SWS: NASCAR Drivers to Compete in Southwest Series at Sears Point

NASCAR stars Harvick, R. Gordon, J. Green to compete in Southwest Series event at Sears Point. SONOMA, Calif. - NASCAR drivers Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon and Jeff Green will pull double-duty at Sears Point Raceway during the NASCAR Winston Cup...

NASCAR stars Harvick, R. Gordon, J. Green to compete in Southwest Series event at Sears Point.

SONOMA, Calif. - NASCAR drivers Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon and Jeff Green will pull double-duty at Sears Point Raceway during the NASCAR Winston Cup weekend, competing in both the Dodge/Save Mart 350 and Snap-on Tools/Jelly Belly 200 NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series events.

Harvick's entry into the Snap-on Tools/Jelly Belly 200 throws a wrinkle into Jim Inglebright's plans for a third straight championship in the race. Harvick will drive a Snap-on Chevrolet in the 62-lap feature, set for Saturday. He will switch to his familiar Goodwrench Service Chevrolet the next day for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 on the twisting road course.

"We're going to run that race to have a good time but we also want to win, plus the extra time on the road course is going to help us for the Winston Cup race the next day," Harvick said. "Snap-on Tools has done a lot for us and I think it's great that we were able to work something out with them. They have been a great sponsor."

Gordon, meanwhile, will drive a Big O Tires-sponsored car and is looking for his first NASCAR-sanctioned win on the 12-turn, 2-mile road course. He placed second in last year's Dodge/Save Mart 350 and should be a factor in both of the weekend's races. The car that Gordon will pilot is the same machine that took second in last year's Snap-on Tools/Jelly Belly 200 driven by Jon Nelson.

Jeff Green has also entered the picture in recent weeks and will drive a Chevrolet sponsored by Colorfast. Green has made just one appearance at Sears Point Raceway in 1999 when he placed 36th in the Winston Cup event. Green will switch to his AOL Chevrolet for Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350.

Inglebright, a resident of Fairfield, is ready for the challenge from three of NASCAR's rising stars.

"Nobody has ever had a three-peat at Sears Point for the Southwest Series and that's my goal," said Inglebright. "The circle track stuff is hard but a lot of it has to do with setup. Road racing is a lot more about driver ability and skill. I feel in those conditions that I can get the job done."

Harvick is also confident, and he doesn't believe fatigue will be a factor. He is no stranger to double-duty, having competed in both the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Grand National Series during the 2001 season. He placed ninth in Winston Cup and won the Busch Series championship. The native of Bakersfield is also quite familiar with Sears Point, having won a NASCAR Winston West event there during his 1998 championship year. He has also competed at Sears Point in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and he placed 14th in 2001 in a Winston Cup car.

"Snap-on Tools have been with us for quite some time and this deal made sense," said Richard Childress, team owner of the No. 29 Goodwrench Chevrolet. "Kevin is already a pretty good road-racer and this extra time on the track is going to help him out. This is a win-win for everyone."

Qualifying takes place on Thursday, June 20, of race week, with the green flag set to drop on Saturday.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Jeff Green , Robby Gordon , Jim Inglebright