BUSCH: Beating Around the Busch, chapter 4

Beating Around The Busch By Thomas Chemris Chapter 4: Double Duty Drivers The trio of "Iron Men" made there way from Daytona to the Sand Hills of North Carolina to compete at the Rock. Johnny Sauter, who is splitting his time between his...

Beating Around The Busch
By Thomas Chemris

Chapter 4: Double Duty Drivers

The trio of "Iron Men" made there way from Daytona to the Sand Hills of North Carolina to compete at the Rock. Johnny Sauter, who is splitting his time between his Richard Childress Cup ride and his Busch team at Brewco Motorsports fared the best. Sauter started and finished sixth and sits in second in the overall point's race.

Greg Biffle, who started ninetieth, charged through the field and to take the lead on lap sixty-one. Roush engine problems bit the 2002 series champion as his motor blew while on the point. Biffle finished thirty-eighth and sits twenty-second in the standings. "We've obviously got a problem that needs to be fixed for us to be competitive," Biffle said.

Kasey Khane started forth, and worked his way back to twenty- sixth, placing thirty-fourth in the overall standings. Khane who is running a rookie season on the Cup side is aware that the key to double-duty will be pacing him.

"I learned it's a hectic schedule running back and forth to each car", said Khane.

"I talked to Kevin Harvick about it a little bit more, and he said it would wear you out as the year goes on. I definitely learned that."

Kenny Wallace had a rough weekend. Mechanical problems related to the external cooling system of the car, set the team back, and they failed to qualify on speed. Lacking 2003 owners points for a provisional, the team was sent packing, but later returned as Kenny took the seat in the number ninety-one entry driven and owned by Stanton Barrett. "I cannot thank Stanton enough", said Wallace. "He knows were running for a points championship. I was already on my way home when I got the call to come back."

Wallace brought the car home sixteenth. Wallace making the race meant something to a family outside the racing world. Prior to the race weekend, Wallace's sponsor, Stacker 2 announced it would donate one dollar per lap completed throughout the 2004 season to the family of Jack Sable. Jack suffers from a Chromosomal disorder that has been severally debilitating. "Everyone at Stacker 2 heard about Jack Sable's condition and our hearts went out to him and his family," said Bob Occhifinto, president and CEO of NVE Pharmaceuticals", parent company of Stacker 2 "We all decided that we wanted to help him fight this terrible disease in any way that we could."

Hornaday looking to championship.

Ron Hornaday remained in the thick of last years Championship battle, only to see it slip through his hands at the season finale at Homestead. In retrospect, the driver and team have decided that it was there conservative approach to the season that hampered their efforts. "We want to win races with this ACDelco team. That's the goal right now", said Hornaday. "That's what cost us the championship last year. We were very consistent, but we didn't win races. If we can win races and post top-fives, plus make sure we are running at the end of every race, then the points will work out in our favor." Hornaday finished tenth at the Rock and sits in fifth in the points chase.

Keller adjusts to single car team.

Jason Keller sweated the off-season as PPC Racing searched for a sponsor for the series favorite. Keller, who is starting his tenth full time season in the series, was ecstatic when Miller Brewing Company came on board. Regrettably, PPC, a powerhouse in the series was unable to secure funding for the second car on the team, and now becomes a single car effort. Keller, keeping his game face, does not feel the loss of a teammate will impact his on track performance.

"I'm sure there are going to be races that we're struggling and we'd wish we had a teammate, but with Ford's help we do the best we can with what we've got.

Series Director, Brian DeHart comments on Earnhardt Daytona Streak.

The dominance of Dale Earnhardt Jr is the Busch series at Daytona International Speedway is unquestionable. Observers noted that the race inspection rules implemented during last season did not impact the team's performance. In mid 2003, NASCAR required all Busch cars to go through final inspection prior to the running of Cup happy hour. The belief was this would prevent drivers who race in both series from changing the car set up's from information obtained from Cup final practice.

"We were fighting the perception that Nextel Cup drivers had an advantage by practicing the morning of a NASCAR Busch series race", noted DeHart. "If it did change something, it was a good call on our part. If it didn't, it at least quieted down the perception in the garage."

NBS 24/7, the reality based television series on Speed Channel is up and running. The show highlights day-to-day experiences of the members of Fitz-Bradshaw racing, and Braun Racing. Fitz-Bradshaw driver, Tim Feedewa, who has been through more than one "silly season has a unique perception of the experience. "I just hope I'm not the next one voted off", noted Feedewa.

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Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jason Keller , Kevin Harvick , Kenny Wallace , Greg Biffle , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Johnny Sauter , Stanton Barrett