* Newman looks for fifth straight series win * Marlins to race together Friday night NEWS & NOTES Newman sets sights on record ... Ryan Newman (No. 39 alltel Dodge) is entered in Friday's race and looks to become the first driver in the...
* Newman looks for fifth straight series win
* Marlins to race together Friday night
NEWS & NOTES
Newman sets sights on record ... Ryan Newman (No. 39 alltel Dodge) is entered in Friday's race and looks to become the first driver in the series to record the most consecutive wins in the same season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 81 Menards Chevrolet) set the mark with five consecutive wins, however those came over a period of three seasons. Newman recently tied two-time series champion Sam Ard's record of four consecutive wins with his most recent victory at Dover. Ard set the mark in 1983 with wins at South Boston, Martinsville, Orange County and Charlotte. Newman's consecutive victories include Watkins Glen, Michigan, Bristol and Dover. He did not compete at California and Richmond. Newman's only other series appearance at Charlotte was earlier this year when he started 14th and finished third. His six-race season has produced six top-five finishes and two Busch Poles. Newman captured his first series win at Michigan in 2001.
Dodge and Ford tied in manufacturer wins ... Thanks to Kasey Kahne's (No. 38 Great Clips Dodge) recent win at Kansas, Dodge has tied Ford with nine wins each so far this season. This was Kahne's second win of the season and Dodge's second victory in three races. Ford now has 191 points while Dodge has 179. Chevrolet currently leads the 2005 Bill France Performance Cup standings with 12 wins and 200 points. Ford leads with 14 wins overall in NASCAR Busch Series competition at Charlotte, while Chevrolet has 13 wins. Dodge has never won an event at Charlotte.
Fernandez, Jourdain return to competition ... Mexican drivers Adrian Fernandez (No. 5 Lowe's Chevrolet) and Michel Jourdain Jr. (No. 15 Centrix Financial Ford) are entered in Friday night's race. This will be Fernandez's third series start and Jourdain's 21st. Both drivers competed in the inaugural Mexico City race, the first NASCAR Busch Series points race held outside the United States. Jourdain made his first career start at Daytona in February and was the first Mexican driver to lead a series race when he did so at California. To date, Jourdain's best career finish of 10th came at Atlanta. Fernandez, on the other hand, has had only two career starts -- Mexico City, where he posted his best career finish of 10th, and California. He is scheduled to run three more races this season -- Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami. This will be Fernandez's first career start at Charlotte and Jourdain's second. Jourdain raced in the spring event and finished 15th.
Akins Motorsports announces new driver ... A.J. Foyt IV has been named the driver of the No. 38 Great Clips Dodge for the last four races of the 2005 season and for the full 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season. His duties begin almost immediately as his first series race will be at Memphis on Oct. 22. Foyt, the grandson of legendary racer and 1972 Daytona 500 winner, A.J. Foyt, had a successful test session at Memphis a few weeks ago. Kasey Kahne will compete in Friday's NASCAR Busch Series event at Charlotte. This will be Kahne's final race in the No. 38 Great Clips Dodge before turning over the wheel to Foyt.
Father and son to share spotlight ... Steadman Marlin, the 24-year-old son of Sterling, will join his father in the starting lineup at Charlotte. Steadman will drive the No. 12 Hot Tamales Dodge for FitzBradshaw Racing, while his dad will drive the No. 40 Family Dollar Dodge entry. The two have never raced together in NASCAR Busch Series competition. This will be Steadman's 23rd series start and Sterling's 73rd. The younger Marlin's best series finish of 15th came at California in 2003.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Lowe's Motor Speedway is the site of Kyle Busch's (No. 57 Sta-Green Weed & Feed Chevrolet) first career NASCAR Busch Series start. Just three weeks after Busch turned 18 years old, he qualified fifth and finished second in the spring 2003 event. In just four career starts at Charlotte, Busch has posted two victories and four top-five finishes. ... Greg Biffle (No. 66 Duraflame Ford) is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a fall race at Charlotte since the program was created in 1989. His first win came in the 2001 event where Jason Keller (No. 35 McDonald's Ford) finished second; his other Charlotte win came in 2003. Biffle's 4.6 average finish at Charlotte is best among drivers entered in the race.
