TV ratings up as TNT takes over

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Fox Sports put a wrap on its broadcast season last week at Kansas. Now it's TNT's turn to keep NASCAR's momentum on television.


Overall ratings for the first 13 races on Fox finished on a three-year high, up more than nine percent from 2010.

TNT will take over this week at Pocono Raceway. The network will televise the next six races, ending with the July 17 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The highlight of TNT's coverage will be the July 2 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

The final 17 races of the Sprint Cup Series season, including all 10 races in the Chase for the Championship, will be televised on ESPN and ABC.

SPENCER VENTS: Jimmy Spencer, once suspended for punching Kurt Busch , believes Richard Childress was wrong to attack Kyle Busch.

Childress attacked Busch in the Kansas Speedway garage following Saturday's Trucks Series race. The car owner was fined $150,000 by NASCAR this week, but avoided a suspension. NASCAR absolved Busch of any wrongdoing in the incident.

"Richard Childress stepped over the line ... he let his temper lead him to assault someone," Spencer, now an analyst for SPEED, said in remarks the network made available Wednesday.

"That's a big black eye on the sport. The fans and others in the sport may think it's funny, but these major (sponsors) cannot be happy having a car owner represent them who assaults another person."

A CLASS ACT: Although his winless streak is approaching three years and he's lost a chance to win the past two races on fuel mileage strategy, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains respectful.

He knows everything he says is scrutinized, so he's careful not to do anything to hurt the reputation his family created.

"I don't want to disappoint anybody," he said. "My father raced in this sport for a long time and he raced in front and worked and talked and worked with a lot of people that I work with today.

"Being his son," Earnhaardt said, "I don't want to disappoint anybody. I don't want to say anything that's going to make anyone ashamed of me. I just want to run good and I want to run well, but I want to act right, too."

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