* Deac McCaskill To Debut For Evernham Motorsports * Next Up: History In The Making At Circuit Gilles Villeneuve NBS ETC. Edwards OK For ORP: Despite dislocating his right thumb as a result of an accident during a Late Model race last Sunday...
* Deac McCaskill To Debut For Evernham Motorsports
* Next Up: History In The Making At Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Edwards OK For ORP: Despite dislocating his right thumb as a result of an accident during a Late Model race last Sunday at the I-80 Speedway dirt track in Greenwood, Neb., series standings leader Carl Edwards will be ready to participate in Saturday's Kroger 200 at ORP according to Roush Fenway Racing officials. After an overnight stay in a West Omaha hospital on July 22, Edwards was released and consulted a physician in his hometown of Columbia, Mo., who confirmed the original diagnosis. Edwards had been participating in the race at I-80 on "Carl Edwards Night," where he was running against his younger brother, Kenny, among others. Edwards finished sixth the night before at Gateway International Raceway in NASCAR Busch Series competition.
McCaskill Debuts For Evernham: Deac McCaskill, the reigning Late Model Stock Division champion at Southern National Raceway Park in Lucama, N.C., is scheduled to make his NASCAR Busch Series debut for Evernham Motorsports at ORP in the No. 9 Puryear Tanklines Dodge. McCaskill, a 29-year-old native of Raleigh, N.C., has won two track tiles over the last three years in Late Models and finished fifth in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in 2006.
Shepherd Returns To ORP: With the influx of new names into the NASCAR Busch Series, it's easy to overlook some of the mainstays of the series, like Morgan Shepherd (No. 89 Victory in Jesus Racing Dodge). Shepherd, 65, has 15 wins in series competition with three of those coming at ORP where he is the all-time leader in victories.
Leffler Back To Roots: Jason Leffler (No. 38 Great Clips Toyota) is not only the hottest driver in the NASCAR Busch Series over the last six races (775 points, two top-fives, three top-10s) and comes in on a four-race streak where he's been no lower than sixth in the point standings, but he's had great results at ORP. Leffler made his first career series start at the track in 1999, won his second career Busch Pole there (2000) and has two top-five finishes in his four races. Add to that he's won seven times at the track from 1998-2003 in USAC Silver Crown and National Midget competition.
Bires Has Found ORP Victory Lane, Too: Rookie Kelly Bires (No. 47 Clorox/American Red Cross Ford) hasn't had the opportunity to gain much experience on NASCAR Busch Series tracks, but similar to Jason Leffler's experiences, ORP is an exception. Bires won the 2006 American Speed Association (ASA) Late Model race at the track en route to the series national championship and has gained most of his experience to date on short tracks around the Midwest.
Keselowski Connection: There will be a family reunion at ORP this weekend when the Keselowski brothers -- Brad (No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet) and Brian (No. 19 Dodge) -- will run against each other in NASCAR Busch Series competition for the first time. Brad will drive for his father, Bob Keselowski, a long-time owner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Brian has one NASCAR Busch Series start to his credit, last November at Phoenix International Raceway where he subbed for Brad in order to maintain his brother's Raybestos Rookie status for the 2007 season.
ORP ETC: Reigning series champion and last year's race winner Kevin Harvick is the only repeat winner in the last 10 at races ORP -- in 2001 and 2006, which were his last two appearances at the track. ... The winner of five of the last six events at ORP has gone on to win the NASCAR Busch Series championship while the winner of the other race, Kyle Busch (2004), went on to capture the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award that season. ... The Kroger 200 is the only race on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule that has had the same sponsor for each of the series' 26 seasons.
The Director's Take: ORP
INSIGHT FROM JOE BALASH, NASCAR BUSCH SERIES DIRECTOR
"ORP is going to race a lot like The Milwaukee Mile. Teams will be using their flat-track setups with softer springs and will really be working hard on their coil bind setups, too.
ORP also has the potential to be a fuel strategy race.
A unique aspect of our series at this track is that we base pit selection for the top 30 cars on qualifying from last week's race at Gateway because of the tight time frames we're under there. The balance of cars will pick pits after qualifying at ORP."
