October 2005 Busch Series Archive
- News regarding Shane Hmiel’s suspension can be found on the Hmiel Suspension page.
- More on Glynn Motorsports: Talk in the Atlanta garage this weekend has CTS driver Tracy Hines leaving ThorSport for Glynn Motorsports and a ride in the Busch Series next season. It’s unclear if this is the #58 currently driven by Regan Smith or a second car. Neither Hines nor the team would comment about a possible deal. Glynn is also close to signing Tim Fedewa for a return to their CTS program in ’06.(BGNRacing.com)(10-29-2005)
- Davis in the #12 at Texas: Kertus Davis must have said all the right things in his interview. Less than 24 hours after his first meeting with FitzBradshaw Racing, Davis worked out a deal Friday to drive the team’s #12 Dodge in next weekend’s Busch Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Davis said he was contacted by team owner Armando Fitz and Dodge on Thursday, because of what he and his father had accomplished on a shoestring budget. Davis’ best finish so far this season was a 10th at Talladega in April. He also qualified 11th at Pikes Peak in July.(Spartanburg Herald via BGNRacing.com)(10-29-2005)
- Chaffin gets ride in #16: former Wyler Racing and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chad Chaffin will reunite with Day Enterprises and will pilot the #16 Chevrolet for the O’Reilly Challenge 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The last time Chaffin, who also piloted the Germain Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series earlier this year drove for the team rolls back to 2002 where the duo collected a best starting position of 22nd (April, 2002) at Nashville with a best finish of 12th at Talladega in April.(Catchfence)(10-28-2005)
- Mac Hill Motorsports, Sauter and Lester Bldgs part ways: #56-Mac Hill Motorsports announced that the team, the primary sponsor Lester Building Systems, and driver Tim Sauter have all mutually agreed to pursue other options available to them effective immediately. “This was not an easy decision to make, unfortunately we were unable to agree on mutually acceptable terms to extend our contract with Lester Building Systems into the 2006 season” lamented Jack McNelly, owner of MHM. “We have enjoyed a very good relationship over the past year with both Lester Buildings and Tim, and I want to wish both the very best in their future endeavors” added McNelly. The personnel at the MHM shop began their preparation for the 2006 season on Monday after returning from Memphis. McNelly commented: “We’re going to take this time to upgrade all facets of our operation including building new cars, securing adequate funding, and hiring a new driver. I am optimistic that with the staff we have assembled, headed by crew chief Tony Lambert, our off season preparations will be completed and the 2006 season will be the best ever for our race team.”(Mac Hill Motorsports)(10-27-2005)
- Homestead Testing Scheduled:
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series testing will take place at Homestead-Miami Speedway with test sessions scheduled for Monday, October 31 – Wednesday, November 2 and Monday, November 7 – Wednesday, November 9. The teams and drivers will be preparing for the upcoming Ford Championship Weekend, the season-finales for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Several drivers currently in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup are expected to participate in the test sessions at Homestead-Miami Speedway including points leader Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson (2nd place), Ryan Newman (3rd), Carl Edwards (5th), Rusty Wallace (6th) , Mark Martin (7th) Kurt Busch (8th) and Matt Kenseth (9th). Driver participation is tentative and subject to change.
The test sessions are closed to the general public until further notice due to repairs on the Speedway grandstands following Hurricane Wilma.
For more information or to order tickets to Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, please call (305) 230-RACE or log on the Speedway’s official website – homesteadmiamispeedway.com.
Homestead-Miami Speedway NASCAR Testing Schedule
(Driver/Team Participation Tentative, Subject to Change)
NASCAR Busch Series Drivers/Teams
Monday, October 31 – Tuesday, November 1
Denny Hamlin; Joe Gibbs Racing; #20; Rockwell Automation Chevrolet
Kevin Hamlin; Biagi Brothers; #4; GEICO Dodge
Jason Leffler; Braun Racing; #32; Voxbox/Infiniti Mobile Chevrolet
Reed Sorenson; Chip Ganassi Racing; #41; Discount Tire Dodge
Tuesday, November 1 – Wednesday, November 2
Kevin Hamlin; Biagi Brothers; #4; GEICO Dodge
Matt Kenseth; Roush Racing; #17; Waste Management Ford
Mark Martin; Roush Racing; #9; Pennzoil Ford
Ryan Moore; Dale Earnhardt Inc.; #81; Kraft/Oreo Chevrolet
Reed Sorenson; Chip Ganassi Racing; #41; Discount Tire Dodge
Monday, November 7 – Tuesday, November 8
Carl Edwards; Roush Racing; #60; Charter Communications Ford
Tuesday, November 8 – Wednesday, November 9
Stephen Leicht; Robert Yates Racing; #90; Authorized Action Dealer Ford
Joe Nemechek; NEMCOMotorsports; #87; Cellular One Chevrolet
Ryan Newman; Penske Racing South; #39; ALLTEL Dodge
Martin Truex Jr.* ; Dale Earnhardt Inc.; #8;Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet
* To test NBS #8 on Tuesday, Nov. 8; NNC #1 on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
(Homestead-Miami Speedway PR)(10-28-2005)
- NASCAR Busch Series News and Notes: Offweek:
The championship will come down to the last three weeks of the season. Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. (#8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) has been trying to shake Clint Bowyer (#2 ACDelco Chevrolet) since Bowyer took over second place in the points standings in early July. Bowyer is 100 points behind Truex, but does have a positive precedent for motivation. In 1989, Rob Moroso was in third place in the standings, trailing Tommy Houston by 125 points with three races left. He overcame both Houston and second-place Tommy Ellis to capture the title that season.
The battle for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title between Carl Edwards (#60 Charter Communications Ford) and Reed Sorenson (#41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge) is the closest in NASCAR Busch Series history. Where the award has all but been decided in NASCAR’s other two national series, Edwards has a slim eight-point lead over Sorenson with three races to go. Both drivers have held the series’ lead this season, a first for a NASCAR Busch Series rookie.
To date this season, 10 races have been won by a margin of a half-second or less. Two of the three race tracks left on the schedule produced split-second finishes the last time series drivers took them on. Kasey Kahne (#6 Hellman’s Mayonnaise Dodge) edged Greg Biffle (#66 Duraflame Ford) by .304-second at Texas Motor Speedway this past April. And at the season finale last year at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kevin Harvick (#21 Reese’s Chevrolet) slipped by Jamie McMurray (#42 Bell Helicopter Dodge) by just .218-second.
Four drivers are keying on the last three races to secure a final spot in the NASCAR Busch Series Top 10. David Green (#27 Kleenex Ford) is eighth with 3,520 points, but his ranking is within striking distance of ninth-place Jason Keller (#35 McDonald’s Ford), who is 16 points behind (3,504). David Stremme (#14 U.S. NAVY Dodge) is 10th with 3,457 points, but J.J. Yeley (#18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet) is making a late-season surge and sits 47 points behind Stremme. Not to be overlooked is Biffle who, despite missing eight of the season’s 32 races, is 102 points out of 10th. He is scheduled to participate in the final three races of the year.
And, there’s the five-race winning streak of Ryan Newman (#39 Sony Dodge). Newman has created a new line in the NASCAR Busch Series record book by winning races in his last five starts. Those starts haven’t been consecutive, but they have been in the same season. Sam Ard won four consecutive races in 1983, which is still the series standard. Dale Earnhardt Jr. captured wins in five successive starts, but those starts were over a three-season period and all but one victory (Richmond) was secured at a restrictor-plate track.
Newman, who is entered at Texas, has registered his wins at different tracks beginning with the road course at Watkins Glen. He followed with a win at Michigan’s 2-mile oval, and then won at the .533-mile bullring at Bristol. He was victorious at Dover’s “Monster Mile,” before claiming his most recent victory at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Bowyer still hanging on … Clint Bowyer set a preseason goal of three victories in his first full NASCAR Busch Series season. His win at Memphis last Saturday was his second of the year and enabled him to gain 26 points on Martin Truex Jr. in the championship points standings. But he’ll have to put more distance in between his finishes and Truex’s if he is to catch the reigning series champion in what is now a three-race sprint to the finish. Although there’s still plenty of ground for Bowyer to make up, he’s confident heading into the last three races of the year as there are two 1.5-mile tracks – next week at Texas and the season finale at Homestead-Miami. Bowyer believes his team has an advantage at those tracks despite a 15.0 average finish at 1.5-mile tracks this season, while Truex averages a 12.4. Bowyer likes his chances heading to Texas where he finished sixth this past April. Truex, however, had a bad day, finishing 35th, at the time his worst finish since his series debut in 2001 when he was 38th at Dover. Truex has the edge at Homestead-Miami. Last year, even with the title clinched, he raced to a ninth-place finish while Bowyer finished 39th. Sandwiched in the middle of the remaining schedule is the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway, where Truex finished ninth earlier this year while Bowyer was 13th. Truex has a 5.6 average finish at 1-mile tracks this season while Bowyer has a 9.2, including second-place efforts in his last two outings.
Sorenson debuts at home … Reed Sorenson, a native of Peachtree City, Ga., will attempt to make his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. The 19-year-old is fourth in the NASCAR Busch Series points standings, and is battling Carl Edwards for third place in the points as well as for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Busch Series. Sorenson led 47 laps at Atlanta last October in his first NASCAR Busch Series race at the track. He was relegated to a 29th-place finish following an accident, but was a threat to win the race up to that point. Sorenson will drive the #39 Discount Tire Co. Dodge, the same car he will drive on a fulltime basis in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition next season, in addition to participating in a full season in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2006. Sorenson is also entered in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event at Texas in two weeks. “I’m glad that my debut will be at my hometown track,” Sorenson said. “I always want to do well in front of the hometown crowd. I have a lot of friends and family members that come out to the track, and it’s a track that has been instrumental in my career since I was a kid.”
Surprising Hamlin also heads to Atlanta … Denny Hamlin (#20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet) is no longer a surprise in the NASCAR Busch Series, having been in the top 10 for the last 29 weeks. The Raybestos Rookie will take a fifth-place ranking in the series standings into Texas next week. However, the 24-year-old from Chesterfield, Va., has been quite a surprise in his brief NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career, which looks to extend to four races at Atlanta this weekend. After what was called a successful debut at Kansas earlier this month, where he started seventh and finished 32nd in the Joe Gibbs Racing #11 FedEx Chevrolet, Hamlin has posted consecutive eighth-place finishes at Charlotte and Martinsville. “I really thought that it (NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing) would be [more challenging] because it’s the hardest sport on earth to get into, but I thought I would struggle a lot more,” he said. “But I might still do it down the road.” Hamlin registered a seventh-place finish at Memphis last Saturday before pulling “double-duty” at Martinsville on Sunday. He did not practice or qualify at Memphis prior to the race, which was his first in the NASCAR Busch Series on the .75-mile track.
Chevrolet extends lead in Manufacturers race … Clint Bowyer’s come-from-behind win at Memphis last Saturday helped Chevrolet extend its slight lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings. Bowyer’s victory – the first for Chevy in three races – gives the manufacturer 13 wins for the year and upped its point total to 213. Ford is second in the points standings with 203, but is one victory behind Dodge; Dodge has 10 wins and 192 points while Ford has nine wins. Chevrolet and Ford have each won four times at Texas Motor Speedway in NASCAR Busch Series competition.
This Week’s NASCAR Busch Series Leaders … Through 32 races of the 35-race season:
• Points leader – Martin Truex Jr. (4,511)
• Money won – Martin Truex Jr. ($1,482,773)
• Laps led – Martin Truex Jr. (705)
• Miles led – Martin Truex Jr. (995.63)
• Victories –Martin Truex Jr. (6)
• Poles – Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr. (3)
• Top-5 finishes – Martin Truex Jr. (15)
• Top-10 finishes – Martin Truex Jr. (20)
• Races led – Martin Truex Jr. (19)
• Weeks in Top 10 – Carl Edwards, Reed Sorenson, Martin Truex Jr. (32)
Martin Truex Jr. will attempt to qualify for his sixth race in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition this season at Atlanta. In addition, Truex will compete in the final race of the IROC season with a chance to capture second place. He enters the finale in fourth. … Johnny Sauter (#1 Yellow Transportation Dodge) will also try to qualify at Atlanta this weekend. … Ashton Lewis Jr. (#25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) will spend his off-weekend running in the 31st Marine Corps Marathon 8K in Washington, D.C. Lewis has been training for the Oct. 30 event for the last few months. He will run the race with Team Rensi Motorsports Marketing Director Rob Winchester, Major, USMC (Ret.). This will be Lewis’ first race using his legs rather than his car. … Mark Green and Tim Sauter have parted ways with their teams, effective immediately. Green had driven the #23 BMAR/Vassarrette Chevrolet for Keith Coleman Racing, while Sauter competed for Mac Hill Motorsports in the #56 Lester Buildings Chevrolet. … Ray Evernham and Erin Crocker were scheduled to appear with executives from The Stanley Works outside the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday to assist in showcasing the company’s motorsports marketing program that includes sponsorship for Evernham’s teams in each of NASCAR’s national series.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Harry Gant enjoyed one of the most successful careers in NASCAR Busch Series history. Gant’s 21 series victories tied him with Dale Earnhardt for sixth place on the all-time win list. Gant’s 21st and final series win came at Atlanta Motor Speedway in October 1994 at the wheel of Ed Whitaker’s Chevrolet. Gant started 23rd in the field but moved to the front on Lap 70. He led nearly half the race to win by 2 seconds over Larry Pearson. A surprising rookie, Randy Porter, came home third. Gant’s winning speed of 127.649 mph set a race record, breaking the mark of 124.412 set in the first NASCAR Busch Series race at Atlanta by a driver named Jeff Gordon, who won his first NASCAR national series race by capturing the inaugural series event at the 1.54-mile track in 1992.
ON DECK: TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
The NASCAR Busch Series counts down its final three races of the season beginning with a return to Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5. This race is the inaugural event for the series at Texas; the spring race this past April was won by Kasey Kahne, who nipped Greg Biffle at the finish line by .304-second. A.J. Foyt IV (#38 Great Clips Dodge), a native of Hockley, Texas, made his series debut at Memphis and will race for the first time at his home track in the NASCAR Busch Series. Justin Labonte (#44 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet), returns to his family’s home state as well; the Labonte clan hails from Corpus Christi.
Next Race: O’Reilly Challenge (Race #33 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series season).
Where: Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth, Texas
When: 2:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, Nov. 5.
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval.
Race Length: 300 L/200 M.
Posted Awards: $1,155,720.
TV: TNT, 2 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Inaugural event.
2004 Polesitter: Inaugural event.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Fri., Nov. 4 – Practice, 9-11:15 a.m.; Qualifying 5:05 p.m. (impound).(NASCAR PR)(10-27-2005)
- Rusty wrecks at Texas testing: Cup regular Rusty Wallace was uninjured when a right front tire blew and sent him into the Turn 4 wall Monday afternoon, severely damaging one of his Busch Series Dodge Chargers. Wallace said the tire blew when a swaybar chain that was a few inches too long allowed a bolt head to come into contact with the inside sidewall of a Goodyear Eagle radial.
“Just a stupid mistake on our part. We didn’t allow enough clearance [for the bolt],” Wallace said. “Brand new, $150,000 car. There wasn’t one used piece on that car. It was the nicest car we had ever built in this organization [Rusty Wallace Inc.]. We spent so much time on it, and a $2 part blew the tire out and destroyed it. This was going to be the brand new Bell Helicopter car that Jamie McMurray was going to drive [at TMS].” Wallace still plans to enter two Busch cars for the O’Reilly Challenge.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(10-26-2005)
- Crew Chief, Driver Fined for Violations at Memphis: NASCAR announced Tuesday that fines have been issued resulting from rule violations during opening day inspection at Memphis Motorsports Park on Oct. 21. Steve Kuykendall, crew chief of the #92 Dodge driven by Charlie Bradberry, was fined $500 after being found in violation of sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules: unapproved brake rotors – did not meet minimum thickness) of the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book.
Additionally, Mike Harmon, driver of the #24 Chevrolet, was fined $500 for also violating 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (steering idler arm was not solid).(NASCAR)(10-26-2005)
- Green leaves KCR: Upon mutual agreement, Mark Green has stepped down from his driving responsibilities with the #23 BMAR/Vassarette Chevrolet for the remainder of the 2005 season. Keith Coleman Racing is focusing its immediate attention in search of a driver to complete the balance of the season in Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead. KCR is looking to get back on track with a new driver that will bring success to the team and sponsors, and continue as the driver of the #23 for the 2006 season.(KCR PR)(10-24-2005)
- Compton back in the #59 in 2006: Stacy Compton confirmed Saturday that he has extended his contract to drive the #59 Ford in 2006 with ST Motorsports.(BGNRacing.com)(10-23-2005)
- #35 crew chief to leave? Keller unsigned for 2006 UPDATE: hearing that #35 Team Rensi crew chief, Pat Smith, has resigned the position, but will finish out the remaining races with driver Jason Keller. Keller is not signed for a 2006 ride yet.(10-11-2005)
UPDATE: Team Rensi has offeredboth of its drivers, Jason Keller and Aston Lewis Jr. contracts for 2006. Lewis has indicated he will return, while Keller is mulling options.(NASCAR Scene Magazine)(10-22-2005)
- Green back in the #27 for 2006: David Green has signed a one year extension to return to the #27 Kleenex Ford in 2006. Green’s signing leaves Brewco with the #66 ride to fill as Greg Biffle likeky will not run as many races in the car as he did in 2005.(NASCAR Scene Magazine)(10-22-2005)
- Bowyer wins at Memphis: #2-Clint Bowyer, came from the back [officially started 16th, but made changes to car after the impound and had to fall to the rear of the pack before the green flag] to win the Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park under green-white-checkered finish for his 2nd win of the season and of his career. The win, coupled with points leader #8-Martin Truex Jr.’s 3rd place finish, cut the points lead over Bowyer to 100 [was 120]. #18-J.J. Yeley finished 2nd, followed by Truex Jr., #27-David Green and #60-Carl Edwards. First time starters, #90-Stephen Leicht finished 13th, #64-Steve Wallace finished 15th and #38-A.J. Foyt IV finished 32nd, getting spun early and hitting the wall, and retired the car early running 214 laps in a multi-car wreck. #40-Erin Crocker finished 29th and completed all but 7 laps after being invlved in a wreck mid race. There were 15 cautions for for 81 laps. Six drivers led the race with 12 lead changess, Bowyer led the most of the 254 laps with 137.
