BUSCH: Charlotte II: Kevin Harvick preview

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Friday, Oct. 15; Site: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. Live Coverage: TNT (television) at 8 p.m. EDT; PRN (radio) at 7:30 p.m....

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Friday, Oct. 15; Site: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. Live Coverage: TNT (television) at 8 p.m. EDT; PRN (radio) at 7:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 5:30 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Oct. 14, Live on SPEED (television).

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS - For the first time in NASCAR Busch Series history, the Owners' Championship and the Drivers' Championship were split. The No. 21 PAYDAY Chevrolet team won the Owners' Championship in commanding fashion, clinching the title at Rockingham with one race remaining in the season. The team finished 261 points ahead of the No. 5 team of Brian Vickers, who claimed the Drivers' Championship. In 2004, the No. 21 Chevrolet carries the REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups colors as the team attempts to defend its title. Harvick will compete in 20 of the 34 Busch Series events this season, and rookie driver Clint Bowyer will drive the No. 21 Reese's Chevy in the 14 other events on the schedule.

DRIVER, OWNER, TEAMMATE-Harvick will play the role of driver, car owner and teammate this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway Harvick will drive the No. 21 REESE'S Chevrolet and the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet in the Busch Series and Nextel Cup events, respectively. Harvick owns the No. 33 Chevrolet Clint Bowyer will drive in the Busch Series race. He will also team with the No. 2 ACDelco Busch Series car and the No. 30 AOL car and the No. 31 Cingular Wireless car in the Nextel Cup Series.

RCR 35th ANNIVERSARY-Richard Childress Racing (www.rcrracing.com, AOL Keyword: RCR) is celebrating its 35th Anniversary in NASCAR this year. RCR has set the standard for modern-era stock car racing teams. Based just south of Winston-Salem, N.C., in Welcome, RCR has earned more than 125 victories and was the first NASCAR organization to win championships in the Nextel Cup Series (1986, '87, '90, '91, '93,'94), Busch Series (2001 and owners' only in 2003) and Craftsman Truck Series (1995). It currently fields the Nextel Cup teams of 2001 Busch Series champion and 2001 Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year, Kevin Harvick; 1994 Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year Jeff Burton; and Robby Gordon, as well as the Busch Series teams of 1996 and 1998 Craftsman Truck Series Champion, Ron Hornaday; and the two-driver team of Harvick and Bowyer. Also scheduled for the 2004 season is a five-race Busch Series program with an all-star lineup of drivers and a multi-race Nextel Cup program with Kerry Earnhardt, eldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt, the legendary driver of RCR's famed black No. 3 Chevrolets.

BOWYER'S HOMECOMING-Bowyer's Kansas homecoming had its ups and downs last week. The positive was that Bowyer was named the full-time driver of the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet in 2005. The negative was a disappointing 32nd-place finish in front of his hometown crowd.

THE CAR-This week, crew chief Ricky Viers will load chassis No. 044 onto the REESE'S transporter. This is the same car that Harvick drove to a third-place finish in the May event at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

HARVICK AT CHARLOTTE - Harvick's Busch Series record at Charlotte is noteworthy. In seven starts, Harvick has two top-five finishes, five top-10 finishes and two poles. Harvick has yet to win a pole in 2004, but holds the track qualifying record at LMS.

QUICK QUOTES AND NOTES:

Crew chief Ricky Viers on Harvick at Lowe's Motor Speedway-"We ran very well there in the spring, and I look for us to improve on that effort. The last couple of races that Kevin has been in the car, he has run well, and we've had some solid finishes. Friday night at Lowe's should be no different."

On the team's performance-"We've had good tests, good runs, and as a team we've performed well together. I'm just looking to continue to get better each week. I'm not going to settle for average. I want our bad days to be top-10 finishes and our good days to be top-fives."

* Harvick's teammate Bowyer will drive a car owned by Harvick in Friday night's Busch Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. * Bowyer was named the 2005 driver of the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet last Friday at Kansas Speedway. * Harvick has finished in the top eight in 14 of 17 Busch Series starts this season. * Bowyer will test the No. 21 REESE'S Chevy next Tuesday and Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

-rcr-

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