BUSCH: Kentucky: Clint Bowyer preview

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Meijer 300; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Saturday, June 19; Site: Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky. Live Coverage: FX (television) at 7:30 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio) at 7:45 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 5:05 p.m.

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Meijer 300; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Saturday, June 19; Site: Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky. Live Coverage: FX (television) at 7:30 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio) at 7:45 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 5:05 p.m. EDT, Friday, June 18, Live 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.

KENTUCKY BOUND - Bowyer returns to the driver's seat of the No. 21 REESE'S Chevrolet this weekend at the Kentucky Speedway. Bowyer will be making just his seventh career Busch Series start. Bowyer has never seen many of the tracks he travels to, including Kentucky.

TESTING? TESTING? - Following the conclusion of the Dover race, Bowyer and the No. 21 REESE'S team traveled to the Kentucky Speedway for a two-day test. Bowyer quickly adapted to the track and the car. In between rain showers during the two days, the team worked on the car and made strides in the right direction in preparation for this weekend's event.

NASHVILLE ALL-NIGHTER - After a day of rain showers, the checkered flag finally waived over the field at the Nashville Superspeedway at the wee hours of Sunday morning. Bowyer finished third, and the teams put another 12-hour workday under their belts.

PIT CREW ON THE RISE - The No. 21 REESE'S team has gradually improved week in and week out this season. Last weekend was no different. The team was able to make the necessary adjustments on pit road to Bowyer's car and return him to the racing surface with great track position each time. Bowyer credits the crew with giving him one of the best race cars on the track that night and every race.

DID YOU KNOW? - Bowyer's spotter for the 2004 season is RCR general manager Mike Dillon. Dillon, a former driver and son-in-law of Richard Childress, has provided Bowyer with guidance and knowledge of the cars and tracks to help speed up Bowyer's learning curve. Dillon and Bowyer are developing chemistry over the radio during the race.

RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE RACE - Bowyer has been the Raybestos Rookie of the Race (highest finishing rookie) twice this year, each time coming at Nashville. Bowyer is the only other rookie besides Kyle Busch to win that award this season.

THE CAR - This week, crew chief Ricky Viers will load chassis No. 040 onto the REESE'S transporter. Bowyer tested that car last week at the Kentucky Speedway. The car has also seen action in two other races this season. Harvick drove it to victory lane in Las Vegas (3/6), and finished eighth at California (5/1).


Crew chief Ricky Viers on Bowyer at Kentucky - "Clint adapted really fast to the track at the test. He felt real good about the car and was able to turn some great laps there. The track is really smooth and really fast. I look for Clint to be right up there in the hunt this weekend."

Clint Bowyer on Kentucky - "It's a fun track to drive. The track is extremely smooth, and you can build a lot of speed there. I have never really driven a track like it before, the closest thing I've been on is Texas or Charlotte. We had a good test and a fast car. I just want to build on the momentum from last weekend and just keep chipping away at the points."

* Bowyer only competes in two Busch Series events during July and August. (July 31 at and Aug. 7 at Indianapolis Raceway Park).

* Bowyer's REESE'S Racing teammate, Kevin Harvick, will compete in the Nextel Cup events at Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Speedway and Infineon Raceway while the Nextel Cup and Busch Series split in June.

* Harvick is scheduled to make his 100th career Busch Series start July 24 in New Hampshire.

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Drivers Kevin Harvick , Brian Vickers , Clint Bowyer , Kyle Busch