Continued from page 1

“I’m all for helping to make that happen. I think it’s going (to be) as hard as we think it will and hard as we imagine it will be after testing a little bit in Daytona. It sort of reiterated everybody’s fears _ that it’ll be a little bit more difficult to do than just flipping a few switches.”

Earnhardt said recently paved track surfaces are simply too smooth to break up tandem cars. But he believes weather elements could take a toll on Daytona.

“Hopefully, the Daytona area and the sand, it’ll really beat that track up, beat the surface up, blast it pretty good,” he said. “It just depends. There’s a lot of variables.”

___

BUSCH’S SCHEDULE: Kyle Busch has made no decisions about his participation in races next year below the Sprint Cup Series.

Busch has run a combined 36 races in the Nationwide and Truck Series _ winning 14 events _ but has not run in either series since he was suspended by NASCAR two weeks ago at Texas for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, who celebrated his 31st birthday on Friday, replaced Busch in the Truck and Nationwide events at Homestead. It’s the first time in Hamlin’s career he’s run all three series in the same weekend.

“Nice birthday present from Kyle,” he smirked. “This is for the birds. Some people like the hustle and bustle of a race weekend. … Looking at the schedule, I was just scratching my head having to be on track from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. straight _ it’s a job.”

But it’s a job Busch loves, and he’s always said if he’s at the track, he wants to be in the race. There’s been speculation that part of the fallout from the Texas incident will lead Busch to either cutback or curtail his participation in the two other series.

“We’re working through all of the schedules,” he said. “The schedules hadn’t been put together prior to Texas and still haven’t been put together yet either.”

Busch owns his own Truck Series team, and plans to field a Nationwide team next year.

___

RCR SHUFFLING: Richard Childress Racing will go down to three teams next season, and likely shuffle its crew chief lineup.

The team has fielded four Sprint Cup Series teams this year, but is shutting down the No. 33 team when Clint Bowyer leaves after Sunday’s race to drive for Michael Waltrip Racing. Team owner Richard Childress will let grandson Austin Dillon run select Cup events in 2012 in a fourth car.

The team is absorbing the Nationwide Series teams that Kevin Harvick Inc. fielded.

Story Continues →