NEWS & NOTES
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.