BUSCH: Nashville: Clint Bowyer preview

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Pepsi 300; Time and Date: 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 10; Site: Nashville Superspeedway, Lebanon, Tenn. Live Coverage: Fox (television) at 3:30 p.m. ET and MRN (radio) at 3:45 p.m. ET; Qualifying:...

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Pepsi 300; Time and Date: 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 10; Site: Nashville Superspeedway, Lebanon, Tenn. Live Coverage: Fox (television) at 3:30 p.m. ET and MRN (radio) at 3:45 p.m. ET; Qualifying: 3:35 p.m. ET, Thursday, April 9, Live on SPEED (television); Happy Hour: Friday, April 9, following qualifying.

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS - For the first time in NASCAR Busch Series history, the Owners' Championship and the Drivers' Championship were split. The No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet team won the Owners' Championship in commanding fashion, clinching the title at Rockingham with one race remaining in the season. The team finished 261 points ahead of the No. 5 team of Brian Vickers, who claimed the Drivers' Championship. In 2004, the No. 21 Chevrolet carries the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups colors as the team attempts to defend its title. Harvick will compete in 20 of the 34 Busch Series events this season, and rookie driver Clint Bowyer will drive the No. 21 Reese's Chevy in the 14 other events on the schedule.

IN LIKE A LION; OUT LIKE A LAMB IN TEXAS - Bowyer began his Texas weekend on a high note by qualifying sixth for the event. Bowyer had a good practice and happy hour, and had high expectations for race. Unfortunately a lap 31 mishap relegated Bowyer and the No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet to the garage area after making contact with the turn three wall. The team was able to repair the car, and Bowyer was able to return to the racing surface and make up a few positions. Bowyer will look for a much better performance this weekend at Nashville.

NASHVILLE STAR?-The Nashville Superspeedway isn't a track that Bowyer will be seeing for the first time, like many that he'll visit on the Busch Series schedule this year. Bowyer made his ARCA debut there last year and finished second, while catching the eye of RCR. Bowyer is excited to return to the Nashville Superspeedway and build on his experience.

NO. 21 PREVIOUSLY AT NASHVILLE-Two great runs were had by the No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet last year at the Nashville Superspeedway with Johnny Sauter behind the wheel. Sauter finished second in this same event last year, missing out on his first win of the season when David Green passed him on the backstretch of the white flag lap. Then in June, Sauter was racing for the second position late in the event, and David Stremme wrecked him into the turn four wall, relegating him to the seventh position.

HORNADAY'S TEST-Bowyer's teammate Ron Hornaday tested the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet two weeks ago at Nashville. The test went well, and the teams worked on a variety of different setups and made improvements to existing setups. The information will help the No. 21 team.

THE CAR-This week, crew chief Ricky Viers will load chassis No. 024 onto the Reese's transporter. The car is brand new. It has seen some limited action at test sessions, but has never competed in a race.


Crew chief Ricky Viers on Bowyer's experience at Nashville-"Clint's been there before and ran well. He needs to go there, race all the laps and finish the event. He just needs to bounce back from a tough week in Texas. He still has yet to pit the car under race conditions, so it'll be nice to get that out of the way."

On the Rookie's Debut-"It didn't go as good as it could've. He had a good weekend overall, it just would've been nice to finish the race, and get a pit stop out of the way. He's a good driver and he'll continue to improve and do well."

Clint Bowyer on his first Busch Series race-"I was really excited and optimistic after our qualifying effort. The car had been loose all weekend, and when the race started I was just taking it easy and letting the car come to me. The car got real tight, and the next I know I'm in the wall. I was disappointed for sure, and now I just want to get to Nashville."

On Nashville- "I ran my first ARCA race there in 2003. I really like the track, and it's nice to be going back there. It's good that I've run there before, so I won't have to spend anytime in practice learning the track. We can go out there and work on the setup and try put a good run together this weekend."

* The No. 21 Reese's team is now fourth in the Busch Series owner's standings, 145 points behind the No. 8 team.
* Bowyer made his ARCA debut at Nashville in 2003; he finished second.
* Bowyer will compete in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series event at California Speedway in May.
* Bowyer's first race car was a Chevrolet Chevette in the pony stock division. He drove it at the tender age of 14.


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Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr. , David Green , Johnny Sauter , Brian Vickers , David Stremme , Clint Bowyer