BUSCH: Las Vegas: Notes of Interest, schedule

* On the right track... Roush Racing announced last week that Jeff Burton (No. 9 CITGO Ford) would defend his title in the Sam's Town 300. Burton -- who won five of his 12 starts in the NASCAR Busch Series last season -- will be sponsored by his...

* On the right track... Roush Racing announced last week that Jeff Burton (No. 9 CITGO Ford) would defend his title in the Sam's Town 300. Burton -- who won five of his 12 starts in the NASCAR Busch Series last season -- will be sponsored by his NASCAR Winston Cup Series sponsor CITGO in a one-race deal. Burton was the last driver to score a "weekend sweep" -- winning both the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Winston Cup events in the same weekend. He won the Sam's Town 300 (3/4) and the CarsDirect.com 500K (3/5) in 2000. "I'm really excited to have CITGO on as the primary sponsor for the NASCAR Busch car in Las Vegas," Burton said. "We're hoping to take CITGO to victory lane twice that weekend." Burton is the most successful driver at Las Vegas. Along with two NASCAR Winston Cup wins (1999 and 2000), Burton has scored two wins (2000 and 2002), four top-fives and five top-10 finishes in five starts in NASCAR Busch Series competition. Todd Bodine (No. 92 Herzog-Jackson Motorsports Chevrolet) also has been strong at Las Vegas scoring one win (2001) and three top-five finishes.

* Double duty... Nine drivers are scheduled to pull double duty this weekend at Las Vegas. The list includes Jaime McMurray (No. 1 Yellow Transportation Dodge), Steve Park (No. 8 Maxwell House Chevrolet), Jeff Burton (No. 9 CITGO Ford), Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Alka Seltzer Ford), Kevin Harvick (No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet), Tony Raines (No. 33 Outdoor Channel Chevrolet), Joe Nemechek (No. 87 Cellular One Chevrolet), Todd Bodine (No. 92 Herzog-Jackson Motorsports Chevrolet), and Michael Waltrip (No. 99 Aaron's Sales & Lease Chevrolet).

* Etc.... Appropriately enough, Las Vegas Motor Speedway had the second highest purse -- after Daytona -- in 2002. The jackpot has increased nearly $100,000 to $1,356,617 for the 2003 Sam's Town 300. ... Stanton Barrett (No. 60 OdoBan Ford) -- who left his 15-year career as a Hollywood stuntman to chase his dream of racing -- performed stunt work in two motion pictures released in late February. "Cradle to the Grave," starring rap artist DMX and martial arts expert Jet Li, will be released Feb. 28 while the civil war epic "Gods and Generals" opened Feb. 21. ... Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) and Team Rensi Motorsports are collecting shampoos, soaps, lotions and hair products to be donated and sent to the troops overseas. The team will have a drop-off at the Team Marines hauler through next weekend at Darlington. ... Haas CNC Racing will field the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet in its NASCAR Busch Series debut this weekend with driver Troy Cline. Haas CNC Racing -- which fields the No. 0 NetZero Pontiac for Jack Sprague in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series -- will enter five races in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003. ... Mike Wallace (No. 4 GEICO Chevrolet) has entered at Las Vegas and next weekend at Darlington after GEICO announced this week it would extend its sponsorship of the Biagi Bros. Racing team from 10 to 12 races in 2003. ... Veteran Mike McLaughlin (No. 01 Ford) also will enter the Sam's Town 300 after signing a one-race agreement with the Flamingo Las Vegas resort.

* What's the word?... "I feel very comfortable racing at Las Vegas. The track is so smooth and you can be aggressive if you need to be. The track is very wide so you have plenty of room to work around a guy. It's just one of those places that I look forward to racing at. We have had great success out west. I have a great fan base in Las Vegas and so it's really cool when we get out there. It really almost feels like home. There are a ton of guys we raced with in Featherlite Southwest Series and NASCAR Winston West Series that come to see us. In fact, I need some extra credentials and tickets!" -- Ron Hornaday (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet).

* From the archives... Jeff Green won the first NASCAR Busch Series race at Las Vegas in 1997. The inaugural Sam's Town 300 was the first NASCAR Busch Series race west of the Mississippi river. In 2003, six of the 34 events will be west of the Mississippi.


Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday--Practice, 9-11:15 a.m. Qualifying, 1:30 p.m. Final practice, 4:45 (approximate time; follows NASCAR Winston Cup qualifying).

Race: 4 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. PT (local), Saturday, March 1.

TV: FX, 3:30 p.m. ET.
Radio: PRN/XM Satellite

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Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Michael Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Steve Park , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Jeff Green , Mike Wallace , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Mike McLaughlin , Tony Raines , Jack Sprague , Jamie McMurray , Stanton Barrett , Troy Cline