BUSCH: Richmond: Christian Fittipaldi preview

Christian Fittipaldi makes second go-round in Busch Series at Richmond. Christian Fittipaldi of Sao Paulo, Brazil will attempt to make his second career NASCAR Busch Series start this coming weekend in the Hardee's 250 at Richmond International...

Christian Fittipaldi makes second go-round in Busch Series at Richmond.

Christian Fittipaldi of Sao Paulo, Brazil will attempt to make his second career NASCAR Busch Series start this coming weekend in the Hardee's 250 at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Fittipaldi will be driving the #30 mike's hard lemonade, Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Innovative Motorsports who will also field cars for veteran Kenny Wallace and rookie Shane Hmiel.

Fittipaldi is a two-time winner in the CART FedEx Championship driving for Newman/Haas Racing where he currently pilots the No. 11 Lilly Toyota-Lola-Bridgestone combination. He is taking advantage of gaps in this season's CART schedule to compete in a total of six NASCAR Busch Series events. He will also compete at Charlotte on May 25 before returning to the helm of his Lilly sponsored Lola chassis powered by Toyota that fans from all over the world have become accustomed to seeing him drive at speeds reaching 240 mph.

This weekend, the pace on the track will be a bit slower but he expects the competition to be just as fierce.

"I am really looking forward to my first Busch race of the season," said Fittipaldi. "I tested at Richmond earlier this year and I like the race track. It really requires a lot of driver skill for a fast lap. Lots of throttle and brakes makes it a driver's track and I like that kind of a challenge. And with it being a night race it will make it interesting because I have not raced at night in a stock car before."

As a part-time driver on the NASCAR Busch Series Fittipaldi faces the task of having to qualify the mike's hard lemonade Chevy in the top 36 on time alone. One of the seven provisional starting spots is not available because the #30 mike's hard lemonade Chevy has not earned any car owner points on which the provisionals are based. Fittipaldi is not deterred.

"I have every confidence in the crew to give me a car that can qualify well for the race," said Fittipaldi. After we worked together at Homestead last year I came away from that event feeling very confident. I just hope to be up to their level and do a good job because those guys work very hard and deserve a good result."

Fittipaldi competed in his first NASCAR Busch Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November of 2001. After minimal practice time Fittipaldi qualified 33rd out of 55 entries. He completed 106 of the 200 laps before being hit by Hank Parker Jr. which sent Fittipaldi into the turn two wall. He was not injured in the accident and finished 39th on the day.

For more information about Christian Fittipaldi log on to www.fittipaldionline.com and www.newman-haas.com.

Fittipaldi will attempt to qualify Thursday, May 2 at 4:00 PM. The Hardee's 250 will drop the green flag at 7:40 PM EDT on Friday, May 3 and can be seen live on Fox's FX network starting at 7:00 PM. Radio coverage of the race will be broadcast by the Motor Racing Network beginning at 7:15 PM EDT. Check for your local MRN affiliate at www.mrnradio.com.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kenny Wallace , Hank Parker Jr. , Christian Fittipaldi , Shane Hmiel