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Thursday’s schedule at Daytona for Cup, Xfinity

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NASCAR’s race weekend in Daytona Beach, Florida, begins today for both Cup and Xfinity teams.

Each series will have two practice sessions ahead their respective races on Friday (Xfinity at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) and Saturday (Cup at 7 p.m. ET on NBC).

Here’s today’s schedule with TV and radio info.

(All times are Eastern)

10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. — Cup garage open

11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. — Xfinity garage open

1:05 – 1:55 p.m. — Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

2:05 – 2:55 p.m. — Cup practice (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network)

3:05 – 3:55 p.m. — Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

4:05 – 4:55 p.m. — Final Cup practice (NBCSN, MRN)

Weekend schedule for Xfinity, Trucks at Iowa

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With the Cup Series off this weekend, the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series are in the spotlight at Iowa Speedway.

Both series are on track Saturday with the day ending with the Truck race. The Xfinity Series races Sunday. No full-time Cup drivers are entered for either event.

Here is this weekend’s schedule:

(ALL TIMES EASTERN)

SATURDAY, JUNE 16

8 a.m. — Truck garage opens

9:35 – 10:25 a.m. — Truck practice (Fox Sports 1)

11:05 – 11:55 a.m. — Final Truck practice (Fox Sports 2)

12:30 – 8:30 p.m. — Xfinity garage open

3:05 – 3:55 p.m. — Xfinity practice (FS2)

4:30 pm. — Truck qualifying; multi-vehicle/three rounds (FS2)

5:30 p.m. — Truck driver/crew chief meeting

5:40 – 6:30 p.m. — Final Xfinity practice (FS1)

6:30 p.m. — Truck Series driver introductions

7 p.m. — M&M’s 200 presented by Casey’s General Store Camping World Truck Series race; 200 laps/175 miles (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

SUNDAY, JUNE 17

11 a.m. — Xfinity garage opens

2 p.m. — Driver/crew chief meeting

2:35 pm. — Xfinity qualifying; multi-vehicle/three rounds (FS2)

4:30 p.m. — Driver introductions

5 p.m. — Iowa 250 presented by Enogen Xfinity race; 250 laps/218.75 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

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Tonight’s Xfinity race at Richmond: Start time, lineup and more

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The Xfinity Series is back on a short track for round two of the Dash 4 Cash series. Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Daniel Hemric and Spencer Gallagher will compete for the $100,000 bonus tonight at Richmond Raceway.

Here is all the info for tonight’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START:  Leslie Gravitte, Toyota Camry owner, will give the command to start engines at 7:07 p.m for the ToyotaCare 250. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 7:13 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 250 laps (187.5 miles) around the .75-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 75. Stage 2 ends on Lap 150.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Driver/crew chief meeting is at 5:10 p.m. Driver introductions are at 6:35 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Henrico Fire Choir will perform the anthem at 7:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 7 p.m. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 6:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 59 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kyle Larson took the lead with 10 laps to go to win this race last April. He was followed by Justin Allgaier and Daniel Hemric. Brad Keselowski won last September’s race and was followed by Kyle Busch and Ty Dillon.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup.

NASCAR errs in issuing penalty to Daniel Hemric after Xfinity race

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BRISTOL, Tenn. – NASCAR announced that it erred in announcing a penalty to Daniel Hemric after Saturday’s Xfinity race and that Hemric will be eligible for the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus next week at Richmond Raceway.

“We’re man enough to stand here and say that we looked at (the rule) wrong,” Wayne Auton managing director of the Xfinity Series, said Sunday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Auton said that an issue was raised Saturday when the right rear wheel toe alignment on Hemric’s Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet exceeded what is allowable in Section 20.17.3.1.5 of the Xfinity Rule Book.

“At that point in time we made the announcement that the 21 car did exceed the tolerance for mechanical measurements,” Auton said, referring to Hemric’s car.

NASCAR announced that Hemric, who finished third, was no longer eligible for the Dash 4 Cash bonus for Richmond and that Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones would take his spot.

“Going back and making sure we do our due diligence and making sure we looked at all of our numbers and our rules in the rule book, there’s a chart in the rule book that all the teams are aware of,” Auton said. “One side (of the rear wheel toe alignment) was out of tolerance and the other side was not and it did not exceed the number that is in the rule book, which would have led to an L1 penalty.”

Both sides must be out of tolerance for it to be a penalty. With only one side out of tolerance, there was no infraction.

