BUSCH: Charlotte II: News of note, schedule

*Champion's Week Activities Set for Dec. 6-7 In Orlando NBS, Etc. Crew Chief Changes: Tony Eury Jr. and Bruce Cook will be new faces atop pit boxes at LMS this week. Last week Eury, the Director of Competition for JR Motorsports, was named ...

*Champion's Week Activities Set for Dec. 6-7 In Orlando

NBS, Etc.

Crew Chief Changes: Tony Eury Jr. and Bruce Cook will be new faces atop pit boxes at LMS this week. Last week Eury, the Director of Competition for JR Motorsports, was named interim crew chief for the No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet of Brad Keselowski for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, Bruce Cook, the former car chief on Stephen Leicht's No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford, will officially take over as Leicht's crew chief at LMS. Cook will replace Cully Barraclough, who moved over to oversee the efforts of the No. 88 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series entry.

Of Note: David Reutimann has registered a series-best 1,601 points over the last 12 races. ... Two-time series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Menards Chevrolet) is entered in what may be his last NASCAR Busch Series race for DEI. It will be the first time Earnhardt will race against Brad Keselowski since the youngster has been driving for JR Motorsports. ... Reed Sorenson will drive the No. 66 HomeLife Communities Dodge in place of Steve Wallace this week. The one-time- only developmental switch has been made by team owner Rusty Wallace to afford Steve the opportunity to sit out and observe. ... Media can download a high-resolution copy of the Jason Keller graphic at right at www.NASCARMedia.com.

2007 NASCAR Busch Series Champions' Week: NASCAR Busch Series Champions' Week media activities with the series driver champion (and owner champion if different from the driver champion) along with the top 10 drivers in the final standings will be held Dec. 6-7 in Orlando, Fla. On Thursday, Dec. 6, media are invited to attend a luncheon featuring the champion and top 10 drivers at the ESPN Club on Disney's BoardWalk beginning at 10:30 a.m. From 1 -- 3:00 p.m. the champion and top 10 drivers will drive hot laps for the media at the 1.5-mile Walt Disney World Speedway. The NASCAR Busch Series Awards Banquet will take place at the Portofino Bay Hotel on Friday, Dec. 7. For further information, please contact Tracey Judd at tjudd@nascar.com or at 386-947-6733.

The Director's Take: LMS

"The track has now had some time to age from the new repaving. Teams will be working on getting the most amount of grip they can.

"The two areas they will work in is mechanical grip -- how the car keeps the most amount of tire contact area -- and aerodynamic grip, or the use of the air pushing the car into the track.

"Corner entry will be the area to watch to see who is mastering the grip puzzle. Drivers who can give the team the right information to keep the car right on the edge will be fast.

"Drivers getting the car too loose trying to be fast and spinning out on corner entry may find out why Lowe's Motor Speedway has a new nickname -- "the Beast of the Southeast."

"All the usual factors will come into play with shocks, springs and sway bars to keep the car as low as possible (coil bind). Also holding the attitude of the car in order to keep the air flowing over the car and not under will be a factor.

Rookie Spotlight: Slumping Ragan Attempts To Reverse Fortunes With Reverse Paint Scheme

Ragan Rocked, But Still Solid: Despite finishes of 39th, 32nd and 34th in his last three races, David Ragan (No. 6 Discount Tire Ford) continues to hold a solid 24-point lead over second-place Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) in the Raybestos Rookie standings with five races to go. He's on a quest to become the first driver to win the award in both the NASCAR Busch Series and in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Ragan trails Juan Pablo Montoya in the premier series rookie standings by 14 points with six races remaining. To help reverse his NASCAR Busch Series slump, his team will run a reverse paint scheme at Lowe's Motor Speedway this week. It will be the first time in the four-year sponsorship history of Discount Tire that a reverse scheme has been used. "We never leave the shop without thinking we have a legitimate chance to win," crew chief Mike Kelley said, "(but) if this new look gives us some extra luck this weekend, I am all for it."

Making Their Way: Future faces of the series will be on display in Charlotte this week. Eighteen-year-old Bryan Clauson (No. 41 Dodge) and a pair of 22-year-olds -- Blake Bjorklund No. 28 Pupperoni/MilkBone/NineLives/Kibbles & Bits Chevrolet) and Jeremy Clements (No. 36 McGill Motorsports Chevrolet). Clauson is the "veteran" of the group with recent starts at Richmond International Raceway and Kansas Speedway while Bjorklund made his debut at California last month. Clements debuted in 2003 at age 19 at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

Toyota In Final-Opportunity Stretch To Surpass Dodge

Toyota, which has had a strong second half of the season starting off with its first series win by Jason Leffler on July 28 at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, has five races left in order to catch third-place Dodge and escape the manufacturer standings cellar in its first year of series competition.

Chevrolet clinched its 14th Bill France Performance Cup last month while Ford's second-place advantage over Dodge stands at 41 points at this stage of the year.

Although Ford (15) and Chevy (14) have the most manufacturer wins at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Dodge has won two of the last four races, including this event last year. Dave Blaney captured his first series win in that race and this season, he drives for upstart Toyota. He finished 10th in this year's spring race at LMS while Kasey Kahne took Dodge to Victory Lane in that event.

Up Next: Sam's Town 250 At Memphis Motorsports Park

Next week is the final open week of the 2007 season for the NASCAR Busch Series which will be followed by the last stand-alone event of the year.

The Sam's Town 250 will run Saturday, Oct. 28 at Memphis Motorsports Park. ESPN2 will carry the race live beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET

Reigning series champion Kevin Harvick won the race last year and clinched the owner championship for Richard Childress in the process. The victory was Harvick's second at the .75-mile track -- the last short track on the schedule. He's the only driver with multiple wins there. Four series champions have won this race over its eight-year history: Harvick, Jeff Green, Randy LaJoie and Martin Truex Jr.

Johnny Sauter captured the Busch Pole last year. Green and Truex are the only drivers to win more than one pole at Memphis.

FAST FACTS

The Race: Dollar General 300

The Place: Lowe's Motor Speedway
The Date: Oct. 12, 2007

The Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 8:00 p.m. (ET)

Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval

Race Purse: $1,268,191

2006 Winner: Dave Blaney
2006 Pole: Carl Edwards

Pre-Race Schedule:
Thursday: Practice, 1-2:00 p.m.; Rookie Practice, 2:20-2:50 p.m.; Final Practice, 6-7:00 p.m. Qualifying, 4:05 p.m. (impound).

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Rusty Wallace , Jason Keller , Jason Leffler , Kevin Harvick , Johnny Sauter , Kasey Kahne , Marcos Ambrose , David Reutimann , Martin Truex Jr. , Carl Edwards , Jeremy Clements , Brad Keselowski , David Ragan , Bryan Clauson , Dave Blaney , Stephen Leicht , Blake Bjorklund , Tony Eury Jr. , Mike Kelley
Teams JR Motorsports