NASCAR AMERICA: Monday’s ‘Scan All 43’ showcase (VIDEO)

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Today’s special edition of NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN brought together the best sights and sounds from the first four races of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

The year began with a water-logged Daytona 500 that ultimately ended under the lights. When the race finally saw the checkered flag, it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. that lifted the Harley J. Earl Trophy for a second time.

After the pomp and pageantry of Daytona, the grind truly began at Phoenix International Raceway the next week. Phoenix saw the debut of NASCAR’s new knockout-style qualifying format, and in the race, Kevin Harvick dominated the proceedings to win in his second start for Stewart-Haas Racing.

The scene then shifted to Las Vegas for the series’ first race of the year on an intermediate oval. Earnhardt tried to claim his second win of the season while saving fuel in the final laps, but on the last lap, he ran dry – giving the win to Brad Keselowski, who happily punched his ticket to the Chase after missing it last season.

Then came Bristol, which had been met with initial trepidation due to how the knockout qualifying would work on such a small track. The issue of having to run slow laps on the track during qualifying in order to cool engines was settled when NASCAR allowed the teams to use cool down units in the pits.

Like Daytona, this race was extended into prime time thanks to persistent rains. Carl Edwards would reign supreme, even managing to stick the landing on his celebratory backflip as another shower heralded the end of the race.

For more clips from NASCAR AMERICA, be sure to check out the show’s archive page.

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
Chris Owens/IndyCar
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

VEACH OUT: Driver elects to vacate seat for rest of season

“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”