NASCAR Announces 2017 Cup, Xfinity, Truck series schedules

NASCAR has announced the 2017 schedules for its three national series, giving fans and stakeholders a significant head start in planning for next season’s thrilling slate.

A credit to unprecedented industry collaboration, specifically the five-year sanctioning agreement between NASCAR and its tracks, the sanctioning body finalized its 2017 schedules months ahead of previous years’ release.
The result: Three unique schedules featuring race tracks that have hosted record-setting races already this season, with the majority of the slate still remaining.

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The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Michigan International Speedway twice in 2017. The first of the track’s two traditional NASCAR weekends is June 16-18 with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 18. The series will return to the Irish Hills for the Pure Michigan 400 on August 13.

NASCAR is back on Father’s Day at Michigan International Speedway in 2017.

NASCAR has released its 2017 schedule, and NASCAR’s fastest track will once again host two action-filled weekends of NASCAR racing in 2017: June 16-18 and Aug. 11-13.

The first of the track’s two traditional NASCAR weekends is June 16-18 with the Corrigan Oil 200 ARCA Racing Series on June 16; NASCAR XFINITY Series Menards 250 presented by Valvoline on June 17; and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 is on Father’s Day on June 18.

The Sprint Cup Series will wind up its summertime stint at MIS, and be back again on August 13 with the Pure Michigan 400. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 presented by The Cooper Standard Foundation & Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation is onAugust 12.

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The Wood Brothers are back at Dover for the first time since 2008, with driver Ryan Blaney riding a hot streak.

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing and Wood Brothers Racing return to the AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway for the first time since 2008, riding a bit of a hot streak after a ninth-place effort in Talladega and a fifth-place showing in Kansas.

The back-to-back top-10 finishes put rookie driver Ryan Blaney in 16th place in the points standings and back in the hunt for the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He also tightened the gap to 22 points between himself and Sunoco NASCAR Rookie of the Year leader Chase Elliott.

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Michigan Speedway offers tours, chance to drive on track

Fans have the opportunity to drive the high banks on the two-mile oval at Michigan International Speedway in 2016 and they can take a behind the scenes tour of the entire facility. In 2016, guests can experience both on the same day as the speedway will host track laps and track tours together on the following days:
-- May 26
-- June 16
-- July 12
-- August 11
-- September 15

Track laps at MIS return in 2016 where fans will have the chance to drive on the two-mile racetrack. Laps will take place from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Guests who wish to do both the track laps and track tours will be slotted to drive the track from 12:30 – 1 p.m. This will allow you to be ready for the Track Tour at 1:30 p.m.

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Brian France's Trump endorsement is an insult to NASCAR fans

When I saw the name of NASCAR's CEO Brian France trending on Twitter, I knew something wasn't right -- he's not famous enough to trend unless he did something completely off the reservation.

And when I clicked on it, I was right -- he (along with racers Bill Elliott, Ryan Newman, Chase Elliott and David Ragan) had publicly endorsed Donald Trump, giving the world the impression that the sport and its fans are supporters of a guy who has support from white supremacist groups and has openly denounced most minority groups in one way or another. ... Not exactly a good PR move for the sport you're supposed to be attempting to grow the audience. Despite NASCAR's assertion that this is a "private personal decision by Brian," it appears quite the opposite to everyone in the world who read about it.


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Jimmie Johnson celebrates his victory with a burnout Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This was Johnson's 76th career win, and 5th in Atlanta. The victory ties Johnson with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in NASCAR premier series wins.

Here are the facts:

-- Jimmie Johnson has tied Dale Earnhardt on the all-time wins list with his 76th race win. He will most certainly win many more and possibly approach triple digits in race wins before he retires.
-- Jimmie Johnson has six Cup titles, and one more will tie him with Earnhardt (and he's now in the Chase and could do it as soon as this year.)
-- It's possible Jimmie Johnson will not only tie Earnhardt and Petty's 7 titles, but blow past it and win 8 or more. He's just as strong a driver now as he was when he started fifteen years ago.

After the win Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Johnson honored Earnhardt on track and was humble about his accomplishment:

"I entered the sport just hoping I could win a race and keep a job for a few years, and to have 76 and tie Dale Earnhardt Sr is something I'm very, very proud of. I didn't have a chance to race against him, unfortunately, but today ‑‑ there's been a big void in my mind about not having that chance to race against him, and it was literally a handful of months away from having that opportunity. So to tie him today, for myself personally, it gives me a little something ‑‑ it's a little bit of attachment to the great Dale Earnhardt and something I'm very proud of," Johnson said.

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TONY STEWART, Co-Owner, Stewart-Haas Racing – CAN YOU EXPAND ON THE DECISION TO SWITCH TO FORD IN 2017?  “First and foremost, I want to recognize our relationship and successes with Chevrolet.  They’ve been an awesome partner and we’ve done a lot of special things together, including two championships and a ton of races.  We hope to do that again this year.  As far as moving forward, this is a constantly evolving sport.  From our side with the ownership and senior management we try to make decisions that best position us for the future, so we consider our partners, our drivers, and our employees when we think of these strategies.  We feel this future relationship with Ford provides us with a bright future, great stability for SHR, and an opportunity to compete at a very top level in the sport.  We’re obviously very excited about it.

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Holy Smokes! ... Stewart-Haas switching to Ford for 2017 is a huge coup for Blue Oval

Put this one on the list of "things I never thought I'd see happen"

Breaking news out of Dearborn is that Stewart-Haas Racing, tied to Chevy since its inception, is now switching to Ford starting in 2017. Drivers Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch will sport the Blue Oval starting at Daytona next year, upsetting the apple cart big time in the world of NASCAR's top series.

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