BUSCH: Nazareth: Pre-race news of note

NEWS OF NOTE * Hispanic Racing Team tabs Green... Former NASCAR Busch Series champion David Green will replace Roberto Guerrero, who crashed in a test session last week, for the May 25 season debut of the Hispanic Racing Team at Lowe's...

NEWS OF NOTE

* Hispanic Racing Team tabs Green... Former NASCAR Busch Series champion David Green will replace Roberto Guerrero, who crashed in a test session last week, for the May 25 season debut of the Hispanic Racing Team at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Carquest Auto Parts 300. Green, the 1994 NASCAR Busch champion, possesses some previous history with HRT, having made the first start for the organization in the 1999 season finale at Homestead, Fla. HRT, with Hispanic team co-owners Rudy Rodriguez and Mike Vazquez, had planned for an"all-Hispanic" debut with the South American Guerrero behind the wheel and Latin American sponsor CICLON, but those plans will have to wait for one of the other four races the team plans to run this season.

* Etc... With his win at New Hampshire, Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps Ford) became the second first-time winner of the season, joining rookie Scott Riggs (No. 10 Nestle Nesquik Ford) who added to his inaugural win at Nashville with another victory at California Speedway. Through 11 races, there have been seven different winners.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

* Success at Nazareth this weekend for Randy LaJoie (No. 7 Kleenex/Nortel Networks Chevrolet) may be an omen for his NASCAR Busch Series championship hopes. LaJoie has only two top-five finishes in seven career starts at Nazareth, but each came during a championship season. He earned his first career NASCAR Busch Series win in 1996 en route to the series crown and registered a third-place finish during his 1997 title run. LaJoie is currently third in the championship standings, 122 points behind Jack Sprague (No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet).

* Jason Keller (No. 57 Albertsons Ford) has recorded six career top-10 finishes at Nazareth, including top-five efforts the past two seasons. Keller was fourth in last year's race and a personal-best of third in 2000. With another top-10 performance, he will tie Tim Fedewa for most career top-10 finishes at Nazareth (7).

* In five starts at Nazareth, Jeff Purvis (No. 37 Timber Wolf Chevrolet) has an average finish of 7.8, which ranks third among NASCAR Busch Series drivers with a minimum of five races at the 1-mile oval. His best finish was runner-up in 1998.

WHAT'S THE WORD?

* "Nazareth is like a left-handed road course. There are three turns and you have to lift three times. It's uphill and downhill. Every turn is different. You can really only fix one problem so you have to live with a lot as a driver. You just fix what you need the most. It's just part of the challenge we face as drivers." - Ricky Hendrick (No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet).

* "Nazareth could be the trickiest track I have ever raced at. It gave us headaches through practice and qualifying (last year). Last season was the first time I had been there and finally, halfway through the race, I thought, 'Man, now I know what to do.' By the end of the race, I felt like I had the place figured out. We were coming up through the field, but it is really difficult to pass there. We could do it in the second half of the race. If we could have figured things out earlier, we would have had a lot better finish (22nd)." - Tim Sauter (No. 19 AP Performance Chevrolet).

FROM THE ARCHIVES

* Elliott Sadler is the only driver in the 14-year history of NASCAR Busch Series races at Nazareth Speedway to win from the pole. Sadler won the 1997 Core States Adv. 200 from the pole, averaging 129.674 miles per hour.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Roberto Guerrero , Jack Sprague , Jeff Purvis , David Green , Scott Riggs , Tim Sauter , Elliott Sadler