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Dover Notes: Double Talking

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, May 14 2010

SMI chairman and CEO Bruton Smith ready to make an offer IndyCar Series cannot refuse? (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer

Dover, Del. – Speedway Motorsports chairman Bruton Smith floated an idea earlier this week that a driver should be paid a $20 million bonus if he can win the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

Smith said he’d like to see Indy start early in the day and allow ample time for drivers to jet to Charlotte to compete in NASCAR’s longest race that evening.

Sprint Cup points leader Kevin Harvick offered a bit of advice for Smith during a news conference at Dover International Speedway Friday morning.

“I think if he’s really realistic about it he should move his race (in Charlotte) to Saturday night,” Harvick said. “Move the race to Saturday night and put your money where your mouth is after that.

“Give everybody a realistic shot at it. Move the Coke 600 to Saturday night and let Tony Stewart and Juan Montoya and Casey Mears and all these guys that really…it’s not a show if you don’t give everybody a realistic shot.

“That way, those guys can really prepare for it and be in the cars at the right time and give them a fair shot.”

Opting out: Don’t expect to see Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin or Joey Logano show up at Nashville Superspeedway for next month’s Nationwide Series event during the same weekend the Sprint Cup Series visits Pocono Raceway.

Busch, last year’s Nationwide Series champion, confirmed on Friday that he’ll stick with the original plan of not running a full schedule in NASCAR’s junior circuit.

“I think I’ve been shot down in full-time Nationwide, so that’s done,” Busch said. “Brad Coleman will be racing in the car in the races that I’m not and I believe we all know that Matt DiBenedetto will be racing in the No. 20 car in the races that Logano or Hamlin aren’t.”

Carl Edwards is competing in all of the Nationwide Series races this season. He claims that he’d prefer to have Busch as one of his chief competitors for the title.

“I’ve won a driver’s championship in the Nationwide Series,” Edwards said. “I want those guys to run and (crew chief) Drew (Blickensderfer) wants those guys to run so we can compete with them.

“If we win the championship this year, I want to sit up there at that table and look out there and want to see guys like Kyle that are very, very good and I want to know that we’ve been able to beat them.

“It’s a little bit frustrating that they aren’t able to run it, but that’s just part of the business. They’ve got to do what’s best for them.

Hard hit: Four-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson says he’s never been in a position like he faced Saturday night when A.J. Allmendinger’s No. 43 Ford piled into his No. 48 Chevrolet at Darlington after the yellow flag waved.

“I guess in some road courses, some things take place and you get hit unexpectedly from behind, but I’ve never had a car without brakes just hit me and not even know what was going on,” said Johnson, who finished 36th.

“I knew the caution was out and I rolled into the corner, getting radio to talk on the radio to (crew chief) Chad (Knaus) about what we needed for adjustments and at the last second I saw a flash of green. And then before I knew it I was trying to gather my thoughts and my breath and get the car out of the way and off the race track because he slid right up in there.”

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, May 14 2010
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