BUSCH: Milwaukee: Round 17 preview

Win here, win it all? Milwaukee shows race winner/series champion correlation DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 21, 2005) -- Although coincidence is defined as an occurrence of events at the same time with no apparent relationship, there's no disputing...

Win here, win it all? Milwaukee shows race winner/series champion correlation

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 21, 2005) -- Although coincidence is defined as an occurrence of events at the same time with no apparent relationship, there's no disputing a major correlation between a driver who wins the NASCAR Busch Series race at The Milwaukee Mile, then goes on to win the series championship.

Since the series first appeared at Milwaukee in 1984, seven of the 14 race winners were ultimately crowned NASCAR Busch Series champion that year, although the feat hasn't been accomplished since 2002, when Greg Biffle won the race, and then claimed the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway five months later.

At the halfway mark of the 2005 season, that statistical relationship is one that drivers might consider more than just coincidence. Especially when the top four in the championship point standings are separated by a mere 66 points.

The top four drivers in the rankings -- first-place Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge), Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) in second, Clint Bowyer (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) who stands third and Carl Edwards (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford) in fourth -- also finished 1-4 in the race last Saturday at Kentucky, bottling up the championship standings to it's slimmest margin since this year's second race.

Edwards gained 30 points in the rankings with his win at Kentucky; he missed the Nashville event the week before due to a combination of inclement weather and his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series duties.

Truex dispelled the 50% theory last year when he finished ninth at Milwaukee in his first series start at the track, yet won the NASCAR Busch Series title. Bowyer was 10th in 2004, also his first start at The Mile. Sorenson and Edwards will look to make their first series starts there on Saturday night.

"That is a little scary, because last year we didn't run well there," said Martin Truex Jr. of the race winner/title winner comparison. "[But] we did win the championship.

"I think the reason why so many NASCAR Busch Series champions have won at Milwaukee is that this is the last race of the first half of the season. It's very key to have a ton of momentum on your side heading into the second half of the year, and the best way is to win."

"Wow," Bowyer said, "I was unaware of that. That is a pretty strong stat." I would like to win the race no matter what. If it so happens that stat plays a role in the championship, then so be it. I try not to look too deep into stats like that. I just want to go out there and run well each and every weekend.

"There is a lot of racing left to do and as I have said before, these stand-alone events are key in having good finishes to build momentum for the rest of the year. I think Milwaukee is a good turning point just before we get to Daytona which marks the second half of the season. It definitely will be important to run well there even if we don't win."

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Greg Biffle , Martin Truex Jr. , Clint Bowyer , Reed Sorenson