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Raceday: Your guide to Sunday’s GEICO 400

Saturday, Sep. 14, 2013

Not only did Martin Truex Jr. lose his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup this past weekend, but he also found out his wrist injury is more serious than first believed.

“I broke my wrist at Bristol. I found out this week that I have two broken bones in there, not just one, which makes things even more difficult,” said Truex said.

Since breaking his wrist nearly three weeks ago, Truex has been utilizing a cast on his wrist fitted to allow him to drive. Although difficult, he had finished third and seventh in the past two races.

“We don’t have a time machine, we can’t turn back the clocks and change things, we can’t do things over – we have to live with what we have,” he said. “We’re

17th in points and we have to try to rebound and make the best of our season we can make of it.”

Toyota to get new look Tundra in 2014: Toyota earlier this week unveiled a new look for its Tundra entry in the NASCAR Truck Series for 2014. The new model truck features a blunt, redesigned nose and features greater brand identity than its predecessor.

“Kyle Busch Motorsports, as well as two of our other teams, ThorSport and Red Horse Racing, they’ve all helped build the first prototype race truck,” said Les Unger, national motorsports manager for Toyota.

The Tundra, as well as the other manufacturer models in 2014, will no longer utilize braces on the front splitter.

Kyle Busch wins, fans win: Kyle Busch’s sponsor in the Cup series, M&M’s, announced this week it will give away 1 million free bags of M&Ms should Busch win the 2013 championship.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to rally around Kyle throughout the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, as well as celebrate a potential championship than by giving away 1 million free bags of M&M’s,” said Roy Benin, chief consumer officer at Mars Chocolate North America.

Jeb Burton to make Nationwide start: NASCAR Truck series rookie Jeb Burton will make his Nationwide Series debut next Saturday at Kentucky Speedway, driving the No. 34 Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports.

Three things to watch

1. Brad Keselowski kicked of his run to a championship a year ago with a victory at Chicagoland. His Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, is in the Chase for the first time and starting on the pole.

2. After a week’s worth of controversy, if any of the hard feelings over who did or did not make the Chase and why spill over into the race on Sunday.

3. Justin Allgaier will make his third Cup start of the season, driving the No. 51 Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing.

Observations

• Two investigations, a handful of press conferences and a mandatory meeting with teams later, NASCAR has tried a variety of ways to try to fix what happened in last Saturday night’s Sprint Cup race at Richmond, Va. There still remains a lot of resentment and anger from fans and even those within the sport. A large part of the reason is this: This entire controversy began by taking a second look at a spin by one driver – Clint Bowyer – and that driver can still win the series championship this season. Nobody blinks an eye at Bowyer’s spin with seven laps remaining last Saturday night and this past week – and all the bad feelings that came with it – never unfolds as it did. There is something inherently unfair about that.

• The chorus has grown steadily over the last week from fans and some in the media seeking to blame the Chase format for the team orders controversy in which NASCAR now finds engulfed. Strange, but all of the arguments being made this week against the Chase were made 10 years ago when the format was first unveiled – but dismissed then. If one lesson is learned this week, I hope it’s this: Ideas, issues, wrecks, etc. should all be investigated thoroughly before snap judgments or pronouncements of their effect are made.

• Because of the technical alliance between Furniture Row Racing and Richard Childress Racing, drivers Kurt Busch (FRR) and Kevin Harvick (RCR) will be competing in the Chase this season with help from each other. That offers an interesting prelude to next season when both drivers will be teammates at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Best bets

Three picks for your fantasy team:

Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards

Today’s lineup