April 2004 Busch Series Archive
- Neuenberger takes leave of absence from the #77 and racing for Follicular Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma treatment: As of this time Donnie Neuenberger will take a medical leave of absence as the driver of the Moy Racing #77 NASCAR Busch Series Team due to being diagnosed and starting treatment for Follicular Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Thanks to Donnie’s twin brother Ronnie Neuenberger being involved with the medical profession, Donnie will receive the best cancer care available anywhere. Donnie plans to keep in tact all his sponsors for Moy Racing and looks forward to getting back into the drivers seat. “I am very fortunate to have such great people around me and recognize I am very lucky. There are a lot of people worse off than I am. I want to thank my race team, friends, sponsors, and fans for their support and understanding. I look forward to getting back to the race track, the team, and driving.” said Donnie Neuenberger, who thanks his sponsors for their support BG Products, Bay Area Goodyear, Bob Bell Automotive Group, Feinberg & Associates, IHOP, Jenkins & Jenkins, Mona Electric, Plan B Technologies, RV Two-Way / Silvertop Manufacturing, and The University of Maryland. For more information about Donnie Neuenberger and DGN Racing visit their website at www.dgnracing.com. You can listen to their regular Tuesay morning shows on the leading radio stations in Baltimore, Maryland, WPOC 93.1 FM and 97.1 FM “The Eagle Grego and Brian Morning Show” in Dallas, Texas.(4-30-2004)
- Sad News: PF2 Motorsports Owner, Pamela Bickford’s father passed away on Tuesday. Everett Burke was an avid race fan. He followed racing closely, especially the Craftsman Truck Series. He particularly enjoyed watching Rich Bickle, Ron Hornaday and John Nemechek. Everett Burke served his country by joining the Navy, where he was active from 1942 to 1946. The family asks in lieu of flowers, that donations be made in his name to St. Joseph’s Church in Amesbury, MA.(4-30-2004)
- Leffler wins pole at California: #00-Jason Leffler, the 44th of 47 drivers to qualify, turned a lap at 182.223mph to win the pole for Saturday’s Stater Bros. 300 at California Speedway, his third career NASCAR Busch Series pole and first since November 2000 at Phoenix. #8-Martin Truex Jr. ended up second and #21-Kevin Harvick third. #6-Jeremy Mayfield and #23-Kenny Wallace completed the top five. Series points leader #99-Michael Waltrip starts ninth.(ThatsRacin.com)
Qualifying Results/Starting Lineups at:
- NASCAR BUSCH SERIES NEWS & NOTES – CALIFORNIA
Coast Guard, Labonte Racing and California Speedway to host Hispanic students … Nearly 150 Hispanic college and high school engineering students will get an up-close and personal look at the NASCAR Busch Series at California Speedway this week. On Thursday, 20 students from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities member institutions will meet with members of Justin Labonte’s No. 44 U.S. Coast Guard Dodge team, to discuss their roles in getting their car on the track. The students will be treated to a tour of the NASCAR Busch Series garage, where they will observe the inspection process. Friday, 120 high school students from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award Corp.’s “Viva Technology” program will be in the stands for NASCAR Busch Series qualifying. They will also get a chance to talk with representatives from the Coast Guard, the track and NASCAR. Recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce is a primary goal of the Coast Guard. The team is running the Spanish translation of Coast Guard, “Guarda Costas,” on the car’s left quarter panel during its 15 races this season.
Chevrolet builds on lead in manufacturers standings … Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has five wins and 61 points following Martin Truex Jr.’s (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet) win April 24 at Talladega Superspeedway, to 44 points and two wins for Ford. Dodge is in third place with 36 points and one win, with Pontiac in fourth, with 35 points and no wins so far this year. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third-highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Bayer Ford) has three NASCAR Busch Series wins at California, while no other driver has ever had a repeat trip to Victory Lane at the track. Kenseth’s wins came in 1999, 2000 and ‘03. Kenseth’s five top-five finishes are also the most of any other competitor. … Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marines Corps Ford) has the best average start at California. In four races, his average starting spot is 6.5, with one Busch Pole in April 2001. His worst start in that span is 12th, 2003. … Jason Keller (No. 22 Miller High Life Ford) and Randy LaJoie (No. 82 Goulds Pumps Chevrolet) are the only two drivers who have been running at the end of all seven NASCAR Busch Series races at California. … Robert Pressley (No. 47 Clorox/Wisk Ford) qualified for the Busch Pole at California in July 1998, during his first tenure with ST Motorsports. Pressley rejoined the team for the start of the 2004 campaign. … Kevin Harvick holds the NASCAR Busch Series qualifying record at California, with a speed of 183.941 mph set during time trials in April 2003.
“I really like the race track. It doesn’t have as much banking as Michigan, but it widens out just as Michigan does once you get a few laps into the race. You usually have two and sometimes three-groove racing, which is a dream for a race car driver. You want options when you come up on somebody, and at California, you have that. That’s why I really look forward to running out there.” – Johnny Benson (No. 1 Yellow Transportation Dodge), who won a NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series race at California Speedway.
“California is a special place for this race team. It was the very first place that we ever ran the Biagi Bros. race team car a couple of years ago. With Biagi Bros. having warehouses and facilities right in that area where a lot of their customers are, it’s really important for us to run well there, just for self pride of the team and for our ownership group. Most everyone involved with our team from an ownership position is based out of California.” – Mike Wallace (No. 4 GEICO/Sport Clips Ford), who is slated to make his 200th NASCAR Busch Series start at California. Although the Biagi Bros. Racing team is located in Concord, N.C., its corporate headquarters are in Napa, Calif. The company has a warehouse complex in Ontario, Calif., close to California Speedway.
“I remember one year when I was about nine or 10, I got a brand-new RC-10-T-2 [remote control car]. As soon as I got it put together, I went out and beat my older brother in a race with it. That was pretty cool.” – Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe’s Chevrolet), on his favorite birthday present. Busch will turn 19 on May 2, the day after the NASCAR Busch Series race at California.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
No NASCAR Busch Series race has ever been won from the Busch Pole at California Speedway. The best starting spot of any winner at the two-mile facility is second. Dale Earnhardt Jr. started from the outside of the front row before going to victory Lane in 1998, while Matt Kenseth started second and finished first in 1999. Fast Facts
What: Stater Bros. 300 presented by Gatorade (Race No. 9 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: California Speedway, Fontana, Calif.
When: 4 p.m. (ET), Saturday, May 1, 2004.
Track layout: 2-mile banked paved oval.
Race length: 300 miles/150 laps.
Posted awards: $1,438,294.
TV: Fox, 4 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: Matt Kenseth.
2003 polesitter: Kevin Harvick.
Top 10 in points: 1. Michael Waltrip 1,180. 2. David Green 1,163. 3. Martin Truex Jr. 1,153. 4. Kyle Busch 1,137. 5. Robby Gordon 1,118. 6. Jason Keller 1,051. 7. Johnny Sauter 988. 8. Bobby Hamilton Jr. 961. 9. Ron Hornaday 954. 10. Jason Leffler 937.