Greg Biffle returns to the NASCAR Busch Series top 10 after posting a second-place finish this past weekend at Kansas. He moved from 11th to ninth in the standings while running 23 of the seasons 30 races to date. He spent nine weeks out of the top 10 and has fought back from as far back as 16th. ... Regan Smith (No. 58 Samson Stone Dodge) has started seventh and third, respectively in his last two races. His third-place start at Kansas was a series career best. ... It's been 12 years since Bill Elliott (No. 6 Country Crock Dodge) has run a NASCAR Busch Series race at Charlotte, but this Friday that absence will end. This will be Elliott's fifth series start this season. ... In support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Brent Sherman (No. 10 Serta Ford) will sport a special Counting Sheep for the Cure paint scheme in Friday's race. Instead of the traditional silver Serta scheme, the No. 10 car has been painted pink and will feature the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's logo and the "Collector's Edition" pink Counting Sheep. ... Four full-time NASCAR Busch Series drivers are entered in this weekend's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event at Charlotte -- Johnny Sauter (No. 1 Yellow Transportation Dodge), David Stremme (No. 14 U.S. Navy Dodge), Carl Edwards (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) and Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet). ... Kevin Harvick will be in the No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet; he currently holds the track record at 184.445 mph. ... The Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle continues as Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge) took over the points lead from Carl Edwards post Kansas. Edwards trails Sorenson by two points. ... NFL Hall-of-Famer Jim Kelly will be a guest speaker and awards presenter at the Dollar General Store Managers Awards Breakfast located at the Renaissance Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. on Friday morning. He and driver Todd Bodine (No. 34 Dollar General Chevrolet) will also visit with Dollar General VIP's, guests, product vendors and consumer contest winners from Dollar General store promotions in several different suites and hospitality venues at Lowe's Motor Speedway. ... Kasey Kahne will be sporting a special paint scheme featuring Spy vs. Spy Jr. from the upcoming MADKIDS magazine comic strip on Friday night.
"This is a track I want to master more than anything. The track is going to be lightning fast and extremely challenging. We have had decent runs there, but a little luck wouldn't hurt anything either." -- David Green (No. 27 Kleenex Ford).
"This is without a doubt one of the biggest, most exciting races of the year. Everyone wants to win in front of their friends and family and with that being said.... You better bring you're A-Game." -- Greg Biffle. "I definitely want to do a lot better than I did in California and give a good result to everybody at Lowe's because this is their home track." -- Adrian Fernandez.
"It seemed at the time [spring Charlotte race] like we couldn't even buy a top-10 finish. But in the back of our minds we were confident that sooner or later the bad luck was going to stop getting in the way of the good results we worked so long and hard for. Sure enough, just a few weeks later, it started raining top-10 finishes. Now, if we could just get that first win before the end of the season." -- Paul Menard (No. 11 Menards Chevrolet) on posting 12 top-10 finishes in 15 races this season.
"We are very, very close to the top 10 in points, so we are really looking forward to the race at Charlotte. We had a good run at Kansas last week, and we need another one to continue to close the gap on the guys in front of us. Everyone on the team is really focused on our remaining races, and we're committed to getting inside the top 10 by Homestead." -- J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Vigoro Winterizer/Home Depot Chevrolet).
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Last year's fall race at Charlotte tied the record for most race leaders in a NASCAR Busch Series event at the track. A total of 11 different drivers, tying the mark set in 1993, went to the front of the field. Casey Mears led 61 of the 200 laps to pick up the five point bonus for most laps led, but Mike Bliss won the race after leading the final 18 laps -- the first of those after going three-wide on the frontstretch to overtake Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth for the lead. This was Bliss' first career win in his 70th start.
The 1993 race saw Mark Martin dominate, leading 149 of 200 laps with the 10 other race leaders going to the front for only a few laps at a time. The victory was the first of Martin's record-setting six NASCAR Busch Series wins at Charlotte.
ON DECK: MEMPHIS MOTORSPORTS PARK
The NASCAR Busch Series heads to Memphis Motorsports Park for the Sam's Town 250 on Oct. 22. The 0.75-mile track will host its seventh NASCAR Busch Series event, which has produced six different winners. Jeff Green won the inaugural series race from the pole in 1999. The only other driver to win from the pole is last year's winner, reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr.
What: Dollar General 300 (Race No. 31 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
When: 8:00 p.m. ET, Friday, Oct. 14.
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval.
Race Length: 300 miles/200 laps.
Posted Awards: $1,177,422.
TV: TNT, 8:00 p.m. ET.
Radio: PRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Mike Bliss
2004 Polesitter: Casey Mears
NASCAR Busch Series Top 10: 1. Martin Truex Jr. 4,206. 2. Clint Bowyer 4,157. 3. Reed Sorenson 3,955. 4. Carl Edwards 3,820. 5. Denny Hamlin 3,623. 6. Kenny Wallace 3,574. 7. Paul Menard 3,385. 8. David Green 3,311. 9. Greg Biffle 3,300. 10. Jason Keller 3,256.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thur., Oct. 13: Practice -- 2 -- 3:00 p.m.; 4:30 -- 5:45 p.m. Fri., Oct. 14: Qualifying -- 2:35 p.m. Cars impounded after qualifying.