Race results at:
- Truex Jr. wins pole at Memphis: Points leader, #8-Martin Truex Jr. won the pole for the Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park with a lap of 119.867mph. It is Truex’s 3rd pole of the season. The rest of the top-5 are: #1-Johnny Sauter, #58-Regan Smith, #11-Paul Menard and #66-Aaron Fike. 2nd in points, #2-Clint Bowyer wrecked in qualifying on his 2nd lap, but the team made repairs to the car so no backup, his 1st lap was good for 16th starting spot, but will still have to fall to the rear of the field before the start of the race as they worked on the car after qualifying during the impound. #-Bill Elliott qualified 6th, #38-AJ Foyt IV will start 31st in his first Busch Series race. Ten drivers missed the race: #86 Marc Mitchell; #04 Eric McClure; #23 Mark Green; #72 Travis Geisler; #91 Charlie Bradberry; #99 Kerry Earnhardt; #80 Brian Tyler; #24 Mike Harmon; #16 Justin Ashburn; #91 Brad Teague.
See Starting lineups at:
BGNRacing.com – Starting Lineup
BGNRacing.com – Qualifying Results
- Labonte not back at Haas in 2006: Justin Labonte confirmed Friday in Memphis that he will not return to the Haas Racing team in 2006. He is currently exploring other options.(BGNRacing.com)(10-21-2005)
- Almirola to qualify for Hamilin? Yahoo Sports reports: “I hear that Aric Almirola, who is part of the Joe Gibbs/Reggie White Diversity Program, will qualify the #20 Busch Series car for Denny Hamlin in Memphis. Hamlin will concentrate on making sure Gibbs’ #11 FedEx Chevy, which currently sits 35th in owner points, gets a good starting spot in the Cup race.(Yahoo Sports)(10-21-2005)
- Hmiel racing: Shane Hmiel, the 2001 ISCARS Rookie of the Year, reunited with Moss Motorsports for the Fall Brawl 150 last Sunday at Hickory Motor Speedway. Hmiel, on suspension from NASCAR, is making consistent strides to rekindle his career by racing with ISCARS and the Silver Crown Series.(Catchfence.com)(10-20-2005)
- Bradberry to make Busch debut at Memphis: After several career Truck Series starts, former NASCAR Southeast Series champ Charlie Bradberry is set to take on the Busch Series. Bradberry will make his Busch Series debut on October 22 at Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, TN, in the Sam’s Town 250 driving for Tommy Ramirez Motorsports. Bradberry will test the #91 Speed Zone Energy Drink Dodge this coming Wednesday at the .75-mile Memphis track in preparation for the event. “I’m really excited to get this opportunity with Tommy and the entire 91-team,” said Bradberry. “I’ve got some experience in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and I’ve raced at Memphis several times in both the Trucks Series and the Southeast Series (then, the All Pro Series), so hopefully things will go well. I’m looking forward to the test to get a good feel for the car. If things go well at the test and during the race, we might do a couple of more shows together later in the year.” Bradberry has four career starts at Memphis. He raced at the track three times with the Southeast Series, with his best finish being third. He also started one Craftsman Truck Series race at Memphis, back in 2003, when he finished 16th with his family-owned operation. Charlie Bradberry competes in major Super Late Model events and in the NASCAR Southeast Series. Bradberry is looking for other driving opportunities and sponsorship to help compete in future events. For inquiries, call 205-678-9205 and be sure to visit charliebradberry.com for more information.(51 Sports)(10-10-2005)
UPDATE: TommyRaz Motorsports will field the #92 Energy Drink Dodge Intrepid for driving sensation Charlie Bradberry in the NASCAR Busch Series Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park on October 22, 2005. The 2003 Southeast Series Champion and younger brother of NASCAR Cup driver Gary Bradberry, is ready to make his own name in NASCAR’s upper levels. Team owner Tom Ramirez said, “I am looking forward to having Charlie drive for us this weekend. He has a great family and an outstanding record. This is a good thing for both of us.” Bradberry receives additional support from Racing Radios and Southern Race Week. For more information on Charlie Bradberry and TommyRaz Motorsports, visit their websites at tommyrazmotorsports.com and charliebradberry.net.(10-21-2005)
- Larry Foyt Busch team UPDATE: Larry Foyt has partnered with David Tomasello, owner of a North Carolina-based apparel business, to form Foyt Racing L.L.C. The new team plans to field cars in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2006. Foyt and Tomasello are currently seeking sponsorship to fund the two-car team, although only car would compete on the entire circuit. The second car, to be driven by Foyt, would compete in a limited schedule. Foyt’s preparation in setting up the new team has kept him out of the cockpit for most of this season with the exception of a couple starts in ARCA and competing in the Indianapolis 500 for his father A.J. Foyt. It was in that race that the 28-year-old driver sustained an injury to his back when he spun and hit the wall in turn one. He was released from Methodist Hospital the day after the race and has since made a full recovery. The team will be based in Mooresville, N.C., in the same shop which formerly served A.J. Foyt’s NASCAR Nextel Cup team. Larry Foyt has experience running a Busch team which he did in 2001-2002 when he drove in the NASCAR Busch Series under the auspices of his father A.J. Young Foyt’s best start was fifth which he posted several times in 2001-02 and his best finish was eighth at Talladega Superspeedway in 2002.(Foyt Racing site)(10-20-2005)
UPDATE: Larry Foyt, co-owner of Foyt Racing, LLC., has hired Brian DeHart as the team’s general manager. “Having Brian join us is quite a compliment to my new team,” said Foyt. “He has the knowledge, experience and expertise to drive our team in the right direction. With so many other competitive opportunities presented to Brian, I am more than grateful that he chose to sign with us. In order for the team to meet our immediate goal of running an aggressive Busch Series schedule in 2006, while keeping in focus with our ultimate goal of competing in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Brian will be a key ingredient to our success.” For over 13 years DeHart, 37, has played a key role in the NASCAR organization in the areas of competition and safety. After 10 seasons of being a Senior Inspector for the NASCAR Cup Series and midway thru his third year as the NASCAR Busch Series Director, DeHart stepped down to take time to evaluate his future. When the opportunity arose to work with young Foyt to build a brand new team, DeHart accepted the position after serious consideration. He is embracing the challenge with enthusiasm. “I am excited about the opportunity and potential that we have here to build a very competitive team that can win a championship one day,” said DeHart. “I am also very thankful for the opportunity that NASCAR and the France Family gave me while I was employed by them. “However, I am ready for the next challenge in my career and I thought long and hard about my return to the sport,” he continued. “It’ll be a challenge because we’re behind the eight ball right now but I believe I made the right decision. We have to lock down a primary sponsor, determine which manufacturer and engine program will fit our team, hire a crew chief and crew members and start building race cars. All of this has to fall in line with Foyt’s vision, the team’s goals, the sponsors’ desires and, of course, the fans’ support.” With several associate sponsors on board, Foyt Racing is currently pursuing a primary sponsor. DeHart, a native of Christiansburg, Va., is single and resides in Concord, N.C. Foyt Racing is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.(Foyt Racing PR)(10-21-2005)
- Braun Racing gets a sponsor: VoxBox World Telecom Inc. announced it will sponsor Braun Racing’s #32 Chevrolet driven by Jason Leffler in the Busch Series. VoxBox will be featured on the car for Saturday’s Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-20-2005)
- Charlie Daniels to sing National Anthem at Memphis: Charlie Daniels will sing the National Anthem during pre-race ceremonies Oct. 22 at the NASCAR Busch Series Sam’s Town 250. And a few hours later when the smoke clears from victory lane and the fireworks, he will pick up his fiddle with The Charlie Daniels Band and headline a post-race concert at Memphis Motorsports Park. His catalog of hits includes “In America,” “The South’s Gonna Do It,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” “Still in Saigon,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which became a Platinum single, topped both country and pop charts, won a Grammy Award and became an international phenomenon. He has also recorded “High Speed Heroes” and “The Intimidator” as tributes to the international stars of NASCAR. The race week schedule at Memphis Motorsports Park also includes NASCAR Fanfest on Thursday night at Sam’s Town Tunica, two practice sessions at the track on Friday afternoon, and qualifying on Saturday morning at 10:35 a.m. Race day will also feature a concert at 12:00 noon by The Winter Brothers Band, a high-energy group of veteran Southern rockers who have previously played on the same bill with The Charlie Daniels Band. And the race will take the green flag following the “command” by race grand marshal Lisa Marie Presley at 2:30 p.m. For tickets or more information, call 1-866-40-SPEED (77333) or visit memphismotorsportspark.com.(Memphis International Motorsports Corp)(10-19-2005)
- McFarland may run 2005 race: Mark McFarland, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s driver at JR Motorsports, may run the Homestead Busch Series race. McFarland will run full-time in 2006 in the #88 US Navy Chevy fielded by JR Motorsports.(10-19-2005)
- Busch Series reported moving to ESPN2: ESPN2 expects to land exclusive rights to all Busch Series races, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, officials at ESPN said the Busch Series races would be exclusive domain of ESPN2 under terms of a new television contract, reporter Andy Bernstein writes.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-19-2005)
- NASCAR Busch Series News and Notes: Memphis
The entry list for Saturday’s final stand-alone race of the NASCAR Busch Series season at Memphis Motorsports Park contains some of the great names in racing – Earnhardt, Elliott, Foyt and Wallace. However, only Bill Elliott (#6 Hellman’s Mayonnaise Dodge), the 1988 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion, is the established name in the group. The others are next generation drivers seeking to establish their own identity in the sport.
A.J. Foyt IV (#38 Great Clips Dodge), the grandson of 1972 Daytona 500 winner and four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, is scheduled to make his NASCAR debut at Memphis driving for Akins Motorsports. He completed his third year in the IndyCar Series last week in his home state of Texas, finishing 20th in the standings running in 15 of the series’ 17 races. He posted two top-10 finishes and one 11th-place effort – each of those finishes were at NASCAR Busch Series venues – Homestead, Kentucky and Chicago. In 2002, he captured the Inaugural IRL Infiniti Pros Series championship winning four races and four poles.
