NASCAR America: NASCAR could own Wednesday summer nights

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With three tracks in the playoffs that never hosted playoff races before and conversation surrounding a dramatically new aero package for next year, it seems that change is in the air for NASCAR.

On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, fans used the hashtag #WednesDale on social media to see just how far those changes could go.

Their questions began a conversation between Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Petty and Nate Ryan about how NASCAR could alter their summertime calendar to consolidate the schedule without lessening the number of races run.

The panelists were uniform in their desire to see most tracks host only one NASCAR Cup race per year.

“I hate to say this Jason, but … I wouldn’t want any of the tracks to get a second date,” Nate Ryan said.

“I don’t really want to run anywhere twice,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined in.

“I like Daytona a couple of times, but I’d like to see everyone go to one … and let’s consolidate and make it special,” Petty said.

Taking away the second dates would create opportunities for new tracks to join the senior series – opening up new markets in the process. But there is also an opportunity to make the schedule more compact.

The answer for Earnhardt, Petty and Ryan is mid-week races.

“We don’t have to shorten the amount of races; let’s shorten the time of the season,” Earnhardt said. “Run on some Wednesdays. Do even some doubleheaders and stuff like that. … But I think they should go to all the racetracks once and then add Iowa, Nashville Fairgrounds – places like that.”

Brad Keselowski has talked about this,” Ryan said. “That dead of summer period, June, July when NASCAR could really own some Wednesdays.”

For more, watch the video above.

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NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Vegas Memories, Hamlin’s agony of defeat

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Today’s NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, with the weekly edition of #WednesDale.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is joined by Kyle Petty and Nate Ryan as they look forward to Las Vegas and back to Indy .

  • Vegas Memories – Dale never won at Las Vegas in his career, but had several memorable moments at the ‘Diamond in the Desert.’ Which ones stand out for him?
  • The Agony of DefeatDenny Hamlin looked poised to win the Brickyard 400 until a late-race crash for two lapped drivers changed everything. As Brad Keselowski celebrated victory, Hamlin sounded off on what he saw as a ‘meaningless’ incident. Was Hamlin’s anger justified or misplaced.
  • And of course…YOUR FAN QUESTIONS! If you have one for Dale Jr, Kyle and Nate, send it on social media using the hashtag #WednesDale – and it just might get answered on the show.

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: Daniel Suarez: surviving Charlotte Roval takes discipline, patience

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On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, one viewer used the Twitter hashtag #WednesDale to ask if Daniel Suarez thought NASCAR was making a mistake by adding a race at the Charlotte Roval during the playoffs.

With top-five finishes in both of his Cup starts at Watkins Glen International, Suarez had a response ready.

“I went there to test already,” Suarez said. “And I can tell it’s tough. Doing laps by yourself is tough. I think doing laps with 40 cars … is going to take a lot of discipline – a lot of patience.

“It is going to be one of the races you have to survive. That will be the key. You have to finish the race and if you can do that, you’re going to be in a good spot by the end of the race.”

While the course uses part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval, the race will be won in the interior portion of the track – and anything can happen there.

“I don’t care about the oval part because you cannot do anything there on that part. You’re pretty much getting up to speed or it’s going down.”

For more, watch the video above.

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NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Wild Bristol moments, #WednesDale

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN with a look back at some of Bristol’s wildest moments.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. hosts with Marty Snider and Kyle Petty joining him at the Big Oak table.

On today’s show:

  • The panel will discuss Xfinity Series driver Elliott Sadler’s decision to end his full-time career following the 2018 season. Sadler is currently second in Xfinity Series points and drives for Dale Earnhardt Jr. at JR Motorsports.
  • Dale Jr. weighs in on NASCAR’s invitation to Fernando Alonso to compete in next year’s Daytona 500.
  • Fans can ask Dale Jr. and our panel questions by using #WednesDale.

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: $400 a week was enough to make Aric Almirola know he wanted to race

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Climbing through the late model ranks is not glamorous, but no matter how humble the origin, a true racer knows early that is what they want to do for the rest of their life.

For Aric Almirola, it was a $400-a-week paycheck and a percentage of the prize money that set him on the path to becoming a NASCAR Cup driver.

“When I finally got that call to move to North Carolina and go drive for Joe Gibbs – I got paid $400 a week to drive racecars and I got to keep half of whatever I won, driving a late model. … I made $26-$30,000 that year and I was like, ‘Man, this is awesome,’ ” he said on Wednesday’s NASCAR America.

“From that day forward, I was like this is what I want to do forever. I want to make a living. I don’t care how small, how big – I want to work on racecars. I want to drive racecars and so far, it’s worked out.”

MORE: Aric Almirola feels like a “rookie driver again” with Stewart-Haas Racing
MORE: Aric Almirola: Debut with Stewart-Haas has been ‘what I imagined’

While driving for Gibbs, Almirola got the opportunity to participate in a contest to drive a team truck for Dennis Setzer in 2005. Everyone ran 10 laps, came in and told the crew chief what they would like to see changed, then run 25 laps on a fresh set of tires.

“Whoever won this combine was going to get to run four non-companion Truck races,” Almirola said.

He won by having the quickest time, but might also have scored points with the crew chief by not asking for any changes.

In his first Truck race after the combine, Almirola was running in the top five with 40 laps remaining when he got into a wreck with Mike Skinner. He finished 30th in the 36-truck field.

His next outing was much better. Starting 31st at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Almirola finished 10th the following week.

For more, watch the video above.

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