WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET — Kenseth on Darlington, South Carolina’s NASCAR history, David Ragan

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On today’s episode of NASCAR AMERICA – which you can watch at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra for online/mobile devices – Rick Allen is once again joined in our NBC Sports studio in Charlotte by Sprint Cup team owner/former crew chief Frank Stoddard and analyst Jeff Burton.

Among today’s show highlights:

* Jeff and Frank break down the nuances of Darlington Raceway, with special animations to show why it’s truly the Track Too Tough to Tame.

* Defending 2013 Darlington winner Matt Kenseth will join us via two-way interview, discussing the track and this Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500.

* Kelli Stavast will join driver David Ragan at Front Row Motorsports to talk about the importance of getting a first win to become eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

* NASCAR legend Eli Gold will have a special feature on NASCAR and it’s history and tradition in the state of South Carolina.

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

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

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

Photo: IndyCar
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Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

Follow @JerryBonkowski