Driver Denny Hamlin speculated on the reaction of NASCAR executives after his March 24 crash with Joey Logano at the Auto Club 400. "They probably smiled behind closed doors," said Hamlin, who is out six weeks with a compression fracture in his back. "Rivalries are what NASCAR is built on, and they're starting to get that back." ... With motivational tactics a hot topic, UCLA's Steve Alford told me why playing for Bobby Knight at Indiana wasn't hard for him. "Coach Knight wanted you to be better than what you wanted to be," Alford said. "I can remember having great games [on Saturday], and Monday would be the practice he'd be hardest on me." ... I asked Wes Welker why Tom Brady couldn't get the Patriots to re-sign him. "I don't think Tom makes decisions like that," Welker said. "Actually, I know he doesn't. He wants what's best for the team, and he knows that [coach Bill Belichick] does that." ... Dale Earnhardt Jr. revealed how his spotter fires him up during a race: "He'll tell me the Redskins are winning or I'm beating the hell out of someone in fantasy football."