* Father's Day is everyday at Lewis Motorsports * No home track advantage for Kentucky native David Green * Dallenbach back on track for tune up NEWS & NOTES Ã˜ TV Timeout ... NASCAR Busch Series TV ratings are enjoying an increase on ...
* Father's Day is everyday at Lewis Motorsports
* No home track advantage for Kentucky native David Green
* Dallenbach back on track for tune up
NEWS & NOTES
Ø TV Timeout ... NASCAR Busch Series TV ratings are enjoying an increase on network TV in 2003. The NASCAR Busch Series is averaging 3,717,000 viewers per race, an increase of 8% over 2002.
Ø Ashton, Charlie Lewis working to give early Father's Day gift ... Ashton Lewis Jr. (No. 46 Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet) and his brother/crew chief Charlie are hoping to give their father a NASCAR Busch Series win for Father's Day this year. Ashton Lewis Sr., owner of Lewis Motorsports and the No. 46 car driven by Lewis Jr., has had the unique opportunity to work with his sons at a high level of competition. "I am fortunate enough to be able to participate very closely in my sons' lives," said Lewis Sr. "Not many fathers are able to do that. I get to see their growth and participate in their achievements first hand. As a father, there's not a whole lot more you can ask for." One of those achievements was helping Lewis Jr. earn his career-first Bud Pole award at Gateway International Raceway in May. The family-owned team -- which began racing part-time in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2000 -- is coming off a sixth-place finish at Nashville, their third top 10 of the season. Ashton and Charlie, who have both worked on Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, are now thrilled with the opportunity to work with their father. "I don't have a lot of experience in driving for other owners, but I do know that for me, it's an ideal situation," said Lewis Jr. "[My dad] is dedicated to seeing us do well. He's willing to take that extra step -- whether it's financial support, parental support, working extra hours or whatever it takes -- to get the team where it needs to be. To have that level of commitment and dedication in a car owner is something that you just can't put a price on."
Ø Looking for home "court" advantage ... For Kentucky native David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac), Kentucky Speedway hasn't produced the home track advantage he had hoped for. After two races at the track, Green has finished outside the top 20 in both appearances. "Our record is not good on paper, but I feel like Kentucky is a good track for me. In 2001 we ran awful well and had a flat tire which cut a brake line which cost us a few laps, but we ran competitively," said Green. "I tested a NASCAR Winston Cup car for Hendrick Motorsports there last fall and really learned a lot working with those guys. I'm very pumped in returning to our 'home track' with my new team [Brewco Motorsports] which has done an excellent job in putting me up front all year. I feel like we have home track advantage each race we run but especially Kentucky since my team is based within the state and right up the road."
Ø Etc. ... Johnny Sauter (No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet) will throw out the first pitch at tonight's Milwaukee Brewers baseball game at Miller Park in Milwaukee. "It's going to be awesome," said Sauter, a native of Necedah, Wis. "I've always dreamed about being a professional baseball player, and I've always loved to watch the Brewers. It'll be a great chance for me to see how those guys go about their jobs.". ... Prior to the race on Saturday night, Green will introduce country music artist Mark Wills for his pre-race concert; Wills and his band will show their support for Green by wearing Timber Wolf racing uniforms. ... Hollywood-stuntman Stanton Barrett (No. 60 Odoban Ford) is spending time in California this week, working on the set of "Spiderman 2." ... The last laps Mike Wallace (No. 4 Geico Chevrolet) led in the NASCAR Busch Series were at Kentucky last year. ... Kentucky Speedway probably brings mixed feelings to Mike Bliss (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet). Bliss won at Kentucky last season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with a broken nose, suffered a few days prior in a softball game. ... NBC/TNT broadcaster/driver Wally Dallenbach is entered at Kentucky in the No. 17 Aleve Ford owned by John Reiser. The car has been driven by NASCAR Winston Cup Series point leader Matt Kenseth in six races this year and has been to Victory Lane twice (California and Charlotte). In three races last year, Dallenbach had two top-10 finishes with his best (seventh) coming at Lowe's Motor Speedway in October. ... Jason Rudd (No. 01 Hampton Inns Dodge) -- the nephew of NASCAR Winston Cup star Ricky Rudd -- will attempt to make his first NASCAR Busch Series start since November 2001 at Rockingham. All six of Rudd's career starts were made during the 2001 season. ... Last week Jason Keller became the first NASCAR Busch Series driver to top the $7 million mark in career earnings. Keller's $23,400 earned at Nashville for his 14th-place finish gives him a career total of $7,002,930.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Ø There are only eight active drivers who have competed in both NASCAR Busch Series races at Kentucky. Among that group, Lewis holds the best average finish (8.0). Lewis finished fifth in 2001 and 11th last year.
Ø Coming off his second win of the season, Riggs has five top-five finishes in his last six starts, including three consecutive top-three finishes. After setting the qualifying record last year at Kentucky -- his most recent Bud Pole award -- Riggs led 91 laps before finishing fourth. Riggs also won the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Kentucky.
Ø "I'm like a kid in a candy store knowing I get to come and play in our own backyard." -- Owensboro, Ky., native David Green on returning to Kentucky Speedway with his Brewco Motorsports team, which is based in Central City, Ky.
Ø "[Kentucky Speedway] is a multi-groove track and allows for some good side-by-side action. The fastest way around the track seems to be around the bottom, and the winner is probably going to be the guy who can make his car stick there during the race." -- Randy LaJoie (No. 7 Kleenex/Scott Products Chevrolet).
Ø "I really like [Kentucky.] Even though it looks similar to some of the other tracks we go to, it is completely different. It is very fast and really smooth. If your car is hooked up, then you can pass just about anywhere. The key is to get the car to handle all the way through the corners, because you are in them for a long time." -- Ron Hornaday (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet).
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Ø Kentucky Speedway became the 43rd track at which the NASCAR Busch Series has competed, and the 20th superspeedway. It is the second track in the Bluegrass state that has held a NASCAR Busch Series race. Louisville Speedway (.354-mile) hosted two races in the late 1980s, won by Tommy Ellis (1988) and Tommy Houston (1989). Only one NASCAR Winston Cup Series race has been contested in Kentucky. On August 29, 1954, Lee Petty won the 200-lap race at Corbin Speedway, a half-mile dirt track in Corbin, Ky.
Meijer 300 presented by Oreo (Race 16 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky.
8 p.m. (ET), Saturday, June 14.
TV: FX, 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday--Practice, 12:40 p.m.-2:40 p.m.; Qualifying, 5:05 p.m.; Practice, 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.