With Dale Earnhardt Jr moving into the Hendrick Racing stable in 2008, Kyle Busch his on his way out. It's a bit surprising to see Kyle leaving Hendrick. Whatever the reasons may be, he's now a free agent. Whichever race team gets Kyle will be very fortunate to have him. Kyle is a very talented racer who is still years away from his prime. The early rumors have DEI and Ginn interested the most in him right now, but don't be surprised if other teams start to show interest in the coming weeks.
Petty In The Booth: Kyle Petty made his broadcasting debut for TNT in their coverage of the Pocono 500. By many accounts, Petty did a solid job in the booth. It was a bit of a new look for TNT from the first years of their coverage. Allen Bestwick, who had been with TNT since they started NASCAR coverage is now with ABC/ESPN. Benny Parsons passed away earlier this year. Petty joined Bill Weber and Wally Dallenbach in the booth while Matt Yocum and Marty Snider were joined by TNT newcomers Ralph Sheheen and Lindsay Czarniak. Also joining TNT this year are Fox commentator Larry McReynolds and Marc Fein, who has been the studio host for TBS' (TNT's sister network) coverage of Atlanta Braves Baseball. But Petty was clearly the star of the crew, getting a lot of attention for interrupting his time behind the wheel to give the TV fans his view from the booth.
Kurt Busch Punishment: During TNT's coverage, Kurt Busch's pit road incident with Tony Stewart was debated. If you remember, during the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover, Busch and Tony Stewart had an on-track incident (Again). Busch pulled along side Stewart's car while he was on pit road, nearly running over one of the members of Tony's pit crew. Kurt was parked by NASCAR for the remainder of the race, fined 100 championship points and $100,000. But, was it enough? Kyle Petty and many others didn't think so. As Petty said on TNT, the fines no longer send a message because of all the money in the sport. Petty, along with many others said that NASCAR should have sent a message by parking Kurt Busch for the race at Pocono. That's a valid point. Now in NASCAR, you can make $100,000 back rather quickly by winning or finishing high in a race. Parking him would have sent a stronger message. After all, he could have seriously injured someone on pit road.
Fox & Bill France Jr's Death: Kudos to Fox for their handling of the announcement of Bill France Jr's death during their coverage of the Autism Speaks 400. It had to be a bit awkward. It's not everyday that a figure in a certain sport like Bill France Jr. was to NASCAR passes away during an event of that sport. It then became part race coverage, and part tribute to his memory. Many NASCAR fans are too young to understand what Bill France Jr. meant to the sport. Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and Darrell Waltrip, along with the rest of the Fox team did a great job in talking about what he meant to NASCAR. You know it had to be tough though. There were a few times in which D.W. nearly lost it on the air. You couldn't blame him if he did.
Shorten The Pocono Races?: It was very apparent that the weather would not allow the entire 500 miles to be run at Pocono. After a very long delay, the race was cut to 106 laps, barely more than halfway of the scheduled 200 laps. Pocono is one of the longest races of the year anyway. Of the fans watching on TV, it's really not a favorite of theirs. A main reason is because it does take so long to run 500 miles there. NASCAR has shortened races before. Dover races used to be 500 miles. Now they are only 400 miles. There are presently no plans to shorten any Pocono events