Stephen Wallace, the 18-year-old son of 1989 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Rusty Wallace, is being primed to race for his father’s NASCAR Busch Series team, driving the #64 Top Flite Dodge. Like Foyt IV, Wallace will make his series debut at Memphis. He has had plenty of success in a short period of time, claiming a win at Michigan along with a fourth-place finish at Chicago and a seventh-place at Toledo in four ARCA races this year.”This is definitely a big step for Steve,” Rusty Wallace said. “He’s done a great job on the short tracks and I really feel like he’s ready for this. We tested together at Memphis and he ran just as fast, if not faster, than I did. “This is going to be a good chance for him to get out there and gain some experience. Hopefully he’s going to be able to run all the laps and gain the respect of his competitors.”
Kerry Earnhardt (#99 Bryan Foods Chevrolet), another son of a legendary driver, hopes to break into the field at Memphis. Earnhardt has raced in each of NASCAR’s three national series starting in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1998, but still seeks his first win. He has started 68 races in the NASCAR Busch Series. His first career top-five finish came at Memphis in 2002, his only start at the track.
Elliott, Foyt IV and Wallace are guaranteed a starting spot in the event as their car owners are ranked in the top 30 in the NASCAR Busch Series owner point standings. Earnhardt will have to make his way into the race on time.
NEWS & NOTES, PART II
Truex Jr. welcomes a bit of breathing room over Bowyer … Defending NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. (#8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) is also the defending race champion at Memphis. And much like last year, he can move even closer to his second straight title with a good run at the three-quarters mile track. Truex gained 71 points on second-place Clint Bowyer (#2 ACDelco Chevrolet) with his ninth-place finish at Charlotte last Friday night. Down by 49 points coming into the race, Bowyer fell to 120 points behind Truex after an accident on Lap 50 forced him to the garage for repairs. He finished 33rd. Last year, Truex, who sat on the Busch Pole at Memphis, was 144 points ahead of second-place Kyle Busch in the championship standings, but pulled away to a 205-point advantage after his thrilling win. He beat Greg Biffle by just .305-second, the closest series finish at the track. Truex has gained 94 very key points on Bowyer since Dover, where he was just 26 points ahead of his season rival. “As far as the points go, man, I don’t even know if I want to talk about that right now,” Truex said. “It is just so close and every week it can go one way or the other. All we can do is race our race and let the points take care of themselves. If we start looking too far down the road, we’re going to lose sight of what’s right in front of us. The competition level and intensity right now is pretty high, so you have to be very decisive in every move you make during the race. Bowyer added, “Just two races ago we were on the good side of the luck and Truex was receiving the bad. That’s just racing. We just need to keep doing what we have been doing and let the rest fall into place. With four races remaining anything can happen. By no means am I going to count us out of this championship. This championship hunt isn’t over until the last race in Homestead.”
Edwards has big week ahead … Carl Edwards (#60 Charter Communications Ford), who is running a full season in the NASCAR Busch Series and is also one of the 10 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, has a daunting task ahead of him at Memphis. He will miss practice and qualifying at Memphis as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at Martinsville this weekend, and will be pressed to make it to Memphis in time for the start of the race at 3:30 (ET). NASCAR NEXTEL Cup final practice ends at 11:55 a.m. (ET) on Saturday. Edwards, who led the NASCAR Busch Series standings for 10 consecutive weeks before missing the second Nashville race due to inclement weather and his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup responsibilities at Pocono (where he won), has been battling to move from fourth place in the standings since then. He enters Memphis just 33 points behind third-place Reed Sorenson (#41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge). Hank Parker Jr. will be the practice and qualifying driver for Edwards at Memphis. Prior to his busy weekend, Edwards is scheduled to fly in an F-16 Fighter Jet on Wednesday. He will take off from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, just outside of Columbia, S.C. “I just can’t wait,” said Edwards. “It will be so awesome. I have wanted to fly in a fighter jet my whole life. I spoke with Greg Biffle who flew earlier this year in an F-16 and he said it’s like nothing else. I am totally pumped. This is a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I can’t wait.”
Crocker, East heading to Memphis … In addition to the anticipated debuts of Stephen Wallace and A.J. Foyt IV at Memphis, Bobby East (#46 Armor All Ford) also hopes to make his series debut for ST Motorsports. Last year at age 19, East was the youngest national champion in USAC’s 49-year history, winning in the sprint midget category. Although not debuting, Erin Crocker (#40 St. Jude Dodge) seeks her third series start, driving for FitzBradshaw Racing for the first time. Crocker’s car will carry a special camouflage paint scheme in honor of Griffin Warniment, a six-year-old St. Jude patient who lost his battle with cancer last month. Griffin’s career aspiration was to drive a camouflage race car. “I lost my father to cancer when I was 17, so I realize how awful the disease is,” Crocker said. “Cancer in any form is horrible, but it is especially bad for children. Though I never got to meet Griffin, I am honored to be driving his car.” Crocker is set for one more series start, next month at Phoenix, before setting her sights on a fulltime NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ride next year for Ray Evernham, who last week redirected his original plan to have Crocker in the NASCAR Busch Series fulltime next year. Newman’s streak gives Dodge 10 wins in manufacturers standings … Ryan Newman’s win at Charlotte – his fifth victory in as many starts – gives Dodge 10 wins on the season and has moved the manufacturer to within nine points of second-place Ford in the Bill France Performance Cup standings. Newman’s streak has propelled Dodge to a total of 188 points. Ford has nine wins and 197 points. Chevrolet continues to lead with 12 wins and 204 points. Chevy also leads with four wins at Memphis. Ford has one win while Dodge seeks its first series victory at Memphis.
This Week’s NASCAR Busch Series Leaders … Through 31 races of the 35-race season:
• Points leader – Martin Truex Jr. (4,341)
• Money won – Martin Truex Jr. ($1,432,909)
• Laps led – Martin Truex Jr. (655)
• Miles led – Martin Truex Jr. (958.13)
• Victories –Martin Truex Jr. (6)
• Poles – Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne. (3)
• Top-five finishes – Martin Truex Jr. (14)
• Top-10 finishes – Martin Truex Jr. (19)
• Races led – Martin Truex Jr. (18)
• Weeks in Top 10 – Carl Edwards, Reed Sorenson, Martin Truex Jr. (31)
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
There has not been a repeat winner at Memphis in the previous six events at the track. … Jason Keller (#35 McDonald’s Ford) has the most top 10s at Memphis (four). … Martin Truex Jr. is the second driver to win from the Busch Pole at Memphis, having done so last year. Truex also was the first driver to lead the most laps (133) and win at Memphis. … Two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie (#34 Dollar General Chevrolet) won from the lowest starting position (16th) of any driver at Memphis in 2001.
The NASCAR Busch Series points leader has won the title with four races remaining in 19 of the previous 23 seasons. … Only 38 points separates eighth-place Jason Keller from 11th-place Ashton Lewis Jr. (#25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford), his teammate, in the standings. The initial entry list for Memphis contained 54 cars, tying the second-highest number of entries in a NASCAR Busch Series race this season. There were 55 cars entered at Daytona in February; 54 were entered at Chicago, Richmond and Kansas. The series average for entries to date this season is 49. … Denny Hamlin (#20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet), who ranks fifth in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings, just four points behind Kenny Wallace (#22 AutoZone Ford), will make his second consecutive start in the #11 FedEx Chevrolet in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition this weekend at Martinsville. He joins Carl Edwards in double-duty action. Hamlin collected his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series top-10 finish last Saturday at Charlotte (eighth). … Reed Sorenson trails Edwards by five points in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings (320 – 315). … Clint Bowyer leads the series in laps completed with 5,715 out of a possible 5,800 (98.5%). … Ryan Newman has led 611 laps in seven races; series lap leader Martin Truex Jr. leads the series with 655 laps led in 31 races.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Kevin Harvick’s first full season in the NASCAR Busch Series came in 2000 and he made quite an impression. As the driver of the Richard Childress Racing #2 ACDelco Chevrolet, Harvick won the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title by finishing third in points, picking up eight top-five finishes and 16 top 10s in 31 starts. He also won three races that season with the third and final victory of the year coming at Memphis Motorsports Park. Harvick put the #2 Chevrolet on the outside of the front row alongside defending race winner Jeff Green. There were only two lead changes throughout the event with Green leading the first 179 laps, Harvick grabbed the lead on Lap 180 and held it the rest of the way. A total of 39 cars in the 43 car field were still running at the end of the race. The #2 car is now driven by Clint Bowyer, who, like Harvick five years ago, is in his first full season in the series.
What: Sam’s Town 250 (Race #32 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Memphis Motorsports Park, Millington, Tenn.
When: 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 22.
Track Layout: 0.75-mile oval.
Race Length: 250 L/187.5 M.
Posted Awards: $1,209,486.
TV: TNT, 3:30 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
2004 Polesitter: Martin Truex Jr.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Fri., Oct. 21 – Practice, 2 – 3:00 p.m.; 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Oct. 22 – Qualifying 10:35 a.m. (impound).(NASCAR PR)(10-19-2005)
- Crew Chief suspended, another fined: NASCAR announced Tuesday that Joe Shear Jr., crew chief for the #43 Dodge driven by Aaron Fike in the NASCAR Busch Series, has been suspended and fined for rule violations last week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Additionally, Brad Pickens, crew chief for the #57 Chevrolet driven by Kyle Busch, has been fined for rule violations also discovered at the track.
Because he has been on probation since last April 16, Shear will be suspended from any NASCAR events until Oct. 26, including the next NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday at Memphis, for violation of sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (unapproved hubs, offset) of the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book. Shear’s probation will continue until Dec. 31. He was also fined $1,000 for the infraction, which was found during opening day inspection on Oct. 13.
During pre-qualifying inspection on Oct. 14, Pickens was in violation of 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (unapproved fuel cell installation), which resulted in a $1,000 fine. He was penalized an additional $1,000 for violating 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (unapproved usage of two tires) during the race, also on Oct. 14.(NASCAR)(10-18-2005)
- Yeley to run FedEx scheme at Memphis: J.J. Yeley will run the #18 FedEx Chevy in the Busch Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park to be run in conjunction with FedEx Appreciation Day. See my 2005 Busch Series page for the image.(10-18-2005)
- Travis Geisler to make 2005 debut at Memphis: Travis Geisler will be making his 2005 Busch Series debut this weekend in the 72 Denver Mattress Co. Chevy. Last season Geisler ran a limited schedule in the NASCAR Busch series making 12 starts for #36 DCT Motorsports. Geisler has one start at Memphis Motorsports Park in a Busch Series car. He started 27th last fall and finished 21st. Geisler also made one NASCAR Southeast Series start at Memphis Motorsports Park in 2002, where he started 23rd and finished 13th in his NASCAR Touring Series debut. Geisler and the #72 team tested at Memphis on October 11th in preparation for this event. Andy Belmont and team owner Randy MacDonald will work together to call the shots this weekend at Memphis Motorsports Park. Belmont is a long-time veteran driver in the ARCA Series. Geisler and Belmont worked together in the past. In 2003, Belmont gave Geisler the opportunity to race one of his ARCA cars at South Boston Speedway. Geisler prepared the car, but jointly called the race with Belmont, who was racing his own vehicle at the time. This odd strategy led to a successful ARCA debut for Geisler as he qualified 11th and finished 6th. This is the first of two races Geisler hopes to run in the NASCAR Busch Series for MacDonald Motorsports. He is planning on piloting the #72 Chevrolet at Phoenix International Raceway.(PR)(10-18-2005)
- Foyt IV injured in IRL race wreck…looks to be OK: A.J. Foyt IV, making his final start in his grandfather’s IndyCar, was injured in a crash early in Sunday’s Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway. The 21-year-old Foyt, scheduled to drive five NASCAR Busch Series races beginning next weekend in Memphis, Tenn., was taken by ambulance to Loma Linda University Medical Center after complaining of pain in his knees. He was examined and released. Track officials said the youngster was awake and talking but groggy after being removed from his car, which hit the wall in turn one of the 2-mile oval. Foyt was struggling with an ill-handling car and had brushed the wall several laps before the crash.(ESPN.com/AP)(10-17-2005)
- Newman wins at Charlotte: A rough night at the race track brought the same results for driver #39-Ryan Newman wn the Dollar General 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for a record tying fifth series victory in the driver’s five most recent series starts, surpassing the consecutive win streak of four straight established by Sam Ard in 1983 and tying Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won five consecutive Busch races during a stretch from 2002 at Richmond to 2004 at Daytona. There were a record 14 caution periods for 67 caution laps and two red flags for extensive clean-up. #90-Elliott Sadler placed second followed by #11-Paul Menard, #60-Carl Edwards and #32-Jason Leffler. Completing the top-10 were #47-Jon Wood, #40-Sterling Marlin, #25-Ashton Lewis, Jr., #8-Martin Truex Jr., and #72-Kevin Lepage. Series point leader #8-Martin Truex, Jr. used strategy to pick up five bonus points for leading a lap by not pitting under a caution, then methodically drove to a ninth place finish. #2-Clint Bowyer’s championship hopes in his challenge of Truex took a hit when he smacked the wall after contact with #21-Kevin Harvick. Bowyer eventually returned to the race to posted a 33rd place finish. The 49-point difference between the two at the start of the race grew to 128 by the end. Pole sitter #48-Jimmie Johnson slapped the wall on lap 28 and finished 43rd. Only 19 of the race’s 43 starters were on the lead lap at the finish.
Race results at:
- Steadman Marlin to race against Dad at Charlotte: This weekend’s Busch Series race will be the first time in history that father and son, Sterling and Steadman Marlin, will compete against each other in one of NASCAR’s three elite divisions. The 25-year-old from Columbia, Tenn. will make his third start at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the #12 HOT TAMALES Dodge. He has an average start of 36.5 and an average finish of 35.5, with a track best finish of 32nd (05/24/03). Steadman Marlin last ran in the Busch Series in 2003. Steadman Marlin on Lowe’s Motor Speedway … “I’m tickled to have the opportunity to race in the Busch Series again,” said Steadman Marlin. “I feel this is the best equipment I’ve had the chance to run and I’m looking forward to getting back on the track and being competitive.” Steadman Marlin on Competing Against Legendary Father… “I owe him a couple,” laughed Steadman Marlin. “When we ran against each other in the weekly series a while back, he wrecked me. He’s been helpful to me this week. He told me that the new surface at Lowe’s pushes a lot. He said that it was rougher than a 40-acre corn field. That’s good to know.”(FitzBradshaw Racing)(10-14-2005)
- Serta, Koman Foundation and Sherman team up at LMS: In September, Serta Mattress Company joined forces with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to form a national partnership: Counting Sheep For The Cure. As part of this initiative, Serta donated $290,000 to fight breast cancer and is offering limited edition pink mattress sets for the rest of the year. In honor of this partnership, NASCAR Busch Series driver Brent Sherman’s #10-Serta Ford will sport a special Counting Sheep for the Cure paint scheme in Friday’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Instead of the traditional silver Serta scheme, Sherman’s #10 car has been painted pink and will feature the Komen Foundation’s logo and the “Collector’s Edition” pink Counting Sheep. In support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Serta has designed a limited edition line of pink mattress sets decorated with “For The Cure” ribbons in the upholstery. With any Perfect Sleeper mattress (pink or otherwise), purchasers will get a free “Collector’s Edition” pink Counting Sheep. The program started in September and will continue through Dec. 31. For more information about breast health or breast cancer, visit the Foundation’s award-winning Web site at www.komen.org or call the Foundation’s National Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline at 1.800 I’M AWARE® (1.800.462.9273)(Performance PR Plus)(10-14-2005)
- DEI pays tribute to the loss of an employee: On Thursday, October 13, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. lost a friend and co-worker. Angie M. Safrit, 33, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. She started with the company in 1994. This weekend, her teammates will pay tribute to her life by placing a memorial decal on their race cars. The decal will be displayed on the “C” posts of the #8 Budweiser and #15 NAPA Chevrolets in the Nextel Cup Series. They will also be on the #8 Bass Pro Shops, #11 Menards and #81 Menards Chevrolet in the Busch Series race. The flags in front of DEI’s corporate headquarters are flying at half mast in Angie’s honor, as well. “Angie was an integral part of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. for the last decade,” said Judy Queen, Vice President of Operations. “She started out in the brick building with Dale and Teresa and was a major part of DEI’s growth.” Angie is survived by her husband, Scott Safrit, and a three-year old daughter, Rachel. She is also survived by her parents, Jimmy and Phyllis Miller of Kannapolis and grandmother, Clara Kidd.(DEI)(10-14-2005)
- Johnson wins pole at Lowe’s: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the pole for the Dollar General 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with a track record lap of 187.735mph. #39-Ryan Newman, going for his record 5th win in a row, will start 2nd [also track record], followed by #57-Kyle Busch, #41-Reed Sorenson and #58 Regan Smith [this dude is the real deal]. Points leader, #8-Martin Truex Jr. will start 14th, while #2-Clint Bowyer, 2nd in points [by 49] will start 9th. #81-Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes the race using a past champions provisional. Missing the race were: #0-Kertus Davis [wrecked on his 2nd lap], #15-Michel Jourdain Jr., #99-Michael Waltrip [4th miss of the year], #49-Steve Grissom [Dalr Jr. took his champ prov spot he usualy uses], #23-Mark Green and #67-Johnny Benson. #26-Kim Crosby withdrew before qualifying. #5-Adrian Fernandez and #25-Aston Lewis Jr. both crashed and will go to backup cars.
