Earnhardt Jr.'s replacement makes early CMS exit

Associated Press Modified: October 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm •  Published: October 13, 2012
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But there's more testing planned, and Goodyear is working in conjunction with NASCAR to develop a tire that can improve the overall on-track product.

"I think they've got a lot of ideas to try," Biffle said. "Goodyear is working hard at trying to come up with a tire that complements that so we can get the racing a little more side-by-side."

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DRIVE FOR DIVERSITY: NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Combine is scheduled for next week at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.

A group of 17 drivers representing 12 states, Canada and Mexico have been selected to participate in the combine, which determines the NASCAR Driver for Diversity (D4D) program drivers for the 2013 season. The drivers compete for the Rev Racing team.

This year's combine will be a three-day driver evaluation of on-track performance, marketing and media aptitude and physical fitness. Langley, a 0.4-mile asphalt oval, is hosting the event for the second consecutive year.

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SEEING PINK: NASCAR is again actively participating in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with drivers, teams, tracks, series and team sponsors uniting in the fight against the disease, particularly at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The start/finish line for Friday night's Nationwide race was painted pink by race sponsor Dollar General, and the grandstand tickets were also pink. Drivers Denny Hamlin and Brian Scott wore pink fire suits and had pink paint schemes for the race, too.

Dollar General also recognized over 300 breast cancer survivors from the Carolinas during pre-race festivities, and made a donation to Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

The headlights of Danica Patrick's car in Friday night's race were surrounded in pink as part of a "Check Your Headlights" campaign to encourage mammogram screening for women. Her sponsor, Go Daddy, donated $50,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in support of the program.

In Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race, Clint Bowyer had a pink paint scheme on his No. 15 Toyota in support of the Avon Foundation for Breast Cancer Crusade. Bowyer said he was getting used to the color and supporting the cause.

"If I'm going to be wearing pink and driving a pink car it better be for a great cause," he said. "Trust me, this is a great cause."

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WALKING THE LINE: Nik Wallenda, who became a household name this summer when he performed a 1,800-foot tightrope walk across Niagara Falls, traversed more than 750 feet from behind the behind the Charlotte Motor Speedway frontstretch grandstands to a crane behind victory circle on a 5/8-inch tightrope before the race.

Nik Wallenda is not the first of his family to perform at CMS. In 1986, Nik's elders walked from the grandstands down to pit road during a circus-themed pre-race show.

"It's a dream of mine; it's just another dream fulfilled," Wallenda said. "It's exciting to be here, and it's an exciting environment to perform in. All these fans are here to see an amazing race; to be part of that pre-race entertainment is an amazing experience."

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AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer in Charlotte contributed to this report.