“It’s my responsibility to make sure that whenever they make an announcement to me that I get my part right,” Auton said.

Auton said that NASCAR contacted both Richard Childress Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing on Sunday to inform them that Hemric would again be eligible for the Dash 4 Cash and no penalties would be assessed to his team.

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Examining what’s next for NASCAR after Monster deal ends in 2019

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — NASCAR announced Tuesday that Monster Energy will return as Cup Series sponsor through the 2019 season but is not expected to be in that role after that.

So what does that all mean?

Let us explain.

What happened Tuesday?

Monster Energy’s contract to be the Cup sponsor was set to end after the 2018 season. There was an option for Monster Energy to extend the deal. Monster was to have notified NASCAR before Jan. 1 of its decision. Instead, Monster asked for an extension. Both sides agreed to extend the sponsorship through the 2019 season only.

Why only a one-year extension?

Steve Phelps, NASCAR’s chief operating officer, said both sides wanted it that way.

“For Monster, I think it would be highly unlikely that they would come back,’’ Phelps said. “Both NASCAR and Monster, I believe, are on the same page on that. I wouldn’t say there is anything there hard and fast, but it is highly unlikely that they would return or we would have them return. That is not one-sided. That’s a decision that has been made by both companies. It will give us an opportunity to explore what this new (sponsorship) model looks like.’’

Wait, what is this new sponsorship model?

NASCAR wants to change the structure in how sponsorship would look. The plan would be to bundle the sanctioning body, tracks and media partners instead of having to do separate deals with each.

After NASCAR agreed to a deal with Monster Energy in December 2016, Monster then had to work out agreements with the tracks for signage and such. That took additional time.

Under NASCAR’s new sponsorship model, that shouldn’t be as big an issue.

“What we’re talking about here,” Phelps said, “is looking at combining assets and creating a new sponsorship model.’’

Such a model, though, would not include teams.

“It’s a little more difficult given the number of entities that are out there that are teams to make sure all the teams are participating in one fashion,’’ Phelps said.

So what will the name of the series be after 2019?

Good chance there will be no sponsor name tied to the Cup Series. That way it can be called the NASCAR Cup Series or NASCAR Premier Series or whatever NASCAR chooses to call.

One benefit is that fans don’t have to go through name changes as they have in going from Nextel Cup to Sprint Cup to Monster Energy Cup.

The Premier League did a similar thing in 2016 when Barclays did not renew its deal with the soccer league. There’s no sponsor of the NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball, but all those leagues have categories of sponsors. That’s the approach NASCAR wants to take.

What if the new model doesn’t work?

“We want to keep our options open,” Phelps said. “There’s some benefit to trying to go all in on something. I think the stakeholders will be in a good place. If the sponsors come back and say, ‘you know what, we’re not sure this is the best avenue to partner with this sport,’ then we’ll have to pivot and go in a different direction. Could we go back to an entitlement model for our top series? We could. Again, I think that’s not our intention. I don’t think we’ll get there, but we certainly want to keep our options open.’’

How does all this impact the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series?

It does not for now. Xfinity signed a 10-year deal to be the entitlement sponsor of that series through the 2024 season. Camping World has a deal in place to be the Truck Series sponsor through 2022.

What happens with Monster Energy after 2019?

Phelps said NASCAR expects Monster Energy to remain in the sport. Monster Energy was aligned with drivers and teams before becoming series sponsor. That avenue would remain for Monster if it chose to do so.

A Monster Energy spokesperson told the Sports Business Journal that the company “wants to continue to be a part of the sport one way or the other.”

What about the sport using a sponsor to build a younger fan base? What happens now?

NASCAR continues to tout efforts to reach a younger fan base. That includes, among other things, children 12 and younger getting in free for Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races.

Phelps said it was challenging to say if one thing over another was the overriding factor in reaching a younger demographic.

“It’s very difficult to isolate one particular thing vs. another in terms of it being the cause of something,’’ Phelps said. “There are other things that this industry has done over the past couple of years to increase the Millennial audience of NASCAR. That’s a journey we’re going to continue on.

“We have to continue to make sure our content is as strong as it can be that we’re pushing through the digital and social channels. We need to make sure that we continue to cater to kids and to make sure that our Millennial audience is happy. We have to continue the gains we’ve made with our Hispanic fans, which has been significant over the last three years. That journey doesn’t end. And, by the way, we have to make sure that we’re nurturing the existing fan base that we’ve had for many, many years. They’re incredibly important.’’

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