Cup gets closer to Busch; Irvan stays close to racing

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Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.

Jim from Great Bend, Kansas: Why can't NASCAR implement less expensive Busch specs for cars in the Cup division? From the stands and on TV Busch cars appear almost identical. The racing is just as close. It would place more emphasis on driver skill, keeping costs down and allowing more owners to participate. Jeff Hammond: NASCAR is trying to do some of that right now without wholesale rule changes. But you need to have some difference otherwise it would be too easy for guys to cross over that shouldn't crossing over. NASCAR has tried very hard to make the rules very similar and make racing more affordable in the Busch ranks than it has been in years past. They're still working in that direction.

Irvan teaches others

Bob from Indianapolis, Ind.: Hey Jeff, first of all, let me say you do a great job calling the race and giving great insight to a complex system of racing. Do you ever see Ernie Irvan at any of the races, and if so have you talked to him? I'd kinda like what's going on with him? Thanks for your time. P.S. I think Rusty will have a little something for them at Vegas. Jeff Hammond: Let's hope Rusty Wallace has something for them in Las Vegas. I know he had a pretty good race in Mexico, and he was excited about racing there. This year, Rusty will try to race as much as he's ever raced in his entire career. He wants to go out like a house on fire in his final full season so he should have a good run at Vegas. As far as Ernie is concerned, we do see him at the track from time to time. He tries to help out several drivers in the ARCA Series. He's tried to put some deals together for them and make things happen. Kevin Conway has been one of the drivers that he's taken under his wing. Conway shows up from time to time for Busch and Craftsman Truck races. Ernie's doing well. He still loves racing and wishes he could be more involved. It's good to see him still hanging around the sport.
Speed Mail Jeff Hammond

Book 'em

Sue from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Will your book be available off the FOX trailer at the races? Jeff Hammond: The book is available at the FOX trailer. They have a few signed copies there, and if you can't get to the trailer, you can always go to and get one online.

Just another pretty face?

Jeanne from Long Beach, Calif.: Just a little note to let you know you're better looking in person than on TV. Not that this should go to your head. I was able to see you in the garage area on Sunday and I thought you would appreciate my comment. Jeff Hammond: I appreciate your kind words. When you get to be my age, you'll take all the compliments you can get because my ego takes a pretty severe beating when it comes to the trio in the booth. Any time that I can get an uplifting comment, I always appreciate it.

FOX race analyst Jeff Hammond led Darrell Waltrip to two of DW's three Winston Cup championships as his crew chief. They also teamed to win the 1989 Daytona 500.

For autographed copies of Jeff Hammond's new book "Real Men Work in the Pits" plus magnets, hats and more, check out

For photos and appearances, visit Jeff's web site

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