Pre-race schedule (all times et): Friday— Practice, 11:30am-1:45pm; Qualifying, 4 p.m.; Final Practice, following NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(4-30-2004)
- Mayfield to race in Calif Busch race: Nextel Cup regular Jeremy Mayfield will be representing new race sponsor Stater Bros. in Saturday afternoon’s Stater Bros. 300 Busch Series race. Mayfield, who won the Cup race at the speedway in 2000, will be driving the No. 6 Dodge in the 150-lap, 300-mile race scheduled to get under way at 1 p.m. [Pacific; 4 p.m. ET]. In keeping with the car’s patriotic color scheme, Stater Bros. has invited more than 1,000 military personnel to Saturday’s and Sunday’s races. Among the local military commands will be more than 800 Marines from Twentynine Palms and Camp Pendleton. (The Press-Enterprise via BGNRacing.com)(4-30-2004)
- Hmiel in the #24 for California UPDATE: GIC Motorsports announced today that Shane Hmiel will take the wheel for the #24 Quality Plus Services Chevrolet Monte Carlo for this week’s NASCAR Busch Series race in Fontana, CA. Hmiel will replace Mike Harmon for this week’s race. “We decided to make this change for Fontana,” said GIC owner James Whitener. “Mike has been a great asset in the past, and he’ll continue to be a great asset in the future,” continued Whitener. “We’re working to develop a successful multi-car program, which involves improving the equipment and developing additional drivers.”(BGNRacing.com)(4-27-2004)
AND: Alabama racer Mike Harmon is out of his ride in NASCAR’s Busch series, at least for this week. His future in the seat of the #24 Chevrolet has turned uncertain. Sponsorship troubles have left the GIC Motorsports team underfunded. Driver Shane Hmiel, who is bringing his own sponsorship for what now is a one-race deal, will race the car in Saturday’s Busch event at California Speedway. “We’re at a point where we can’t go much further without sponsorship,” Harmon said. “We’re trying to keep the team surviving. I know how the finances are. At some point, it’s business.” After California, nothing has been determined for the race the following weekend near St. Louis. “There is a possibility we won’t go,” Harmon said. “There’s a possibility Shane will be in there. There are possibilities we’ll get money.” The team may even field a second car to run a limited schedule. Team owner James Whitener said, “Mike has been a great asset in the past, and he’ll continue to be a great asset in the future. We’re working to develop a successful multi-car program, which involves improving equipment and developing drivers.” Hmiel, 23, gets his first shot in a Busch race since he was suspended last September for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. Hmiel has completed a rehabilitation program, participated in random drug testing and been reinstated. Harmon, a two-time track champion at Birmingham International Raceway, has 84 career starts in the Busch series, most of them in the past three seasons. The 46-year-old driver from Birmingport has more than 300 career victories in various short track races. “The sad part,” Harmon said, “is it doesn’t look like corporate America wants to sponsor a middle-age driver these days, me or anybody else. It’s killing me to get out of the car, especially after last weekend.” At Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, Harmon ran in the top 15 in the Busch race and was on the lead lap when he cut a tire with 10 laps remaining. “I had fun Saturday for the first time in a long time,” he said. “We still got robbed of a good finish at the end.”(Alabama Live)(4-27-2004)
UPDATE: “There are always rumors,” Hmiel stated regarding the claim he is bringing a sponsor to the GIC team. “I am not in a position to bring any sponsor to the table for the GIC team. We still do not have a full time sponsor for our #15 Truck Team. The Team has been working day and night to find one so we can stay in the championship battle. I am firmly committed to the #15 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Team owned by Billy Ballew Motorsports. We have a top 10 team that is capable of running for the Championship. We had a little misfortune with a rear-end cooling problem at the end of the race in Martinsville but I know that we can turn it around. We’ve been running in the top 5 to top 10 so far. It’s a Championship hunt for the team and I plan on being right there in the thick of the action,” Hmiel said.(Shane Hmiel Site)(4-30-2004)
- Cogswell to RCR? UPDATE 2: hearing current #12 Fitz-Bradshaw Busch Series crew chief, Gary Cogswell, is leaving to go to Richard Childress Racing but not sure in what capacity. Tim Fedawa drives the #12 car.(4-21-2004)
UPDATE: Gary Cogswell has tendered his resignation as crew chief of the #12 FitzBradshaw team and driver Tim Fedewa and will take a similar position at Richard Childress Racing working with its part-time Busch and Cup teams, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Cogswell will work this weekend’s race at Talladega with Fedewa before he leaves. Fedewa is currently ninth in points. “While we wish Gary the very best of luck, we feel the team can continue to build on the positive momentum it has built so far,” said team co-owner Armando Fitz.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-22-2004)
UPDATE 2: Richard Childress Racing announced today the hiring of veteran crew chief Gary Cogswell to head up the #33 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Monte Carlo of driver Kerry Earnhardt in the NASCAR Cup Series and the all-star cast of the #29 Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Chevy in the NASCAR Busch Series. Most recently, Cogswell served as crew chief for the #12 Chevrolet and Busch Series driver Tim Fedewa. Last season, Cogswell called the shots for Todd Bodine in NASCAR’s premier division with the #54 Ford.
“It’s an honor for me to be able to join RCR,” said Cogswell, a 13-year NASCAR veteran. “Most of the racing world, whether it be people who work on race teams, the casual fan or the serious fan, recognize RCR as one of the cornerstones of NASCAR. I was very flattered to be considered for this position and to be honest it really didn’t require much thought on my part to accept. This organization has been here so long and is so solidly planted into the sport that I feel like I’ll never have to look for another job.” Cogswell owns 14 NBS victories as a crew chief, as well as seven poles, 51 top-five and 85 top-10 finishes. A native of Holt, Mich., Cogswell began his professional racing career after moving south in 1991. “Gary has been a winning NASCAR crew chief for 10 years. We’re very excited to have him at RCR working on our ESGR and Bass Pro Shops programs,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “We’ve put together a strong team for those two programs and I know Gary will work very well with Bobby Hutchens (RCR’s general manager of competition team manager for the ESGR and Bass Pro Shops programs) and the crew. This move will only make the team stronger.”(RCR PR)(4-28-2004)
- Waltrip does not plan to run all the races: Michael Waltrip, who leads the Busch Series standings, says he does not plan to run the entire Busch schedule. Waltrip says he’ll re-evaluate his plans after Charlotte in late May.(Roanoke Times)(4-28-2004)
- BACE Motorsports Searches for Sponsorship for 2004 Season: BACE Motorsports, who fields the #74 Busch Series ride for Tony Raines, is looking for primary sponsorship to finish out open dates on the 2004 Busch Series schedule. In its second year with BACE, The Outdoor Channel expanded its partial schedule from 13 to 20 races in key markets, leaving a block of high-visibility Busch Series events open to corporations looking for a cost-effective entry into NASCAR with a championship-caliber team. BACE will take a two-week hiatus from the series, returning to carry The Outdoor Channel colors in Richmond on May 14th. Richmond will be one of the 12 events remaining on The Outdoor Channel schedule, and they are anxious to return to a venue that saw Raines charge to a 3rd place finish from his 28th place starting spot. The Memorial Day weekend event in Charlotte and the night race in Daytona headline an attractive block of races available to sponsors interesting in partnering with the three-time Busch Series champs. Indianapolis, the Richmond return, Kansas, Memphis, Atlanta and Phoenix are also available. In just 16 Busch Series starts over the past two seasons, Raines has piloted The Outdoor Channel Chevrolet to two top-five and six top-10 finishes, including a second place finish at Bristol in March 2003. With crew chief Mark Tutor returning for his second season at BACE and virtually the same supporting cast, Raines is focused on turning top-10s and 5s into wins for BACE in 2004. After Richmond, Raines remaining scheduled races in the #74 will be at Nashville Superspeedway (6/12) followed by Kentucky (6/19), Chicago (7/10), Michigan (8/21), Bristol (7/27), California (9/4), Dover (9/25), Charlotte (10/15), Darlington (11/13) and Homestead-Miami (11/20), with an additional race to be determined.
In addition to its search for sponsorship for remainder of the 2004 Busch Series schedule, BACE continues to pursue the corporate partnerships that will return the #74 NEXTEL Cup Series entry to competition. In 2003 Raines posted an impressive rookie campaign. BACE scored 15 top-25 finishes in 35 starts, highlighted by a 6th-place finish at Rockingham and 13th-place run in the season finale in Miami. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact BACE Motorsports at 704-944-7619.(BACE PR)(4-28-2004)
- Sad News: Bob Eugene Pressley, 71, of 763 Brevard Road, Asheville, died Tuesday morning, April 27, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital. Mr. Pressley is survived by his wife, Doris P. Pressley and children, Robert, Charles, Mike, Kenneth and Patricia. Funeral services will be at 11:00am/et Friday at Bent Creek Baptist Church with burial to follow in the church cemetery. His family will receive friends Thursday evening at the church.( Groce Funeral Home Site), Pressley’s son, Roberty, currently drives the #47 Ford in the Busch Series and Charlie is a past crew chief for NASCAR teams. And see a nice article at the Asheville Citizen-Times(4-27-2004)
- Best Western to sponsor Waltrip at Phoenix: Best Western International, Inc., the first-ever Official Hotel of NASCAR, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc. to serve as primary sponsor of the #99 NASCAR Busch Series car for the Basha’s Supermarkets 200. That event is scheduled for Nov. 6, 2004, at Phoenix International Raceway. The World’s Largest Hotel Chain*, Best Western will leverage the partnership in advertising, promotions, merchandise, a show car tour, at-track activities, and additional programs. “This is another step for Best Western in what has already been an exciting association with NASCAR,” said Tom Higgins, president and CEO. “We look forward to working with Michael Waltrip and his organization on this partnership, and cheering for the #99 Best Western Chevrolet to take the checkered flag in our home base of Phoenix.” Best Western is in the first year of a three-year agreement as NASCAR’s Official Hotel, and is also serving as an associate sponsor of Waltrip and the Dale Earnhardt Inc.-owned #15 NAPA Chevrolet on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. “I am proud to carry the Best Western colors on my NASCAR Busch Series car at the Phoenix race in November,” said Waltrip. “I always look forward to this event and I am ready for the challenge of placing the #99 Best Western car in victory lane. Best Western has shown that NASCAR racing is an extremely important part of their marketing strategy. Now, with their association with Michael Waltrip Racing, I am proud to help expand Best Western’s role in our great sport.” More information on all Best Western / NASCAR activities, including Speed Rewards, a customized frequent guest program designed specifically for race fans, is available at www.bestwestern.com/racing.(Alan Taylor Communications PR), see images of the car on the 2004 Busch Series Paint Scheme Gallery.(4-27-2004)
- Team Rensi names driver for part-time #35 at Calif: Team Rensi Motorsports co-owner Sam Rensi announced today that NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series driver, Johnny Borneman will drive the #35 Team Rensi Motorsports Ford in the NASCAR Busch Series 1-800-PIT-SHOP.com 300 at California Speedway. Borneman will be making his first career Busch Series start. Rensi also announced that Pioneer Services, a marketing partner with Team Rensi Motorsports, will serve as primary sponsor for Borneman at California.(BGNRacing.com)(4-27-2004)
- Fedawa Diagnosed with a Cercial Sprain: FitzBradshaw Racing says doctors released Tim Fedewa from an Alabama hospital after diagnosing his injuries as a cervical sprain suffered when his #12 Chevrolet was part of a 10-car accident in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 Busch Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Fedewa is expected to be ready to race in next Saturday’s 1-800-Pitshop.com 300 at California Speedway.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-26-2004)
- Sad News: Johnny Dodson, father of long time NASCAR Crew Chief/TV Broadcaster, Barry Dodson [currently the General Manager for Rusty Wallace’s #66 Busch team] passed away on Sunday. Barry and wife Jan would appreciate that if anyone wishes to donate in Johnny’s memory be made to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. You can make a donation on-line with a credit card by clicking here. Or, if you would like to mail your donation, gifts can be mailed to:
Victory Junction Gang Camp
Attn: Jayski Computer Lab Fund
311 Branson Mill Road
Randleman, NC 27317
or call 877-VJG-CAMP.(4-26-2004)
- Truex Jr. wins at Talladega: When it appeared #81-Dale Earnhardt Jr. would not be able to pass #8-Martin Truex Jr., he pushed him instead – all the way to Victory Lane. Late in Saturday’s race, Earnhardt Jr. fell in behind the leader Truex – who drives for Chance 2 Motorsports, co-owned by Earnhardt Jr. and his stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt – each with a shot at the win. Truex Jr. and Earnhardt Jr. were running first and second with several challengers lining up behind them when #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. and #21-Clint Bowyer wrecked on Lap 116 of 117, ending the race under caution and sealing Truex Jr.’s win in the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. It’s Truex Jr.’s second NASCAR Busch Series victory and second in four races. He also ended Earnhardt Jr.’s string of five consecutive wins at restrictor-plate races in the series. #2-Ron Hornaday finished third, rookie #5-Kyle Busch fourth and #00-Jason Leffler completed the top-five. #99-Michael Waltrip, who finished 8th, continues to lead the series points, by 17 over David Green, who finihsed 9th. Truex Jr. is third, 27 back. The race was slowed six times by caution for 25 laps. There were 21 lead changes among 11 drivers, with Robby Gordon leading the most laps (46). Driver #12-Tim Fedewa was involved in a multicar wreck on Lap 100 and went by ambulance to University of Alabama-Birmington Medical Center for a precautionary evaluation. He was alert and awake.(ThatsRacin.com)
For race results see:
- Bowyer on the pole at Talladega: #21-Clint Bowyer won the pole for the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed 184.253. however BGNRacing.com is reporting there could be an engine problem with the #21 Chevy. The rest of the top five: #2-Ron Hornaday, #8-Martin Truex, Jr., #55-Robby Gordon and #20-Mike Bliss. Missing the race were #0-Gus Wasson and #03-Robby Benton. #81-Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 10th and Nashville winner #98-Michael Wallace is 11th.
AND Following post-qualifying inspections, NASCAR tossed the speeds of drivers #12-Tim Fedewa and #14-Casey Atwood, sending both to the rear of the field for Saturday’s race. NASCAR spokesman Rick Houston said the teams pushed the roof flaps up in an effort to have the air pushing on the car pass over and avoid the rear spoiler. NASCAR officials also had discussions with the crew chiefs of Bowyer and Hornaday over an undisclosed issue, but eventually both were announced as having passed inspection.(ThatsRacin.com)
Qualifying Results/Race Lineup at:
- Green to Sub for Pressley at Talladega: Robert Pressley’s father Bob Pressley is extremely ill and presently close to death’s door. Robert is using this opportunity to spend as much time with his father as possible in his final days. Mark Green will be substituting for Robert in the #47 Clorox Ford for practice and qualifying at the Talladega Superspeedway on Thursday. There is a possibility that Pressley could be back in the car for Happy Hour and the race on Saturday, depending on his father’s health. Please keep Bob and the entire Pressley family in your thoughts and prayers as they endure this difficult time in their lives.(Robert Pressley site)(4-22-2004)
- Andrews gets Busch Gig: Former Nextel Cup crew chief Paul Andrews has been named to the same position with the NASCAR Busch Series team of driver Kasey Kahne, effective immediately. Doug Stringer, part-owner and general manager of Akins Motorsports and the #38 Great Clips Dodges, said he met with his team at 5:00pm/et Tuesday to notify them of his decision to hire Andrews. Andrews replaces Jamie Jones, who will remain with the team and work with Andrews. “I can tell you I haven’t been this excited about something in a long time,” Stringer said Tuesday night. “Kasey, myself and the team are excited about this. Paul’s knowledge and leadership are going to be a tremendous asset to our organization.” Andrews most recently worked with #99-Jeff Burton and Roush Racing. “We need someone to capitalize on the tremendous assets we have, with Dodge and our relationship with Evernham Motorsports and a talented driver like Kasey Kahne,” Stringer said. “JJ (Jamie Jones) stepped up to the plate when we need a crew chief to be in that position and I appreciate everything he’s done. He will work well with Paul.” In seven races this season with Akins, Kahne is 18th in points with one-top-five and two top-10 finishes. Kahne also runs full-time in the Cup series with Evernham Motorsports.(ThatsRacin.com, Akins doesn’t send PR’s to me anymore sooo…..)(4-21-2004)
- Gibson to Dale Jr’s Busch team AND #1 car close to 12 race deal UPDATE: Tony Gibson will return as crew chief for Earnhardt’s Busch racing effort. Gibson will then go back to Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s #1 Nextel Cup team and John Andretti for the races July 3 at Daytona and July 11 at Chicago. Currently, DEI is working on sponsorship that would extend the team to a 12-race schedule.(Foxsports/Sporting News)(4-19-2004)
UPDATE: been told that Tony Eury, Sr. will be the crew chief, as listed in the preliminary entry list put out by NASCAR today, on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s #81 Taco Bell Chevy and the #8 Cup crew will pit the car – just like it was in Daytona.(4-21-2004)
- APR Looking for Help: Andy Petree Racing announced today that they are looking for some crew members that will travel with the car each week. “We have been able to fill most of positions that are needed, but we are still a couple of crew members away from having our roster complete.” said Steve Barkdoll GM of APR. Car Chief/lead mechanic and a fabricator/mechanic looking to travel each week with the road team is our priority. Experience is key! People that fit these criteria and are looking for a great opportunity should call APR at (828) 698-0335.(4-20-2004)
- Labonte to visit Coast Guard: Justin Labonte, driver of the #44 Coast Guard/Labonte Motorsports car in the NASCAR Busch Series will visit the Coast Guard Unit in Portsmouth at 4000 Coast guard Blvd, Portsmouth on Monday, April 19th. Labonte’s orientation to the Coast Guard will include driving a 41-foot Coast Guard rescue boat. The media will also be treated to a search and rescue demonstration involving an Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., helicopter. (RIR PR)(4-16-2004)
- Crosby to run Talladega UPDATE: Kim Crosby announced during a recent chat on her website that she will be driving a Ware Racing entry at Talladega. Additional races will be announced once sponsorship is finalized.(BGNRacing.com)(4-8-2004)
UPDATE: Female racecar driver Kim Crosby announced, she will once again attempt to make stardom in the NASCAR Busch Series as she has teamed up with longtime NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series owner, now turned NASCAR Busch Series owner Rick Ware to compete in the Aarons’ 312 next weekend from Talladega Superspeedway. Crosby, an ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran heads to the 2.66 mile Superspeedway hoping to bounce back from her first NASCAR Busch Series attempt at Daytona. After struggling in practice, and qualifying, she failed to make the lineup, vowing her to return to the series with a vengeance. Kim, who serves as a junior high school principal by trade has one career start at the Alabama based-track. Crosby driving her #06 Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Chevrolet qualified 30th, and while running in the top-twenty suffered an engine failure which regulated her to a 35th place finish in last year’s Automobile Racing Club of America Food World 300. WARE Racing heads to the track hoping to make their 2004 restrictor plate debut after Kevin Conway, and Stan Boyd failed to make the season-opener Hershey Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Crosby will take the driving duties of the #51 Dodge Intrepid. The team will haul in a brand new Labonte Racing engine for the event, while also bringing Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, Dixieland Electrical Contractors, Golden Flake Snack Foods, Pepper Source, and TCI Trucking, ICCI of Mississippi, and Storage onboard as sponsors. For more information Kim Crosby please visit her NEW Website at crosbymotorsports.com.(Catchfence PR)(4-16-2004)
- Robby Benton Enters Talladega: Robby Benton has informed Catchfence.com that his RAB team will enter the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega. Benton, a competitor in the ARCA RE/MAX Series hopes to make his 2004 debut after failing to make the grid in Daytona. Mac Tools will sponsor the #03 Ford and ARCA RE/MAX Series team Dan Shaver Motorsports will supply the engines. It will mark the first time in Shaver Motorsports career that they build an engine for a team in the NASCAR Busch Series. Shaver Motorsports supplies engine for several teams in the ARCA RE/MAX Series including Billy Venturini, and Ron Cox. Benton also mentioned the team hopes to enter a few more Busch events which include Lowe’s Motor Speedway, and Daytona.(Catchfence PR)(4-15-2004)
- NASCAR Busch Series race at Nashville TV Ratings: The NASCAR Busch Series Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, April 10, was the second-most-watched sporting event on cable television this past weekend. An average of 1,007,000 households tuned into the Pepsi 300, a 30 percent increase over the average of 773,000 households that tuned into the 2003 event. An average of 1,416,000 viewers tuned in the Pepsi 300, a 29 percent increase over the average of 1,101,000 viewers that tuned into the 2003 event. The Pepsi 300, won by Michael Waltrip, ranked second only to Major League Baseball’s telecast of the San Francisco-San Diego game. It aired directly against the Masters tournament, Major League Soccer, the NHL Stanley Cup quarterfinals, Women’s tennis and Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby. The Busch Series Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway was NASCAR’s only race over the Easter weekend.(Figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research)(NASCAR PR)(4-14-2004)
- Kyle Busch testing at Gateway: Kyle Busch and the #5 Team Lowe’s Racing Hendrick Motorsports crew are testing at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis today and tomorrow, April 13-14, in preparation for the May 8 NASCAR Busch Series event at that facility.(Golin/Harris International PR)(4-13-2004)
- Smith to fill in for Kahne: Akins Motorsports announced Monday that Regan Smith will practice and qualify the #38 Great Clips Busch car for the rest of the season when scheduling conflicts keep regular driver Kasey Kahne from doing so. Kahne is running full-time in both Busch and Nextel Cup.(Fox Sports Net’s Totally NASCAR)(4-13-2004)
- Waltrip to test at Daytona UPDATE: #99-Michael Waltrip Racing will participate in a one-day test session at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Friday night, July 2 Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo Busch Series race. The test session, scheduled for Monday, April 12th from 9:00am – 5:00pm/et is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(4-10-2004)
UPDATE: Michael Waltrip’s NASCAR Busch Series team didn’t get too much time to celebrate their victory in Saturday’s Busch Series race at Nashville, Tenn. With test driver Matt Crafton, the #99 team participated in a one-day test session at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for both the upcoming Aaron’s 312 Busch Series race on April 24 at Talladega Superspeedway and the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo Busch Series race on Friday night, July 2. “We had a good time for a few minutes after the race (on Saturday),” said crew chief Jerry Baxter. “We did our tear down and inspection and made it back to the shop about 8 a.m. Sunday morning. We switched out the cars from Nashville and put in our Daytona test car. We sent it out (Sunday afternoon) and flew down here 5 a.m. this morning.” Most of the crew completed their work at the shop by Sunday afternoon and spent the rest of the Easter holiday with their families. “I hate it that they couldn’t spend all day, but we needed to get (this test) in,” Baxter said. “Michael is pretty darn good at these speedway races and I like to be as good as we can possibly be. I didn’t want to pass up this opportunity.” The Chevrolet Monte Carlo being tested by Crafton was rebuilt after Speedweeks 2004. Waltrip was involved in an incident during “Happy Hour” before the Hershey’s Kisses 300 and the team was forced to use a backup car in the race. The Chevrolet damaged in “Happy Hour” has been rebuilt and the team wanted to shake down the car before the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. “It’s all fresh, new body,” Baxter said. “It’s a new car basically. You have to shake them down and get the fenders to the clear the tires and all that stuff.” With Waltrip unable to participate in the test, the team tapped Crafton, who wheels a Chevrolet Silverado for Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. “He’s just really consistent,” Baxter said. “He’s a good little driver. Michael was busy with a deal today he had to do. Matt just works out well. He can fit in the car and he’s real consistent on his laps. That’s the thing you’ve got to have at these speedways — somebody that hits the mark every time. He seems to do a really good job.”(DIS PR)(4-12-2004)
- Why #30 for Stremme instead of #32? Stremme’s team is listed a #332 in owners points as three others team applied for the #32 before the team changed from #19 to #32 for TrimSpa, so if any of those three teams run they get to use it first. Garvey’s team had the request for the #32 in sooner. Stremme’s team still gets owners points for the #332 even thou it used #30. Had thought the number would be used by the team higest in owners points or as it was years ago, to the highest qualifier.(4-12-2004)
- Mikey wins at Nashville in a wild finish: #99-Michael Waltrip won the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway, in a wild finish. With 2 laps to go, #5-Busch led #21-Clint Bowyer, with #55-Gordon and #1-Benson all in a bunch. Busch either slipped up or Bowyer got a great run and nipped Busch’s left rear, which started Busch in a spin, Bowyer slowed, Benson was right behind Bowyer and didn’t have time to slow and hit Bowyer, Gordon then had no place to go and hit someone, all four spinning thru the grass, #27-Sauter was running 5th, but slowed and Waltrip who was 6th at the time, went by Sauter BEFORE the yellow light lit and the yellow flag flew. #38-Kahne got by the four spinning drivers, who then all got back on track and up to pace car speed. So NASCAR ruled Waltrip the winner, and an unhappy Sauter 2nd [thought he won], Kahne 3rd, followed by Bowyer, Gordon, Busch and Benson. #20-Bliss was on the tail end of the lead lap cars and ended up 8th, the last car on the lead lap. Whew…I think I got it.
#8-Martin Truex Jr., the pole sitter in a backup car and the points leader coming in, ended up 23rd six laps down. Waltrip takes over the points lead and says as long as he is in championship contention, he plans to run all the Busch races.
See UNOFFICIAL Results at:
(these three have the finishing order FX posted which were supposedly correct from NASCAR)
ThatsRacin.com/AP – results
(the OFFICIAL RESULTS from NASCAR.com 4-12-2004)
- Truex Jr. wins pole at Nashville…BUT goes to the rear: #8-Martin Truex shattered the Nashville Superspeedway track record with a lap of 166.515mph Friday and won his second Busch series pole of the season. A total of 21 drivers topped the qualifying record of 163.324 set by Randy LaJoie before last year’s Pepsi 300, starting with #23-Kenny Wallace in the second car out on the 1.33-mile concrete oval. But Truex, third-fastest in the first practice session, added another pole to the one he took at Daytona after #1-Johnny Benson came up just short of matching his pace. They were the only drivers to top 166 mph with Benson coming in at 166.475 in his Dodge. Benson will start second, followed by #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr.[moves up to the pole spot], #22-Jason Keller and #27-Johnny Sauter. Defending race champion and series points leader #37-David Green qualified 10th. Some Nextel Cup regulars who took advantage of the off weekend didn’t fare as well. #55-Robby Gordon will start 11th, and #99-Michael Waltrip 22nd. [Also #38-Kahne starts 6th and #60-Biffle 16th]. 11 drivers failed to make the race.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
AND to the back: pole sitter #8-Martin Truex, Jr. wrecked early in Happy Hour and pulled out the backup car. He will have to go to the rear of the field for the start of the race.(BGNRacing.com)
For qualifying results/starting lineups see:
- #22 Looking for a primary sponsor for certain events:This will be the second of 13 races that Miller High Life will appear as an associate sponsor on the side of Jason Keller’s #22 ppc Racing Ford. The company will appear as a primary for 19 of the 34 races on the schedule.(ppc Racing PR)(4-8-2004)
- Reutimann to drive #87 at Nashville with sposnorship from Naturalgear: NEMCO Motorsports announced that David Reutimann will pilot their #87 Chevy with sponsorship from NaturalGear in this weekend’s Pepsi 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. NaturalGear, an innovative camouflage apparel company based in Little Rock, Arkansas, first teamed up with NEMCO and Reutimann for a one-race deal in 2002. Most recently, the trio picked up a 21st-place finish at North Carolina Motor Speedway in February. Claiming his career-best finish of fifth at Nashville Superspeedway one year ago, Reutimann expects similar results from this weekend’s effort. In 11 Busch Series starts, Reutimann has two fifth-place finishes and six top-15’s. He competes full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for owner Darrell Waltrip. Accomplishments this year include a ninth-place finish at Daytona and a pole and a third-place finish in Atlanta. For more information on the company and its products, visit www.naturalgear.com.(NEMCO Motorsports PR)(4-8-2004)
