BUSCH: Daytona II: Kevin Harvick preview

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Winn-Dixie 250; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Friday, July 2; Site: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.; Live Coverage: FX (television) and MRN (radio) at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Qualifying: 5:30...

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Winn-Dixie 250; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Friday, July 2; Site: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.; Live Coverage: FX (television) and MRN (radio) at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Qualifying: 5:30 p.m. EDT, Thursday, July 1.

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS - For the first time in NASCAR Busch Series history, the Owners' Championship and the Drivers' Championship were split. 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 14 other events on the schedule.

HARVICK RETURNS- Kevin Harvick will return to the seat of the No. 21 REESE'S Chevrolet after a three-week hiatus from the Busch Series. While Harvick was away, Bowyer took great care of the REESE'S Chevy, earning one top-five finish and three top-10 finishes. Harvick will attempt his third consecutive top-five finish in the Busch Series at Daytona.

RCR SUPERSPEEDWAY PROGRAM-The RCR Busch Series restrictor-plate program has been dominant throughout the past two seasons. In 10 restrictor plate races dating back to February 2003, RCR cars have qualified in the top nine in every event, with an average starting position of fourth, including one pole. RCR also has seven top-seven finishes in those 10 races.

NEW FORMAT-NASCAR has changed the format for the Busch Series beginning this week at Daytona. The teams will receive two practice sessions, then qualify the cars with the race set ups. After qualifying, the cars will be impounded by NASCAR until race time on Friday night.

PREVIOUSLY AT DAYTONA-Harvick drove the HERSHEY'S KISSES Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish after an exciting two days of Busch Series in February. Rain postponed the event from Saturday to Monday. It was also the first restrictor plate race of the season and the first time the Busch Series cars used the new wicker package on the roofs and spoilers.

LAST WEEK AT MILWAUKEE-Bowyer earned his third top-10 finish in as many weeks. Bowyer carefully worked through the field, despite starting 21st and losing a lap early in the event. He claimed a respectable 10th-place finish. Bowyer's teammate Ron Hornaday won the event, clinching his first victory of the season and second victory of the year for RCR.

THE CAR-This week, crew chief Ricky Viers will load chassis No. 038 onto the REESE'S transporter. This is the same car Harvick drove to a fourth-place finish in the HERSHEY'S KISSES 300 at Daytona in February. Bowyer drove the car to a strong run in April at Talladega Superspeedway after starting from the pole.

QUICK QUOTES AND NOTES:

Crew chief Ricky Viers on Daytona-"You're either fast or you're not. We've had great race cars down there the last couple of years, and I look for the same thing when we go back. We've got a great race car and a experienced driver. Kevin will give us a good run, and it should be exciting."

* Harvick is scheduled to make his 100th career Busch Series start at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 24.

* Harvick will drive the REESE'S Chevrolet in eight of the next 10 Busch Series events.

* Bowyer will return to the REESE'S Chevrolet July 31 at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

* Harvick's best finish at Daytona is a third, coming in February 2003.

* Harvick has one pole at Daytona, which he earned in qualifying for the July 2002 Nextel Cup race.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Brian Vickers , Clint Bowyer