BUSCH: Charlotte LMS test preview

NASCAR BUSCH SERIES TEAMS HOLD FINAL SCHEDULED TEST AT LOWE'S * Nearly 50 teams participating at fourth of four scheduled test sessions for 2006 * Cars on track 1--5 p.m.; 6--9 p.m. today - Wednesday DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 8, 2006) --...


* Nearly 50 teams participating at fourth of four scheduled test sessions for 2006

* Cars on track 1--5 p.m.; 6--9 p.m. today - Wednesday

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 8, 2006) -- Lowe's Motor Speedway will be the site of the final scheduled test session of 2006 for the NASCAR Busch Series today through Wednesday.

This year, NASCAR set a schedule for when and where each of its national series tests at tracks that host NASCAR events. Those tests are the teams' only opportunities to test at those tracks.

LMS is one of four tracks -- and the second of two 1.5-mile tracks -- that NASCAR Busch Series teams can utilize for tests this season. Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile) and Richmond International Raceway (.75-mile) have already hosted tests.

Forty-eight drivers -- predictably the most among the four sessions as many of the teams are based in the Charlotte area -- are scheduled to participate in the three-day session where teams select two of the three available days to test.

Kevin Harvick (No. 21 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet / No. 33 KHI Chevrolet), the NASCAR Busch Series points leader and winner of three of the last four races -- including last Friday night's drag race with Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton (No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet) at Richmond -- will be among those testing as will Burton.

"I think the last time I went on a roll like this in racing was racing late models," Harvick said. "The team has done a great job. We've put ourselves in a position to win races and do the things we need to do to give ourselves a chance to win. It's been a lot of fun. You know the downside of it so the upside of it makes it enjoyable."

Three other members of this week's top 10 in points -- Paul Menard (No. 11 Menard's Chevrolet -- fifth), Johnny Sauter (No. 00 Yellow Transportation Chevrolet -- ninth) and Jon Wood (No. 47 Clorox/American Red Cross Ford -- 10th) are lined up for the test session. All three will be available in the media center for a press conference during the dinner break from 5-6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Menard's ranking is his highest of the season, punctuated by four top-10 finishes in his last five races. After a slow start to the year, Sauter has been in the top 10 for five of the last six weeks. Wood has held a top-10 position in the points in all but one week this season.

LMS is one of seven tracks the NASCAR Busch Series has raced at since its inception in 1982, and this year represents "25 Seasons Running" for the series with sponsor Anheuser-Busch. Mark Martin (No. 6 Ameriquest Ford), the all-time leader in NASCAR Busch Series wins (47), has registered six of those victories at LMS -- the most of any driver. He is scheduled to be at the test.

Harvick (2001) is one of three NASCAR Busch Series champions scheduled to be at the test along with Joe Nemechek (No. 87 NEMCO Chevrolet -- 1992), Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ameriquest Ford -- 2002) and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet -- 2004-05). There have been 18 champions in the 25 years of the series. Six have won multiple titles.

Last year's spring race winner, Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe's Chevrolet), is also scheduled to participate, as is Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet), who won the Busch Pole at the fall race last season. Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Ultimate Chargers Dodge), winner of the pole for this event last year, is listed among the test participants as well.

The NASCAR Busch Series garage at Lowe's Motor Speedway opens at 11 a.m. today through Wednesday. Tests are from 1--5 p.m. and again from 6--9 p.m. each day. A dinner break splits the tests each day from 5--6 p.m.

Fast Facts

What: NASCAR Busch Series testing.

Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Charlotte, N.C.

Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval.

When: Mon. May 8 -- Wed. May 10.

Times: 11 a.m. -- Garage opens; 1-5 p.m. -- testing; 5-6 p.m. -- dinner break; 6-9 p.m. -- testing; 9:30 p.m. -- garage closes.

Who: Aric Almirola, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Stacy Compton, Kertus Davis, Carl Edwards, Aaron Fike, David Gilliland, Mark Green, Jorge Goeters, Shane Hall, Denny Hamlin, Tracy Hines, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Joel Kauffman, Jason Keller, Matt Kenseth, Todd Kluever, Burney Lamar, Jason Leffler, Ashton Lewis Jr., Joe Nemechek, Mark Martin, Eric McClure, Mark McFarland, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, Brandon Miller, Danny O'Quinn Jr., Jerry Robertson, Elliott Sadler, Jay Sauter, Johnny Sauter, Tim Sauter, Regan Smith, Reed Sorenson, Martin Truex Jr., Mike Wallace, Michael Waltrip, Scott Wimmer, Jon Wood, J.J. Yeley.


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Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Michael Waltrip , Jason Keller , Jason Leffler , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle , Shane Hall , Jay Sauter , Mike Wallace , Kurt Busch , Stacy Compton , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson , Jon Wood , Jamie McMurray , Mark Green , Tim Sauter , Johnny Sauter , Kasey Kahne , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Martin Truex Jr. , Paul Menard , Aaron Fike , Carl Edwards , Brandon Miller , Kertus Davis , Clint Bowyer , Burney Lamar , Ashton Lewis , Mark McFarland , Eric McClure , Elliott Sadler , Denny Hamlin , Reed Sorenson , Todd Kluever , Jorge Goeters , Aric Almirola , Joel Kauffman , Danny O'Quinn , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports