NASCAR Busch Series Wraps Up 2007 Tests At Lowe's Motor Speedway Standings Leader Edwards Is Fastest Overall Following Three Of Four Sessions NASCAR Busch Series Alums Prepare For 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May...
NASCAR Busch Series Wraps Up 2007 Tests At Lowe's Motor Speedway
Standings Leader Edwards Is Fastest Overall Following Three Of Four Sessions NASCAR Busch Series Alums Prepare For 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 15, 2007) -- The drivers and teams of the NASCAR Busch Series will be well-represented during Saturday's NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway. As NASCAR Busch Series teams concluded the last of four scheduled 2007 tests Tuesday at the 1.5-mile track, some former series stars were prepping for their appearance on one of the sport's biggest stages.
Nearly half of the 18-car All-Star Challenge entry list is comprised of former NASCAR Busch Series standouts. Two -- Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- boast victories in the prestigious non-points race.
Martin, the all-time series wins (47) and Busch Poles (30) leader who was also voted No. 1 among the 25 Greatest NASCAR Busch Series Drivers in fan and media polls last year, has won two All-Star Challenges, in 1998 and most recently in 2005.
Also in 2005, Martin Truex Jr. became only the second full-time NASCAR Busch Series driver to participate in the All-Star Challenge when he was voted into that year's event by the fans. He finished on the lead lap of the NEXTEL Open and went on to defend his 2004 series crown that season.
In 2000, one year removed from the second of his consecutive series titles, Earnhardt Jr. became the first rookie to win the All-Star Challenge. He's still deeply involved in the NASCAR Busch Series as the owner of Shane Huffman's No. 88 U.S.NAVY Chevrolet.
Other former series notables in this year's All-Star Challenge include 2003 series champion Greg Biffle; Jeff Burton, who has 270 starts and 24 wins (tied for fourth all-time) in his series career; two-time and reigning champion and KHI team owner Kevin Harvick (third all-time in wins with 27); series charter member Dale Jarrett (11 wins, eighth in career starts with 329): Bobby Labonte, the 1991 series champion and Brian Vickers, who won the title in 2003. Vickers also won the NEXTEL Open in 2005.
The five double-duty drivers who participate full-time in the NASCAR Busch Series and in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup are entered in this year's NEXTEL Open. So is series regular Jon Wood (No. 47 Clorox/American Red Cross Ford). Joe Gibbs Racing developmental driver Aric Almirola also is entered in the Open; he won the Busch Pole at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in February.
EDWARDS REMAINS FASTEST THROUGH THREE OF FOUR TEST SESSIONS
NASCAR Busch Series leader Carl Edwards (No. 60 Scott's Ford) seems primed to defend his victory last year in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He posted the fastest lap for the third straight time during Tuesday's Day 2 afternoon test session 30.102 seconds (179.390 mph).
He also was fastest in both sessions during Monday's first day of testing. His evening time of 29.565 seconds (182.648) was a marked improvement over his afternoon best of 29.916 (180.505), the top test time thus far.
Thirty drivers representing 23 teams posted times during the first session of Day 2; the second session was scheduled from 6--9 p.m.
Following the conclusion of the test, NASCAR Busch Series teams and drivers will take advantage of the second open week on the 2007 schedule before racing resumes May 26 at LMS.