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Monster Energy has not decided whether to extend its sponsorship of the NASCAR Cup Series for 2019-20. At a business update for investors Thursday, Monster Beverage Chairman Rodney Sacks said: "We have gotten a lot more visibility, a lot more recognition for the brand through the NASCAR sponsorship. It's very expansive, it's on TV, it's appearing on talk shows. We look at the metrics that the NASCAR folk give us and it certainly does seem to have been enhanced. Now the degree is to what degree? That we don't know. ... It took us a little bit of time [in 2017] to get up to speed, to get our activation going. We think we'll see a lot clearer benefits and more benefits coming from that relationship this year."

Bob Pockrass, NASCAR

NASCAR

Paul Menard will have a guaranteed spot for the 2018 NASCAR Cup season as the Wood Brothers have worked a partnership with Archie St. Hilaire to run the charter they leased from St. Hilaire, the owner of Go Fas Racing, for 2017. Charters can only be leased once every five years, so St. Hilaire personally has done a deal to remain the owner of the charter but have the Wood Brothers run it. Go Fas Racing has not announced where it will get a charter from for 2018, but the team plans on having one.

Bob Pockrass, NASCAR

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Bell 'heard' Larson's engine blow up at Chili Bowl.

Christopher Bell says he could tell that Kyle Larson's engine was going to go "up in smoke" with 13 laps left, allowing Bell to win the Chili Bowl for the second consecutive time.

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NASCAR

Kyle Larson obviously was disappointed in his engine blowing at the Chili Bowl. Christopher Bell was, too. Bell explains:

Bob Pockrass, NASCAR
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NASCAR

Kyle Larson will be going for his first Chili Bowl Midget Nationals victory as he starts from the pole in the 55-lap race tonight. Defending champion Christopher Bell starts beside him and 2015-16 winner Rico Abreu starts third. Justin Grant starts fourth, while Kasey Kahne driver Brad Sweet starts fifth. Kahne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Justin Allgaier and JJ Yeley were among the NASCAR drivers who didn't make the 24-car main-event field. There were 345 drivers who competed for those 24 spots. 

Bob Pockrass, NASCAR

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