* Bonjour Montreal: Series Heads North For Inaugural Event * Drivers Hail From Eight Countries; Purse In Excess Of $2 Million * Loop Data: Boris Said Heads List Of Road Course Aces "C'est Un Depart" -- "It's A Go" For Inaugural Series Race In ...
* Bonjour Montreal: Series Heads North For Inaugural Event
* Drivers Hail From Eight Countries; Purse In Excess Of $2 Million
* Loop Data: Boris Said Heads List Of Road Course Aces
"C'est Un Depart" -- "It's A Go" For Inaugural Series Race In Montreal
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 31, 2007) -- The NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge at the historic Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course is the inaugural event for the NASCAR Busch Series in Canada and the second points race for the series on international soil. The series has competed in Mexico City since 2005 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
The purse for the race is $2,075,651, the third in excess of $2 million in the series this year and the eighth-richest race purse in series history.
There are seven double-duty drivers scheduled to compete this weekend in Montreal and also at Pocono Raceway. Reigning series champion Kevin Harvick (No. 21 AutoZone Chevrolet) and current standings leader Carl Edwards (No. 60 Scotts Ford) will be joined by David Ragan (No. 6 Discount Tire Ford), Jeff Burton (No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet), 2002 series champion Greg Biffle No. 37 Yard Man Ford), Robby Gordon (No. 55 Camping World Ford) and David Reutimann (No. 99 NAPA Toyota).
Drivers representing eight countries are entered in the event, led by a 27-man contingent from the United States. Eight Canadians, including Montreal's own Patrick Carpentier (No. 22 Zelars & Komatsu Dodge) -- who will make his NASCAR debut -- and veteran NASCAR road ace Ron Fellows (No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet - Toronto) lead that group. NASCAR Busch Series regular Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) is from Australia. Michel Jourdain Jr. (No. 17 Dish Network Ford) who won at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Champ Car competition in 2003, and Jorge Goeters (No. 27 Cottonelle Ford), winner of the first Busch Pole at Mexico City, are from Mexico. Additionally, Italy will be represented by Max Papis (No. 1 Miccosukee Resorts Chevrolet); Sweden by Nic Johnssen (No. 28 Yellow Transportation Chevrolet); England by Andy Pilgrim (No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet) and Venezuela by Alex Garcia (No. 98 Dixien-Omni Source Chevrolet).
Standings Leader Edwards Excited For His Shot In Montreal
Known for his penchant for adventure as well as his racing skills, NASCAR Busch Series standings leader Carl Edwards counts his visit to Montreal among his personal highlights.
Edwards, who was scheduled along with his crew chief, Canadian-born Pierre Kuettel and Montreal native Patrick Carpentier to participate in a press advance in the city on Wednesday, spoke about the race in a national teleconference on Tuesday.
"I'm excited about every weekend, but this one, to go to Canada, be part of such an historic event, such an historic city as Montreal, it's going to be really exciting," he said.
"It's fun to get to race against different people. That's one of the beauties about going to Mexico City in the Busch Series, you get to race against so many different guys, local guys, from Mexico, Mexico City.
"I hope to meet a lot of new guys this weekend. It will be fun."
In The Loop: Said's Numbers Solid Among NASCAR Busch Series Road Course Aces
Analyzing the unknown -- like this Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series raced at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course -- calls for a look at the similar.
The NASCAR Busch Series has raced on two road courses in the past -- Watkins Glen in upstate New York and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.
Many of the same faces who have raced on those two tracks will also race Saturday in Montreal.
One of them is Boris Said (No. 9 Hellmans Dodge). Said has race in all five NASCAR Busch Series road course races since 2005, racking up a series-high 304 laps in the top 15. Said ranks in the top 15 in a number of road course Loop Data statistics. Always a threat on these types of layouts, Said has a NASCAR Busch Series road course Driver Rating of 101.5 (13th-best), an Average Running Position of 11.8 (13th-best) and 15 Fastest Laps Run (tied for sixth-most).
Another of the road course aces racing this Saturday is Scott Pruett (No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge). He grabbed the pole in this year's Mexico City race and finished fifth. In three NASCAR Busch Series road races since 2005, Pruett has a Driver Rating of 104.2 (12th-best), an Average Running Position of 10.0 (ninth-best), 194 Laps in the Top 15 (eighth-most) and 15 Fastest Laps Run (tied for sixth-most).
Standings leader Carl Edwards has been in all five road course races since 2005 with seen varied success. He's finished in the top 10 in all three of his Mexico City races, but has ended the Watkins Glen races in 11th-place ('05) and 27th-place ('06). Overall, Edwards has a road course Driver Rating of 94.4, an Average Running Position of 12.8 and has spent 285 laps in the top 15, second only to Said.
In three NASCAR Busch Series road course races, 2006 champion Kevin Harvick has also performed well. He has a Driver Rating of 114.6 and an Average Running Position of 7.1.