NASCAR: New logo revealed for upcoming Xfinity Series

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A little over a month after Comcast’s XFINITY brand announced it would take over sponsorship of what’s currently known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the new logo for the soon-to-be renamed division has been released.

Nationwide Insurance’s standard shade of blue has been swapped for XFINITY’s usual red in the new logo, which goes along with the oval-shaped marks of its fellow NASCAR national series, Sprint Cup and the Camping World Truck Series.

In a statement, NASCAR said the logo was being provided in advance “solely for the purpose of allowing teams and tracks to prepare for integration of NASCAR XFINITY Series marks for the 2015 season (i.e. uniform production, paint scheme design, promotional materials, etc.).”

XFINITY will officially become title sponsor of the NNS on January 1, 2015, beginning a 10-year-run that will match the longest single series entitlement sponsorship deal in NASCAR history.

With the emergence of the new logo, several series drivers have tweeted their excitement over XFINITY’s sponsorship this morning, including current points leader Chase Elliott.

NBC Sports Group, which is owned by Comcast, will begin broadcasting the XFINITY Series as well as the top-level Sprint Cup Series starting next summer.

That deal, which also runs for 10 years, will have NBCSN and NBC-TV broadcasting 19 XFINITY Series events annually. For more on the 2015 broadcast schedule, head over here.

Fernando Alonso will decide this summer whether to pursue F1 again

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Fernando Alonso said he will determine by this summer if he would consider a return to Formula One next season.

After announcing Tuesday that he will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May with Arrow McLaren Racing SP, Alonso said “right now the Indy 500 will take all of my concentration” but left the door open for F1 in 2021.

“In my case, probably during the summer period, I’ll make a decision on 2021 if Formula One is still appealing to me,” Alonso told IndyCar on NBC announcer Leigh Diffey in an interview (watch the video above). “The 2021 rules (in F1) are definitely a step forward, and hopefully things can be more mixed and not only three teams capable of winning races. So all this factors into play. I may consider that possibility.”

Alonso won consecutive Formula One championships in 2005-06 with Renault. He has 32 victories in an F1 career that started in 2001 and also includes stints at Ferrari and McLaren.

His last victory on the circuit was May 12, 2013 in Barcelona. He is winless in his most recent 110 starts, including the past 77 races with McLaren in 2015-18.

The Guardian recently reported that McLaren CEO Zak Brown said Alonso wouldn’t be returning to F1 with the team.

Alonso also told Diffey that returning to F1 from a two-season absence wouldn’t necessarily be linked to McLaren’s performance.

“I think they did well last year, and hopefully they make another step forward and close to the top three because they deserve it and are a fantastic team,” he said.

Though he is optimistic about more parity, Alonso said six-time champion Lewis Hamilton should be a favorite for the 2020 title based on preseason testing in which Mercedes turned heads with a new steering system.

“It seemed Mercedes is still quite competitive,” Alonso said. “They show enormous potential on the development side and on the progress from one year to next. Formula One is impossible to predict because many things happen in season.

“At the starting point, (Mercedes) are the favorites. When you have Lewis in the car and Mercedes with the potential they have, they have to be No. 1 probably.”