With Chase hopes over, rest of season a chance for Tony Stewart to race with reduced spotlight

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Needing a win to make it into the 2014 Chase, Tony Stewart came up short Saturday night at the Federated Auto Parts 400. He ran quietly but consistently to a 15th-place finish at Richmond.

A potential top-10 was thwarted by a miscue on the No. 14 team’s final pit stop. With a missing lug nut on the left rear, Stewart needed to return to the pits a lap later and restarted 15th, where he ultimately finished.

Still, making the Chase was always going to be secondary to resuming on track in his second straight week after returning at Atlanta, and trying to get some semblance of normality back in his life after one of the most trying months of his life in August.

As the rest of the NASCAR season continues, it’s probably for the benefit of the sport – this time around anyway – that Stewart, the driver, isn’t in the Chase.

The investigation into what happened in New York, when Stewart’s car struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr., is still ongoing.

Stewart made his first and thus far only public comments upon his return to Atlanta a week ago, and appeared genuinely remorseful and shook up by the experience.

If he was in the Chase, chances are the magnitude of the story could overwhelm the focus on the on-track product; there, Stewart-Haas Racing still has two drivers vying for a championship anyway in Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.

The story will still linger until a further resolution or news comes from the Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff’s Office.

But from an on-track perspective, Stewart can go about his business relatively quietly for the final 10 races, without the added pressure of trying to race for a title, and without the scrutiny that could follow him if he was to do well in the Chase.

If he wins a race in the final 10, that will be a new and different story unto itself.

For a driver who usually stars in the spotlight, avoiding it for the rest of the season by missing the Chase may well be a good thing given the outstanding circumstances.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.