Other drivers can reach career milestones this weekend at Kansas Two of three Kansas NASCAR Busch Series races have gone "Green" NEWS & NOTES Plenty of milestones at Kansas ... In addition to the expected 350th start of Jason Keller's NASCAR...
Other drivers can reach career milestones this weekend at Kansas
Two of three Kansas NASCAR Busch Series races have gone "Green"
NEWS & NOTES
Plenty of milestones at Kansas ... In addition to the expected 350th start of Jason Keller's NASCAR Busch Series career, other milestones are within reach of series drivers this weekend at Kansas. Johnny Sauter (No. 27 Kleenex/Scott Brands Chevrolet) is scheduled to make his 100th series start, Ashton Lewis Jr. (No. 46 Lewis Motorsports Chevrolet) his 150th, Brad Teague (No. 52 Jimmy Means Ford) his 200th and 1992 NASCAR Busch Series champion Joe Nemechek (No. 87 Cellular One Chevrolet) his 250th. Keller's next top 10 -- he owns two in three starts at Kansas -- will be the 150th of his career. And, Michael Waltrip (No. 99 Aaron's Sales & Lease Chevrolet) is $5,956 away from $3 million in series career winnings.
Champoinship standings battle royal continues from top to bottom ... Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) hopes to put more distance between himself and Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe's/Shop Vac Chevrolet) in the chase for the NASCAR Busch Series title. Truex comes to Kansas with a 152-point advantage over Busch. But the intriguing battle this weekend and throughout the following six weeks of the season will be for 10th place. Kenny Wallace (No. 23 Stacker 2 Chevrolet) displaced Ashton Lewis Jr. in that position following Dover, but is only one point ahead of Lewis entering Kansas. Only 63 points separate Kasey Kahne (No. 38 Great Clips Dodge) from 13th-place David Stremme (No. 32 TRIMSPA X32 Dodge), while Casey Atwood (No. 14 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet) is 12th, just 40 points behind of Lewis but only three ahead of Stremme.
Bowyer back for hometown ride at Kansas ... Emporia, Kan., native Clint Bowyer will drive the No. 21 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Chevrolet this weekend at Kansas Speedway, his first NASCAR Busch Series competition since Aug. 7 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Bowyer has run in 11 events this year -- the first 11 NASCAR Busch Series races of his career -- splitting seat time with 2001 NASCAR Busch Series champion Kevin Harvick in the Richard Childress entry. Bowyer has three top five and five top-10 finishes this year, including a third-place result at Nashville, his career best series finish to date. He won the Busch Pole at Talladega back in April. "Kansas is obviously a very special place to me," he said. "I remember that piece of land when it was a corn field. I've probably driven by the track a couple of hundred times just dreaming of getting a chance to race there. A year ago, if you told me I would be racing there this season, I would've said 'you're crazy.' I'm really proud to be able to race in front of my family and all the people who have helped me get to this point in my career." The Bowyer-Harvick combination has Childress in third place in the owner's standings; the No. 21 won the owner's championship last year.
Kenny Wallace talks safe driving to high school students ... Kenny Wallace, a native of St. Louis, Mo., plans to visit Piper High School in Kansas City, Kan., this week to discuss responsible driving with students as part of the YJ Stinger "Race to Bee Safe" program. Piper High will be the second stop on the fall leg of the tour that has Wallace visiting seven schools during the final eight race weekends of the NASCAR Busch Series season to reiterate to young drivers the importance of safe driving. This season marks the second year of the program, which has been well-received by both the NASCAR community and the local markets where Wallace and the program have stopped by. The program has an added bonus this year -- one student will be awarded a $20,000 scholarship for writing an essay about what the program meant to them.
Ford could have edge at Kansas in Bill France Performance Cup ranking ... Ford, currently second in the Bill France Performance Cup manufacturer's standings, has competed well in its limited appearances at Kansas Speedway. In three previous NASCAR Busch Series races at the 1.5-mile facility, Ford drivers have won twice. Chevrolet, the standings' leader, doesn't have a win, but does have three Busch Poles and a trio of runner-up finishes at Kansas. Chevy enters Saturday's race with 17 wins and 207 points this season. Ford has eight wins and168 points while Dodge is third with two victories and 125 points.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Greg Biffle (No. 60 Charter Communication Ford) has recorded top-five finishes in each of his three NASCAR Busch Series races at Kansas. ... Michael Waltrip has won the last two Busch Poles at Kansas. ... One former race winner is in the field, David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac), the defending champion.
Hendrick Motorsports has announced the addition of two 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series dates for Kyle Busch. Busch will drive the No. 84 CARQUEST Chevrolet at Charlotte and again at Atlanta. Busch, who made his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut at Las Vegas and has two other premier series starts this season, is also entered in the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway. ... Several members of BREWCO Motorsports, including driver David Green, are scheduled to parachute in tandem with the U.S. Army Golden Knights next Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Ft. Bragg near Fayetteville, N.C. Also scheduled to jump are crew chief Jason Ratcliff, car chief Stewart Cooper, and GM/spotter Todd Wilkerson. Newt Moore, crew chief for Johnny Sauter and Ken Christerson, Sauter's spotter, are also scheduled to take the leap. ... Tony Stewart (No. 81 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) is scheduled to make his first NASCAR Busch Series start at Kansas driving for Chance 2 Motorsports
"It's definitely achievable. All we need is to be on top of our game from here on out, and we need the (No.) 8 car to have one or two bad races and we're right back in it. It's definitely frustrating when you can finish third and he finishes fifth, or when you win and he finishes third. It's very hard to gain any points when that happens. This past race, he won and we finished ninth, so that sure didn't help us any." -- Kyle Busch on catching points leader Martin Truex Jr.
"We've really been on a roll these last few weeks. I feel like our team is running better now than we have all season. If we keep this up, finishing [in the] top 10 in points won't be a problem. Everybody's excited about going to Kansas and taking a big chunk out of the points lead." -- Johnny Sauter.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Two brothers who hail from Owensboro, a small Kentucky town known for producing racing champions, have won two of the three NASCAR Busch Series races held at Kansas Speedway.
The Mr. Goodcents 300, run on September 29, 2001, was the first NASCAR national touring series event held at the 1.5-mile oval. Jeff Green, the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series champion, started 12th, driving his Nestle NesQuik Ford into the lead on Lap 172 of the 200-lap race. He held the front spot the rest of the way, winning by 2.129-seconds over runner-up Hank Parker Jr. Green set an event speed record of 129.125 mph, which still stands.
Jeff's brother, David, qualified his Timber Wolf Pontiac in the third position for last year's edition of the race, and quickly moved around polesitter Michael Waltrip to lead the pack on Lap 3. Green then chose to settle back in the pack, relinquishing the lead back to Waltrip on Lap 16. Green took the lead on the last lap, passing Bobby Hamilton Jr. for the win.
What: Mr. Goodcents 300 (Race No. 28 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
When: 2 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 9.
Track layout: 1.5-mile paved tri-oval.
Race length: 300 miles/200 laps.
Posted awards: $1,361,504.
TV: TNT, 2 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2003 winner: David Green.
2003 polesitter: Michael Waltrip.
Top 10 in points: 1. Martin Truex Jr. 4,139. 2. Kyle Busch 3,987. 3. Jason Leffler 3,661. 4. Greg Biffle 3,557. 5. David Green 3,466. 6. Ron Hornaday Jr. 3,382. 7. Jason Keller 3,346. 8. Mike Bliss 3,203. 9. Kasey Kahne 2,990 10. Kenny Wallace 2,971.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice, 9 -- 11:15 a.m.; Qualifying, 1:30 p.m.; Final Practice (one hour, time permitting) following NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying (scheduled for 3:10 p.m.).