BUSCH: Pikes Peak: News of note, schedule

New Hampshire race produces record TV mark NEWS & NOTES New Hampshire race a record-setting hit on TNT ... Saturday's Siemens 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway drew 1.5 million households, an increase of 42% from last year's event,...

New Hampshire race produces record TV mark

NEWS & NOTES

New Hampshire race a record-setting hit on TNT ... Saturday's Siemens 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway drew 1.5 million households, an increase of 42% from last year's event, making the NASCAR Busch Series race the most-watched in the history of NHIS.

Lewis teams with artist for Pikes Peak event ... Ashton Lewis (No. 46 RickBroome.com Chevrolet) will sport a one-race deal at Pikes Peak through a friendship with artist Rick Broome. Best known for his aviation art, Broome said his involvement with Lewis Motorsports at Pikes Peak will pay tribute to the Air Force Academy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and all military forces fighting the global war on terrorism. The car will feature a reproduction of Broome's "To Match My Mountains" painting for the Air Force Academy Class of 2005. It features five Thunderbird F-16 jets flying over the cadet chapel. In addition, the car will sport a paint scheme designed by Ryan Rudolph featuring lightning bolts that evolve into flames and stars.

Shelby Howard, Team Rensi pair for five races ... Shelby Howard and Team Rensi Motorsports have agreed to a five-race deal that begins with the Aug. 7 event at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Howard is the youngest winner in the history of the ARCA division, capturing a victory at 17 years, 9 months and 2 days. Now 19, Howard will drive the No. 35 Team Rensi Ford at IRP, Michigan, Richmond, Dover and Memphis. He has one previous NASCAR Busch Series start, which came in 2003 at Kansas where he qualified 34th and finished 20th. "The rage seems to be the young guy with the desire," Team Rensi Motorsports President and co-owner Sam Rensi said. "The reality is that there are a lot of these younger guys in respected series that can really get it done in proper situations and equipment. Look at Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch. Our belief is that Shelby has what it takes and is a good fit with our organization. We're looking forward to the races he will run."

Chevrolet leads in manufacturers' standings ... Chevrolet has built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has 12 wins and 152 points versus 122 points and six wins for Ford following the recent victory by Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Bayer/CVS Ford) at New Hampshire. Dodge is in third with 93 points and two wins. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest six and third-highest four.

Leffler's team claims New Hampshire McDonald's POWERade title ... The Haas CNC Racing crew of Jason Leffler (No. 00 Haas Motorsports Chevrolet) won the McDonald's POWERade Drive-Thru Pit Crew of the Race Award for the July 24 event at New Hampshire International Speedway. Leffler's team leads the BREWCO Motorsports crew of David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) by 51 points in the season standings.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Jason Keller leads all drivers entered in this weekend's event with three top-five finishes at Pikes Peak. All have come in his last three appearances and his results have improved each year -- fourth in 2001, third in 2002 and second in 2003. Keller's four races led and four top-five starts are also tops in those categories. ... Keller, Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Kenny Wallace (No. 23 Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevrolet) have all won the Busch Pole at Pikes Peak. ... The four top-10 finishes posted by Ron Hornaday (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) at Pikes Peak are the most at that track. ... Tim Fedewa (No. 12 Supercuts Chevrolet) has three top-10 finishes at Pikes Peak, tied for second most. ... Of the six races at Pikes Peak Chevrolet has five wins and Dodge has the other.

QUOTEBOOK

"Pikes Peak is the 'raciest' track we go to all year. It's pretty common to see three- and four-wide racing through the turns. It's not too big and it's not too small, a really nice-sized track. My first race there in 2000 was very special. I qualified eighth and had the opportunity to race my brother Jeff (Green) for the win. I led some laps towards the end and had a great battle with him to the checkered flag... it's a race I will never forget."-- David Green.

"We are running a lot better now than we did at the beginning of the season. We are so close to being the dominant car week in and week out. We just need to put it all together, like we did at The Milwaukee Mile. It has been the little things that have hurt us. I really think we could have won at least three of the last five races, but I'm sure there are a couple of other teams that feel the same way." -- Ron Hornaday (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet).

FROM THE ARCHIVES

With none of Pikes Peak's six previous NASCAR Busch Series winners -- Matt Kenseth, Andy Santerre, Jeff Green, Jeff Purvis, Hank Parker Jr. and Scott Wimmer -- entered in this weekend's event, a seventh different winner in as many races is guaranteed.

FAST FACTS

What: Goulds Pumps/ITT Industries Salute to the Troops 250 presented by Dodge (Race No. 21 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).

Where: Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, Colo.
When: 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, July 31.

Track layout: 1-mile paved oval.
Race length: 250 miles/250 laps.

Posted awards: $1,303,767.

TV: TNT, 3:30 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.

2003 winner: Scott Wimmer.
2003 polesitter: Bobby Hamilton Jr.

Top 10 in points: 1. Martin Truex Jr. 2,993. 2. Kyle Busch 2,899. 3. Ron Hornaday 2,655. 4. Jason Leffler 2,609. 5. David Green 2,595. 6. Jason Keller 2,589. 7. Greg Biffle 2,565. 8. Bobby Hamilton Jr. 2,531. 9. Mike Bliss 2,299. 10. Michael Waltrip 2,293.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday -- Practice, 12:45-2:45 p.m.; qualifying, 4:05 p.m.; final practice following NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series final practice.

-nascar-

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