BUSCH: St. Louis: Round 22 preview

25th anniversary celebration arrives in St. Louis, hometown of Anheuser-Busch DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 25, 2006) - Going 2-for-2 at the plate at the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis represents a good night for a hitter. Going 2-for-2 at...

25th anniversary celebration arrives in St. Louis, hometown of Anheuser-Busch

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 25, 2006) - Going 2-for-2 at the plate at the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis represents a good night for a hitter.

Going 2-for-2 at Gateway International Raceway - two visits to Victory Lane in two tries - amounts to a career for some drivers.

Kevin Harvick (No. 21 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet) has that very distinction. In his two career NASCAR Busch Series races at Gateway, Harvick has posted victories.

Additionally, he is one of five drivers who have won at the 1.25-mile track in the same season in which they captured the series championship. Harvick did so in 2001, following his first win at Gateway one year earlier.

That combination represents a pretty good omen for Harvick, who leads the series points standings by 348 points over second-place Carl Edwards (No. 60 Henkel Ford).

Dale Earnhardt Jr. captured wins at Gateway in his series championship years in 1998-99. Greg Biffle followed Harvick's consecutive wins in 2002, his title year. And Martin Truex Jr. won the first of his two series crowns in 2004 while also posting a victory at Gateway.

This season represents the 25th anniversary of series sponsor Anheuser-Busch's relationship with the NASCAR Busch Series, making Saturday night's race a landmark event for both the series and the sponsor - St. Louis is the home of the world-famous brewery.

The anniversary theme also extends to the track as Gateway is celebrating its 10th season; featuring a NASCAR Busch Series race each year.

Both of those elements aren't lost on the competitors.

"With Anheuser-Busch sponsoring this race - this series - and this race being in their back yard, Saturday's event instantly became one of the more prestigious races of the year," said Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet), a stout statement from a driver who last Sunday completed a season sweep of this year's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway.

"Only one driver will have the chance to win the NASCAR Busch Series 25th anniversary race, so you will see teams putting a little more pressure on themselves and maybe taking some chances they normally wouldn't."

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Martin Truex Jr. , Carl Edwards , Denny Hamlin