NEWS & NOTES

Cecil Whig - - INSIDEBASEBALL -

MY BAD Kurt Busch took full blame for the crash that ended his day on Lap 379 and caught 10 other cars when his Chevro­let squirmed out of con­trol ex­it­ing Turn 2. “We had a win in our sights and I just drove the car at 101 per­cent in­stead of that 99,” Busch said. It marked the first of 23 races this sea­son in which Busch failed to fin­ish on the lead lap. Busch’s streak of 22 straight races of fin­ish­ing ev­ery lap broke Dale Earn­hardt Jr.’s 2012 record of 20 con­sec­u­tive lead-lap fin­ishes to start a sea­son. Busch’s streak may have been in jeop­ardy even if he hadn’t wrecked. Af­ter his car was taken to the garage, NASCAR of­fi­cials re­viewed the pre­vi­ous restart and judged that Busch had started too soon. The No. 41 would have been as­sessed a drive-through penalty, likely re­sult­ing in los­ing two laps to the lead­ers with just over 100 laps left. JU­NIOR AN­NOUNCE­MENT PEND­ING There’s no in­di­ca­tion of who will drive Dale Earn­hardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevro­let dur­ing this week­end’s Sprint Cup Se­ries re­turn trip to Michi­gan In­ter­na­tional Speed­way, but the de­ci­sion is ex­pected to be made Wednes­day af­ter­noon. Jeff Gor­don, who has filled in for Earn­hardt in the last four Cup races, won’t be the an­swer as the four-time cham­pion said over the week­end at Bris­tol that he had a pre­vi­ous com­mit­ment. Earn­hardt’s re­turn seems pos­si­ble af­ter the driver has spent much of the last week show­ing fans on so­cial me­dia the ex­er­cises he’s per­form­ing to ease symp­toms of a con­cus­sion, in­clud­ing a game of bas­ket­ball. Earn­hardt also at­tended an au­to­graph ses­sion in Char­lotte Tues­day. If Earn­hardt isn’t ready, Alex Bow­man is likely to re­turn to the No. 88 at Michi­gan.

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