WATCH LIVE: NASCAR America at 5 pm ET — Tony Stewart recap, Chase eliminations, Allmendinger, Almirola

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On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America (live from 5 to 5:30 pm ET), Dave Briggs, Kyle Petty and Bobby Labonte host from our Charlotte studios.

And what a busy show it will be:

* We recap Wednesday’s news, as Tony Stewart was cleared by a grand jury and will not face criminal charges in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. Our NASCAR contributor, Nate Ryan, calls in to give us the latest on the NASCAR community’s reaction to the decision and what it means for Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing moving forward.

* The first elimination race of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is this weekend at Dover. After the race, four drivers will be eliminated from championship contention and the 12 remaining will advance to the Contender round. We examine which drivers are in the most danger of not advancing.

* Part of the recently announced changes for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is a ban on team-initiated testing. This places even more emphasis on preseason wind tunnel tests. Marty Snider gives us a behind-the-scenes tour of what goes on at these aerodynamic testing facilities and what data it can provide the race teams.

* One driver who was not expected to advance, but is in good position to do so, is Aric Almirola. Our Kelli Stavast caught up with the driver of the legendary No. 43 car at the Richard Petty Motorsports Shop in Concord, N.C., to get Aric’s take on what he and his team need to do at Dover to secure a solid enough finish to get them through to the next round.

* Another Cinderella Chase driver who is currently above the cut line is AJ Allmendinger. Kelli Stavast caught up with the driver of the JTG Daugherty No. 47 car at the single-car team’s race shop in Harrisburg, NC, to ask the Watkins Glen winner what his team’s strategy will be at Dover and how he feels about his chances of advancing into the next round of the Chase.

* Parker Kligerman uses the NBC Sports iRacing Simulator to show us the fastest way around the Dover International Speedway track.

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Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Robert Wickens shares more positive strides toward recovery in new video

Joe Skibinski/IndyCar
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Robert Wickens has made massive steps since sustaining a spinal cord injury in an Aug. 19, 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway.

Since the accident, Wickens publicly has shared his recovery, often uploading videos of his physical rehabilitation on Twitter.

In his most recent update on Wednesday, Wickens shared a video of him walking on a treadmill. Fellow NTT IndyCar Series competitor Tony Kannan, who competes in triathlons during his spare time, also was visible running on the treadmill behind Wickens.

“When I am @TonyKannan [sic] age, I hope to run as fast as him…” Wickens tweeted. “Today was a good day!”

Wickens, who will turn 31 on March 13, first made his return to the IndyCar paddock in last year’s season opener in St. Petersburg. Since then, he’s made a return to the driver’s seat, piloting a specialized Acura NSX prior to the start of last year’s IndyCar race in his hometown of Toronto.

In September, Wickens fulfilled a vow to his wife Karli, by standing with her during their wedding. The new husband and wife also danced together during their reception.

Should Wickens fully recover to resume racing, Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt has stated that the team’s No. 6 entry will be available for him to drive. Wickens continues to remain as a “driver coach and consultant” for the team.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter