BUSCH: Bristol preview notes

FROM ANDY HALL, NASCAR PUBLIC relations March 26, 19Y6 NASCAR Busch Series Notes of Interest ** The NASCAR Busch Series moves to the unique Bristol (Tenn.) International Raceway this weekend for the running of Saturday's Goody's Headache...

FROM ANDY HALL, NASCAR PUBLIC relations March 26, 19Y6 NASCAR Busch Series Notes of Interest

** The NASCAR Busch Series moves to the unique Bristol (Tenn.) International Raceway this weekend for the running of Saturday's Goody's Headache Powder 250. The race starts at 2 p.m.(ET) and will be broadcast live by MRN Radio.

There will not be live television coverage of the event. ESPN will have same-day taped coverage at 8 p.m.(ET) Saturday.

Qualifying for the 250-lap event will be held Friday afternoon, with the entire 36-car field to be set in one round of qualifying that starts at the conclusion of NASCAR Winston Cup time trials for Sunday's Food City 500.

The NASCAR Busch Series race offers a purse of $204,413

**Bristol is a .533-mile track, so it is classified as a short track, but the turns are banked 36 degrees, the highest banking on any NASCAR track' which creates Superspeedway characteristics. The track is also surfaced in concrete, one of only two major speedways in the nation with such a racing surface. The concrete surface made its debut at the track's Fall race in 1992 Bristol's NASCAR Busch Series races started at 150 laps, then grew to 200 laps and then to 250 laps, the distance they have been since 1990.

** Bristol has been a part of the NASCAR Busch Series schedule since the formation of the series in 1982, and has hosted 27 events. No one driver has dominated Bristol's races, and 20 different drivers have visited victory lane. Morgan Shepherd, who rarely competes in NASCAR Busch Series races these days, leads all drivers with four wins in events at Bristol. Four drivers have won two times each, including Todd Bodine, Steve Grissom and Barry Pearson among drivers entered in Saturday's race

** Only two drivers in NASCAR Busch Series history have scored the first win of their career at Bristol, and both times have been in the Spring race. Rick Wilson did so in 1989, and Bobby Labonte did it two years later.

** Steve Grissom performed a Bristol Sweep in 1995, winning both the Spring and Fall NASCAR Busch Series races at the track. He is the only driver ever to sweep both NASCAR Busch Series races at Bristol in the same year. Prior to Grissom's sweep at Bristol, the last driver to sweep both events at a track on the series schedule was Mark Martin, who did so at Darlington in 1994.

**Todd Bodine, who returned to the NASCAR Busch Series on a full time basis this season, will be racing at Bristol in the series for the first time since 1993, when he won the Fall race for the second consecutive year. Bodine, who has competed at Bristol in NASCAR Busch Series races only six times, has two wins and three top five finishes in that span. He won the first race held on the concrete surface in August of 1992.

Bodine's team has announced new sponsorship for the rest of 1996 from Cape Canaveral Cruise Lines. He is driving for a new team co-owned by Tom Manley and Ron Neal.

** After scoring his worst finish of the young season (14th) at Darlington, NASCAR Busch Series point leader David Green hopes to bounce back with a strong showing at Bristol this weekend.

Green won the Spring; race at Bristol in 1994, the same year he won the NASCAR Busch Series championship. Race fans will recall the strange ending of that race, when the event was going to finish under caution and leader Mark Martin mistakenly pulled off of the track on the last lap, opening the door for Green to inherit the Victory.

In 1991, his rookie season, Green finished second in Bristol's Spring race as Bobby Laborite scored his first career win on the NASCAR Busch Series. In eight Bristol races, Green has three top five and five top 10 finishes, along with one Busch Pole.

** QUICK NOTES: Tommy Houston is the only driver who has started all 27 NASCAR such series races held at Bristol. His best finish was a second in the 1994 Spring race .... As he usually does, car owner Charlie Henderson will enter two cars at Bristol, his home track. The Abingdon, Va., resident will have a car for regular driver- Doug Heveron, and a second car for Johnson City, Tenn., resident Brad Teague .... The most recent race at Darlington had 19 cars finish on the lead lap, the second-highest total in series history for any track. The record of 20 was set at Talladega in 1992 .... -30-

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Drivers Bobby Labonte , Todd Bodine , David Green , Steve Grissom , Morgan Shepherd , Brad Teague , Mark Martin