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NASCAR on TV: Channel finder for CNBC
Saturday's opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice will have TV coverage on CNBC (9 a.m. ET). Use the channel guide below to find what channel CNBC is on in your area. CHARLOTTE DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 Time Warner Cable: 205 AT&T Uverse: 1216 DAYTONA BEACH DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 Brighthouse: 1219 AT&T Uverse: 1216 NEW YORK DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 Fios: 602 Time Warner Cable: 205 LOS ANGELES DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 Time Warner Cable: 205 AT&T Uverse: 1216 CHICAGO XFINITY Y: 266 DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 AT&T Uverse: 1216 PHILADELPHIA XFINITY Y: 819 DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 Fios: 602 AT&T Uverse: 1216 DALLAS/FORT WORTH DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 Time Warner Cable: 205 AT&T Uverse: 1216 SAN FRANCISCO XFINITY Y: 762 DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 AT&T Uverse: 1216 BOSTON XFINITY Y: 795 DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 Fios: 602 WASHINGTON, D.C. XFINITY Y: 819 DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 Fios: 602 ATLANTA XFINITY Y: 836 DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 AT&T Uverse: 1216 HOUSTON XFINITY Y: 645 DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 AT&T Uverse: 1216 INDIANAPOLIS XFINITY Y: 1115 DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 AT&T Uverse: 1216 Brighthouse: 1305 MIAMI XFINITY : 470 DirecTv: 355 Dish: 208 AT&T Uverse: 1216
NSCS GarageCam gears up for the Round of 8
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner walks through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Martinsville Speedway to talk to drivers and show off this weekend's paint schemes.
NASCAR's spotters: Drivers' eyes in the sky and so much more
Editor's note: Above photo of T.J. Majors courtesy of Nigel Kinrade. T.J. Majors and Kevin Hamlin walk from the garage to the spotters' stand at Michigan International Speedway this summer. As they approach the tunnel that goes under the track, a 20-something man shouts "T.J.!" and asks for his autograph. Majors -- arguably NASCAR's most well-known spotter, given that he works for Dale Earnhardt Jr . -- hands what he is carrying to Hamlin ( Kasey Kahne 's spotter) and calls him his secretary, which draws a laughing rebuke of, "Shut up." Now Majors steps off an elevator into a lobby above the track's grandstands and sees fellow spotters sitting on couches and on the floor. He greets them by pointing down the line, "He's cool, he's not cool, he's cool ..." The atmosphere among the two dozen or so spotters gathered in the lobby before a Saturday NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice is like the locker room in a stick-and-ball sport, only thank heavens everybody remains fully clothed the entire time. You can tell how much these guys like each other by how terribly they treat each other. The spotter community is not for the thin of skin or the faint of heart. If you see a snake at your feet, it's probably rubber, and Majors probably threw it there. If the skin around your eyes feel funny, check your binoculars for shoe polish. If you don't walk by and turn the volume on somebody's radio way up at least once in your spotting career, you're doing it wrong. As the banter continues, Tab Boyd, Joey Logano 's spotter, leans over and says, "This is all off the record," which in a journalistic sense is not true because this is a public place. But it doesn't matter anyway, because little of what transpires is repeatable in a "you would not say that in front of your mom" sense.
Regan Smith evaluates the impact of NXS and NCWTS participation rules
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith evaluates the new participation rules for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series that will take effect starting in the 2017 season.
Weekend top picks at the 'paperclip'
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman and Chris Rice give you the top drivers for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Martinsville Speedway.
No changes to over-the -wall pit road crews in 2017
NASCAR has no plans to change the number of pit crew members allowed over the wall for pit stops for the 2017 season. NASCAR continues to work on more than two dozen projects aimed at improving safety, enhancing efficiency and improving competition. It is possible pit stop changes could be considered for 2018 if they meet those criteria, a NASCAR spokesman confirmed. "Pit stops are an important and unique element to our sport," Kurt Culbert, NASCAR Managing Director, Racing Communications, told NASCAR.com "If we think changes in that area will make our races safer, add excitement and/or create efficiencies, we certainly will look at it, but there will be no changes to the composition of the over- the -wall pit road crews for 2017."
Could we see Gordon behind the wheel again?
Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon speak in the Martinsville Speedway Media Center about the possibility of Martinsville being Gordon's last race.
Chase by the Numbers: Martinsville
As drivers head into the Round of 8 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, here are some statistics to keep in mind at NASCAR's shortest track.
Behind the scenes in TV booth with Dale Jr.
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- An NBC assistant in the broadcast booth had an urgent message to deliver, one of huge importance. As 40 drivers barreled around Talladega Superspeedway at 200 mph a few hundred feet below him, he grabbed a marker and started writing on a dry erase board. "17-13," he wrote. "Final 5th straight win." He showed this to Dale Earnhardt Jr ., a guest analyst for NBC's coverage of the race. Upon reading it, Earnhardt Jr. turned around, away from the track, and smiled broadly at Tyler Overstreet, his road manager, and pumped his fist. The handwritten note purported to report the score of the Washington Redskins, of whom Earnhardt Jr. is a big fan. Alas, that news was premature. A few minutes later, the same assistant showed him another dry erase board, this one apologizing for the first and reporting that the Lions had come back to win the game. Junior half smiled, half grimaced and turned his attention back to the race track, where he wished he could be on this sun-kissed fall day. Earnhardt Jr. has missed the last 14 races, and he will miss the rest of the season, with concussion-related symptoms. But talking about the race was the next best thing, and the hour-plus he spent in the booth was vintage Earnhardt -- funny, insightful and candid. Wearing dark-framed glasses, sneakers, jeans and a blue and gray plaid shirt, he sat atop a stool between NBC analysts Steve Letarte, his former crew chief, and Jeff Burton , against whom he raced hundreds of times. They lapsed into a conversation like old friends. His eyes darted from the track to the TV screen in front of him to Letarte to Burton. His body language was almost exuberant. He smiled often and at one point raised his hand excitedly when he wanted to interject a point. He seemed relaxed and at ease with Letarte, Burton, play-by-play announcer Rick Allen and the race's producers. "Has he got in the top 10 yet?" Earnhardt Jr. joked off camera about his replacement, Alex Bowman . "Damn, I told him everything I know." As his appearance wound down, NBC announced Junior would return to the booth at next week's race at Martinsville Speedway . Producer Matt Marvin, who was just outside the track in the production truck, keyed the microphone that allows him to talk with the broadcasters off air and told Junior what a great job he had done. He paused for just a second and said, "Next time, if you're not as good, we'll kick you out early." Junior laughed at that. This was the Earnhardt Jr. that fans have loved for more than a decade -- living and dying with the Redskins, offering transparent insight into his life and breaking down racing like few others. Consider this exchange with Burton at Lap 68, when Earnhardt Jr. discussed his drafting philosophy: "I look at the air coming off of the front of the car as a boat wake. And it's very dense coming off of around the headlights of that car that you're trying to side draft. So you don't want to continue to be beside that guy as you get toward the front, or pretty much dead even, because you run into that dense air coming off of the lead car. So you have to 'jump' that wake, much like if you were water skiing. You also have to get away from him so that he cannot side-draft you, because then you're both sort of bouncing back and forth. That's why it's so much easier to side-draft on the outside, because you can pin the guy on the bottom, side-draft him, drive up the race track and take the lead." Burton: "Now, you know all the drivers are going to play this race back and listen to all of this, right?" Earnhardt Jr.: "From what I've seen, these guys have got it all figured out." After months of his public appearances being focused almost exclusively on his health, it was refreshing to see him confident and comfortable. At least for this hour, the pensiveness that saturated so much of what he has said lately was gone. And on the topic of his health, he sounded upbeat. The simple fact he was able to make the appearance was a sign of improvement. In previous comments he has said large crowds sometimes trigger his symptoms, and it's hard to imagine a larger crowd than Talladega. His doctors have encouraged him to challenge himself, and certainly being on live TV would accomplish that. "I'm feeling great and all of the progress that we've made over the last several months has been really good," he said. "Obviously, I'm able to get out and do things. I'm having so much fun at the race track, and to be able to come up to the booth has been a lot of fun for me." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Heads up: Martinsville weekend
RELATED: Complete schedule for Martinsville Here are the hot topics, trending news and key story lines to get you ready for this weekend's races at Martinsville Speedway . WEATHER Another beautiful race weekend is forecasted for Martinsville. The National Weather Service says Friday will be sunny with a high near 70, and Saturday will be even warmer with a high of 77 and sunshine. Sunday is downgraded to only "mostly sunny," with a high of 74. Overall, it should be a perfect fall weekend. KEY TIMES Sprint Cup Series: The first practice will be Friday at 11 a.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App), with another pair of practices coming Saturday at 9 a.m. ET ( CNBC ) and noon ET (NBCSN). Coors Light Pole Qualifying is at 4:40 p.m. ET Friday (NBCSN). Aside from the Saturday morning practice, all race coverage will be broadcast on NBCSN and NBC SportsApp this weekend. Camping World Truck Series: The Camping World Truck Series has a pair of Friday practices, at 12:30 p.m. ET and 2:30 p.m. ET, both on FS1. The race is Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1 with Keystone Light Pole Qualifying just before at 10:15 a.m. ET (FS1). CATCH DRIVERS LIVE We'll stream every driver press conference in the Martinsville media center at NASCAR.com/presspass . Notably, Jimmie Johnson speaks at 10:15 a.m. ET Friday, followed by Denny Hamlin is at 1 p.m. ET and Jeff Gordon at 1:30 p.m. ET. Click here for a full schedule. LAST TIME Jeff Gordon punched his ticket to Homestead-Miami Speedway in style, outracing Jamie McMurray in the final two laps as darkness fell at Martinsville Speedway . "We're going to Homestead!" Gordon bellowed after the win gave him a chance at the Sprint Cup title in his final season of full-time driving. It was Gordon's only victory of 2015. The storyline that grabbed all the headlines, however, was Matt Kenseth nudging then-race leader Joey Logano into the wall on Lap 454 of 500. At the time, Kenseth was 10 laps down. The move was widely viewed as retaliation for Logano bumping Kenseth out of the lead at Kansas two weeks earlier, which effectively eliminated Kenseth from advancing in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Kenseth was suspended for two races, and Logano did not advance to the championship round. YOU SHOULD KNOW • Jeff Gordon returns to his best track on the circuit as he gets behind the wheel of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet as a substitute driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr ., who continues to recover from a concussion. Gordon won here a year ago, and has some of the best statistics among any driver at Martinsville: nine wins, highest average finish (6.8) and most laps led (3,779). Can the 45-year-old recreate that magic at his eighth subsitute race of this season? This is Gordon's final scheduled race of the season in place of Earnhardt Jr. • This is the first of three races in the Round of 8, before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is cut to the Championship 4 for the Homestead-Miami Speedway finale. • Somehow, this is the first time since the current format of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup began in 2014 that Jimmie Johnson has advanced to the Round of 8. He started the Round of 12 with a victory at Charlotte; can Six-Time repeat that feat with an opening-round win to punch his ticket to Homestead-Miami? He's an eight-time winner at Martinsville, so it's no stretch to imagine. • The addition of extra timing lines in the pits has added another layer to monitoring drivers for speeding penalties. In Martinsville's tight pits, if figures to have a big impact.