BUSCH: Fontana II: Kevin Harvick preview

EVENT INFORMATION -- Event: NASCAR Busch Series Target House 300; Time and Date: 3 p.m. EDT, Saturday, Sept. 4; Site: California Speedway, Fontana, Calif. Live Coverage: NBC (television) at 3 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio) at 2:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying:...

EVENT INFORMATION -- Event: NASCAR Busch Series Target House 300; Time and Date: 3 p.m. EDT, Saturday, Sept. 4; Site: California Speedway, Fontana, Calif. Live Coverage: NBC (television) at 3 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio) at 2:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 4 p.m. EDT, Sept. 3, Live on SPEED (television); Happy Hour: Friday, Sept. 3, following Nextel Cup qualifying.

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS -- For the first time in NASCAR Busch Series history, the Owners' Championship and the Drivers' Championship were split. The No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet team won the Owners' Championship in commanding fashion, clinching the title at Rockingham with one race remaining in the season. The team finished 261 points ahead of the No. 5 team of Brian Vickers, who claimed the Drivers' Championship. In 2004, the No. 21 Chevrolet carries the REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups colors as the team attempts to defend its title. Harvick will compete in 20 of the 34 Busch Series events this season, and rookie driver Clint Bowyer will drive the No. 21 REESE'S Chevy in the 14 other events on the schedule.

PREVIOUSLY IN CALIFORNIA -- Harvick returns the No. 21 REESE'S Chevrolet to California Speedway for the second time in 2004. At the May event, Harvick qualified third and finished eighth in a wild scramble for fuel at the end of the race. Harvick has three top-10 finishes in four Busch Series starts at California. Harvick has a win there as well, coming in the 2002 IROC race.

BUSCH POLE RECORD -- Kevin Harvick broke the track qualifying record en route to his first Busch Series pole of the season last year at California Speedway. He set new track qualifying records at three tracks last season (California, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway).

THIS ISN'T DARLINGTON ANYMORE -- NASCAR fans will experience a very significant change in their Labor Day weekend race broadcast this year. For the first time in more than 50 years, the NASCAR races this weekend will not be held at the historic Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. As part of the schedule re-alignment, NASCAR took the schedule west to the Los Angeles media market for a Labor Day weekend NEXTEL Cup night race at the California Speedway. The Busch Series event will still be run on Saturday with a noon start time.

KEVIN HARVICK: TELEVISION AND MOVIE STAR -- Harvick will pull "double-duty" this week on the small screen and the big screen. First, Harvick will take part in an episode of the television game show "Family Feud." Later in the week, Harvick will make a cameo appearance in the movie "Herbie."

CALIFORNIA KID -- Kevin Harvick is certainly no stranger to California. In fact, Harvick grew up just a few hours north of Fontana in Bakersfield, Calif. Harvick, who first raced competitively in a go-kart just after kindergarten, has his racing roots firmly planted in southern California.

THE CAR -- This week, crew chief Ricky Viers will load chassis No. 046 onto the REESE'S transporter. The car is new for this weekend and has only seen action in the wind tunnel. Viers was very pleased with the wind tunnel test and believes that car will better than the one the team brought to California Speedway in May.


Crew chief Ricky Viers on Harvick at California -- "Kevin has run well there every time he's been there in a Busch car. We had a great car in May, but fuel strategy bit us a little bit. We still ended up with a top-10 finish, but we were better than that."

On another pole at California -- "We haven't got Kevin a pole yet this year, and he blistered a lap there in 2003, so I'm hoping to repeat that performance this weekend. Overall, we've qualified well everywhere we've gone this year, and I don't expect this weekend to be any different."

* Even though Harvick has not won a pole this season, he still has an average start of sixth this season in Busch competition.

* Harvick's teammate Clint Bowyer is scheduled to test at the Kansas Speedway and Memphis Motorsports Park in the upcoming weeks in preparation for those races.

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Drivers Kevin Harvick , Brian Vickers , Clint Bowyer