NASCAR Notes: Dillon would be open to No. 3 in Sprint Cup Series - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

NASCAR Notes: Dillon would be open to No. 3 in Sprint Cup Series

Dillon would be open to No. 3 in Sprint Cup Series
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -
Austin Dillon says he'd be honored to drive the late Dale Earnhardt's iconic No. 3 in the Sprint Cup Series.

Dillon is the grandson of Richard Childress, who owns the rights to the number and uses it for Dillon in the Nationwide Series. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has also used the number before in the Nationwide Series, but the No. 3 has not been in a Cup race since Earnhardt's 2001 death.

Dillon picked up his first career Nationwide victory last week at Kentucky, and Childress said after the win he'd be open to moving the number up with his grandson. But he'd want the number to have a different style from how Earnhardt had it designed, and he'll only ever let an Earnhardt or a Dillon use the number.

Hamlin to sit out Nationwide race with sore back
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -
NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin has a sore back that will keep him out of Friday's Nationwide race.

Hamlin still plans to drive Saturday night in the Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Hamlin currently ranks fifth in Cup points.

Hamlin had been slated to drive the No. 18 Toyota in the second-tier series. Instead, Joe Gibbs Racing will move defending race champion Joey Logano from the No. 20 to the No. 18, and have Clint Bowyer behind the wheel in the 18.

Hamlin says he woke up with a sore back "earlier this week" and feels it's "in the best interest of the team to sit it out." He adds that the injury is "nothing serious" and believes the extra rest will help Saturday.

NASCAR not interested in mandatory cautions
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -
Bruton Smith has an idea on how to create more excitement in NASCAR.

NASCAR President Mike Helton doesn't sound very interested in the billionaire track promoter's suggestion to throw bogus cautions to bunch up the field.

Smith argued last weekend at Kentucky that long green-flag runs are damaging NASCAR and floated his idea on creating mandatory cautions.

On Thursday, Helton said NASCAR fans don't want manufactured drama.

Helton says fans want races to unfold naturally, and he believes NASCAR's green-flag racing is as exciting as any auto racing series.

Many drivers also seemed opposed to throwing mandatory cautions.

Carl Edwards said NASCAR would be headed down a slippery slope, and Sprint Cup points leader Matt Kenseth said he opposed the idea.

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