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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)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Kahne is fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, races the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, goes through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the # 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, April 10, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s ChevroletSS, qualifies for second position Friday, April 10, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Joining Harvick on the front row will be Pole winner Kurt Busch, driver of the # 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the # 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, won the Pole Friday, April 10, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Joining Busch on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the # 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, won the Pole Friday, April 10, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Joining Busch on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place racing with Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS who finishes in eleventh place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet SS, finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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