BUSCH: Preseason Thunder: Teams ready for testing

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 7, 2004) -- David Green, the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series runner-up and Bobby Hamilton Jr., one of the division's hottest drivers over the second half of last year, are among those slated to take part in media interviews...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 7, 2004) -- David Green, the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series runner-up and Bobby Hamilton Jr., one of the division's hottest drivers over the second half of last year, are among those slated to take part in media interviews during the close of NASCAR Preseason Thunder festivities Jan. 17-21.

All of the premier drivers and teams will be on hand for the testing sessions in preparation for the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season. At least twenty drivers will be in each session, which is divided by 2003 owner championship points. The car owners who finished in the odd positions in the championship (1, 3, 5, etc.) are scheduled for the Jan. 17-18 session, while those who finished in the even positions (2, 4, 6, etc.) are set for the Jan. 20-21 session.

The NASCAR Preseason Thunder test sessions run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET and drivers will be brought to the Daytona International Speedway media center during the lunch break and following each day's final session.

Hamilton, who roared to a series-high four wins in 2003, will be the first guest on Saturday, Jan. 17, followed by Green, who returned to full-time competition in the division with a vengeance last season. His narrow 14-point loss to Brian Vickers in the chase for the championship was the second-closest in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series.

Kasey Kahne and Johnny Sauter will take their turn in the hot seat Sunday, Jan. 18. Both are attempting to accomplish the toughest of feats in 2004, by competing full-time on both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch Series circuits.

Greg Biffle is also attempting the double-double, running both tours full-time, and will be in the media center Tuesday, Jan. 20. Following him that day will be David Stremme, the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year, despite running only 18 races.

Ron Hornaday and Jason Keller, top-five finishers in 2003 and championship contenders this year, will join the media for an interview session on Wednesday, Jan. 21. Rookie Kyle Busch will round out the slate of drivers. Busch finished second in his first NASCAR Busch Series start last May at Charlotte and again later in the year at Darlington.

For media members interested in attending NASCAR Preseason Thunder, credentials may be obtained by faxing a request to the Daytona International Speedway credential department at (386) 947-6798.

NASCAR Preseason Thunder also will feature a special Fan Fest on select evenings of the two sessions for the NASCAR Busch Series. The NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fests, which will be held Jan. 17 and again on Jan. 20, will consist of fan forums, pit stops and engine building demonstrations, show cars, displays, race team haulers and other exhibits.

While all the testing sessions, displays and entertainment outside are free to the public, tickets to enter the NASCAR Busch Series fan forums with the stars of the series at Daytona USA are $5. Proceeds from the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest will benefit Victory Junction Gang Camp, NASCAR Wives Auxiliary, Speediatrics and Brenners Children's Hospital.

To purchase tickets for the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, fans can call (386) 253-7223 or by going online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

-nascar-

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