Dale Jr. ‘felt super comfortable’ in the NBCSN booth

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For the first time since 1999, a Sprint Cup restrictor-plate race did not feature Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the field.

Instead, still recovering from the effects of a season-ending concussion, the 10-time restrictor-plate winner was a guest in the NBCSN booth for a portion of Sunday’s Hellmann’s 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

It was Earnhardt’s first time in the NBCSN booth after previously having been a guest for a Fox Sports 1 broadcast of a Xfinity Series race earlier this year.

“That was so much fun,” Earnhardt said on his Dale Jr. Download podcast. “I felt super comfortable up there, being great friends with (former crew chief) Steve (Letarte) and knowing Jeff Burton very well. Rick Allen, those guys are pros. I got a new respect for those guys, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon and all them. There’s a lot going on up there in that booth, and those guys are on top of it. It was really impressive. It’s fun to be a witness to that.”

Earnhardt doesn’t plan to retire from racing in the near future, but the Hendrick Motorsports driver is unsure if his post-racing career path will be similar to Gordon’s and lead into TV.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever have a future in broadcasting, but it’s a personal experience for me to be able to get up in there and look at it,” Earnhardt said.

Earnhardt joined the broadcast about halfway through the race and discussed how difficult it is to advance through the field and how he chooses who’ll he’ll team up with during plate races.

“To get an opportunity to go to all these different avenues and see all kinds of angles and perspectives of what goes into a Sunday at the race track is pretty neat,” Earnhardt said. “I felt very lucky.”

Earnhardt’s day overlooking Talladega didn’t end with the NBCSN booth. He also “took the opportunity” to visit the MRN booth for a time.

“Same thing there, never really had that chance to do that and put it on myself to go check that out and experience it,” said Earnhardt, who was part of the ceremony that renamed Talladega’s MRN booth after the late Barney Hall in September. “Doing the radio vs. TV, two completely different things. The radio guys, they really describe the action as they’re seeing it on the racetrack and they’re tossing this invisible baton to each other around the racetrack as they describe the action.

“The guys on TV don’t really cover the action as much as they talk about why you’re seeing what’s happening, describing drafting and explaining how that stuff works. You’re actually seeing the racing action, so they don’t really talk about what’s happening as much as they’re describing how the sport works.

Earnhardt said he doesn’t “know which one I enjoyed better. They’re both pretty unique and fun.

“I hope the fans at home enjoyed the insight I was able to give. I’m not a professional broadcaster, but I hope that I was easy to understand and did a good job explaining myself. The draft is a real technical thing. I like to try to explain what’s going on to folks.”

Fans will be able to get Earnhardt’s perspective again Sunday. Earnhardt will rejoin the NBCSN booth for a portion of the broadcast of the Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET.

NBCSN to broadcast NASCAR announcement at 6 p.m. ET Monday

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NBCSN will air live a press conference held by NASCAR industry stakeholders to discuss the upcoming 2017 season at 6 p.m. ET Monday.

The announcement will be attended by NASCAR executives, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, NASCAR team representatives and NASCAR track representatives.

The press conference is being held at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Kyle, Kurt Busch compete in first day of Race of Champions exhibition

DOVER, DE - MAY 30:  Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, left, talks with brother Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 30, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
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Kurt and Kyle Busch are in Miami this weekend to take part in the international auto racing competition, Race of Champions. The exhibition event is two days and pits drivers from every major auto racing league against each other.

The Busch brothers are the only NASCAR representatives in the competition. They are joined multiple Formula One drivers, Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Alexander Rossi, Ryan-Hunter Reay, James Hinchciffe and Tony Kanaan and action sports star Travis Pastrana. Prior to the start of the races, all of the drivers got psyched up together.

And right before the event began, Kurt Busch showed off his new No. 41 Monster Energy Ford by doing donuts in the middle of the race course.

But when it came time to race Kurt Busch’s had a tough day. He and former Formula One driver David Coulthard competed in the vehicles used in the NASCAR Euro Series and Coulthard crossed the finish line with a healthy lead over the Stewart-Haas Racing driver.

Kyle Busch was marginally better in his first race against F1 driver Jenson Button, who won but with the Joe Gibbs Racing driver right at Button’s rear wheel.

But Kyle Busch bounced back in his second race and defeated Hinchcliffe, which advanced him out of the first round. But he was eliminated from the competition when he was swept by Coulthard in the next round.

In Kurt Busch’s second race, he faced Hunter-Reay, who was one of his teammates when he competed in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Busch won, but he wasn’t able to advance to the next round.

The competition was eventually won by Montoya, who is taking part in the Race of Champions for the first time.

Both Busch brothers will be back on Sunday to compete for the Nations Cup.

Kyle Busch entered into SRL Winter Showdown Super Late Model race

JOLIET, IL - SEPTEMBER 16:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for Safety 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2016 in Joliet, Illinois. Busch is seen here wearing his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fire suit.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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Kyle Busch is entered into the third annual SRL Winter Showdown, a Super Late Model race at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California.

Busch, who is competing in the Race of Champions this weekend in Miami, will drive the No. 51 Toyota Camry sponsored by JBL in the Feb. 11 race.

Busch and his competitors will be trying to claim the $30,000 prize for winning the race. Kyle Busch Motorsports had a presence in last year’s Showdown when Todd Gilliland competed for the team.

“They have a pretty strong field lined up again this year with Bubba Pollard coming back and trying to make it three-in-a-row. And then you add in some of the West Coast guys like Derek Thorn, David Mayhew and Noah Gragson, who will be running one of my trucks full-time this season, and it has a lot of great drivers,” Busch told Speed51.com. “One of the things that is going to be really cool is that this will be the first time that Erik Jones and I get to race against each other in the supers since he beat me in the Snowball Derby back in 2013.”

Busch is quite successful in his Super Late Model career, having won the Snowball Derby, CRA SpeedFest, the Oxford 250, the Winchester 400 and the Battle at Berlin in recent years.

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Social Roundup: 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 20:  NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees (L-R)Richard Childress, Mark Martin, and Rick Hendrick pose for a portrait prior to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Induction Ceremony at NASCAR Hall of Fame on January 20, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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Last night, the NASCAR Hall of Fame inducted its eighth class, including Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress, Mark Martin, Benny Parsons and Raymond Parks.

The night was filled with current and future Hall of Famers celebrating the history of the sport and the lives of the five inductees.

MORE: Benny Parsons’ Hall of Fame induction an emotional celebration

MORE: Mark Martin went from a “broken man” to a Hall of Famer

Here’s a look at how the night played out on social media with observations on the inductees from current NASCAR drivers and one message from future NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

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