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NASCAR: Ryan Truex suffers concussion in crash during practice

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  • Race facts

    Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

    Track type: 2-mile, D-shaped asphalt.

    Race distance: 400 miles or 200 laps.

    Weather: High of 80, with chance of thunderstorms.

    TV: Coverage begins at noon on ESPN. Green flag is 1:18 p.m.

    Radio: Motor Racing Network.



BROOKLYN, Mich. R. Truex suffers concussion in crash during practice

Rookie Ryan Truex was taken to the hospital after he crashed during a practice session Saturday morning for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Truex suffered a concussion in the wreck and will be replaced by J.J. Yeley in the No. 83 Toyota. CT scans of Truex’s head, neck, chest and abdomen were negative. He will go through NASCAR’s concussion protocol before he can return to racing.


Notebook

Michigan test: A test is scheduled for Monday that will allow NASCAR to see how cars react to the use of dive planes (small stripes on the front bumper), a 9-inch spoiler, 6-percent rear differential gear ratio, three different power levels (engine horsepower) as well as a driver adjustable track bar. The test, which will involve several drivers, is aimed for the 2015 season.

Gordon still fast: Pole-winner Jeff Gordon, who set a track record Friday in qualifying, was fast again Saturday during the race’s final practice session. Gordon had a fast lap of 200.156 mph – about 5 mph off his qualifying time – in practice. He’s going to be the clear favorite for Sunday’s race.


Three things to watch

1 Sunday’s race figures to be fast, with record-setting times during qualifying Friday. But then there’s always a lot of speed to be found at Michigan.

2 Among the drivers who could really use a victory to get them into the Chase: Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle.

3 It’s been a quiet weekend so far for points-leader Dale Earnhardt Jr., who qualified 25th for Sunday’s race and had the 11th fastest lap in Saturday’s final practice.


Observations

• There were multiple theories about why Friday’s qualifying speeds were so fast (seven drivers, including pole-winner Jeff Gordon, exceeded the Michigan track record). A relatively cool afternoon joined a recent repaving, the newly designed cars and good, old-fashioned hard work in the garage as factors.

• It was good to hear drivers’ positive reactions to the new rule in NASCAR that prohibits them from walking onto the track after an accident. One part of the rule that was overlooked by many: Cars must not weave and should stay in line and away from the wreck.

• Stewart-Haas Racing’s decision to replace Stewart with Jeff Burton is a smart one. Burton, who retired from full-time racing in 2013 and will be in the NBC broadcast booth in 2015, will be a steady influence for the team in Stewart’s absence (although SHR hasn’t said for how long Stewart will be out and who would continue to drive in his place after Sunday).


Best bets

Three picks for your fantasy team:

Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano

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