See Starting lineups:
BGNRacing.com – Starting Lineup
- Sad News: Condolences to car owner Armando Fitz. His father, Armando R. Fitz, passed away earlier this week. Services will be held on Friday in Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in his memory are appreciated — By mail: 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 — By phone: 1.800.822.6344.(BGNRacing)(10-13-2005)
- Sad News: It is with deep regret we share the passing of Lindsey Morgan, daughter of Veteran Crew Chief Tommy Morgan & his wife Barbara. The passing a tragic result of a missing person case in Ocean County, New Jersey. The family will receive friends in the Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley, 10 W. Padonia Road, Timonium, MD, on Tuesday Oct 4, 2005, 6 to 9 P.M. Interment private. Tommy Morgan has been a crew chief in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions for drivers such as Johnny Benson, Jeff Burton, Kasey Kahne & Ken Weaver.(10-3-2005)
AND Tommy Morgan And Family wish to thank everyone for there prayers and support . You are invited to a Memorial This Sunday Oct. 16 @3:00 Western Avenue Church 1206 Museum Rd Statesville, NC.(10-13-2005)
- Crocker to the Trucks and part-time Busch in 2006: Car owner Ray Evernham has changed the schedule Erin Crocker will run next season, pulling her out of a planned attempt to run a full Busch Series schedule. Crocker will instead compete in the Craftsman Truck Series and run a handful of Busch and ARCA races next season. Evernham said the decision was made to give Crocker more time to develop. “Erin not having raced on pavement a lot and not having raced traffic and things like that, we felt this would be a better way to get more experience racing without having all the pressure,” Evernham said. “In fairness to her, I want her to learn without people running all over her all of the time.” Crocker has competed in two Busch races this season, at Richmond, Va., and Dover, Del., and finished 39th and 35th. She was in accidents in both events, and suffered a cracked rib in the Dover wreck. Crocker said she’s looking forward to running in more than 40 races next season, but admits she is disappointed it won’t be in the Busch Series. “I am not going to lie, I was a little disappointed when we first talked about it because I am a competitive person and we had plans,” she said. “But in the long run, this is better for me.”(ESPN.com/AP)(10-14-2005)
- Bill Elliott in the #6 at LMS and Memphis: It’s been twelve years since Bill Elliott competed in a Busch Series event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway but this weekend that absence will end. Elliott has been tapped to drive the Evernham Motorsports owned #6 Country Crock Dodge Charger in Friday’s Dollar General 300 under the lights of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The occasion will mark Elliott’s fifth Busch Series start of the 2005 season. In four previous starts this season the former Nextel Cup champion has one top-ten (sixth at Pikes Peak International Raceway) and two top-20 finishes. Elliott has 41 career Busch Series starts spanning 22 years with one win (Watkins Glen, 1993), eight top-fives, 16 top-10’s and two poles. Elliot made his first appearance in a NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 1983, starting third and finishing fifth. Between 1983-1993 Elliott made just 11 Busch Series starts at Lowe’s posting three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. Elliott, who retired from full time competition at the end of the 2003 season, has to his credit two Daytona 500 wins, 44 NASCAR Cup Series career victories and the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup championship. A clear fan favorite, Elliott won the NMPA Most Popular Driver Award a record 16 times and in 1998 was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time. Elliott will be back behind the wheel of the #6 Hungry Drivers Dodge on October 22, 2005 in the Busch Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park.(919 Marketing PR)(10-12-2005)
- Jay Sauter named to Western Union #01 2006 ride: Keith Duesenberg & Leik Motorsports announced their driver line-up for the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series Season. Jay Sauter will drive the #01 Western Union Speed Team Chevrolet for a minimum of 25 races, and Dwayne Leik will drive in select events throughout the season. The Western Union Speed Team begins its NASCAR campaign the weekend of February 18, 2006, at Daytona. Sauter has spent the past few seasons running races in the Busch Series and in the Craftsman Truck Series. He also serves alongside his father as one of four full-time test drivers for the Crown Royal IROC Series. Managing partners Keith Duesenberg and Dwayne Leik bring years of racing and business experience to Keith Duesenberg & Leik Motorsports.(Keystone Marketing PR)(10-12-2005)
- NASCAR Busch Series News and Notes: Charlotte
Newman sets sights on record … Ryan Newman (#39 alltel Dodge) is entered in Friday’s race and looks to become the first driver in the series to record the most consecutive wins in the same season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#81 Menards Chevrolet) set the mark with five consecutive wins, however those came over a period of three seasons. Newman recently tied two-time series champion Sam Ard’s record of four consecutive wins with his most recent victory at Dover. Ard set the mark in 1983 with wins at South Boston, Martinsville, Orange County and Charlotte. Newman’s consecutive victories include Watkins Glen, Michigan, Bristol and Dover. He did not compete at California and Richmond. Newman’s only other series appearance at Charlotte was earlier this year when he started 14th and finished third. His six-race season has produced six top-five finishes and two Busch Poles. Newman captured his first series win at Michigan in 2001.
Dodge and Ford tied in manufacturer wins … Thanks to Kasey Kahne’s (#38 Great Clips Dodge) recent win at Kansas, Dodge has tied Ford with nine wins each so far this season. This was Kahne’s second win of the season and Dodge’s second victory in three races. Ford now has 191 points while Dodge has 179. Chevrolet currently leads the 2005 Bill France Performance Cup standings with 12 wins and 200 points. Ford leads with 14 wins overall in NASCAR Busch Series competition at Charlotte, while Chevrolet has 13 wins. Dodge has never won an event at Charlotte.
Fernandez, Jourdain return to competition … Mexican drivers Adrian Fernandez (#5 Lowe’s Chevrolet) and Michel Jourdain Jr. (#15 Centrix Financial Ford) are entered in Friday night’s race. This will be Fernandez’s third series start and Jourdain’s 21st. Both drivers competed in the inaugural Mexico City race, the first NASCAR Busch Series points race held outside the United States. Jourdain made his first career start at Daytona in February and was the first Mexican driver to lead a series race when he did so at California. To date, Jourdain’s best career finish of 10th came at Atlanta. Fernandez, on the other hand, has had only two career starts – Mexico City, where he posted his best career finish of 10th, and California. He is scheduled to run three more races this season – Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami. This will be Fernandez’s first career start at Charlotte and Jourdain’s second. Jourdain raced in the spring event and finished 15th. Akins Motorsports announces new driver … A.J. Foyt IV has been named the driver of the #38 Great Clips Dodge for the last four races of the 2005 season and for the full 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season. His duties begin almost immediately as his first series race will be at Memphis on Oct. 22. Foyt, the grandson of legendary racer and 1972 Daytona 500 winner, A.J. Foyt, had a successful test session at Memphis a few weeks ago. Kasey Kahne will compete in Friday’s NASCAR Busch Series event at Charlotte. This will be Kahne’s final race in the #38 Great Clips Dodge before turning over the wheel to Foyt.
Father and son to share spotlight … Steadman Marlin, the 24-year-old son of Sterling, will join his father in the starting lineup at Charlotte. Steadman will drive the #12 Hot Tamales Dodge for FitzBradshaw Racing, while his dad will drive the #40 Family Dollar Dodge entry. The two have never raced together in NASCAR Busch Series competition. This will be Steadman’s 23rd series start and Sterling’s 73rd. The younger Marlin’s best series finish of 15th came at California in 2003.
This Week’s NASCAR Busch Series Leaders … Through 30 races of the 35-race season:
• Points leader – Martin Truex Jr. (4,206)
• Money won – Martin Truex Jr. ($1,403,839)
• Laps led – Martin Truex Jr. (650)
• Miles led – Martin Truex Jr. (950.63)
• Victories –Martin Truex Jr. (6)
• Poles – Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne. (3)
• Top-five finishes – Martin Truex Jr. (14)
• Top-10 finishes –Martin Truex Jr. (19)
• Races led – Martin Truex Jr. (17)
• Weeks in Top 10 – Carl Edwards, Reed Sorenson, Martin Truex Jr. (30)
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Lowe’s Motor Speedway is the site of Kyle Busch’s (#57 Sta-Green Weed & Feed Chevrolet) first career NASCAR Busch Series start. Just three weeks after Busch turned 18 years old, he qualified fifth and finished second in the spring 2003 event. In just four career starts at Charlotte, Busch has posted two victories and four top-five finishes. … Greg Biffle (#66 Duraflame Ford) is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a fall race at Charlotte since the program was created in 1989. His first win came in the 2001 event where Jason Keller (#35 McDonald’s Ford) finished second; his other Charlotte win came in 2003. Biffle’s 4.6 average finish at Charlotte is best among drivers entered in the race.
Greg Biffle returns to the NASCAR Busch Series top 10 after posting a second-place finish this past weekend at Kansas. He moved from 11th to ninth in the standings while running 23 of the seasons 30 races to date. He spent nine weeks out of the top 10 and has fought back from as far back as 16th. … Regan Smith (#58 Samson Stone Dodge) has started seventh and third, respectively in his last two races. His third-place start at Kansas was a series career best. … It’s been 12 years since Bill Elliott (#6 Country Crock Dodge) has run a NASCAR Busch Series race at Charlotte, but this Friday that absence will end. This will be Elliott’s fifth series start this season. … In support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Brent Sherman (#10 Serta Ford) will sport a special Counting Sheep for the Cure paint scheme in Friday’s race. Instead of the traditional silver Serta scheme, the #10 car has been painted pink and will feature the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s logo and the “Collector’s Edition” pink Counting Sheep. … Four full-time NASCAR Busch Series drivers are entered in this weekend’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event at Charlotte – Johnny Sauter (#1 Yellow Transportation Dodge), David Stremme (#14 U.S. Navy Dodge), Carl Edwards (#60 Charter Communications Ford) and Denny Hamlin (#20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet). … Kevin Harvick will be in the #21 Reese’s Chevrolet; he currently holds the track record at 184.445 mph. … The Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle continues as Reed Sorenson (#41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge) took over the points lead from Carl Edwards post Kansas. Edwards trails Sorenson by two points. … NFL Hall-of-Famer Jim Kelly will be a guest speaker and awards presenter at the Dollar General Store Managers Awards Breakfast located at the Renaissance Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. on Friday morning. He and driver Todd Bodine (#34 Dollar General Chevrolet) will also visit with Dollar General VIP’s, guests, product vendors and consumer contest winners from Dollar General store promotions in several different suites and hospitality venues at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. … Kasey Kahne will be sporting a special paint scheme featuring Spy vs. Spy Jr. from the upcoming MADKIDS magazine comic strip on Friday night.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Last year’s fall race at Charlotte tied the record for most race leaders in a NASCAR Busch Series event at the track. A total of 11 different drivers, tying the mark set in 1993, went to the front of the field. Casey Mears led 61 of the 200 laps to pick up the five point bonus for most laps led, but Mike Bliss won the race after leading the final 18 laps – the first of those after going three-wide on the frontstretch to overtake Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth for the lead. This was Bliss’ first career win in his 70th start.
