WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA follows JGR’s big day at 6:30 p.m. ET

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After months of anticipation, Joe Gibbs Racing finally announced today that it will expand to a four-car Sprint Cup operation next season – with Carl Edwards (pictured, right) coming over to drive the new No. 19 ARRIS Toyota.

But that wasn’t the only bit of news from the JGR camp.

Mexican up-and-comer Daniel Suarez (pictured, left) was also announced to drive the team’s No. 18 Nationwide Series car in 2015.

NASCAR AMERICA will have coverage of JGR’s big day tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

If you can’t be near a TV, you can STREAM IT online or on your mobile device through NBC Sports Live Extra.

On tap for today’s show:

  • NBCSN’s Marty Snider was at JGR headquarters for today’s announcement, and he was able to speak with Edwards and Suarez about their new opportunities. You’ll also hear from two of Edwards’ Sprint Cup teammates-to-be, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, on how they plan to work with “Cousin Carl.”
  • Also, NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast visited Hendrick Motorsports to speak with Jeff Gordon’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson, about their victory on Sunday at Michigan and how Gordon’s reclaimed confidence has the No. 24 team roaring into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
  • And we’ll take a listen to all the best radio bits from Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 in the latest edition of “Scan All 43.”

If you plan to stream, 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 6:30 p.m. ET to watch NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA.

IndyCar 2017 driver review: Sebastien Bourdais

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. A dream start occurred for Sebastien Bourdais and the Dale Coyne Racing team upon their reunion, followed by a nightmare in Indianapolis with a huge crash in qualifying, and ended with a rapid recovery to build confidence for 2018.

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda

  • 2016: 14th Place, 1 Win, Best Start 3rd, 1 Podium, 3 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 24 Laps Led, 11.9 Avg. Start, 11.2 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 21st Place (8 Starts), 1 Win, Best Start 6th, 2 Podiums, 2 Top-5, 5 Top-10, 74 Laps Led, 12.4 Avg. Start, 11.0 Avg. Finish

The 2017 campaign for Sebastien Bourdais upon his return to Dale Coyne Racing will forever be known as both a year of “what could have been” and a year of “what a comeback it was.”

The abnormal season for Bourdais stretched eight races with a three-month break in the middle owing to his own mistake qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, which left him with multiple pelvic fractures and a fracture to his right hip. His car was a rocket ship; but after two laps at 231 mph, Bourdais appeared to over-correct and destroyed the wall at Turn 2 in Indy in a massive 127G impact. It was a horrific looking accident, but one that also saw Bourdais rather lucky to have not been injured worse.

It set forth in motion an incredible recovery that saw Bourdais back testing the Monday after Mid-Ohio, just over two months since the accident, then in race action just over three months later at the 1.25-mile Gateway Motorsports Park oval, and because Bourdais is a regulation badass, he finished in the top-10 straight out of the box. He worked as hard as he did to return earlier than anticipated to avoid an offseason of questions asking if he’d come back and if he’d be strong enough to do so.

The recovery was a welcome story to end the year after the agony at Indy that stopped a potential title run or certainly top-five in points finish in its tracks. A classic Coyne strategy special vaulted Bourdais from last to first and a popular win in his U.S. hometown of St. Petersburg to kick off the year. A second place at Long Beach backed it up and eighth at Barber kept him atop the standings.

But Indy was shaping up to be an important bounce back weekend after Bourdais got taken out in Phoenix, then incurred an engine failure in the IMS road course race. And then, of course, his loud and violent accident qualifying for the ‘500 changed the course of the season.

After three “almost there” but largely unfulfilling years at KV Racing Technology, Bourdais embraced the family atmosphere back at Coyne along with longtime engineers Craig Hampson and Olivier Boisson, determined to continue punching above the team’s weight. He crafted a remarkable story all season and will be keen to fulfill it over the course of a proper full campaign in 2018.