- Exide to support teams in Cup, Busch and Trucks: Exide Technologies, a global leader in stored electrical energy solutions, will expand its partnership with four teams among NASCAR’s top three divisions. The teams include: the #0 Hass/CNC Racing Chevrolet driven by Ward Burton in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series; the #17 Reiser Enterprises Ford driven by Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR Busch Series; the #6 Tommy Baldwin Racing Dodge driven by multiple drivers in the NASCAR Busch Series; and the #21 Innovative Motorsports Toyota driven by Hank Parker, Jr. in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 2004, Exide will adorn the racing vehicles and transporters of Reiser Enterprises (as well as Kenseth’s uniform), Tommy Baldwin Racing and Innovative Motorsports. In addition, there will be advertising and promotional opportunities with all four teams, which includes Haas/CNC Racing. This season marks the third consecutive year Exide and Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) have had an association.(Pro Sports Marketing PR)(4-8-2004)
- Fike in the #43 at Nashville, woth Big M as sponsor: United States Auto Club and NASCAR Busch Series Driver, Aaron Fike will carry the Big M Motorfest presented by Brim’s Snack Foods logo this weekend during the Pepsi 300 Busch Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. The Big M Motorfest presented by Brim’s Snack Foods joins primary sponsor Ollie’s Bargain Outlet on the #43 Curb-Agajanian Motorsports entry. The #43 team won last season’s fall race at Richmond with Johnny Sauter behind the wheel. Fike has been involved in USAC since the age of 17. In 2001, he became the youngest winner in the history of the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series to win a feature, with victory at Richmond International Raceway. That same year he took home the title of USAC Silver Crown Series Rookie of the Year. Fike’s schedule this year includes running select events with the NASCAR Busch Series and chasing USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series Title. The 2000 USAC National Sprint Car Series Rookie of the Year also plans on running USAC’s Valvoline National Sprint Car Series and National Midget Series. To order tickets or for more information on the Big M Motorfest presented by Brim’s Snack Foods, please visit the new website at www.bigmmotorfest.com.(PR)(4-8-2004)
- Mexican to NASCAR? Jimmy Morales, who co-drives a Chip Ganassi Racing CompUSA Lexus with Mexican countryman Luis Diaz, enjoys the international lineup comprising the Grand American circuit. But with speculation that NASCAR soon could schedule Busch or truck series races in Mexico City, Morales also is looking toward driving stock cars. “In my heart, I would love to go to NASCAR,” Morales said. “It’s been my dream ever since I started racing motorcycles in Mexico. But I cannot be more satisfied than where I am right now. It has a nice international flavor, and I like that.”(Arizona Republic)(4-8-2004)
- Travis Geisler Joins Steve Grissom At DCT Motorsports: Travis Geisler, the 23-year-old Pennsylvanian who has caught a lot of racing eyes the past couple of years, will run his first of 11 NASCAR Busch Series race for DCT Motorsports starting this weekend at the 1.366-mile Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. Geisler, who has run a myriad of different series in his career including ASA, ARCA and Southwest Tour, joins driver Steve Grissom with the team, led by veteran championship crew chief Ricky Pearson. Grissom, a former NASCAR Busch Series national champion, will serve as the team’s general manager as well as driving 12 remaining races this season. “We’re very excited to have Travis joining us,” said John McGill, the Ohio native who co-owns DCT Motorsports with Carl Natale. “We’re building our team not just for this year but for a strong future as well, and having a young talent like Travis behind the wheel is a tremendous opportunity for us and for him,” McGill said. Geisler will be the only Vanderbilt graduate in the field Saturday. Grissom returns behind the wheel for the event in two weeks at the April 24 event in Talladega, Ala. DCT Motorsports had already scheduled an off-weekend for the May 1 California Speedway race, but Geisler will run again in the May 8 race at Gateway and May 14 race at Richmond before Grissom returns for the May 23 event at Nazareth and May 30 event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Williams Company PR)(4-8-2004)
- Sadler, FanZCar Notes: The NASCAR Busch Series will jolt into Nashville Superspeedway this weekend for the running of the first of two events at the concrete facility. Heading into NSS this weekend, Sadler only has one career start at the 1.333-mile track, which came in last year’s Pepsi 300. After starting the No. 54 Toys ‘R’ Us Chevrolet 30th, he moved up through the field consistently and finished a very solid 19th. “I love Nashville,” said the driver of car 02. “Last year was my first time racing there, and I’m looking forward to going back.” For the second straight week, the SCORE team will unload on Friday with a brand new black and white Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The team finished 25th at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend in another new automobile. “We are taking a brand new car to Nashville. Although we finished 25th at Texas, I was very pleased with the progress we made on the car during the race. I honestly feel like we are starting to get a better handle on the new tire and aero package,” commented the Emporia, Virginia native.
The No. 02 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is still looking for a win, along with their first top ten finish of the season, and it could very easily come on Saturday. “As far as what it will take to win, it will take a better qualifying effort than we have been doing the past few races, and a good day on pit road. I have struggled on restarts the last couple of races getting the car to hook up, so there are a couple of things we will be trying to address this week,” continued the veteran driver.
The FanZCar, and SCORE Motorsports would like to welcome back East Tennessee Trailers on board the #02 machine this weekend. ETT served as the primary sponsor for Sadler’s 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut a few weeks ago at Bristol, and has reattached to the team as an associate sponsor for this weekend. “We are proud of our association with ETT, and look forward to having them on the car this weekend,” added the two-time NASCAR Busch winner.
Sadler also hopes to reach out to his fellow competitors and fans about Autism Awareness month. 2001 brought an unexpected turn of events for Hermie Sadler, the father. His daughter Hailie Dru was diagnosed with Autism. Ever since, Hermie has been a tireless advocate for Autism awareness. “My No. 1 priority is to create awareness,” he said. “Through awareness comes funds. Donations are important, but more than that we really want people to be aware of autism, what it is, and what we can do about it. We want people to know what autism is and what they can do. We want to show parents that may think their child is different in some way that help is out there.”
Charles Zepfel, Becca Broch, Thomas Irby, Ronnie Page, and Michael Weishaar will all have a huge weekend ahead of them. These members will be at Nashville representing The FanZCar and cheering on Hermie Sadler. Rolling into Nashville, Sadler has 232 NASCAR Busch Series starts to his record, 2 wins, 18 top-fives, 44 top-tens, three poles, and has achieved $ 2,274,684 in career earnings.
The FanZCar Scope: SS Racing Inc. is part of the racing industry. We are in the business of providing a fan-based sponsorship for a race team within NASCAR’s Racing Series. This endeavor is known and marketed as The FanZCar. The monetary funds needed to generate the sponsorship for an entire racing season will be derived from membership sold by SS Racing Inc. for the FanZCar. For more information on the FanZCar and to become a member, please visit our Website www.theFanZCar.com(SCORE Motorsports PR)(4-7-2004)
- Chaffin to drive the #77: DGN Racing and Donnie Neuenberger announced that Truck Series driver Chad Chaffin will drive the #77 BG Products Busch Series car in the upcoming Pepsi 300 events at Nashville Superspeedway. Chad Chaffin competes in the #18 Dickies Dodge owned by Bobby Hamilton Racing. Chaffin brings over 80 Busch series starts to the #77 Busch Series Team owned by MOY Racing and Crew Chief Jimmy Means. Neuenberger asked Chaffin to take over the #77 BG Products Ford for this race to try to help the team to work out its weaknesses. With high participation of NEXTEL Cup owners and drivers in the NASCAR Busch Series it’s a tough season for an under funded team to get quality seat time. The #77 University of Maryland / BG Products car has had no luck this year. With incidents including two (2) cut tires in Vegas and Darlington, taken out in Bristol, and competing with fields with an average of twelve (12) NEXTEL Cup drivers it has been a difficult season start for a new team and rookie driver to build up owner points. “We are looking forward to a long season and the opportunity to showcase what we can do. In two weeks we go to Talladega where we had a 21st place finish in the 2003 Busch Series race and look forward to a fresh start…states Donnie Neuenberger”. BG Products manufactures and distributes a broad line of specialty lubricants, greases and chemicals throughout the United States, Central and South America, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Far East. BG products are distributed through a network of independent distributors. Each distributor is assigned an exclusive marketing area and is responsible for the hiring and training of a specialty sales organization. www.bgprod.com. They thank our Associate Sponsors for their support Bay Area Goodyear, Bob Bell Automotive Group, Feinberg & Associates, IHOP, Jenkins & Jenkins, Mona Electric, Plan B Technologies, RV Two-Way / Silvertop Manufacturing, and The University of Maryland. For more information about Donnie Neuenberger and DGN Racing visit our website at www.dgnracing.com. You can listen to our regularTuesay morning shows on the leading radio stations in Baltimore, Maryland, WPOC 93.1 FM and 97.1 “The Eagle Grego and Brian Morning Show” in Dallas, Texas.(DGN Racing PR)(4-7-2004)
- Nashville News and Notes:
You might say that David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Chevrolet) had a pretty good year at Nashville Superspeedway in 2003. He won the season’s first race there with a thrilling last-lap pass of Johnny Sauter (No. 27 Kleenex/Scott Brand Products Chevrolet), and then finished second the next time around to Scott Riggs. Green, who also won at Nashville Speedway USA in 1995, is the only driver who has won at both tracks. The Owensboro, Ky. native also honed his racing skills at the fairgrounds location, in the track’s NASCAR Late Model Stock division. As with Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) and Casey Atwood (No. 14 U.S. Navy Chevrolet), racing at Nashville is always a homecoming of sorts.
As an added bonus for Green’s Brewco Motorsports team, Shad Meier of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans will be a special guest this weekend. Meier is expected to replace the retired Frank Wycheck at tight end for the Titans in 2004.
“As a team, we are excited to get back home and defend our race win there,” said Green, who leads the NASCAR Busch Series standings heading into Saturday’s Pepsi 300. “We are off to a championship year, and … we are focused and determined to win another guitar. It’s always exciting to go to our first NASCAR Busch Series stand-alone event. It’ll be a barn-burner, I promise. This track warrants a good-handling racecar and a fast pit crew. These guys have given me top-five cars each and every race, so the next step is victory lane. We are finally ready to debut our new Chevrolets. The guys have put a ton of hours into these cars, and I really believe that the competition hasn’t seen anything yet.”
Hamilton leads all drivers with three top-five finishes at Nashville, and is tied with Scott Wimmer in number of top-10s, with four. He’s also started in the top five three times, more than any competitor. Still, that first win at the track eludes him. “This is the race that I always circle on my calendar,” said Hamilton. “It’s the one race that I always want to win. After coming so close the last few years, and leading every NASCAR Busch Series race at the speedway, I really have a burning desire to pull into Victory Lane and have them hand me the guitar. Of course, it’s cool to be the hometown guy, but even if this track were on the other side of the world, I would love it. The folks at Nashville did a super job on this track, and it’s always fast and challenging, just the way I like tracks. I really believe after last weekend, that we are back on track and ready to win our first race of the year. I know that [crew chief] Harold Holly and the guys will give me a super car. All I have to do is my job, and we can win.”
Atwood, at the age of 17, became the youngest pole winner in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series when he set a fast time during qualifying for the 1998 race at his hometown track, Nashville Speedway USA. The next day, in just the second race of his NASCAR Busch Series career, Atwood finished second to winner Mike McLaughlin. And not only is Nashville home to Atwood, it’s also home to his team owner, Armando Fitz, who went to high school at Goodpasture, then played football and graduated from Vanderbilt University. “Nashville is home to me, so it means a lot that our team performs well there,” Fitz said. “You always want to do well in the city where you grew up. My family still lives in Nashville, and I’ve got tons of friends there. Running well means a lot, but winning, well, that would be incredible.”
“I want to do well everywhere we go, but I’d love to put up a good show for my family and Armando,” Atwood added. “I’m going to have a lot of friends there, and a good run would mean a lot to us all. The Navy Chevrolet tested at Nashville, but we’re going to run with a different car than we took there a couple of weeks ago. We had a good car at Texas, so we’re going to try it again.”
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
* NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers coming to Nashville …While most of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will have Easter weekend off, five full-time drivers from the series will be busy racing in Nashville – Johnny Sauter, Kasey Kahne (No. 38 Great Clips Dodge), Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford), Robby Gordon (No. 55 Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet) and Michael Waltrip (No. 99 Aaron’s Sales & Lease Chevrolet). Gordon is currently fifth in the NASCAR Busch Series standings, and there’s a possibility that he could continue running in both series full-time. “We decided that if we finished with a top five in Texas, that we would go to Nashville,” said Gordon, who took third at Texas. “The Fruit of the Loom Racing Team is running well with the help of our RCR [Richard Childress Racing] engines, and if we stay in reach of a championship, I’m sure we will continue to race.”
* Busch looks for ‘bookend’ guitar … Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe’s Chevrolet) can’t play the guitar, but he sure would like to add another one to his collection. Busch won last year’s ARCA race at Nashville Superspeedway, and received one of the sport’s most coveted trophies for winning an event – a specially-designed Gibson guitar. Thing is, he can’t play a lick. So, for now, the piece is still resting in its case. “The Nashville trophy is pretty sweet,” Busch said. “It’s just awesome to have a trophy that you can actually play, if you’ve ever taken lessons. I can’t play at all. I had never held a guitar until I won last year’s ARCA race. The photographers told me to hold it like I was playing it, then said I was holding it wrong. I was like, ‘How am I holding it wrong? I’ve seen musicians do this plenty of times on TV.’ “It’s definitely the coolest trophy I’ve ever won. I still haven’t figured out how to display it, though. It’s just sitting in its case right now. I’d love to have another one to go with it. Maybe I could use them as bookends.”
ON THE RIGHT TRACK:
Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) scored the first win of his NASCAR Busch Series career at Nashville in April 2001. … David Reutimann (No. 87 Natural Gear Chevrolet) finished fifth last year at Nashville, the first top-five effort of his career in the NASCAR Busch Series. …Five drivers entered in the Pepsi 300 had top-10 finishes in both 2003 races at the track – David Green, first and second; Bobby Hamilton Jr., tenth and fifth; David Stremme (No. 32 TrimSpa X32 Dodge), seventh and third; Ashton Lewis (No. 46 Lewis Motorsports Chevrolet), third and sixth; and Stanton Barrett (No. 91 AmericInn/Bojangles Pontiac), seventh and sixth.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Nashville Speedway USA hosted NASCAR Busch Series races in 1984, 1988-1989 and 1995-2000. There were nine different winners in those nine races, with Randy LaJoie scoring a victory in the tour’s final stop at the facility. Jack Ingram had three top-five finishes at the track, more than any other driver, and Casey Atwood scored the most poles, with two.
