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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

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Baldwin back to modified roots with Donny Lia 01-11-2017
Donny Lia
Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced today their plans to compete on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) with driver Donny Lia in 2017. Returning to his roots, Tommy Baldwin will bring back the iconic No. 7NY. The car number has a rich history in the NASCAR touring series and the local tracks on Long Island, New York, amassing a combined total 54 wins with the late "Tiger" Tom Baldwin, Sr. Lia, a two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion (2007 and 2009) and Long Island native, brings a wealth of experience to the team. With a career dating back to 2001, Lia raced Baldwin on the Tour. Baldwin and Lia have crossed paths before with Baldwin serving as the crew chief for Lia's first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in 2008.-140 Buzz
Slower speeds mark Vegas test 01-11-2017
Jamie McMurray
Speeds were slower than in the past during Goodyear's tire test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Tuesday, and slower still as the weather cooled, according to NBC Sports. "The pace was a little bit slower than what we ran last year, and I expect it's going to be quite a bit slower when we get back here. With less downforce, you don't get as much grip and the car slides around a little bit more, but the mid-corner speeds the last two years have been so high that it's made it almost impossible to pass," Jamie McMurray told reporters after the test. Slower speeds should mean more side-by-side racing and will benefit drivers who thrive in traffic.
RFR renews Performance Plus sponsorship 01-11-2017
Trevor Bayne
Roush-Fenway Racing (RFR) has renewed its agreement with Kleen Performance Products and Performance Plus throughout the organization and as a primary sponsor for Trevor Bayne in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, according to a press release.

Roush-Fenway Racing PR
RFR still has a ways to go before contending for a championship in the newly-resized two-car operation that is wheeled by youthful drivers, but solid sponsorship provides the needed resources.
Health, happiness drove Edwards' decision 01-11-2017
Carl Edwards
A desire to remain mentally sharp and satisfaction with his career were the driving forces behind the decision to retire from racing, Edwards told reporters in a press conference Wednesday morning.

"I'm aware of the risks. I don't like how it feels to take the hits we take. I'm a sharp guy. Want to be sharp in 30 years. Those risks minimized," Edwards said after acknowledging the progress made in safety by NASCAR. When asked if Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s concussion had anything to do with the decision, he gave a provisional yes. Fantasy racers are losing a huge asset.
Plan ahead: Newman best at Vegas, Charlotte 01-11-2017
Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman has a three-year average finish of 7.7 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and of 9.5 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which makes these his best tracks in that span of time. His best record comes at Vegas, where he has two top-10s and a worst result of 13th in the past three years. He has been almost as strong at Charlotte with a pair of 15ths as his low water mark as well as one top-five and three more top-10s. Both of these are similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, which will make him a strong dark horse on the other tracks of this type.
L3 Yrs.: Jimmie Johnson has 6th-most top-10s 01-11-2017
Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson won the 2016 Chase, but he has only the sixth-most top-10s in the past three years with 58 such results. Moreover, Johnson has fewer top-10s as a percentage than Kyle Busch and would be in a virtual tie with Dale Earnhardt Jr. if those drivers had not missed races to injury in the past two seasons. What has managed to set Johnson apart from the competition is the fact that he has won more races than anyone except Joey Logano since the start of 2014. Both he and Logano have 14 wins in the past three years-and Johnson got the advantage in the Championship round last year by winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Plan ahead: Kasey Kahne best at Sonoma, Dover 01-11-2017
Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne is riding a current four-race top-10s streak at Sonoma, giving him an average finish of 7.25 in that span of races-and that makes this his best track in the last three and four years.

Rotoworld Fantasy
Kahne has also been strong at Dover International Speedway, where he has a three-year average of 10.8. The high-banked concrete oval is his best course that hosts more than one race per year, but he has not been terribly consistent with three results of sixth or better counterbalanced by a 19th and 20th. He has been strong enough overall, however, that Rotoworld has him ranked 13th for 2017.
L3 Yrs.: Kyle Busch has 7th-most top-10s 01-11-2017
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch has recorded a top-10 in 58 percent of his starts to account for 56 such results in 97 races. He missed part of the 2015 season to injury. Busch's greatest success came on the short, flat track of New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway. Those two track types dominate both the regular season and Chase schedule, which helped win the 2015 Championship. Of his 10 victories in this span of time, he scored one each on these tracks. He has also won the last two editions of the Brickyard 400.