NASCAR AMERICA: Wednesday Round-Up Includes Denny Hamlin Interview (VIDEO)

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Wednesday was a big news day in NASCAR, and NASCAR AMERICA hit the key topics as Denny Hamlin weighed in on the large penalties assessed to his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team and Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s new crew chief for 2015 was named.

Hamlin joined the NASCAR AMERICA crew to discuss the penalty that was dealt to his team after the Brickyard 400. Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief were suspended for six races and he was docked 75 points in the Chase. Hamlin says the penalties will force him to be even more focused on race day.

The NASCAR AMERICA crew analyzed the points penalty,  suspension, and fine of the team’s crew chief Darian Grubb, as Hamlin’s car did not have its rear firewall block-off plates sealed off Sunday at the Brickyard 400. The penalty is ranked a P5 penalty on NASCAR’s new penalty ranking scale (with penalties ranked from P1 as the lowest and P6 as the highest).

In the wake of the penalties assessed to the No. 11 car, Joe Gibbs Racing plans to appeal. The team had three cars finish in the top four at the Brickyard 400, but the celebration was halted as Hamlin and his team were penalized after his car failed a post-race inspection. Kyle Petty and Jeff Burton believe the punishment is fair, but would like more consistency on these decisions from NASCAR.

Meanwhile the announcement Greg Ives will take over as Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief from 2015 on the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports entry was the biggest new news from Wednesday. The NASCAR AMERICA crew believes Ives is ready to handle the pressure of working with NASCAR’s most popular driver. Ives replaces NBC Sports-bound Steve Letarte.

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold