* Everyone's A Rookie At Circuit Gilles Villeneuve NBS Etc. Subs on Standby: With the travel to and from Montreal to Pocono this weekend for the seven double-duty drivers entered in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge, substitute...
* Everyone's A Rookie At Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Subs on Standby: With the travel to and from Montreal to Pocono this weekend for the seven double-duty drivers entered in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge, substitute drivers are on standby to practice and perhaps qualify their cars. Auggie Vidovich is on call for David Ragan; Brandon Miller will sub for Kevin Harvick; Scott Wimmer will be on hand for Jeff Burton; Casey Atwood for Greg Biffle; John Andretti for Carl Edwards and Mark Green for David Reutimann. A substitute had yet to be announced for Robby Gordon.
Scare for Steve Wallace: Steve Wallace (No. 66 Homelife Communities Dodge) received a scare Sunday night in Indianapolis when he was attacked during an attempted mugging. The 19-year-old suffered minor cuts and abrasions in the melee which took place at a convenience store. Wallace was in town for the Brickyard 400 after competing in the Kroger 200 NASCAR Busch Series race the night before. Several men jumped Wallace and attempted to rob him of his watch; one of the suspects was in custody as of Sunday night. Wallace is okay after the incident and plans to race this weekend in Montreal.
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Precedes NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge: The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will also compete at Circuit Gilles Villeneueve on Saturday. The 23-lap event is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. D.J. Kennington and J.R. Fitzpatrick Jr. are scheduled to compete in that event, then move on to their NASCAR Busch Series rides later in the afternoon. The series, like its counterpart the NASCAR Mexico Corona Series in Mexico, offers new opportunities for Canada's top teams and drivers to showcase their talents in the NASCAR system. The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series features cars similar to those used in the former CASCAR Super Series and operates throughout Canada with a schedule that runs from May through October.
The Director's Take: Montreal
INSIGHT FROM JOE BALASH, NASCAR BUSCH SERIES DIRECTOR
"Montreal will be a very technical course for the drivers' style and for the race car itself.
"The track data that was distributed to the teams via Terry Labonte's test gives them a track map, which includes breaking data, shock travel, engine RPM -- all the elements necessary to have the car set up to start their baseline when they get to the test session on Thursday.
"Any time we go to a new venue, it's important for the teams to get as much information as possible during the practice sessions to compile good notes for decision-making during the race.
"In the early part of practice, drivers will use that data to find marks for breaking and acceleration. Teams will also try to get as much track time on the practice day during the same time period that the race will actually take place.
"Choosing the correct location to start braking in the turns and getting back on the gas will be very critical for maintaining position on the track.
"Drivers will have to judge how much or their brakes to use during the early stages of the race so they will have enough braking capacity in the closing laps."
Everyone's A Rookie This Weekend In Montreal
* Plenty Rookie Stripes: Since the race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is an inaugural event for the NASCAR Busch Series, all drivers will be rookies until taking their first practice laps during two sessions on Thursday. NASCAR Busch Series Director Joe Balash said there will be no set rookie practice session as there has been throughout the season as all drivers will have the two sessions on Thursday, prior to regular practice on Friday.
* Rookies Fared Well First Time Out: Three of the four Raybestos Rookies entered for the Montreal event had solid outings on their first road course test of the season in March at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Marcos Ambrose led the way with an eighth-place finish. David Ragan was 14th while Kyle Krisiloff (No. 14 Lilly/Walgreens Ford) was 16th. Brad Coleman (No. 18 Fed Ex Chevrolet) stumbled to a 38th-place finish -- his worst of the season -- but has been on a tear since with two top-fives and three top-10s among his nine races.
The NASCAR Busch Series will make its inaugural visit to Montreal this weekend, racing at world-famous Circuit Gilles Villenueve on Saturday afternoon. ESPN2 will have live coverage of the race beginning at 3 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown.
The road racing circuit, named for one of Canada's most famous racers of all time and the home of an annual Formula One race, will present a level playing field for NASCAR Busch Series drivers and teams as all will be racing on the track for the first time.
Allen Bestwick will anchor ESPN2's coverage from Montreal, with analysis by two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie. Pit reporters will be Gary Gerould, Marty Smith and Vince Welch. Bestwick also will host NASCAR Countdown.
In addition to coverage of the race, ESPN2 will televise NASCAR Busch Series practice from Montreal at 2 p.m. Friday, and qualifying on Saturday at noon.
First Win Enables Toyota To Gain Ground
Toyota's first win in NASCAR Busch Series competition last week at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis was not only arguably one of the greatest races in series history but the outcome also put Toyota within the grasp of third place in the Bill France Performance Cup standings.
Jason Leffler's (No. 38 Great Clips Toyota) victory at ORP gives Toyota -- just two points behind third-place Dodge in the standings -- momentum, but a level playing field as the series heads to Montreal for Saturday's race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The inaugural event will be a first for each of the four manufacturers.
Dodge won earlier this year at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with Juan Pablo Montoya and has won the last two -- and most recent -- races at Watkins Glen, while Chevrolet claimed the first two races in Mexico City, so a baseline for victory on road courses has been set over the last two seasons.
Second-place Ford has one NASCAR Busch Series road course win on current courses; Bill Elliott won at the Glen in 1993.
Up Next: Zippo 200 At Watkins Glenn International
The NASCAR Busch Series competes on its second straight road course next Saturday, August 11, at Watkins Glen International.
The Zippo 200 will be televised on ESPN2 beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
The race was revived in 2005 after a three-year hiatus and Dodge drivers have had the upper hand over the past two seasons. Ryan Newman won in 2005 while Kurt Busch went to Victory Lane last season.
Terry Labonte, who turned the first NASCAR laps at Circuit Gilles Villeneueve June 12 during a test session, is the all-time leader in wins at The Glen with four. Canadian Ron Fellows is next with three victories; Labonte and Fellows share the all-time Busch Pole lead with two each.
The Race: NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge
The Place: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
The Date: Aug. 4, 20071
The Time: 3:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 2.709-mile road course
Race Purse: $2,075,651
Schedule: Thurs., 9:00 a.m.-- Noon; 1:30--4:00 p.m. -- Practice. Fri., 11:30 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.-- Practice; 2:05 --3:25 p.m. -- Final Practice. Sat. 12:10 p.m. -- Qualifying (Impound).