MRN’s Pete Pistone shares some remaining notes after the weekend at Watkins Glen Worldwide, together with blue skies forward for William Byron’s Cup Collection aspirations. (Photograph: Getty Photographs)&#thirteen;

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Some ultimate notes after the weekend at Watkins Glen Worldwide:

Stories: Byron to Hendrick No. 5
Sources and a number of studies level to William Byron as Kasey Kahne’s alternative within the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for the 2018 Monster Power Collection. Sports activities Enterprise Journal first reported the transfer, which is predicted to be made official briefly order.

Kahne was launched from the ultimate yr of his contract earlier this week. Byron, second within the NASCAR Xfinity Collection level standings driving for JR Motorsports, is predicted to be elevated to the game’s prime tier after solely a single season within the No. 2 division.

Byron gained seven occasions within the Tenting World Truck Collection final yr driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. To date in 2017, he has Xfinity Collection victories at Iowa, Daytona and Indianapolis. He would be a part of fellow newcomer Alex Bowman, who takes the workforce’s No. 88 experience for the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr., and holdovers Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott within the 4-automotive Hendrick secure.

Driver Salaries Shrinking
The change of the veteran Kahne for rookie Byron is the newest instance of groups offering alternatives for youthful expertise whereas on the similar time, saving cash on contracts.

Earnhardt touched on the topic over the weekend at Watkins Glen and doesn’t see an finish to the development.

“It took awhile however once we had our main reset, the trickle-down impact is coming via the drivers’ contracts and making an enormous distinction within the selections these house owners are making,” Earnhardt stated. “You possibly can’t pay a driver $5 to $eight million a yr should you solely have $10 million a yr in sponsorship. That is not going to work. (House owners) aren’t getting $20, $30, $forty million a yr on sponsorship.

“Drivers have to know that change is coming. If it hasn’t occurred to ’em but, it’s going to occur. The younger guys don’t know any higher. They’re taking a nickel to race. They’re taking no matter they will get. That’s a shift that’s going to be higher for the game. Get these salaries into a sensible vary.”

Extra Enhanced Weekends Forward?
Watkins Glen was the second straight race weekend the place NASCAR employed a shortened on-monitor schedule together with qualifying and racing on the identical day for the Cup Collection. Martinsville’s October weekend will function an analogous format. However what about 2018?

“The important thing for us is to create enjoyable actions for the followers with extra driver entry on Fridays,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR government vice chairman and chief racing improvement officer, informed SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.” “We have a tendency to love qualifying, if we will transfer it, on Saturdays. That is a great expertise for followers when it comes to having that help race and with the ability to see the Monster Power Collection drivers qualify. So we’ll in all probability proceed to look that method. The most important factor for us is to create distinctive, enjoyable fan experiences across the drivers and open up entry as a lot as we will.”