BUSCH: Fontana: Round two preview

After thriller at Daytona, NASCAR Busch Series prepares to head west DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2005) -- The buzz surrounding Tony Stewart's (No. 33 Old Spice Chevrolet) own version of the "pass in the grass" en route to his first NASCAR...

After thriller at Daytona, NASCAR Busch Series prepares to head west

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2005) -- The buzz surrounding Tony Stewart's (No. 33 Old Spice Chevrolet) own version of the "pass in the grass" en route to his first NASCAR Busch Series victory at Daytona last Saturday has barely died down.

Now, the adrenaline rush following the 2005 season-opener now carries some 3,000 miles from Florida to California as the NASCAR Busch Series prepares for its first of three consecutive events spanning from Los Angeles to Mexico City to Las Vegas, beginning Saturday at California Speedway.

The first of two races this year at California, the Stater Bros. 300 now sits in the No. 2 slot on the 2005 schedule, the earliest trip to the Golden State for the NASCAR Busch Series since the first event at the venue in October, 1997.

Greg Biffle (No. 66 Duraflame Ford), one of seven former NASCAR Busch Series champions entered in the California field, returns not only as the defending champion of this event, but he also won the second race at the track last September. He will try to match Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Waste Management Ford) as a three-time series winner at California.

Biffle finished eighth last week at Daytona, so momentum is on his side heading west. But the Vancouver, Wash., native is well aware of the talented field that looks to challenge his consecutive victories.

"There's no doubt we have our work cut out for us, but I know we are the team to beat," he said. "Everyone always brings their 'A-game' to California, because it is such a demanding and difficult track to race on, not to mention one of the most high-profile markets we go to. Everyone is going to be fighting to get that first win of the year and set the bar for the rest of the garage."

Following the race at California, a third consecutive different track configuration awaits the competitors in the NASCAR Busch Series as they venture to Mexico City to run in the series' first road-course event since 2001 at Watkins Glen. The Telcel Motorola 200 presented by Banamex will take place on the 2.518-mile course at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on March 6. The event is the first points race held outside the United States for the NASCAR Busch Series.

"It's going to be cool," reigning NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) said about the trip to Mexico City. "There are a lot of things different about it, [especially with] it being a road course."

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Martin Truex Jr.