* Stremme points to maturity behind the wheel for career progress * Fedewa, Wallace aim for start No. 325 in series careers NEWS AND NOTES NASCAR Busch Series Top 10 -- Second win offers Edwards breathing room ... Coming off his second win...
* Stremme points to maturity behind the wheel for career progress
* Fedewa, Wallace aim for start No. 325 in series careers
NEWS AND NOTES
NASCAR Busch Series Top 10 -- Second win offers Edwards breathing room ... Coming off his second win of the season -- a thrilling last-lap pass of Elliott Sadler (No. 90 Citifinancial Ford) at Richmond -- Carl Edwards (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) comes to Charlotte leading second-place Clint Bowyer (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) by 180 points, 1,797-1,617. Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge) remains in third with 1,526 points, and will try to reverse a mini-slump that has seen him finish 31st or worse in three of his last four races, enabling fourth-place Martin Truex Jr. (1,479) to climb to within 47 points of the rookie's position. Ashton Lewis Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) remains in fifth for the third week in succession, but Kenny Wallace (No. 22 Stacker 2 Ford) is only 19 points behind in sixth with 1,424. Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet), one of three Raybestos rookies in the NASCAR Busch Series Top 10, is seventh, just five points behind Wallace. David Stremme is eighth, while Greg Biffle, despite missing two races, is ninth with 1,379 points. Lewis' teammate, Jason Keller (No. 35 McDonald's Ford), who was ranked 10th in the standings following the Mexico City event but fell to 24th after Las Vegas where he finished last due to engine failure, has steadily climbed back into contention, regaining the 10th position with 1,308 points. David Green is tied with Keller in points, but is in 11th place; Keller has one more top-10 finish than Green.
Fedewa, Wallace look to share milestone ... They entered the NASCAR Busch Series five years apart, but Kenny Wallace and Tim Fedewa (No. 12 Supercuts Dodge) are scheduled to make career start No. 325 together in the NASCAR Busch Series Saturday night. Both drivers will be searching for their first win -- and first top-five finish -- at Charlotte as well. A start by each would put them in a tie for seventh all-time on the series career list. Tommy Houston is first with 417, followed by Elton Sawyer (392), Jason Keller (368), David Green (333), Randy LaJoie (328) and Dale Jarrett (327). Wallace made his first series start in 1988 at Martinsville, while Fedewa began his NASCAR Busch Series career in '92 at Darlington.
Truex represents NASCAR Busch Series in NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge ... Martin Truex Jr. became only the second NASCAR Busch Series regular to participate in the 21-year history of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge when he was voted by the fans to drive in last Saturday's event, providing he finished on the lead lap of the NEXTEL Open. Truex didn't disappoint, finishing 10th in the NEXTEL Open and on the lead lap, he transferred to the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge where he was relegated to 22nd place after being involved in a nine-car accident on Lap 35. Tommy Ellis, the 1988 NASCAR Busch Series champion, participated in the 1991 all-star race for Junior Johnson, finishing 14th.
Bowyer back to racing roots ... Taking advantage of an off-week in the NASCAR Busch Series schedule last Friday, Clint Bowyer returned to the track where he won the 2002 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Midwest Region championship -- Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Bowyer climbed into a Dirt Modified for the track's 25-lap feature event and finished a close second to local star Kerry Davis. For Bowyer, Lakeside Speedway's all-time feature winner with 31 victories, it wasn't all smooth sailing. After borrowing a car from 2004 track champion Tim Karrick, Bowyer had mechanical problems during his heat race and was forced to compete in the "B Main" to earn a transfer spot into the "A Main" where he finished second to Davis. "It was fun to go back and I [nearly] won the race in a guy's car I had never driven before," Bowyer said. "It was a heck of a race."
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Mark Martin has the most NASCAR Busch Series wins at Charlotte (six); he is also the leader in top fives (13), top 10s (13), races led (18) and laps led (1,257) in 26 career races. ... Greg Biffle has the best average finish among all NASCAR Busch Series drivers at Lowe's Motor Speedway with five or more starts (4.7 in eight races). ... Michael Waltrip (No. 99 Aaron's Sales & Lease Chevrolet) is tied for second among all drivers with 11 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 30 races at Lowe's. He is second all-time in series starts at the track.
