Cecil Whig - - SPORTS -

TEST­ING Next week’s road course race at New York’s Watkins Glen In­ter­na­tional will mark the first time NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will race on the cir­cuit’s freshly paved surface. In prepa­ra­tion, NASCAR hosted an open or­ga­ni­za­tional test (one car per team) Tues­day and Wed­nes­day on the 2.45-mile lay­out. Driv­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in­cluded AJ All­mendinger, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Chris Buescher, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dil­lon, Chase El­liott, Brad Ke­selowski, Michael McDow­ell, Jamie McMur­ray, Casey Mears, Brian Scott, Ricky Sten­house Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. RAT­INGS BO­NANZA Sun­day’s Brick­yard 400 was car­ried live on NBCSN, and it de­liv­ered a 3.1 rat­ing while be­ing viewed by 5.2 mil­lion view­ers, the high­est view­er­ship num­bers ever achieved by the ca­ble net­work since it be­gan in 2012. EARN­HARDT UP­DATE Dale Earn­hardt Jr. con­firmed last week that he would miss Sun­day’s race at Po­cono Race­way as he re­cov­ers from con­cus­sion-like symp­toms. The Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports driver said Mon­day in a podcast that he would have an an­swer about his sta­tus for next week’s race at Watkins Glen this com­ing Mon­day. “This process is go­ing to take a lit­tle bit longer,” he said. He will have missed three races by the next up­date, with Jeff Gor­don driv­ing two (in­clud­ing Sun­day at Po­cono) and Alex Bow­man one as sub­sti­tutes in the No. 88. “I’m not go­ing to go against that (doc­tors’) ad­vice no mat­ter what,” Earn­hardt said. “I can’t play around at this age, and with my his­tory I def­i­nitely don’t need to get cute (about re­turn­ing).” Earn­hardt faces an up­hill bat­tle to qual­ify for the post­sea­son as he’s now 11 points be­hind Kyle Lar­son for the non-win cut-off point.

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