Sam's Town 300 Friday notebook By Shawn A. Akers LAS VEGAS (March 5, 1999) Some notes and quotes Friday surrounding Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Jeff Green has been to ...
Sam's Town 300 Friday notebook By Shawn A. Akers
LAS VEGAS (March 5, 1999) Some notes and quotes Friday surrounding Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
Jeff Green has been to victory lane at Las Vegas before, and he's hungry to get there again, especially after he and the No. 33 Kleenex Chevrolet team were sent home without taking a qualifying lap at North Carolina Speedway two weeks ago (Bud Pole Qualifying was rained out).
"Putting Rockingham behind us, I am anxious to race at Las Vegas because my first Busch Grand National Series win was at this track," Green said. "I even named my black lab 'Vegas' because of my win here."
Green won the Bud Pole for the inaugural Sam's Town 300 in 1997, then went on to win the race in an unsponsored Diamond Ridge Motorsports Chevrolet. He finished second in the season-opening NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona.
Casey Atwood hopes to continue his early-season mini-roll at Las Vegas. The driver of the No. 27 Castrol Chevrolet, who finished 17th at Daytona (he was in the top-five before crashing on the last lap) and fifth at Rockingham, is looking forward to racing on the 1.5-mile oval.
"I enjoy racing on flat tracks like Las Vegas," Atwood said. "You have to have a fast car, but at the same time, the car has to handle well in the corners. The guys in the shop have worked hard on the Castrol GTX Chevrolet to make sure we're ready for our first time in Vegas."
Tony Raines may be a rookie in the NASCAR Busch Series, but he's certainly no stranger to Las Vegas. The driver of the No. 74 BACE Motorsports Chevrolet has raced twice at the 1.5-mile paved speedway, both times in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Raines finished 11th in his initial outing at LVMS in 1997, and then finished 22nd in last year's event.
"I think Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a great facility," said Raines, the current Raybestos Rookie of the Year point leader in the NASCAR Busch Series. "I have raced here before and that should help with this weekend. I know the track and will have some idea of what we will be looking for to adjust the car."
Raines' BACE Motorsports teammate, Johnny Benson, has had only one start at Las Vegas, but that was in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series last season. The former NASCAR Busch Series champion attempted to qualify for his third race on a 16-race NASCAR Busch Series schedule this season.
"I am looking forward to coming to Las Vegas and competing in the race on Saturday," Benson said. "We have had good cars for the first two races, but had have some bad luck at the same time. Hopefully this weekend we can change our luck and come out with a good run."
Kevin Lepage attempted to make his third NASCAR Busch Series start at Las Vegas. In 1997, he drove the No. 88 Ridling Motorsports entry to a 20th-place finish, then piloted the No. 40 Doug Taylor-owned ChannelLock Chevrolet to a 16th-place finish in last year's Sam's Town 300.
Lepage, who will pull double duty this weekend (also in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Las Vegas 400 in the PRIMESTAR Ford) will get some help from some friendly faces in the pits for Saturday's race. Both tire changers and tire carriers, along with the jackman, are members of the Penske-Kranefuss No. 12 NASCAR Winston Cup Series team. The gas man and the catch can man are members of Lepage's NASCAR Winston Cup Series team.
A total of 16 NASCAR Winston Cup Series regulars have entered the NASCAR Busch Series Sam's Town 300, led by the race's defending champion, Jimmy Spencer, in the No. 12 Zippo Chevrolet.
Other NASCAR Winston Cup regulars who attempted to qualify for the race on Friday are: Benson, Geoffrey Bodine, Derrike Cope, Jeff Gordon, David Green, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Lepage, Sterling Marlin, Ted Musgrave, Joe Nemechek, Elliott Sadler, Ken Schrader, Mike Skinner and Michael Waltrip.
Fast Parts Online.com has joined the Earl Sadler No. 95 NASCAR Busch Series effort as an associate sponsor. The car, with Shoney's Inn as its primary sponsor, is driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr.
Fast Parts Online.com is the number one-ranked auto parts distributor that does business only over the Internet.
Source: NASCAR Online