Loudon: Round 17 preview

New Hampshire Ready For "Race To The Chase" Eighth Of 16 Car Of Tomorrow Events To Run At NHIS "Versatile" The Byword For New Car NHIS Hosts Eighth COT Race DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 26, 2007) -- Seven large steps have been completed in the...

New Hampshire Ready For "Race To The Chase"
Eighth Of 16 Car Of Tomorrow Events To Run At NHIS
"Versatile" The Byword For New Car

NHIS Hosts Eighth COT Race

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 26, 2007) -- Seven large steps have been completed in the 2007 debut of the Car of Tomorrow -- NASCAR's next-generation race car.

Now, the eighth step awaits in Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.

And after last week's road-course debut at Infineon Raceway complete, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams will enjoy a bit of dejà vu this week.

New Hampshire's 1.058-mile surface is similar to those at Phoenix International Raceway and Richmond International Raceway, so crew chiefs have the luxury of building on already-thick notes.

Teams will run 16 of this year's 36 events with the new car -- a seven-year project of NASCAR's Research & Development Center. Earlier, on May 22, NASCAR announced the car will run fulltime in 2008.

New Car Displaying Its Versatility

As NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams continue to gather experience with the Car of Tomorrow, one of its mandates already has become reality.

Crucial safety innovations, better competition and cost containment opportunities are its primary attributes; the latter is exemplified in the No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet that Kevin Harvick will drive in Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 300 -- the eighth event with the new car thus far.

Harvick's Richard Childress Racing team has used the same "new car" for all Car of Tomorrow events except last week's event at Infineon Raceway -- an unthinkable feat prior to '07, particularly in the transitioning from track-to-track.

Further punctuating the new car's adaptability: last Sunday at Infineon, 12 teams used a car that had competed in one or more of the six previous COT events.

Setting the Stage: 'Race To The Chase' Begins At New Hampshire

As NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams prepare for Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire, they're also preparing for a most important part of the season -- the "Race to the Chase."

It's the 10-week, 10-event stretch that precedes the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and helps establish the field. The 2007 "Race to the Chase" begins Sunday at New Hampshire and culminates with race No. 26 on the series schedule -- Sept. 8 at Richmond International Raceway.

But before that, teams must tackle a tough summer gauntlet with challenges like Daytona International Speedway's high-banked layout; Indianapolis Motor Speedway's historic, tight turns; the demanding road course at Watkins Glen and the heated August night race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

On The Line: Kurt Busch Hopes For Continued NHIS Success

Two-time New Hampshire winner Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)was the guest Tuesday, on the weekly NASCAR Teleconference.

Following are some of the highlights of his conversation with media from across the country.

Q: What's the outlook for gaining points at a track where you've had a lot of success?

BUSCH: I enjoy running at New Hampshire. The track has been kind to me in the past, especially with the run we do need to make it's a good place to get started. We just need to find little things here and there every week that has hampered our progress. It's been an interesting season thus far. We've had some great success. Almost won a race at Texas, Phoenix, Daytona, led the most laps at Charlotte. So good things all around, but we just need to start putting exclamation points at the end of these races so we can come home in the top five and gather the points that we think we deserve.

Q: You've had some success at New Hampshire. Is this a spring board to the championship for you?

BUSCH: It's definitely a great race that you need to run well in just because the first race at New Hampshire leads into the second race at New Hampshire, which is the start of the Chase. If you have success in July, it usually translates into a good race in September. The way you have to look at all the Chase races is, "Hey, if we race in the spring time at Phoenix, you better be on your game to gather all the notes that you can because you have to race at Phoenix during the Chase. So the first race is always an important race to start off strong.

Q: Has your boss -- Roger Penske -- looked at bringing your brother Kyle to Penske Racing?

BUSCH: Penske Racing would be stupid not to look at Kyle. That talk is under way, just as Kyle's looking at all the other race team's out there. He's talking with anybody that he can. The kid's an ultimate talent. He's a proven race winner, 22-years-old. He's going to find a place to land and he's going to land on his feet.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Roger Penske
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Team Penske