BUSCH: Kansas: Clint Bowyer preview

EVENT INFORMATION -- Event: NASCAR Busch Series Mr. Goodcents 300; Time and Date: 1 p.m. EDT, Saturday, Oct. 9; Site: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan. Live Coverage: TNT (television) at 1 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio) at 12:45 p.m. EDT; Qualifying:...

EVENT INFORMATION -- Event: NASCAR Busch Series Mr. Goodcents 300; Time and Date: 1 p.m. EDT, Saturday, Oct. 9; Site: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan. Live Coverage: TNT (television) at 1 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio) at 12:45 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 1:30 p.m. EDT, Friday, Oct. 8, on SPEED (television).

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.

COMING HOME -- The Kansas Speedway will be a homecoming of sorts for REESE'S rookie Bowyer. Bowyer, an Emporia, Kan., native, considers Kansas Speedway home, as it is a mere 1 ½-hour drive down I-35. A large group of friends, family and supporters will cheer for Clint at Kansas. Bowyer would like nothing more than to put together a great run for his hometown fans.

TESTING ALL CYLINDERS-- Bowyer tested the REESE'S Chevrolet two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway. The test was scheduled for two days, but rain showers on the second day sent the team home. Bowyer and crew chief Ricky Viers were satisfied with the first day's test and are very optimistic for the race weekend.

THE DREAM COMES TRUE -- Bowyer drove past Kansas Speedway nearly every weekend for the past five years on his way to race tracks all over the Midwest. Bowyer has seen all phases of construction at the track and has attended many races there since it opened. "I never thought I would have a chance to drive on that track," Bowyer said. "It truly is a dream come true. I'm excited to come home and compete in front of my hometown crowd."

READING FOR KIDS -- Bowyer has been selected one of the spokesmen for Kansas in the National Education Association's "Read Across America" program. The program encourages elementary school-age children to read. The program focuses on Dr. Seuss books, and Bowyer will make an appearance with the "Cat in the Hat."

DID YOU KNOW? -- Bowyer put himself on the NASCAR Weekly Series map when he won two track championships driving at dirt modified at Lakeside Speedway, which is just five minutes from Kansas Speedway. Bowyer was also crowned the 2002 Midwest Region Weekly Series Champion.

THE CAR -- This week, Viers will load chassis No. 046 onto the REESE'S transporter. The car is one of the team's favorites. Bowyer tested the car two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway, and Harvick drove the car to a third-place finish at California in early September.


Crew chief Ricky Viers on Bowyer at the Kansas test-- "Clint did a good job for us during the test. We took two cars for him to try, but I believe he settled into No. 046, and this is one of the best cars in our fleet. This race is very important to Clint, and we're going to give him a 110 percent effort as a team and do all we can to help him have a successful debut at the Kansas Speedway."

Clint Bowyer on the Kansas Speedway-- "It's a fast track, and it can be pretty windy at times. I like that though; it reminds me that I'm back home in Kansas. We had a good test and were able to log a lot of laps. I wish we could've had our full two days, as I needed the seat time. I'm just excited to get there. What else can I say?"

What does this track mean to you?--"Kansas is obviously a very special place to me. I remember that piece of land when it was a corn field. I've probably driven by the track a couple of hundred times just dreaming of getting a chance to race there. A year ago, if you told me I would be racing there this season, I would've said 'you're crazy.' It's just a dream come true for me, and I want to make the most of it. I'm really proud to be able to race in front of my family and all the people who have helped me get to this point in my career."

* Bowyer's next Busch Series event will be Oct. 15 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

* Bowyer tested at Memphis Motorsports Park last week in preparation for the Oct. 23 event.


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Drivers Brian Vickers , Clint Bowyer