WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET, feat. Chase Elliott

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One of the best stories from this past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway was the inaugural Nationwide Series victory for Chase Elliott, who passed Kevin Harvick with 16 laps to go and went on to the checkered flag.

Heralded as one of the sport’s future stars, Elliott hasn’t let that hype go to his head. The 18-year-old, like Sprint Cup contemporaries Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon, is a relatively low-key sort.

But there’s nothing low-key about his talent, which came to the fore last Friday night in the Lone Star State. And today on NASCAR AMERICA, Elliott will call in and talk about his Texas-sized triumph with host Rick Allen and analysts Jeff Burton and Frank Stoddard.

You can watch today at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra online and on your mobile devices. Also on tap:

  • NBCSN reporter Kelli Stavast will talk with Michael Waltrip Racing crew chief Billy Scott, who has helped driver Brian Vickers emerge as a surprise early contender for a Chase berth. Vickers earned his first Top-5 of the year in yesterday’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas, finishing fourth…
  • The gang will also continue to break down yesterday’s race by choosing their key moments, including the last-lap, race-winning pass from winner Joey Logano. Also, another edition of ‘Scan All 43’ will feature the best sights and sounds from Texas.

If you want to watch today’s show online, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you plug those pieces of information in, you’ll have access to the stream.

Again, CLICK HERE at 5 p.m. ET to watch NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA.

Ferrari, Mercedes launch 2018 F1 cars

Photo: Getty Images
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The title combatants from the 2017 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season both launched their 2018 challengers earlier on Thursday, with Scuderia Ferrari revealing the SF71H and Mercedes AMG Petronas revealing the W09.

For Ferrari, the SF71H represents an evolution of last year’s SF70H, which helped produce Ferrari’s best season in several years.

They presented a strong challenge to Mercedes for the championship, even leading the way at various points, with Sebastian Vettel recording five wins along the way. But, mechanical failures and crashes hampered their efforts late in the season, and they settled for second in the driver’s championship (with Vettel) and the constructor’s championship.

Entering 2018, the team is emphasizing the importance of building momentum with every race to ultimately secure their first constructor’s crown since 2008 and their first driver’s crown since 2007.

“There are no challenges actually. There are no challenges in the plural. There is just one challenge, which is the final challenge,” asserted team principal Maurizio Arrivabene. So that’s work that you build and you don’t build that work in one or two races. We’ve seen over the last few years, in the last championships, that you work race by race, and you always try to do the best you can.”

Technical director Mattia Binotto detailed some of the updates on the 2018 car, such as an new power unit and new suspension designs in anticipation of new tire constructions.

“We worked a lot on the power unit, we worked on its reliability and performance. We worked on the packaging, on suspensions in the rear axle because there will be new tires the following season, so we also tried to design the car to accommodate the new tires,” he explained.

Binotto added, “In regards to aerodynamics, we maintained our concept of having the inlets on the radiators, and everybody’s copying that, but we tried to make an additional step forward and what we showed today is not the same element of last year, but it is something more developed.”

Mercedes, meanwhile, will look to take it’s fifth consecutive driver’s and constructor’s championships with the W09. The team even took the car to the track for its launch, conducting a filming day at Silverstone Circuit.

“It is always a very exciting time because what has been designed is coming together and coming alive,”  team principal Toto Wolff said during the launch.

Despite facing challenges with last year’s car, the W08, the team elected to follow a similar design concept with the aerodynamics to improve on the car’s strengths while simultaneously addressing its weak points.

“We like some of the character traits from our diva,” Wolf quipped. “The W08 was the fastest car on the grid, scoring the highest number of pole positions and winning the most races last year. So we were careful not to lose the car’s many strengths just to overcome the difficulties.”

Both Ferrari and Mercedes are expected to slug it out again for the 2018 driver’s and constructor’s championships.