News From The NAPA Auto Parts 200
Road Course Specialists Lining Up For Montreal: Although a road-course "ringer" has yet to break through for a victory in the previous three international races the NASCAR Busch Series has held from 2005-07 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, many of those specialists are entered for the Aug. 4 inaugural race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to try their hand once again.
Patrick Carpentier (No. 22 Fitz Motorsports Dodge), Ron Fellows (No. 33 KHI Chevrolet), Robby Gordon (No. 55 Robby Gordon Motorsports Ford), Max Papis (No. 1 Miccosukee Resorts Chevrolet), Scott Pruett (No. 41 CGRFS Dodge) and Boris Said (No. 9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge) headline the road-racing group which has had some recent additions.
Michel Jourdain Jr. and Jorge Goeters, who like Fellows and Said, have participated in each of the three races in Mexico City, are entered for Roush Fenway Racing in the No. 17 Ford and Brewco Motorsports in the No. 27 Ford, respectively. Marc Goossens is scheduled to drive the No. 91 Toyota for Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports.
Additionally, Andy Pilgrim will drive the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet; Andy Lally has been announced as the driver of the No. 47 Wood Bros./JTG Racing Ford; Nic Johnssen is entered in the No. 28 Jay Robinson Racing Chevrolet and Canadian Michael Viliante has been named to drive the second CGRFS entry (No. 42 Dodge).
ESPN2 will feature NASCAR Busch Series racing live in prime time on Saturday night. The telecast presented by Hormel Compleats begins with NASCAR Countdown at 7:30 p.m. ET; the race starts at 8 p.m.
ORP holds a place in NASCAR history as the location for the first NASCAR-sanctioned race ever to be held in Indianapolis when the NASCAR Busch Series raced at the track in the series' inaugural season of 1982. Since then, the race has always been a season highlight for the series, taking on even more importance when the NASCAR Cup Series began racing at nearby Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1994.
ESPN's Marty Reid will anchor coverage from ORP, joined in the booth for expert analysis by two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie. Pit reporters will be Jack Arute, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch. Reid will also host NASCAR Countdown.
In addition to coverage of the race, ESPN2 also will televise NASCAR Busch Series practice from ORP at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and qualifying at 4:30 p.m.
Dodge Gains Third-Place Breathing Room; Chevrolet Is The One To Beat At ORP
Reed Sorenson's win at Gateway International Raceway last Saturday was a run of lucky sevens for Dodge in this year's Bill France Performance Cup standings.
The victory was the first for the manufacturer in seven races -- and third overall on the season. The win increased third-place Dodge's lead over fourth-place Toyota by seven points, its biggest margin since a seven-point advantage following Milwaukee four races ago.
Dodge, Toyota and second-place Ford have their work cut out for them at ORP of Saturday. First-place Chevrolet has won 15 of the previous 25 races at the track, 14 of the last 15 and the last four in a row, including last year's victory by reigning series champion Kevin Harvick.
Ford's win in 2002 by Greg Biffle is the only dent in Chevy's recent run of success.
Up Next: NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge At Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
The NASCAR Busch Series competes on its second road course of the season at its second international venue of the year next Saturday afternoon with the inaugural NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge at the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. ESPN2 will carry the race live beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET.
The race will be the first for the NASCAR Busch Series in Canada. Two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Terry Labonte turned NASCAR's first laps at the 2.709-mile road course this past June 12.
The event will be a mix of NASCAR Busch Series regulars, double-duty drivers like Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle, road course specialists such as Robby Gordon, Boris Said and Marc Goosens and Canadian entries including Patrick Carpentier and Ron Fellows.
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will also race at the track prior to the NAPA 200
The Race: Kroger 200 benefiting Riley Hospital for Children
The Place: O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis
The Date: July 28, 20071
The Time: 8:00 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: .686-mile oval
Race Purse: $1,027,504
2006 Winner: Kevin Harvick
2006 Pole: Denny Hamlin
Schedule: Sat.: 9 -- 10:10 a.m. -- Practice; 10:20-10:50 a.m. -- Rookie Practice; 11:00 a.m. -- Noon -- Final Practice; 4:35 p.m. --Qualifying (Impound).