Beating Around The Busch: Chapter Twenty-four, Richmond
By: Thomas Chemris
Sauter's win breaks Richmond record. When Johnny Sauter took the checkers after starting 30th in the Funai 250, He scored a win from the deepest starting position of any previous Busch event at the track. Sauter broke a record formerly held by Bobby Hamilton and Harry Gant, both of whom won from the 28th position.
Big Changes at Hendrick Motorsports
Nineteen-year-old Brian Vickers, who in his sophomore season in the series announced he and his sponsor, GMAC will make the jump to the Nextel Cup in 2004. Vickers, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports will move up to replace Joe Nemechek in the Hendrick twenty-five car.
"The opportunity that Rick Hendrick and GMAC have offered me is
Tremendous," Vickers said. "My goal in coming to Hendrick Motorsports was to be competitive each week and race for championships. I'll continue to do that this year with GMAC in the Busch Series and look forward to moving to Cup with them in 2004. This is a dream come true for me."
With Vickers moving up, the other notable young gun in the Hendrick stable, Kyle Busch will move into the seat Vickers will vacate, Busch will run a full season in the number five Chevrolet, bringing di-tech.com on board as sponsor.
Team owner Rick Hendrick is enthusiastic about the young Nevada driver.
"Kyle Busch is a talent," "In a short amount of time, he's Shown that he has the ability to go out and compete with the best this sport has to offer. It's going to be fun to watch him race every week with a Championship-caliber team."
2002 series champion Greg Biffle is exploring the idea of fielding his own Busch team in 2004. Biffle, who competes in the Cup series for Roush Racing has been driving part time in the Busch series for Evens Motorsports since the release of Randy Lajoie.
Biffle is no stranger to the workings of a racecar, before starting in the truck series for Roush; Biffle had a reputation for building some of the best short track cars in the North West.
In a salute to heroes, all cars running in the Funai 250 sported 9-11 tribute decals. Richmond was the last event run in 2001 before the September terrorist attacks.
Fitz-Bradshaw racing announced that the United States Navy would return to the Busch series full time as it has extended its part time commitment to a full time deal in 2004. Casey Atwood is currently the driver of the number fourteen US Navy ride. The team will compete in a total of eleven races in 2003 with Dover, Charlotte, Memphis and Holmstead reaming.
'Being able to renew a sponsor for a full season is a compliment to the entire staff of Fit Bradshaw racing, noted team owner Armando Fitz. The team currently field one full time car, the number twelve that began the season with Kerry Earnhardt, and is currently wheeled by Tim Feedewa.
New Jerseys Jessel Racing celebrated the twentieth anniversary of Bobby Allison's 1983 championship by running an identical paint scheme with driver Chad Blount.
Blount starts seventeenth, but fell out on lap seventy-one with mechanical problems.