BUSCH: Beating around the Busch, chapter 17

Beating Around the Busch: Chapter Seventeen, Chicagoland By: Thomas Chemris Herzog/Jackson Motorsports (HJM) missed Chicago. The financial realities of racing have sidelined one of the series top teams. HJM had initially planned to run only five...

Beating Around the Busch: Chapter Seventeen, Chicagoland
By: Thomas Chemris

Herzog/Jackson Motorsports (HJM) missed Chicago. The financial realities of racing have sidelined one of the series top teams. HJM had initially planned to run only five events in 2003, but with their early season success the team pushed forward to hold the series points lead for nine weeks. After surviving for the first eighteen races, team co-owner Randy Herzog announced the team has suspended operations..

"This is a first class organization and we had hoped to continue to compete for the championship, Unfortunately, as so many other teams are experiencing, the economy has not allowed us to close a sponsor that would take us through the 2003 season. We will continue to pursue several opportunities in the hope that we can return to competition soon." noted Herzog.

Herzog driver Todd Bodine, who came to Chicago forth in the points standing secured a last minute ride from fellow driver and team owner Joe Nemechek who put Bodine in the number seven Chevy, a seat vacated by the recent release of Randy Lajoie. Bodine's difficulties continued as he finished thirty-first after experiencing mechanical problems. Bodine's future in the car remains uncertain, but speculation is that he may pilot the ride for Nemechek for the remainder of the season.

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HJM is not the only team that is experiencing financial problems. It is unlikely that Mike Wallace and the Biaggi Brother's team will make the trip to New Hampshire. The team has a limited schedule sponsorship deal with Geico that did not include the Magic Mile.

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Fitz/Bradshaw driver Kerry Earnhardt took a hard hit early at Chicago. The North Carolina Native had to be cut from his car, and then transported to a nearby medical center. Earnhardt was held for observation and then released.

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Rookie driver, Reagan Smith, who is twenty-fifth in the driver standing, has left Bost motorsports.

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Series veteran Jason Keller attempted to invade the Cup series. Attempting to qualify for Dale Earnhardt Jr's S2 Motorsports. Keller failed to get up speed, and the team was sent packing from the windy city. Keller, who had one career cup start under his belt, ran the Busch event; finishing sixth and remaining fifth is the points.

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Young Gun Brian Vickers should be called Mr. Consistency. Not only has the nineteen year old been stringing together top ten finishes, but also he has completed an amazing ninety nine point eight percent of all laps run in 2003. Vickers has completed 2371 of the 2375 circuits run thus far this year.

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Hall of fame racing, owned by NFL Dallas Cowboy's all-star quarterbacks, Troy Aikman and Roger Staubauch have stepped down plans to go Cup racing in 2004, and will be looking at the Busch series to get there feet wet in the competitive world of NASCAR.

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Jeff Burton returns to the Busch Series at New Hampshire. Burton, who has noted success at the one-mile track, will be supported by several members of the now-closed, Roush-owned #60 team that fielded cars for Stanton Barrett during the first half of the season. " We ran in Las Vegas and had a great run going until we caught fire due to an oil leak, which ended our day early. I'm looking forward to having Cowboy (Kevin Star land) as my crew chief in the Busch car. I've been able to work with him over the last couple years while hews car chief with Greg Biffle, and he has done a great job as crew chief with the Roush Racing No. 60 Ford this year. I think he has put together an awesome team and we are all ready to go racing." Said Burton.

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Fellow Busch-Whackers Matt Kenseth and Joe Nemecheck for the New England 200 will join Burton in New Hampshire

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Television numbers for the series continue to impress, overall viewer ship for the series is up with noted market increases in twenty-eight of fifty-three markets.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Todd Bodine , Jason Keller , Joe Nemechek , Randy Lajoie , Greg Biffle , Mike Wallace , Kerry Earnhardt , Stanton Barrett , Brian Vickers