EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Aaron's 312; Time and Date: 1 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 30; Site: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga.; Live Coverage: TNT (television) at 1 p.m. ET and PRN (radio) at 12:45 p.m. ET; Qualifying: 1:30...
EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Aaron's 312; Time and Date: 1 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 30; Site: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga.; Live Coverage: TNT (television) at 1 p.m. ET and PRN (radio) at 12:45 p.m. ET; Qualifying: 1:30 p.m. ET, Friday, Oct. 29, on SPEED (television).
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS - For the first time in NASCAR Busch Series history, the Owners' Championship and the Drivers' Championship were split in 2003. 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 remaining 14 events on the schedule.
WHAT'S NEXT? - Since Bowyer's two-month hiatus from the series, he has rebounded well. In two of his last three races, Bowyer snagged a fourth-place and 10th-place finish and looks to be gathering momentum. Bowyer is still looking for that elusive first win.
ANOTHER FIRST TIMER - This weekend's race at Atlanta will once again be a first for the rookie Bowyer. Of the 17 races slated on Bowyer's schedule, he has not raced on or even seen 11 of the tracks before this year.
DID YOU KNOW? - Just two short weeks ago, Bowyer drove the No. 33 Chevrolet, owned by Kevin Harvick, to a 10th-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Like Texas Motor Speedway, Lowe's also has a configuration similar to Atlanta. (Bowyer's debut came at Texas. He started sixth and finished 36th.)
THE CAR - This week, crew chief Ricky Viers will load chassis No. 044 onto the REESE'S transporter. The car is one of the team's favorites. Bowyer tested the car one week ago at Atlanta, and Harvick drove the car to a third-place and 11th-place finish at the two Lowe's events this season.
QUICK QUOTES AND NOTES:
Crew chief Ricky Viers on Bowyer at the Atlanta test - "Our test was shortened due to rain. Clint didn't get as much seat time as we would've liked, but he did get some laps in. The race he ran at Lowe's two weeks ago becomes even more important to us now. I think we learned some things to help him this weekend, and he's excited about getting there."
Clint Bowyer on Atlanta - "It's fast. Really, really fast. It's a fun track though. We didn't get as much track time as we had planned during the test, but I think we still learned some valuable things and I was able to get some seat time. I've had a chance to run the Texas' and Lowe's now, so I'm probably a little more comfortable coming to this track for the first time, than I would be other places."