EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Goulds Pumps 200; Time and Date: 1 p.m. EDT, Sunday, May 23; Site: Nazareth Speedway, Nazareth, Pa. Live Coverage: FX (television) at 12:30 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio) at 12:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 4:05...
EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Goulds Pumps 200; Time and Date: 1 p.m. EDT, Sunday, May 23; Site: Nazareth Speedway, Nazareth, Pa. Live Coverage: FX (television) at 12:30 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio) at 12:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 4:05 p.m. EDT, Saturday. May 22, Live on SPEED (television)
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.
BOWYER'S BACK -Bowyer returns to the driver's seat of the No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet this weekend at Nazareth Speedway. Bowyer, who last drove at Gateway two weeks ago, has remained busy behind the wheel. He tested the No. 29 KHI Busch Series car at Lowe's Motor Speedway last week. Bowyer has also spent a majority of his time at the racetrack high atop the spotters' stand, watching, listening and learning from his teammate Harvick.
LEARNING FROM THE VETERAN-Three weeks ago, Bowyer and teammate Ron Hornaday spent a day testing at Nazareth Speedway. Hornaday, a veteran driver and former winner at the Nazareth track, took time to help the rookie with the line around the speedway. Bowyer gradually improved as the day passed. By the end of the day, Bowyer was turning lap times parallel as fast as those of Hornaday.
HOW MANY TURNS ARE THERE? -Nazareth Speedway is one of the most unique racetracks on which the Busch Series competes. The triangular-shaped oval has three distinct turns, but some argue that the track has six or seven turns. Nonetheless, Nazareth Speedway presents a unique challenge to drivers and crews when determining the proper race setup. Bowyer's crew captured a victory at Nazareth last year and looks to repeat that feat on Sunday.
BUSCH SERIES ON SUNDAY? -For this first time this season, the Nextel Cup Series race will be held on Saturday and the Busch Series race will be held on Sunday. On Saturday, the Nextel Cup Series competes in the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., while the Busch Series practices and qualifies for Sunday's event at Nazareth.
VIERS EDUCATES SPONSOR-On Monday, Reese's Racing crew chief Rick Viers visited one of Hershey Foods' production facilities in Stuarts Draft, Va. Viers met with a Research and Design group from Hershey Foods and held a two-hour "Q & A" session with the group. They discussed the race team, leadership, teamwork and personnel management. The group used Viers' insight to help relate to challenges they face.
THE CAR - This week, Viers will load car No. 026 onto the Reese's transporter. That car was new in 2003, but most recently saw action in Texas, where Bowyer made contact with the turn three wall and finished 36th.
QUICK QUOTES AND NOTES:
Crew chief Ricky Viers on Bowyer's test at Nazareth-"The test went really well. We had Ron [Hornaday] to gauge off of, and Clint was right there with him. It's and odd track, but Clint got acclimated to it really quick. We're leaving the shop with the intention of winning.
Clint Bowyer on Nazareth- "It's a crazy place, that's for sure. It was very beneficial for me to go up there and follow Ron around for a while at the test. He's probably won of the best ever at that place, and he helped me a lot. I'm excited, I've been out of the car for a couple of weeks, so obviously I'm ready to be back racing."