after Saturday’s Xfinity race (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN). He’ll have Reed Sorenson practice and qualify his Cup car (the Cup race is at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN).

Chastain told Jay Robinson, owner of Premium Motorsports, that he would never miss an Xfinity on-track session if he got the ride in the No. 15 car.

“There’s no fair way I can take away from the 4 car,” Chastain said of his Xfinity ride.

Chastain leads Michael Annett of JR Motorsports by 40 points for what would be the final playoff spot. Ryan Sieg of RSS Racing is next, 75 points behind Chastain.

5. Familiar phrase

Since Brian France’s arrest and leave of absence from his role of NASCAR Chairman and CEO, a phrase is starting to be uttered more often by competitors.

After each wishes France well with his health, drivers have a commonality in what they say next:

Kevin Harvick said on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show this week: “I think from the drivers’ perspective, it’s really important whoever is in that position to become more connected.”

Brad Keselowski, who has been outspoken about the need for this sport’s leader to be the track more often, said: “I would definitely be encouraged to have a relationship with (Jim France, interim NASCAR Chair) and see the garage have a relationship with him. That’s never a bad thing.”

Tony Stewart, who also has been outspoken about NASCAR’s leader needing to be at the track, said: “Jim is very grounded and I feel like Jim is a guy who is in touch with what is going on and that’s what you’ve got to have.”

 and on Facebook