BUSCH: Charlotte II: News of note, schedule

• NASCAR Busch Series 2007 Testing Schedule Announced • Perfect 10: Battle Royal For Final Spot In Top 10 In Point Standings • In The Loop: Mears Could Be A Factor In His Last Series Start Of 2006 • Series Archive: Harvick Can Join...

• NASCAR Busch Series 2007 Testing Schedule Announced

• Perfect 10: Battle Royal For Final Spot In Top 10 In Point Standings

• In The Loop: Mears Could Be A Factor In His Last Series Start Of 2006

• Series Archive: Harvick Can Join Pearson In Claiming Title At LMS

Four Tracks On NASCAR Busch Series 2007 Testing Schedule

NASCAR has set its 2007 NASCAR Busch Series testing schedule that includes four different venues that will provide the teams an opportunity to prepare for the various track layouts and surfaces that they will face over the course of the season.

NASCAR determined the test schedule with the input and cooperation of each of the teams' crew chiefs. NASCAR instituted a new track testing policy earlier this year that pre-sets a schedule for when and where NASCAR Busch Series tests are to be conducted. The scheduled tests are the only opportunities teams will have to test at NASCAR Busch Series tracks. The policy was implemented to serve as an aid to maintain better overall competitive balance for the teams and contain costs.

The tracks are:
Daytona International Speedway
    2006 Odd Car Owner Points -- Jan. 19-21
    2006 Even Car Owner Points -- Jan. 21-23

Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- Feb. 5-6
    (Rain Date Feb. 7)
Richmond International Raceway -- March 27-28
    (Rain Date March 29) Lowe's Motor Speedway -- May 14-15
    (Rain May 16)

Driver for Diversity

The Drive for Diversity program will be holding its fourth annual Driver Testing and Evaluation Combine on Oct. 16-17 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. Twenty up-and-coming drivers from throughout the United States have been invited to the combine to showcase their skills for established team owners. The drivers will complete in a series of on-track and off-track activities in hopes of being selected for one of the eight available positions. In 2007, eight Drive for Diversity teams will compete in either the NASCAR Grand National Division -- which includes the Busch East and AutoZone West Series -- or the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series.

Fight For 10th Still A Battle

The NASCAR Busch Series top 10 features a spirited battle for 10th place being waged between four drivers. Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge) comes to Charlotte in ninth place in the standings, 85 points ahead of Johnny Sauter (No. 00 Yellow Transportation Chevrolet) in 10th. Although far from a comfortable edge over Sauter, Sorenson has to feel more confident than Sauter as far as his pursuers at this stage of the season.

Jason Leffler (No. 38 Great Clips Chevrolet) is in 11th, only four points behind Sauter. Kenny Wallace (No. 22 AutoZone Ford) -- who has finished in the top 10 in the drivers' championship standings in each of the prior nine years he's run a full-time schedule -- is in 12th, 24 points behind Leffler and 28 in back of Sauter.

If that's not close enough, consider that John Andretti, Wallace's ppc Racing teammate, is just 29 points behind Wallace in 13th position and an attainable 57 points behind Sauter. Andretti, who is running his first full season in the series in 2006, also leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings by six points over Burney Lamar. Lamar is scheduled to compete in only one more race this year however, at Memphis Motorsports Park at the end of the month.


Michael Waltrip Racing announced that David Reutimann will compete in the NASCAR Busch Series and in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup full-time next season and will vie for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in both series. ... 9Lives® cat food will sponsor Auggie Vidovich in the No. 4 Dodge Friday night as part of an effort to rescue one million homeless cats through the Morris' Million Cat Rescue™ campaign. 9Lives® will donate $1 million to nine cat rescue shelters, including the Mecklenburg Animal Control Shelter in Charlotte if Vidovich wins the race. ... Shane Huffman (No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet) will help celebrate the Navy's 231st birthday Friday. ... Of the four NASCAR Busch Series races run with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at LMS in 1998-99, crew chief Tony Eury Sr. led the team to three top fives. Eury was also at the helm of two of Dale Earnhardt's three series wins at Charlotte (1986 fall race, '91 spring). ... Steve Wallace is entered in the ARCA RE/MAX event at the new Iowa Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 15. His father, Rusty, is chief designer of the track. ... Casey Atwood's No. 27 Viva Towels Ford will run a special pink Breast Cancer Research Foundation scheme at LMS.

From The NASCAR Busch Series "25 Seasons Running" Archives

Kevin Harvick has a chance to clinch the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series championship this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, but he wouldn't be the first to do so. Second-generation driver Larry Pearson clinched in 1987 at the 1.5 mile-facility to pick up his second consecutive title.

Pearson came into the 300-mile event with a 356-point lead over two-time series champion Jack Ingram. Despite finishing 36th to Ingram's 25th, Pearson left with an insurmountable 323-point lead over Ingram with two events remaining on the schedule.

He finised in the top five in the final two events of the season to wind up with a 382-point cushion over Jimmy Hensley, who passed Ingram for second by winning the last race of the year at Martinsville Speedway.

Following the last open week of the 2006 season next week, the NASCAR Busch Series will travel to Memphis Motorsports Park for the final stand-alone event of the season on Oct. 28.

Clint Bowyer (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) -- a huge Elvis fan -- won at Memphis last season to set up the thrilling three-race sprint between him and Martin Truex Jr. for the 2005 series title. Bowyer came from the 35th starting position to win the race.

Truex claimed the Busch Pole at this event last year. There have been seven different winners of the Sam's Town 250, while Truex and Jeff Green lead with two poles each.

Fast Facts

The Race: Dollar General 300

The Place: Lowe's Motor Speedway

The Date: Oct. 131
The Time: 8:00 p.m. (ET)

TV: TNT 8:00 p.m. (ET)

Track Layout: 1.5 mile tri-oval
Distance: 300 miles (200 laps)

Race Purse: $1,243,731

2005 Winner: Ryan Newman
2005 Pole: Jimmie Johnson

Schedule: Thursday, Oct. 12 -- Practice, 5:10-6:20 p.m. & 8:40-9:40 p.m. Rookie Practice, 5:10-6:20 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 -- Qualifying, 5:05 p.m. Race, 8:00 p.m.

-credit: nascar

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Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , John Andretti , Michael Waltrip , Jason Leffler , Kevin Harvick , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green , Ryan Newman , Casey Atwood , Jimmie Johnson , Jimmy Hensley , Johnny Sauter , David Reutimann , Clint Bowyer , Burney Lamar , Auggie Vidovich , Reed Sorenson , Shane Huffman , Steve Wallace
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing