News and Notes from the Raybestos Rookie Contenders - Busch Series. * Brian Vickers was the RaybestosÂ® Rookie of the Race in the Hardee's 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Vickers finished seventh, his best career finish in nine career ...
News and Notes from the Raybestos Rookie Contenders - Busch Series.
* Brian Vickers was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Hardee's 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Vickers finished seventh, his best career finish in nine career Busch Series starts. His previous best effort came at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. He was the only Raybestos® Rookie to finish on the lead lap.
* Leading Raybestos® Rookie Contender Scott Riggs was sidelined by an accident at Richmond, giving him a 27th place finish. This was the first race in 2002 that Riggs has failed to finish. Despite his misfortune, he continues to hold a 42 point lead (146-104) over Johnny Sauter in the Raybestos® Rookie standings.
* Riggs is fourth in Busch Series points, 11 behind third place Randy LaJoie. He enjoys a 20 point advantage over fifth place Greg Biffle.
* Qualifying was rained out at Richmond, the second consecutive race where time trials have been cancelled due to weather.
* All eight Raybestos® Rookies entered at Richmond qualified for the race. Four were running at the finish of the race: Vickers, Shane Hmiel (21st), Sauter (22nd), and Casey Mears (23rd). Four freshman drivers did not finish the race. Accidents claimed Riggs, Kasey Kahne (30th), and Kerry Earnhardt (33rd). Dan Pardus was sidelined by rear-end problems and finished 34th.
* No Raybestos® Rookie led at least one lap at Richmond, the first race since the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway three races ago where a freshman driver has not led laps in a Busch Series race.
* A Raybestos® Rookie Contender has won the pole for the last two Busch Series races where time trials were held (Shane Hmiel at Nashville and Sauter at Talladega). Time trials for the Auto Club 300 at California Speedway were rained out.
* Riggs has led more miles than any other Raybestos® Rookie Contender. He has led five times in four races (104 laps) for a total of 167.82 miles. Sauter has led two times in two races ((32 laps) for a total of 50.62 miles. Other rookies that have led at least one lap this season: Mears (6.00) and Hmiel (1.33).
* Three Raybestos® Rookies have won a pole position this season: Riggs, Sauter, and Hmiel have all won one pole entering the Busch 200 at New Hampshire International Raceway.
* Entering the Busch 200 at New Hampshire, five Raybestos® Rookies have started all 10 Busch Series races this season: Riggs, Sauter, Hmiel, Mears, and Earnhardt.
* 2001 Raybestos® Rookie Champion Greg Biffle was the highest finishing rookie in last year's Busch 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway. He finished 11th, one lap down to race winner Jason Keller.
* Biffle was also the only first-year driver to lead a lap at New Hampshire. He held the top spot once for one lap.
* Biffle was also the highest qualifying rookie, earning the 14th starting position in time trials. All seven Raybestos® Rookies entered in the race qualified for the event on their speed. None used provisionals to start the race.
* David Donohue was the only rookie not running at the finish of last year's race at New Hampshire. Engine problems left Donohue with a 33rd place finish. The rest of the class: Tim Sauter (16th), Scott Wimmer (17th), Larry Foyt (28th), Marty Houston (30th), and Jamie McMurray (31st).
<pre> RAYBESTOS ROOKIE CONTENDER POINT STANDINGS
DRIVER POINTS Scott Riggs 146 Johnny Sauter 104 Kerry Earnhardt 96 Shane Hmiel 93 Casey Mears 91 Brian Vickers 51 Kasey Kahne 39 Dan Pardus 34
HIGHEST FINISHING RAYBESTOS ROOKIE BY RACE
EVENT HIGHEST FINISHING ROOKIE EAS/GNC Live Well 300 Shane Hmiel, fifth 1-866-RBCTerm.com 200 Scott Riggs, fourth Sam's Town 300 Johnny Sauter, third DarlingtonRaceway.com 200 Johnny Sauter, 11th Channellock 250 Scott Riggs, ninth O'Reilly 300 Scott Riggs, fourth Pepsi 300 Scott Riggs, first Aaron's 312 Casey Mears, fifth Auto Club 300 Scott Riggs, first Hardee's 250 Brian Vickers, seventh