BUSCH: Fontana: News of Note, schedule

ON THE RIGHT TRACK * Mike Bliss (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet) has three top-five finishes in his last four races and five top-10 finishes in eight races this season. Bliss has one win at California Speedway in the NASCAR...


* Mike Bliss (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet) has three top-five finishes in his last four races and five top-10 finishes in eight races this season. Bliss has one win at California Speedway in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series where he won from the pole in 1997.

* NASCAR Busch Series points leader Todd Bodine (No. 92 Herzog-Jackson Motorsports Chevrolet), the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race winner at California Speedway in 1997 and Scott Riggs (No. 10 Nestle Nesquik Ford), currently ninth in the point standings, hope to become only the second NASCAR Busch Series repeat winner at California Speedway joining Matt Kenseth. Kenseth (No. 17 ALEVE Ford) is also entered in Saturday's event.


* Three's company ... Brewco Motorsports will pass the torch from one NASCAR Busch Series rookie to another beginning next weekend when Joey Clanton will step into the No. 27 TrimSpa Pontiac. Chase Montgomery will be part of a third Brewco team in as many as six more races this season, joining Clanton and David Green (No. 37 Timberwolf Pontiac). Green, who claimed his sixth NASCAR Busch Series victory at Nashville, is currently third in the points. Clanton will vie for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors, bringing the number of rookies in the NASCAR Busch Series to eight.

* A Team Marines guy ... Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) will head to California early this week so he can visit Marines and their families at Camp Pendelton and Marine Corps Air Station Mirimar. Hamilton will meet with Base Commanding General, Major General William Bowdon on Wednesday before meeting and signing autographs with Marines at the Country Store, the base grocery/shopping area. He plans to also meet new Marines from the School of Infantry and the Assault Amphibian School. Thursday, Hamilton will be at Mirimar visiting the base theater in support of "Operation Enduring Families," then will meet VFMAT-101, the Navy/Marine Corps F/A-18 training squadron. "I've been looking forward to this trip all year," said Hamilton. "I'm happy to have a couple of days to visit Camp Pendelton and Mirimar. These are some of the most impressive people you could meet with all of their hard work and personal sacrifices they make not only for America, but for other parts of the world. Going to these bases puts things in perspective and it's a completely different world that most people take for granted, but because of these men and women we are able to live the lives that we do. The most important part of the trip is to let as many Marines as possible know that we appreciate what they do and that we are proud of them."


* Carlos Contreras (No. 49 Citizen Watch Company/Fox Sports en Espan0xdbec Ford) will make his NASCAR Busch Series debut this weekend. Contreras, a native of Mexico City, Mexico, finished 16th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series last season. Fox Sports en Espan0xdbec is doing a Spanish language special, "Making History with Carlos Contreras" which is slated to run several times this week. ... Kerry Earnhardt (No. 12 Hot Tamales Chevrolet) will attempt to qualify for his second NASCAR Winston Cup Series race Friday at California Speedway. Earnhardt will drive the No. 80 Supercuts Chevrolet. ... Ashton Lewis Jr. (No. 46 Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet) finished a season-high third at Nashville, his first top-10 finish of the year. ... Carroll Racing will field a "Dr. Pepper Duo" Saturday at California Speedway. Kevin Grubb will drive the No. 90 Diet Dr Pepper Dodge while Lance Norick pilots the No. 26 Dr Pepper Dodge. This is the second time Carroll Racing and Dr Pepper have teamed up to field the two cars. ... Great Clips, sponsor of Kasey Kahne's No. 38 Ford will be offering complimentary hair cuts on Friday, in the driver motorcoach lot (at the MRO Community Center) at California Speedway for drivers, families, crew members, officials, media, etc. Two stylists will be in the community center from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. ... Shane Hmiel (No. 48 Goulds Pumps/Dark Dog Chevrolet) has quietly entered the top five in points, only 102 behind leader Todd Bodine, with three top-10 finishes. ... Next week's race at Richmond will be the first of five Friday night races this season in the NASCAR Busch Series. Richmond will also host a second Friday night event on Sept. 5.


* "We have run really good at California Speedway in the past but for one reason or another, we haven't finished well and that is something I hope to change this weekend. Richard Childress Racing has run well there, but RCR is still looking for their first win at the track, so that is the goal for the ACDelco Chevrolet this weekend. And I think we have the car and the team to do it."
    Ron Hornaday, Jr.

* "We are at a point in the season where it is critical that we get back on track. I don't think the last few weeks were anything that could have been completely avoided, but the sooner we get a solid top-five finish the better. I'm proud of this team and the way they have been handling the adversity over the past few races. They have the same positive outlook they had at the beginning."
    Jason Keller on the importance of a good finish


* Since the NASCAR Busch Series began racing at California Speedway in 1997, no driver has won from the pole. Matt Kenseth (1999) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998) have each won from the outside pole.

1-800-Pit-Shop.com 300 (NASCAR Busch Series race No. 9 of 34.)
California Speedway, Los Angeles, Calif.

RACE: 4 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 26.
TV: FOX, 4 p.m. ET.

Pre-race schedule (all times local):
Practice, 9-11:15 a.m.
Qualifying, 1:30 p.m.


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Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Matt Kenseth , Todd Bodine , Jason Keller , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Lance Norick , Carlos Contreras , Chase Montgomery , David Green , Scott Riggs , Shane Hmiel , Kasey Kahne , Mike Bliss , Joey Clanton , Ashton Lewis
Teams Richard Childress Racing