What: Pepsi 300 (Race No. 7 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series)
Where: Nashville Superspeedway, Lebanon, Tenn.
When: 4 p.m. (ET), Saturday, April 10, 2004.
Track layout: 1.333-mile banked concrete oval.
Race length: 300 miles/225 laps.
Posted awards: $962,265.
TV: FX, 4:00pm/et.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: David Green.
2003 polesitter: Randy LaJoie.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday-Practice, Noon-2 p.m.; Qualifying, 3:35 p.m.; Final Practice, 6:15-7:15 p.m.(NASCAR PR)(4-7-2004)
- Kenseth wins at Texas: #17-Matt Kenseth swept by #5-Kyle Busch on Lap 186 of Saturday’s O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, then passed #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr. just as a caution was coming out on Lap 195. After the race was red-flagged, Kenseth then pulled away on the restart with three laps to go and went on to win easily. Kenseth had tried a two-tire stop early in the race. The decision “wasn’t the end of the world,” he said, but it did drop him back a bit as Busch led 147 of the first 178 laps. Hamilton Jr. took the lead after that, but by that time Kenseth was coming fast. #55-Robby Gordon wound up third, with #1-Johnny Benson fourth and Hamilton Jr. holding off #00-Jason Leffler for fifth thanks to a caution on the final lap that froze the field and kept Hamilton Jr.’s faltering Ford from losing more ground. #37-David Green finished eighth and took over the lead in the Busch Series driver’s standings. Nextel Cup regular and Busch Series part-timer Kevin Harvick led coming in, but he didn’t race on Saturday. Green now leads #8-Martin Truex Jr., who rallied from a lap down to finish 10th, by 17 points with Michael Waltrip 43 back and Busch 74 behind.(ThatsRacin.com report)
See results at ThatsRacin.com, BGNRacing.com, MotorsportsOne or NASCAR.com.(4-3-2004)
- Raines takes over #74 ride: Tony Raines has replaced Damon Lusk behind the wheel of BACE Motorsports’ Busch #74 entry, starting with tomorrow’s O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Raines has 143 career starts for owner Bill Baumgardner, posting 13 top-5 and 35 top-10 finishes, including a sixth-place finish at Bristol last week. “Naturally, I’m anxious to get back to racing on a consistent basis,” Raines said. “We were able to gather up some momentum last week in Bristol, and I’m looking forward to extending that success over the balance of the season. I’m excited to be working again with Mark Tutor (crew chief), who is leading an extremely talented race team and am confident in our ability to return BACE to Victory Lane.”(ThatsRacin.com)(4-2-2004)
- Todd Bodine back in the #98, may run Busch with Cicci; looking to 2005: Todd Bodine will compete in this weekend’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race at the Texas Motor Speedway. The Chemung native will be back in the #98 Ford that he’s driven in two previous events in March. Older brother Geoffrey raced the car in the Food City 500 last Sunday while Todd helped crew chief for American Speed Association driver Travis Foster during an event at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla., on Saturday. Foster was involved in an accident in the first quarter of the race and finished 37th. The small-budget Nextel Cup team Bodine is driving for has yet to finish a race. The car has suffered mechanical failures each time early on. The car is normally driven by Larry Gunselman. Bodine [Todd], who is without a full-time ride in NASCAR this year, is trying to put a Busch Series program together with Elmira native Frank Cicci Jr. He’s also working on securing sponsorship for a Nextel Cup program in 2005.(Elmira Star Gazette)(4-2-2004)
- Labonte back to the Busch Series in 2005: Bobby Labonte says he and Joe Gibbs Racing are talking about running around 10 Busch Series races in 2005. Labonte says if they can land the right sponsor they’ll “dabble in that a little bit.”(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show), Labonte is running the Busch race at Texas this weekend in the #29 RCR Chevy – the PR in part Bobby Labonte will slide behind the wheel of Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) NASCAR Busch Series entry sponsored by the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) this week at Texas Motor Speedway in the first of a five-race program with an all-star lineup of drivers. The program’s driver lineup, announced in February at Daytona International Speedway, also includes Tony Stewart (California), Ricky Craven (Chicago), and RCR drivers Kerry Earnhardt (Dover-Sept) and Kevin Harvick (Homestead). ESGR is a Department of Defense agency whose mission is to gain and maintain employer support from all public and private employers for the men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR operates through a network of more than 2,000 volunteers throughout 55 committees located in each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Europe. Labonte will drive the #29 ESGR Chevry with a paint scheme honoring the Army Reserve and Army National Guard. RCR’s #2 ACDelco Chevrolet, driven by Ron Hornaday, is carrying This week’s paint scheme will honor the Army Reserve and Army National Guard. the ESGR logo on the rear deck lid for the entire 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season. For more information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 800-336-4590 of visit our website at www.esgr.com.(RCR PR), see my 2004 Busch Series Paint Scheme page for images of the cars(4-1-2004)
- Tracy Hines in the #6: The second leg of the Hungry Drivers program begins this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway when Tracy Hines takes the controls of the #6 Hellmann’s Dodge. Hines, an Indiana native and two time open-wheel champion, will make his first career NASCAR Busch series start in the O’Reilly 300. Hellmann’s mayonnaise will make its debut as the primary sponsor on the #6 Dodge in the O’Reilly 300. Hellmann’s mayonnaise will be featured as primary sponsor again at Richmond and Dover. Sponsored by Ragu pasta sauce, Shedd’s Spread Country Crock and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, car owner Tommy Baldwin Racing will place four up and coming “hungry” drivers behind the wheel of the #6 Hungry Drivers Dodge in 12 races throughout the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season. Three drivers have been named including Paul Wolfe, Mark McFarland and Tracy Hines. A fourth driver is expected later in the season. Each driver will compete in three races; at the end of the season the driver who turns in the best performance will be in a prime position to secure a full Busch ride in 2005.(Bulldawg Marketing PR)(4-1-2004)
- New Driver to run a few races in the #36: Travis Geisler tested the #36 Chevrolet for DCT Motorsports yesterday [3/30] at Nashville Superspeedway. He is expected to run 5-8 races with the team later in the year. Steve Grissom will run the other races. The team is not entered this weekend at Texas, but plans on running 25-28 races this season.(BGNRacing.com)(4-1-2004)
- Busch wins the pole at Texas: #5-Kyle Busch snagged his second Busch series pole of the season and his career for Saturday’s O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch turned a lap of 189.847mph. #60-Greg Biffle was second fastest at 189.827mph, followed by #37-David Green, #87-Joe Nemechek and last weeks race winner, #8-Martin Truex Jr.
Missing the race were six drivers: #51-Stan Boyd, #39-Brad Teague, #77-Donnie Neuenberger, #16-Justin Ashburn, #0-Blake Mallory and #52-Bruce Bechtel.(ThatsRacin.com)
Qualifying Results/Starting Lineups at ThatsRacin.com, BGNRacing.com or NASCAR.com.(4-1-2004)