NASCAR America: Charlotte Roval is most anticipated debut since Indy

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Pete Pistone, co-host of “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, joined NASCAR America Thursday to share what the fans have been saying about Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 (2 p.m. ET on NBC) when they call into his show.

If their excitement holds, NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway already have a hit.

According to Pistone, the Charlotte Roval is the most anticipated debut since the Brickyard 400, more than two decades ago.

“I’ve got to think all the way back to 1994 when NASCAR first went to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first Brickyard 400,” Pistone said about the expectancy. “But even in that case I don’t remember the drivers being as nervous about the race that’s coming up at the Roval.

“The listeners on SiriusXM NASCAR radio for the most part are really excited about this because it’s something new. It’s something different. It’s something they don’t know what to expect.”

Pistone believes that excitement will carry over to Monday – even if some playoff contenders are eliminated because of Sunday incidents.

“I think the fans in this case are going to side on the race track,” Pistone said. “They want it to be hard. It’s supposed to be hard.”

The reason fans will continue to be enthusiastic is because NASCAR has listened and given them something they have wanted for several years.

“Fans want more short tracks – more road courses,” Pistone said. “They’ve been given one; a very unique one and it’s one that, I think if it causes chaos, for the most part … that’s what the fans are looking for and they’re hoping to get that both Saturday and Sunday.”

The question of who this track will favor will not be answered until the checkers wave, but Pistone has one dark horse in mind.

“The one guy who’s name just keeps coming up, for whatever reason, is Jimmie Johnson,” Pistone said. “Chad Knaus said on our channel this week, he’s giddy about getting there because he thinks that the way this track is laid out, it’s suited for Jimmie Johnson and for him to do well on Sunday.”

For more, watch the video above.

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NASCAR America: Martin Truex Jr.’s recent performance fuels Silly Season questions

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In the last four races, Martin Truex Jr. seems to be losing ground to Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch in the playoff battle.

On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, Pete Pistone, SiriusXM’s co-host of “The Morning Drive,” pointed to Truex’s recent performance and how it may be part of a bigger concern in the team.

Truex’s last four races have resulted in three results of 14th or worse.

“To be fair, some of that is circumstantial,” Pistone said. “Two weeks ago at Bristol he had a really fast race car. He was in contention to win the race and he got in the incident with Kyle Busch, but there just seems to be something off there.”

The reason behind the dip in performance might not all be bad luck. Truex is part of this year’s Silly Season rumors after 5-Hour Energy announced it will not return as a sponsor in 2019.

MORE: Martin Truex Jr. laments timing of 5-Hour Energy’s decision not to return 

Truex’s contract is up at the end of the season and that inevitably led to speculation about his future.

“You can’t help but wonder with all the things that are swirling around this team … where that team is going to wind up, where Martin Truex Jr. might be going next year – if some of that is getting in the way and taking a little bit of the eye off the ball there,” Pistone said.

The relationship between Truex and crew chief Cole Pearn has been one of the secrets to the success of the No. 78 team, but that bond can get strained if one of them believes a breakup is pending.

“A crew chief and a driver, it’s like being brothers, it’s like being married, it’s like being cousins – it’s everything,” Kyle Petty said. “And once one party decides the grass may be greener, the other guy … will turn their back on you in a heartbeat because they feel hurt.”

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

NASCAR America 5 p.m. ET: Looking ahead to this weekend’s Southern 500

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NASCAR America airs from 5-5:30 p.m. ET today on NBCSN and is followed at 5:30 p.m. ET by an episode of the Dale Jr. Download where Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks to with Kasey Kahne, who recently announced he would not run full-time after this season.

Carolyn Manno hosts today’s NASCAR America and is joined by Kyle Petty.

On today’s show:

  • Veterans or Rookies: Who has a better shot of winning the Southern 500 and breaking into the playoff field? Kyle Petty talks about what you really need to do at the track “Too Tough to Tame.”
  • Today’s “7 Decades of Darlington” looks back at Richard Petty’s 1970’s crash and how that moment added a new safety feature to the cars we see every week.
  • SiriusXM’s Pete Pistone joins the show to discuss this weekend’s race and Martin Truex Jr’s future with Furniture Row Racing.

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 at 5 p.m. ET: Ford Mustang reveal, Pete Pistone

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Carolyn Manno hosts from Stamford, Connecticut, and is joined by Kyle Petty from NBC Charlotte.

On today’s show:

·        We’ll see the new Ford Mustang that will run in the Cup Series in 2019. Our own Marty Snider and all 13 Ford drivers currently competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series were on hand at Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, for the unveiling. We’ll also hear more about NASCAR’s new ride from Stewart-Haas Racing’s Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick, and Team Penske’s Joey Logano.

·        Stewart also made headlines by opening the door for a possible return behind the wheel next year. Nate Ryan will call in to tell us what Smoke told him.

·        Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Pete Pistone calls in to the show to discuss whether or not Chase Elliott has become the new face of NASCAR.

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 at 5 p.m. ET: Drivers to watch at Pocono, Iowa

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Today’s NASCAR America airs from 5-5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Host Carolyn Manno is joined by analyst Parker Kligerman in the Stamford, Connecticut studio. The Dale Jr. Download follows at 5:30 p.m. ET.

On today’s NASCAR America:

  • Parker Kligerman tells us which drivers will be the ones to watch this weekend at Pocono Raceway and none of them are the Big Three.

 

  • We’ll check in on the Xfinity Series, which heads to Iowa this weekend. Christopher Bell aims for his third straight series win but still trails Daniel Hemric in the race for the regular season championship, which comes with 15 playoff points.

 

  • The Morning Drive’s Pete Pistone calls in with reaction to NASCAR Chairman Brian France’s appearance on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday.

 

  • Plus, Carolyn & Parker will reveal their fantasy picks for this weekend.

 

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.