BUSCH: Fontana: Kevin Harvick preview

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...

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.

HARVICK RETURNS -- Harvick returns to the No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet for the first time since the wild finish at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. Harvick has four top-five finishes in the five Busch Series races he has started this season. Harvick will not compete in next week's race at Gateway International Raceway, but will return to the Reese's Racing Chevrolet in two weeks to defend his victory at Richmond International Raceway.

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).

WINNING CAR--The Reese's team will take chassis No. 040 to California this weekend. It was the same car that Harvick drove to victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. The car already has seen victory lane once this season, and the No. 21 team is optimistic it will again return to the winner's circle.

SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL-- Harvick will visit Cajon Speedway in El Cajon, Calif., Saturday night after the Busch Series race. He will join Bill Elliott, Sterling Marlin and Jeff Green in two 10-lap races called "The Race of Champions."

CALIFORNIA KID --Harvick is certainly no stranger to California. He grew up just a few hours north of Fontana in Bakersfield, Calif., and has his racing roots firmly planted in southern California. He began racing competitively in a go-kart just after finishing kindergarten.

QUICK QUOTES AND NOTES: Crew chief Ricky Viers on Harvick at California--"We're taking the race winning car from Las Vegas. We like that car, and it has a good record so far. Kevin has run well at California, and I know it's important for him to get a win at his 'home' track. We're real optimistic going into the weekend."

On another pole at California--"Clint was able to grab one in Talladega last weekend, and Kevin ran a huge lap at California last year. The best place to start is up front, so we're going to go after another pole this weekend."

* Harvick's teammate Clint Bowyer will compete in the NASCAR West Series event at California Speedway Saturday morning before the Busch Series race. Bowyer will drive the No. 20 RCR Racing Museum/NAPA Filters/NASCAR Select Chevrolet.

* Bowyer's Busch Pole at Talladega Superspeedway last week was the first pole of his career and the first pole of the season for the No. 21 team. Last season, Harvick earned five Busch Poles for the No. 21 team, with his first pole coming at California.

* This will be Harvick's lone Busch Series start at California this season.

* Tony Stewart will drive RCR's Busch Series No. 29 car this weekend in conjunction with the ESGR program. RCR will enter the No. 29 ESGR Busch Series car in five events this season, with five different Nextel Cup drivers in the driver's seat.

-khm-

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Bill Elliott , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Jeff Green , Sterling Marlin , Brian Vickers , Clint Bowyer