BUSCH: Gibbs, Mears Kentucky test notes

SPARTA, KY. -- Testing for the June 15 "Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo" opened this week as the teams of Coy Gibbs and Casey Mears concluded two-day tests on Kentucky Speedway's 1.5-mile tri-oval. Gibbs confirmed that the Kentucky event will be...

SPARTA, KY. -- Testing for the June 15 "Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo" opened this week as the teams of Coy Gibbs and Casey Mears concluded two-day tests on Kentucky Speedway's 1.5-mile tri-oval.

Gibbs confirmed that the Kentucky event will be one of five NASCAR Busch Series events he will run in the No. 20 ConAgra Pontiac this season. "We're planning on being here (Kentucky). We're going to run five Busch races and Kentucky was the first pick on my list. I love this place, it's one of the best facilities around," he said.

Gibbs also said his performance in those starts will determine whether the team runs a full Busch Series schedule in 2002. "That's the goal, but if we struggle or have troubles we'll obviously reevaluate. I don't want to come to the Busch Series and miss a bunch of shows and struggle," he said.

Mears, in the No. 66 Phillips 66 Dodge, entered the week 20th in the series points standings on the strength of his first career series top-five finish at Talladega. He continues progress in his transition form open wheel to stock car racing. "Overall, we've performed pretty well, but just haven't finished well at a lot of the races that we should have," he said. "All that will come in time. I'm new, I'm learning the tracks and we're learning a lot about the new Dodge. We have a lot of room for improvement and it's going to get a lot better."

Kentucky Speedway continues its season with "The Kroger 225 Presented by Oreo" on June 15 at 8:00 p.m. The multitude of pre-race festivities will include a concert by pop/rock band Dishwalla. The weekend begins on June 14 with NASCAR Busch Series qualifying and final practice on Lexington Herald-Leader Pole Night beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday also includes "The Kentucky 150" NASCAR Hills Bros. All Pro Series race at 9:00 p.m. Tickets for all 2002 events at Kentucky Speedway are on sale now and can be purchased in five easy ways:

* By phone at 1-888-652-RACE, * On the World Wide Web at www.kentuckyspeedway.com, * In person at either the speedway's Ft. Mitchell ticket office or at the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center off Ky. Hwy. 35 in Sparta, Ky., * At Tickets.com and all Greater Cincinnati Tickets.com retail outlets in Meijer, Hader Hardware and Play-It-Again Sports stores. * At Greater Cincinnati AAA locations.

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