* Rookie Race: Krisiloff Catches Montoya NBS ETC. Leffler's Long Climb: It's taken a while -- since last September following the race at his home track, California Speedway -- since Jason Leffler has been in the top 10 in points. But...
* Rookie Race: Krisiloff Catches Montoya
Leffler's Long Climb: It's taken a while -- since last September following the race at his home track, California Speedway -- since Jason Leffler has been in the top 10 in points. But after his fourth top-15 finish in his last five races, Leffler enters this weekend's race at Milwaukee in 10th in the standings. His entry into the top 10 gives Toyota --in its first season of NASCAR Busch Series competition -- the distinction of having all three full-time drivers from its two teams ranked in the top 10. Dave Blaney (No. 10 Camping World Toyota) is second while David Reutimann (No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota) is fourth.
Double-Duty Drivers: The distance between The Milwaukee Mile and Infineon Raceway will keep J.J. Yeley from maintaining his full-time status in the NASCAR Busch Series. Instead, Johnny Benson, the 1995 series champion, will drive the No. 1 Miccosukee Resorts Chevrolet at Milwaukee. Additionally, David Reutimann and Mike Bliss will pull duty at Milwaukee only. P.J. Jones will drive Reutimann's No. 00 Toyota and Klaus Graf is scheduled to drive Bliss' No. 49 Chevrolet at Infineon this weekend. Carl Edwards will have Janesville, Wis., native Travis Kvapil on hand to practice his No. 60 Ford while Erik Darnell will do the same for David Ragan (No. 6 Discount Tire Ford.) Last year's Milwaukee Busch Pole winner, Aric Almirola, will shake down the No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet for Denny Hamlin. The sub for Dave Blaney will be announced later this week.
Series Regulars, Alums Shine: The last two weeks have been highlight moments for the NASCAR Busch Series. Current series regular Stephen Leicht's first career win at Kentucky was joined by Carl Edwards' first win of the season in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. J.J. Yeley won his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series pole there while two-time series champion Martin Truex Jr. finished second to Edwards, following up his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup win at Dover International Speedway June 3. Truex is 10th in the premier series' standings, which currently list three former NASCAR Busch Series champions (Truex, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.) along with drivers who are 145 wins and over 1,400 combined series among its top 12.
"I feel like it's back in 2004-05 when I was running the Busch car," Truex said. "We're having a lot of fun. We're working well together. Our chemistry is perfect. Everything's just clicking for us right now and hopefully it will last a long time because I sure am enjoying it." Kluever's Cause: On Sunday, June 24, Todd Kluever will host the first annual "Todd Kluever Ride To Cure Diabetes" motorcycle fundraiser in Madison, Wis. Proceeds from the ride and auction will benefit the American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. While also at home in Wisconsin, Kluever will take time to throw out the first pitch at the Madison Mallards baseball game on Wednesday night. Kluever will sign autographs for fans from 5:30 -- 6:30 p.m. (CT) and his first pitch is scheduled just before the game's start at 7:05 p.m. The Mallards are member of the Northwoods League, a sanctioned league for the Collegiate Baseball Association.
Wimmer Also "Pitches In": Scott Wimmer is scheduled to toss out a first pitch this week as well. Wimmer throws out the opening pitch Friday night before the Milwaukee Brewers take on the Kansas City Royals at Miller Park. A former baseball player, Wimmer used to go to games in old County Stadium and has yet to visit the newer ballpark. Wimmer's first pitch is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. (CT) with the game scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.
The Director's Take: Milwaukee
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT MILWAUKEE: INSIGHT FROM JOE BALASH, NASCAR BUSCH SERIES DIRECTOR
"The Milwaukee Mile will test a driver's patience. They can't overdrive the track's wide, flat turns.
"Teams will use the phrase 'back up the corner' at Milwaukee, meaning if drivers get off the gas earlier, they'll allow the car to roll through the turn.
"Those who have patience in the turns will pull away from others who stay on the gas too long.
"Teams will also be working on their spring shock package to prepare the car to handle the transition between the new and old pavement. Slight bumps in this area will upset the car so holding the nose down will gain valuable time and carry the exit speed of the car."
Rookie Spotlight: Krisiloff Catches Montoya In Points And Looks To Pass At Milwaukee
Krisiloff Catches Montoya: Kyle Krisiloff (No. 14 Clabber Girl Ford) has made steady progress up the rookie points ladder and has caught Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) in points. Montoya is still listed in third with higher finishes overall than Krisiloff and has run three fewer races than Krisiloff. But the 20-year-old from Carmel, Ind., has been solid in his first full-time season in the series.
Ragan Improves Lead: David Ragan increased his lead from six to 11 points over Marcos Ambrose following last Saturday's race at Kentucky. The difference -- Ragan posted his first consecutive top 10s of the season at Nashville (seventh) and Kentucky (eighth) while Ambrose had an 11th-place finish at Kentucky after a career-worst 36th at Nashville.
New Faces At Milwaukee: At least three drivers hope to make their first start in the NASCAR Busch Series at Milwaukee while two have a few starts to their credit. Frank Kreyer (No. 56 Culver's Chevrolet), a native of Lyndon Station, Wis., Danny Efland (No. 01 Davis Motorsports Chevrolet) and Tim McCreadie (No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) look to debut. Marc Mitchell (No 11 Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions Chevrolet) who has two series starts and Scott Lagasse Jr. (No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge), with five starts, both return for the first time since 2005.
Ford Matches Chevrolet With 7 Wins; Only Six Points Out Of Manufacturer Lead
Here comes Ford. After winning its third consecutive race thanks to Stephen Leicht's upstart victory at Kentucky last Saturday night, Ford has seven wins on the season and is tied with Chevrolet in the W column in the Bill France Performance Cup standings.
The win leaves second-place Ford just six points behind Chevy heading to Milwaukee this weekend.
The two manufacturers were last tied in wins following last April's race at Phoenix where they each had four, but Chevy ran off three straight before Ford's recent three-race winning streak.
Chevrolet has the upper hand at Milwaukee, having won a series-leading eight races there including last year's win by Paul Menard. Ford has five wins at the one-mile track.
Dodge, in third place in the standings, won at Milwaukee two years ago. Fourth-place Toyota will be making its series debut at the track this week.
Up Next: Camping World 200 presented by RVs.com at New Hampshire International Speedway
The New England region is next up for the NASCAR Busch Series as New Hampshire International Speedway hosts the Camping World 200 presented by RVs.com on Saturday, June 30. ESPN2 will carry the race live starting at 2:30 p.m. Race coverage will begin at 3 pm.
Carl Edwards won this event last year while Kyle Busch claimed the Busch Pole. There has yet to be a repeat winner at New Hampshire as 20 different drivers have captured series victories at the track since Tommy Ellis won the first race in 1990.
Edwards and his Roush Fenway Racing teammates will be racing in Boston Red Sox country for the first time since Roush Racing's partnership with the Fenway Sports Group was announced last February.
The Race: AT&T 250
The Place: The Milwaukee Mile
The Date: June 23, 20071
The Time: 8:00 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 1-mile oval
Race Purse: $1,149,252
2006 Winner: Paul Menard
2006 Pole: Aric Almirola
Schedule: Sat.: 9-10 a.m. -- Practice; 10:15-10:45 a.m. -- Rookie Practice; 11 a.m. - Noon -- Final Practice; 4:35 p.m. -- Qualifying (Impound).