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The Friday NASCAR Notebook

  Patrick Carpentier, in Michael Waltrip's car this weekend, didn't get off to a great start Friday (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern


   The NASCAR notebook:

    -- Clint Bowyer spins and crashes in early practice for Sunday's Glen race, and Patrick Carpentier also spins.

    -- Ward Burton, though off the tour for two years now, still has his loyal fans, and some of them are walking around the Glen with a big sign asking "Where's Ward?"

    --  Wonder why the Glen backstretch has that chicane? HERE's WHY.

  -- Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning is slashing prices for next season's Mother's Day weekend Southern 500, from $85 down to $59 for some lower seats, from $70 down to $59 for higher seats, and from $95 down to $90 for better seats.

   -- Bobby Hutchens, Tony Stewart's general manager and key behind Stewart's NASCAR-leading championship charge this year, took some time off last weekend to race at hometown Bowman Gray Stadium (where he's raced for some 20 years now). But it wasn't all fun and game: he may have broken his right hand in THIS crash.  "I don't know; I haven't had it X-rayed yet," Hutchens (driving the white No. 14 in the video) said stoically here Friday.

  --The long-idled Morgan-McClure race team, which runs out of Abindgon, Va., just up the road from Bristol Motor Speedway, will field a Cup entry for Scott Wimmer in the Bristol race later this month. The car will carry number four -- the team's long-time number, dating back to G. C. Spencer days. Tony Stewart was planning on using number four for Ryan Newman's team car this season, to go with Stewart's own number 14, but Morgan-McClure demurred. 

  -- Denny Hamlin says he and David Reutimann are now cool about Monday's bruising run-in at Pocono, though Reutimann might not be quite as cool about it as Hamlin might think. "We actually talked that night, and when I talked to him he seemed fine," Hamlin said. "He didn’t say he was angry or anything.  I'm sure he was, but he seemed fine that night.  
    "I've been in a situation before where you're battling for a chase spot…and it's not always about one race.  There are a lot of races that lead up to it.
    "Yeah, you have one bad race, but there's a culmination of races before that that kind of put you in that spot.  
    "We definitely didn't help his chase chances I'm sure. But it happens, it really does. And I've been in the same situation.  
     "I'm apologetic about it, for sure.  It's something I didn't mean to do. But you can't put the blame all on me if he doesn't make the chase."

    Chad Knaus (L) listens to Richard Petty, during Friday practice at Watkins Glen (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mike, is Ward Burton's

Mike, is Ward Burton's non-hiring sponsor related, meaning he hasn't gotten a ride because he can't bring a big sponsor with him, or is it something else? I thought for sure Childress would have put him in one of his open rides the last two times he had an opening, but it did not happen. He's no spring chicken anymore, but neither is Mark Martin.

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darned, put ward in a

darned, put ward in a car....he's a damned good driver, and probably better than half the guys in these fields. feedback? heck, most of these guys only need feedback when they cash their paychecks. too many Nascar drivers are just spoiler and overpaid. i'd say fire half of them, and bring on some new kids, and let 'em play....what's wrong with racing for the purse....oh, except track promoters dont put much in the purse any more. prepaid drivers? fire 'em.

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