NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Hamlin’s win, Jimmie Johnson’s new crew chief – NBC Sports – Misc.


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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs on NBCSN from 5-6 p.m. ET and will recapDenny Hamlin’s win at Pocono, as well as introduce you toJimmie Johnson’s new crew chief, Cliff Daniels. Dave Burns will have an interview with both Johnson and Daniels.

Steve Letarte will be joined by Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett to discuss those and other storylines.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch online athttp:/ 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. ETto watch live via the stream.

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It will be an expanded weekend of sorts for NASCAR, with the Gander Outdoors truck Series racing Thursday night under the lights and on the dirt at Eldora Speedway, while the Xfinity Series will race Saturday and the Cup Series on Sunday on the road course at Watkins Glen International.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for the weekend:

Cup – GoBowling at The Glen (3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN) at Watkins Glen

There are 37 cars entered.

NASCAR On NBC’sParker Kligermanwill make his ninth Cup appearance of the season for Gaunt Brothers Racing in the No. 96 Toyota.

Two cars do not have drivers listed yet on the preliminary entry list: the No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Ford and the No. 52 Rick Ware Racing Ford.

Chase Elliottis defending winner of this race.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Zippo 200 at The Glen (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC) at Watkins Glen

The preliminary entry list has 37 cars entered in this race.

Ryan Preecewill be in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

NASCAR on NBC analystA.J. Allmendingerwill be in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

Ryan Blaneywill be in the No. 12 Team Penske Ford.

Kyle Buschwill be in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Stanton Barrettwill be in the No. 42 Motorsports business Management Toyota.

There is no driver listed on the preliminary entry list for the No. 74Mike HarmonRacing Chevrolet.

Joey Loganois the defending winner of this race.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Eldora Dirt Derby (9 p.m. ET Thursday on FS1) at Eldora Speedway.

There are 32 Trucks entered.

Chase Briscoeis the defending winner of this race and will be making his first truck Series start of the season.

Click here for the entry list.

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You can typically expect hot tempers and maybe even some pushing and shoving — both on- and off-track — at places like Bristol or Martinsville.

But Pocono?

Yep, the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle played out like a short track, particularly late in Sunday’s Gander RV 400, prompting quite a bit of jawing between several drivers involved in incidents.

Among the cast of characters wereKurt BuschandRicky Stenhouse Jr., as well asBubba WallaceandDaniel Suarez.

And even though the race is over, several of those involved still continued to seek to have the final word:

Busch seemed to take the higher ground after twice being run into late in the race by Stenhouse, leading Busch to spin and collectMichael McDowellas well.

After a night’s sleep to ponder the situation, the elder Busch brother took to Twitter on Monday, still lamenting what happened.

After sleeping on it I’ve decided to take the high road with the Stenhouse incident. Hopefully he won’t wreck me up there as well.

— Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch)July 29, 2019

But Stenhouse didn’t seem to be having any of Busch’s philosophy or tongue-in-cheek observation.

Take the road on over if you really want to handle it. You have my number

— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (@StenhouseJr)July 29, 2019

Neutral but interested observersMatt DiBenedettoandCorey LaJoiealso contributed their own comments.

Driver beef today is at an all time high.

— Corey LaJoie (@CoreyLaJoie)July 29, 2019

And then there was the animated verbal confrontation on pit road after the race between Wallace and Suarez.

* Later Monday, Wallace had a great suggestion:

Suarez said his ire was due more about Wallace’s use of his middle finger late in the race than actual contact between them.

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Hendrick Motorsports is changingJimmie Johnson’s crew chief with five races left in the regular season and Johnson outside a playoff spot.

Hendrick Motorsports announced Monday that Cliff Daniels has replaced Kevin Meendering, who was in his first year as the No. 48 team’s crew chief, effective immediately.

Johnson, a seven-time series champion, is in danger of missing NASCAR’s postseason for the first time since the format debuted in 2004. Johnson enters Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen International (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN) 12 points out of the final playoff spot.

Johnson is coming off a 15th-place finish this past weekend at Pocono Raceway that included his first stage victory of the season. Johnson has not had more than two consecutive top-10 finishes this season. Since placing third at Daytona, he has been 30th (Kentucky), 30th (New Hampshire) and 15th (Pocono).

Daniels, 31, was Johnson’s race engineer in 2016 when Johnson won his most recent Cup title. Daniels joined the team in December 2014 after being Tony Stewart’s race engineer the previous two seasons at Stewart-Haas Racing. He moved into Hendrick Motorsports’ competition systems group after the 2018 season and rejoined the No. 48 team as a race engineer at Sonoma Raceway.

“We have great confidence in Cliff’s ability to win races with Jimmie and the team,” said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick in a statement. “He’s a natural leader and tremendously talented from both a technical and communication standpoint. Cliff’s familiarity with Jimmie and the No. 48 team culture will benefit us a ton. He will bring the spark that’s been our missing ingredient.”

Meendering will remain with Hendrick Motorsports in a senior competition role.

“Kevin is a talent,” Hendrick said in a statement. “We have areas where he can make a major impact and help all four of our teams be successful. Everyone thinks the world of him, and we plan to keep him as a key member of our organization for as long as he wants to be here.”

Said Johnson in a statement from the team: “Cliff has really shined since he came back to the 48. When he returned, there was an immediate change in the team dynamic that all of us felt. We’ve worked together for a long time, have a ton of mutual respect and a shared vision. I have no doubt the strong connection and working relationship is going to pay dividends right away.

“I’m so grateful to Kevin. He’s a truly awesome person who I think very, very highly of. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with him in his new role. He’s a brilliant guy and will make all of us better.”

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The days of top-10 finishes or crashes are the obvious ones that can impact a driver’s bid to make the playoffs but it is the less obvious finishes that can mean just as much, if not more.

Overshadowed byDenny Hamlin’s victory,Erik Jonesagain coming close andJoe Gibbs Racing going 1-2-3,wasClint Bowyer‘s drive in the final laps of Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway and how that could play a key role if he makes the playoffs.

Bowyer, who had an up-and-down day, was eighth on a restart four laps from the scheduled end but dropped to 18th before the caution came out for an incident involvingKurt Busch,Ricky Stenhouse Jr.andMichael McDowell.

Stuck that far back, Stewart-Haas Racing crew chief Mike Bugarewicz decided to have Bowyer pit for four tires. Most of the lead-lap cars stayed out. Bowyer restarted overtime 20th.

He rallied to finish 11th.

That’s nine points Bowyer gained in overtime. He left Pocono 12 points ahead ofJimmie Johnson, the first driver outside a playoff spot.

“That was a long hard day,” Bowyer said. “We were up and down. It was so tough to pass, so everything boiled down to fuel and tire strategy.”

The 11th-place result marked Bowyer’s second finish of 11th or better in the last five races. When the series left Pocono in June, he was 10th in points and seemed to be a safe pick to make the playoffs but accidents ended his race early at Michigan (35th), Chicagoland (37th) and Daytona (34th), putting him in a spot where every position — and point — is critical to his playoff hopes.

Five races remain in the regular season before the playoff field is set. The Cup series races this weekend at Watkins Glen (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN) and then goes to Michigan, Bristol, Darlington and Indianapolis before the playoffs begin Sept. 15 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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