Justin Labonte and the No. 44 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet team will host Admiral Thomas H. Collins, the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, this weekend as a prelude to Memorial Day. ... Chief Naval Officer Vern Clark will also be in attendance as a guest of FitzBradshaw Racing's No. 14 US NAVY Dodge team. ...Kevin Harvick has competed in eight NASCAR Busch Series races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He has yet to record a win, but he has three Busch Poles, two top-five and five top-10 finishes in those starts. He also holds the qualifying record (184.445 mph in May 2003). ... Michel Jourdain Jr. (No. 10 ppc Racing Ford) can now call Lowe's Motor Speedway his "home" track. The Mexico City native and former Champ Car standout, who is attempting to become the first Hispanic driver to compete fulltime in the NASCAR Busch Series, is now settled in Mooresville, N.C. with his wife, Nora, and three-month-old son, Michel. ... Ryan Newman (No. 39 ALLTEL Dodge) will attempt to make his first appearance in the NASCAR Busch Series since the 2001 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. ... Carl Edwards' win at Richmond May 13 allowed Ford to build on its lead in the competition for the Bill France Performance Cup. With a two-victory lead over Chevrolet, Ford has the largest lead of the season and heads the manufacturer's standings entering Charlotte with six wins and 86 points. Chevrolet is second with four wins and 76 points, while Dodge is third with two wins and 66 points. ... Hendrick Motorsports development driver Boston Reid, a Logansport, Ind., native, attended a number of Indianapolis 500s with his grandfather, Harold Reid. For the elder Reid, the trek is an annual event -- this weekend's race will mark the 77th consecutive Indy 500 the 94-year-old will attend. "My grandfather's a pretty amazing guy," Reid said. "I think it's awesome that he's still able to get out and do the things he loves at his age."
"This month of May has been a great part of the schedule. We have had two Friday night races which gave us Saturday and Sunday at home, a weekend off, and now we get to race pretty much in our backyard. Man, I love it." -- Clint Bowyer on racing at Charlotte
"When you make selected starts, you pick your good tracks and you bring your best cars. That's what we're doing. We may not go to all the races, but when we do, we're going to be fast." -- Robert Pressley (No. 46 Edy's Ice Cream Ford), who won the Busch Pole in his first outing of the 2005 season at Darlington three weeks ago.
"Our qualifying results have been solid this year, for the most part, and more often than not we've been able to work our way toward the front in race trim. Now we've got to make a habit of leading the most important lap of them all -- the last one." -- Paul Menard (No. 11 Menard's Chevrolet)
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The 1990 spring NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway saw Dale Jarrett pick up his second series win at the track. Dick Trickle won the second Busch Pole of his career with veteran Harry Gant starting on the outside of the front row.
Included in the stellar field were NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champions Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt along with the likes of Mark Martin, Ernie Irvan, Davey Allison, Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip and Ken Schrader. A young NASCAR Busch Series regular named Bobby Labonte was in the process of making a name for himself.
Trickle led for a race-high 114 laps, going to the front on four different occasions. He took the lead for the final time on Lap 167 and seemed destined to record his first series win. But it was Jarrett who slipped around Trickle on the last lap, winning the race by a margin of three feet. It was the only lap Jarrett led, and he is still the only NASCAR Busch Series winner to lead only one lap in an event at Lowe's. Crew chief John Ervin guided the second-generation driver to the win just as he had assisted Jarrett's father, Ned, to the 1965 NASCAR premier series championship.
ON DECK: DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
The NASCAR Busch Series will make its first of two trips to Dover International Speedway next Saturday, June 4 for the MBNA NASCAR RacePoints 200. Greg Biffle is the defending champion, while David Green was the Busch Pole winner one year ago, his first since March 22, 2003 at Bristol.
What: CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 (Race No. 13 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
When: 7:10 p.m. ET, Saturday, May 28.
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval.
Race Length: 300 miles/200 laps.
Posted Awards: $1,159,088.
TV: FX, 6:30 p.m., ET.
Radio: PRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Kyle Busch.
2004 Polesitter: Greg Biffle.
NASCAR Busch Series Top 10: 1. Carl Edwards 1,797. 2. Clint Bowyer 1,617. 3. Reed Sorenson 1,526. 4. Martin Truex Jr. 1,479. 5. Ashton Lewis Jr. 1,443. 6. Kenny Wallace 1,424. 7. Denny Hamlin 1,419. 8. David Stremme 1,386. 9. Greg Biffle 1,379. 10. Jason Keller 1,308.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Fri., May 27: Practice -- 9 -- 10:30 a.m.; 11 a.m. -- Noon. Qualifying -- 5:05 p.m. Cars impounded after qualifying.