The 1993 race saw Mark Martin dominate, leading 149 of 200 laps with the 10 other race leaders going to the front for only a few laps at a time. The victory was the first of Martin’s record-setting six NASCAR Busch Series wins at Charlotte.
What: Dollar General 300 (Race #31 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
When: 8:00pm/et, Friday, Oct. 14.
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval.
Race Length: 300 miles/200 laps.
Posted Awards: $1,177,422.
TV: TNT, 8:00pm/et.
Radio: PRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Mike Bliss
2004 Polesitter: Casey Mears
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thur., Oct. 13: Practice – 2 – 3:00 p.m.; 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. Fri., Oct. 14: Qualifying – 2:35 p.m. Cars impounded after qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(10-12-2005)
- Stewart, Zipadelli & DLP HDTV to run at LMS: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Tony Stewart and crew chief Greg Zipadelli, will campaign the #19 DLP HDTV Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing in Friday night’s Dollar General 300 Busch Series race a Lowe’s Motor Speedway, taking what they learn from the numerous practice, qualifying and race laps they’ll log and applying it to the setup of their #20 Home Depot Chevrolet stashed in the Nextel Cup garage. DLP is a display technology that is used within the hottest HDTVs, from top brands like Samsung, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. DLP is a Texas Instruments technology that enables incredibly high contrast, vibrant colors, and clear, sharp pictures. DLP will also not suffer from burn-in or fading, and the picture quality of DLP technology is virtually immune to degradation. Both Joe Gibbs Racing and Texas Instruments are using the Dollar General 300 to prepare for the future. In the case of Stewart and Zipadelli, it’s for Saturday night’s UAW-GM Quality 500 Nextel Cup race. For Texas Instruments’ DLP HDTV, it’s for their association with Hall of Fame Racing, the Nextel Cup team owned by NFL quarterback greats Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman that will be debut at the 2006 Daytona 500. The Dollar General 300 will mark the first time Stewart and Zipadelli have worked together in Busch, despite Stewart’s 52 career Busch Series starts and Zipadelli’s pre-Cup tenure in the Busch North Series. And while the Stewart/Zipadelli combo is new to the Busch Series, it’s the longest running driver/crew chief relationship in Cup.(True Speed PR)(10-12-2005)
- Olympia Steel Buildings join #14 team as assoc: Olympia Steel Buildings announced that the company is joining the world of Busch Series racing. Olympia has agreed to an associate sponsorship with FitzBradshaw Racing, beginning with the Dollar General 300 in Charlotte on October 14. Olympia signage will be featured on the C-Post of the #14 NAVY Accelerate Your Life Dodge Charger driven by David Stremme in the Busch Series race. Olympia’s two-year associate sponsorship program with FitzBradshaw Racing will continue in February 2006. For more information, visit www.olympiabuildings.com or call toll free at 1.888.449.7756.(10-12-2005)
- Penalties fron Infractions at Kansas: NASCAR announced Tuesday that fines have been issued to two NASCAR Busch Series crew chiefs resulting from rule violations during opening day inspection at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 6. Jeff Britt, crew chief of the #23 Chevrolet driven by Mark Green was fined $1,000 after being found in violation of sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (unapproved lower A-Frame: unequal length) of the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book. Additionally, Joel Shear Jr., crew chief for the #43 Ford driven by Aaron Fike, was fined $500 for also violating 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (unapproved fuel filler neck: inside diameter exceeded maximum size).(NASCAR PR)(10-11-2005)
- Double duty for Robby at LMS: Robby Gordon will be participating in two races this weekend starting on Friday night in the Busch Series Dollar General 300 driving the #55 Jim Beam Chevrolet and racing the following evening in the Nextel Cup UAW-GM Quality 500 in the #7 Jim Beam Chevrolet.(Ketchum Sports Network)(10-10-2005)
- Foyt named #38 driver:Akins Motorsports owner Doug Stringer named Anthony Joseph Foyt IV, as the driver of the #38 Great Clips Dodge for the last four races of 2005 and the entire 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season. Foyt, the grandson of legendary racer A.J. Foyt, began his racing career at age nine in junior dragsters and by the age of 21, has already compiled an impressive list of accolades. Foyt IV, is currently in his third year of competition in the IRL IndyCar Series. In 2005, running a limited schedule, he has posted two top-10 finishes. “I’m thrilled that we have the opportunity to align ourselves with a talented rookie such as A.J.,” said Stringer. “With Great Clips on board for another season and backing from Evernham Motorsports that will bring engineering support along with a strong motor program, the elements are in place for a highly competitive season next year.” Kasey Kahne will compete in his last race for Great Clips at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on October 14. Foyt’s first NASCAR Busch Series event will be the Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park on October 22.(Akins PR via BGNRacing.com)(10-8-2005)
- Kahne wins at Kansas: #6-Kasey Kahne won the United Way 300 presented by Yellow Transportation and Sprint at Kansas Speedway over #66-Greg Biffle by 0.031 seconds, for his 3rd career win and the first Busch Series win for owner Ray Evernham. #1-Johnny Sauter finished third followed by #21-Kevin Harvick and #47-Jon Wood. #8-Martin Truex Jr. finished 9th and inscreased his points lead to 49 over #2-Clint Bowyer, who finished 16th.
Race results at:
- Rensi looking at driver development: It seems that Team Rensi [#25 and #35 teams] is the latest to jump on the driver developement bandwagon. The independent Busch team is supposedly scouting Trevor Bayne, a 15-year-old driver from the Allison Legacy Series. Following the latest event at the Florence Motor Speedway, Bayne leads the series with 11 wins. Bayne was in Kansas over the weekend with the team.(BGNRacing.com)(10-8-2005)
- Foyt IV gets out of his IRL contract to run NASCAR: A.J. Foyt IV will relinquish his role as driver of A.J. Foyt’s #14 ABC Supply Dallara/Chevrolet. Foyt IV is being released from his contract with A.J. Foyt Enterprises effective after the IRL IndyCar Series’ final race at California Speedway Sunday, October 16th “Anthony wants to try his hand at NASCAR,” said family patriarch and Indy car team owner A.J. Foyt. “He’s learned a lot since we began working together in 2002 but now it’s time for him to learn from someone else. He’s still young and I’m sure some of the advice I’ve given him will start to sink in when he hears it from someone other than me. I admit I’m a little nervous about trusting him to the world because he is young. At the same time, I think we both realize it’s time for him to spread his wings. I’ll still keep an eye on him no matter where he goes because he is my grandson and that will never change.”
“I will always appreciate the chance my grandfather has given me,” said Foyt IV, who turned 21 this past May. “I’ve learned tons working with him and his team, especially how you have to keep working together to make progress. My grandfather has shown a lot of faith in me by allowing me to drive his cars and by sticking by me when times got rough. Without him I wouldn’t be where I am today. Now I have an opportunity to try something different which I’m excited about and I hope works out well.”(Foyt Racing PR)(10-7-2005)
- Truex Jr. wins pole at Kansas: #8-Martin Truex Jr. won the pole for the United Way 300 presented by Yellow Transportation and Sprint at Kansas Speedway with a speed of 178.938mph, a new track record. #47-Jon Wood will start 2nd followed by #58-Regan Smith, #6-Kasey Kahne and #32-Jason Leffler. Missing the race were: #23-Mark Green, #99-Michael Waltrip, #73-Jorge Goeters, #28-Jamie Mosley, #56-Tim Sauter, #72-Kevin Lepage, #71-Derrike Cope, #0-Kertus Davis, #26-Kim Crosby, #80-Chris Horn, #70-Chad Blount.
See Starting lineups:
BGNRacing.com – Starting Lineup
- Rusty to field 2 cars at Texas: Rusty Wallace plans to field a pair of Dodge Chargers in the inaugural O’Reilly Challenge NASCAR Busch Grand National race at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5. Wallace said Cup regular Jamie McMurray will drive a second Wallace-owned Dodge, sponsored by Bell Helicopter, at TMS. Wallace’s Charger in Fort Worth will be sponsored by Miller High Life Lite beer, part of a three-race deal.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(10-7-2005)
- Congrats: Congratulations are in order for the #5 Team Lowe’s Racing crew chief, Chad Walter, and his wife, Sherry, who welcomed a new addition to their family on Friday, Sept. 30, at 12:29pm/et, with the birth of their son, Jackson Grant Walter. The youngest Walter weighed in at a healthy 10 lbs., 15 oz., and measured 23.5 inches.(10-6-2005)
- Moore suspended by NASCAR: NASCAR Busch North Series driver Ryan Moore [and part time DEI Busch Driver] has been suspended by NASCAR, which will result in him missing the series finale at Thompson this weekend, unless an appeal is successfully conducted. The suspension is the result of a post race incident with BNS Rookie of the Year contender Sean Caisse after the checkered flag was shown at Lime Rock Park in the Burnham Hydronics 200 last weekend. Moore was second in the series point standings, just 58 behind Andy Santerre, going into the road course race at Lime Rock Park. After qualifying second, Moore ran near the front of the field most of the day, but had problems late in the race and finished 12th, losing ground on Santerre with just one race remaining in the points battle. After the race, Moore fell to third in the standings, now behind both Santerre and Mike Stefanik. The suspension will cost him a race worth of points, plus an extra 25 points will be taken from his season total to date.
His suspension from NASCAR competition will run through October 31, 2005. Moore had planned to run the Busch race at Homestead in November for DEI, and will still be eligible for that event. There is no word yet on if he will appeal the suspension. Other members of Moore’s team were also penalized including his Dad, Kelly Moore, and his Crewchief, Jamie Lafarno.(North East Racing site)(10-6-2005)
- ppc Racing Bids Farewell to Barnwell UPDATE: Team officials announced today that Keith Barnwell has resigned as General Manager of ppc Racing effective immediately because he has accepted a position with another team. Barnwell has served as team General Manager since 1999, and has been a part of a Busch Series Championship and multiple wins with a number of top-notch drivers, crew chiefs and mechanics. “I have enjoyed working with Keith, and am sorry to lose a friend to another team” said Greg Pollex, ppc Racing’s owner. “Keith will always be a part of ppc Racing’s great history.”(ppc Racing)(10-5-2005)
UPDATE: Barnwell released a statement earlier this week stating his new position as “General Manager of Erin Crocker’s Racing Program” at Evernham Motorsports.'(BGNRacing.com)(10-6-2005)
- NASCAR Busch Series News and Notes: Kansas
More Midwest homecomings … In addition to Emporia’s Clint Bowyer, two other prominent Midwestern drivers are entered in the NASCAR Busch Series event at Kansas. Carl Edwards (#60 Charter Communications Ford) is a native of Columbia, Mo. – about 120 miles from Kansas City – and will be making his first NASCAR Busch Series start at Kansas Speedway. Edwards, currently fourth in the NASCAR Busch Series championship standings and sixth in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, has had great success at Kansas in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition. He won there last year, was second in 2003 and eighth in his first NASCAR national series effort in ’02. Rusty Wallace, the 1998 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who currently ranks third in the “Chase,” will make his fourth NASCAR Busch Series start of the season in the #64 Miller High Life Dodge – and his first series start at Kansas. Wallace, who owns his NASCAR Busch Series team, hails from St. Louis, some four hours from Kansas Speedway. He will be joined in the event by his two racing brothers, Kenny (#22 AutoZone Ford) and Mike (#38 Great Clips Dodge). The last time the three raced together was this past July 30 at Gateway, located in their hometown.
Contreras, Goeters, Jourdain entered at Kansas … For the fourth time this season, the NASCAR Busch Series hopes to feature multiple Hispanic drivers in an event. Carlos Contreras (#40 Cottman Transmission Dodge), Michel Jourdain Jr. (#15 Centrix Financial Ford) and Jorge Goeters (#73 Red Cactus Salsa/US Mortgage Chevrolet) are entered at Kansas. Only Contreras, via owner Armando Fitz’ 26th-place standing in the NASCAR Busch Series owners point rankings, is guaranteed a starting spot. Jourdian has competed in 19 series races this year for ppc Racing while Goeters has participated in his first three NASCAR events this year, all in the NASCAR Busch Series. He was the pole winner at Mexico City this past March. Contreras also has three series appearances this year. All three drivers will be racing at Kansas for the first time in their series career, however Contreras posted finishes of 12th and 16th in 2001-02, respectively, in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition at the track. Other races where more than one Hispanic driver participated are Mexico City (10), Watkins Glen (2) and California (3).
Edwards to go up, up and away … Carl Edwards will look forward to experiencing a different type of speed on Wed., Oct. 19 when he is scheduled to fly in an F-16 fighter jet with the South Carolina Air National Guard 169th Fighter Wing based at the McEntire Air National Guard Station in Eastover, S.C. The National Guard is a co-associate sponsor on Edwards’ #60 Ford, and his series public relations representative, Randy Fuller, is a former Air Force F-16 crew chief. He has been asked to serve as honorary crew chief for Edwards’ flight. Edwards will undergo training and briefing during the morning and will have the opportunity to meet with troops at the station before the scheduled take-off at 1:30 p.m. The flight is scheduled to last an hour, and media are invited to attend. Contact Fuller at email@example.com for more information.
Todd Bodine in for two for Cicci/Kelly Racing … Todd Bodine, a 15-time winner in the NASCAR Busch Series and currently fourth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings, will compete in two races in the #34 Dollar General Chevrolet for Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly. Randy LaJoie, a two-time series champion, has started 28 races in that car this season (he started in a second Cicci/Kelly car at Bristol). Bodine is scheduled to start Saturday at Kansas and again at Charlotte in two weeks. LaJoie will remain with the team and is slated to return to the #34 at Memphis.
This Week’s NASCAR Busch Series Leaders … Through 29 races of the 35-race season:
• Points leader – Martin Truex Jr. (4,063)
• Money won – Martin Truex Jr. ($1,358,679)
• Laps led – Martin Truex Jr. (614)
• Miles led – Martin Truex Jr. (896.63)
• Victories –Martin Truex Jr. (6)
• Poles – Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne (3)
• Top-five finishes – Martin Truex Jr. (14)
• Top-10 finishes – Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. (18)
• Races led – Martin Truex Jr. (16)
• Weeks in Top 10 – Carl Edwards, Reed Sorenson, Martin Truex Jr. (29)
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
There have been four different race winners at Kansas, with the Green brothers – Jeff (2001) and David (#27 Kleenex Ford – 2003) claiming two of those victories. Three former series champions are among the four previous winners – the Greens, who remain the only siblings to capture NASCAR Busch Series crowns in 1994 and 2001, respectively, and defending race winner Joe Nemechek (#87 Cellular One Chevrolet), who won the title in 1992. Nemechek swept the weekend events at Kansas last season. … Michael Waltrip (#99 State Fair Corn Dogs Chevrolet) – has two Busch Poles at Kansas. Paul Menard (#11 Menard’s Chevrolet) captured the pole here last fall. … Greg Biffle (#66 Subway Ford), the 2002 series champion, leads all drivers with four top five and four top-10 finishes in four races at Kansas. … Ford leads manufacturers with two wins at Kansas.
Denny Hamlin (#20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet – fifth) and Kenny Wallace (sixth) are separated by only 13 points in the NASCAR Busch Series championship standings while eighth-place David Stremme holds a slight one-point lead over ninth-place David Green. Just 74 points separate Stremme from 11th-place Greg Biffle – Biffle has competed in 22 of 29 races this year.
… Jon Wood (#47 Clorox/Wisk Ford) will make his first NASCAR Busch Series start at Kansas, but like Carl Edwards, has a win (2003), three top fives and one top 10 in four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts at Kansas.
… Mark Martin (#9 Pennzoil Platinum Ford), the series all-time leader in wins (47) and poles (28 – tied with Tommy Ellis), is entered at Kansas. He has two wins, a pole, and six top-10 finishes in six starts this year. …
Paul Menard has finished in the top 10 in 12 of the last 14 races.
… Clint Bowyer has finished 25th or worse twice this year, the best mark in the series.
… Brewco Motorsports announced a joint promotional venture with the United States Postal Service for the month of October in an effort to raise awareness for Child Health. The team’s three Fords – Biffle and Aaron Fike’s #66 and David Green’s #27 – with the newly-issued “Child Health” commemorative postage stamp, beginning this weekend. The promotion comes at an appropriate time as the first Monday in October is designated as “Child Health Day” and this year is designated “The Year of the Healthy Child” by the Surgeon General.
… For the third time this season, three Raybestos Rookies – Reed Sorenson, Carl Edwards and Hamlin – rank in the top five in the NASCAR Busch Series points standings.
… NASCAR is a final nominee for a Horizon Award for Sports Business honor in the Best Sports-Themed Advertising category for its 2005 NASCAR Busch Series TV ad campaign. The winners will be announced Nov. 2 in Atlanta.
… Johnny Sauter (#1 United Way Dodge) participated in an on-line auction used to generate donations to the United Way prior to Saturday’s race. Sauter bid on a special package, which included space on his race car. He gave his winning spots back to the United Way so it could feature three of its main charity beneficiaries on the car during the event. All three charities listed – American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Catholic Charities – are currently focused on providing aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Since the first NASCAR Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway in 2001, Greg Biffle is the only driver to post top-10 finishes in each of his races there. In the four events held at the 1.5-mile track, Biffle has finished no worse than fourth. He was runner-up in last year’s event and picked up a pair of third-place finishes in 2001 and ‘03. He was fourth in ’02. By contrast, Biffle has one top 10 starting position – ninth in 2001 – and has led a total of 18 laps since ‘01. His consistent finishes, however, outshine his competitors.
Next Race: United Way 300 presented by Yellow Transportation and Sprint Nextel (Race #30 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
When: 2:10pm/et, Saturday, Oct. 8.
Track Layout: 1.5-mile paved.
Race Length: 300 miles/200 laps.
Posted Awards: $1,436,086.
TV: NBC, 2:00pm/et.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Joe Nemechek.
2004 Polesitter: Paul Menard.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Fri., Oct. 7: Practice – 9 – 10 a.m.; 10:30 – 11:50 a.m. Qualifying – 4:05 p.m. Cars impounded after qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(10-4-2005)
- Todd Bodine in the #34, LaJoie out next 2 races: Frank Cicci today announced that he has tapped Todd Bodine to replace Randy LaJoie in the #34 Frank Cicci Racing with Jim Kelly Chevrolet for the upcoming races in Kansas and at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Bodine is currently one of the Craftsman Truck Series hottest drivers with two victories and a pair of second place finishes in the last handful of races. Cicci did say that LaJoie will remain with the team and will be back in the car for the Memphis race on October 22.(Frank Cicci Racing PR)(10-3-2005)