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Press Snoop: Ratings, penalties, substitutes.


Fans are showing their displeasure or boredom with NASCAR, by not watching. Overall TV ratings are down 1.7 per cent from last year, and last week's Pocono 500 was no exception, drawing a 5.2 national rating, and 14 Nielsen share, which was down 1.9 per cent on last year's 5.8 Fox rating with a 14 Nielsen.

Fans have also taken up a new sport - throwing projectiles onto the race track, trying to hit the flagman, and booing loudly when the race finishes under caution.

NASCAR dropped the other shoe Wednesday. Citing 'Actions detrimental to NASCAR: Involved in an altercation with another competitor during a caution period', fines of $25,000 were levied against Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth, in addition to putting them both on probation through to 11 August 2004. This was in response to the bumping incidents between the two Sunday at the NASCAR Nextel Cup Pocono 400 race.

That night NASCAR put Harvick and Kenseth back ten positions each, to positions 21 and 20 respectively. That cost them each about 30 points. Both are still in the top and within 400 points of the leader, so eligible for the Shootout at the end of the season. But down the line when the points chase tightens up, those 30 points could
be crucial.

NASCAR also penalised three Busch Series crew chiefs on Wednesday - for seat belt infractions at last weekend's Nashville race. Michael Byrd, Johnny Davis and Tony Tutor were all fined $250. The drivers weren't listed, nor are the crew chiefs on any list NASCAR provides.

Richard Childress has said he will run Dave Blaney 'for a while' in the #30 AOL Chevrolet, and definitely through to Indy. Blaney suffered a broken swaybar in Sunday's Pocono 400, finishing where he started - twenty-ninth. Childress said broken sway bars are not a common occurrence - he couldn't remember the last one.

It's all about showbiz. Kasey Kahne is the token race car driver on People magazine's 'Fifth Annual Fifty Hottest Bachelors' list, which appears in an issue coming out on Friday.

This weekend again finds the three NASCAR top tier series racing in different states. On Saturday, the Busch Series travels to Kentucky Speedway for the Meijer 300, and the Craftsman Truck Series runs the O'Reilly 200 at Memphis on Saturday. Nextel Cup celebrates Father's Day at Michigan International Speedway with the DHL 400.


Related Pictures

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Talladega is not a place for the nervous... (Photo: Autostock/Ford Motor Co)
Kasey Kahne, Dodge`s rookie star of 2004 (picture by Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth was in top form again (Photo Autostock/Ford Motor Co)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won the Pole position Friday, April 11, 2014 for Saturday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 26th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, is hit by Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, as he pulls into his pit box during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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