Beating Around the Busch: Chapter seven, Nashville
By: Thomas Chemris
Steve Grissom returned to the NASCAR ranks as he got behind the wheel of DLP Racing entry at Nashville. Sponsored by football quarterback Doug Flutie, and his organization to help autistic children, Grissom started the event thirty- fourth and finished fortieth after being involved in a lap twenty-one crash.
Stanton Barrett, finished sixth in Nashville, believes the real Busch season has started.
"In a lot of ways it seems the Busch Series season doesn't really start until the Nashville race", said Barrett. "This is the first time all year we have run away from the Winston Cup guys. I don't have any problem running with them and, in a lot of ways, I enjoy the challenge. But this is the first race where just about everybody in it is running for the Busch championship, and just about everybody is a Busch regular.'
Barrett also weighed in on NASCAR's gentleman's agreement about racing to the yellow.
"I think we probably need to do away with it. Just say, 'No passing after the yellow flag comes out.' Now me saying that and NASCAR being able to police it are two different things but, in a perfect world, that would be the way to go. Then again, in a perfect world there wouldn't be cautions to begin with."
Shane Hmiel's streak of three consecutive top tens ends in Nashville. Finishing fourteenth, Hmeil continues his trend of six straight top fifteens.
Bobby Hamilton Jr is one of several native of Tennessee natives who calls the Nashville track home. "The fans here are great and I get a lot of support from them," added Hamilton, Jr. "You go to so many different places throughout the year where you are just a stranger, so it makes it pretty special to race at home", noted Hamilton who finished the Nashville event in tenth.
Another hometown hero, Chase Montgomery had a hard day as he saw his day end early due to a crash was still excited about racing in his home state.
"You're in front of your hometown. People you grew up racing in front of. I think it's important to go home", noted the Daytona ARCA winner.
Gieco Insurance has extended its sponsorship agreement with the Biaggi Brothers Racing and driver Mile Wallace.
Kyle Busch, younger brother to Roush Racing's Kurt Busch, currently under contract with Hendrick Motorsports will be gaining more experience this year by running a limited schedule with NEMCO Motorsports. Busch will wheel the Cellular One Chevy owned by Winston Cup driver Joe Nemechek, who has been sharing driving duties with Dave Reutimann.
The Busch Race at New Hampshire International Speedway, traditionally run on Mothers Day weekend, has been moved to run as a companion event with the Cup series July date.
Fans can enjoy final Winston cup practice, the Busch and Busch North series all packed into one day of racing. Ticket information is available on the tracks website at www. NHIS.com
Many Busch drivers and owners have expressed concern regarding the low purses available to the teams. Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte has felt their pain as it has announced the purse for the May Carquest 300 will exceed one million dollars. Jeff Green has won the last two May events, however he is not scheduled to run in this years competition.
Michael Waltrip and his Aaron's Dream Machine have announced they will compete under the lights at the Richmond International Speedway on May second. In addition, the team has committed to the fall event at the facility.
Many teams who had planned to test at Richmond had their plans dampened by Mother Nature as all three test dates were rained out.
Television ratings for last weeks race at Talladega were up nine percent from the previous year. Again demonstrating that the series continues to rise in popularity.
The drivers and teams of the Busch series will enjoy a week off and then return to competition at the California Speedway on April twenty sixth for the auto club 300.