BUSCH: Nazareth spotlight on Jason Keller

Jason Keller will return to defend his title at the most challenging track in the series. Nazareth, PA (March 18, 2003) -- As Jason Keller makes his run to capture the NASCAR Busch Series crown for the first time in his career, he will return to...

Jason Keller will return to defend his title at the most challenging track in the series.

Nazareth, PA (March 18, 2003) -- As Jason Keller makes his run to capture the NASCAR Busch Series crown for the first time in his career, he will return to Nazareth Speedway on May 17-18, 2003 to defend his win at the historic tri-oval and make history.

Not only would Keller become the first Busch Series driver to ever win back-to-back races at Nazareth Speedway, but he is also scheduled to make the 300th start of his illustrious NASCAR Busch Series career at "The World's Fastest Mile," becoming only the fifth driver in series history to reach that milestone.

"As I get closer and closer to that, I'm learning how big that plateau really is," Keller said. "For all the people and drivers who have come through the series, it is pretty elite company and I'm looking forward to it.

"This thing is kind of lining up to have a storybook feel: Past winner, previous champion at Nazareth and also my 300th start. It kind of gives me goose bumps."

Keller began his career in 1991, making just one start for his father, Joe Keller, at Lanier Speedway on April 25. And though he qualified 22nd for the event, he finished with a DNF due to overheating. But he continued his steady climb, improving his final standing each year, culminating with his fourth place finish in the points in 1995. And Keller now enters the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series season as the all-time leader in career winnings with $6,562,275.

"I think you have to come into a place like Nazareth with a real open mind and know that it's not going to feel quite the same as a lot of these racetracks do for us," Keller said. "I've always enjoyed Nazareth. It's a flat track that gives a road course feel. We seem to come in there and perform well over the past couple of years.

"It's a place where if you go in with a closed mind, you're probably not going to do so well that weekend."

The 12-year veteran of the series has been the model of consistency throughout his career on the circuit, finishing as the runner-up for the Busch Series championship in two of the last three campaigns. In addition to his nine career wins and nine career poles, he has also finished in the top 10 in points in six of the past eight years.

But he ranks Nazareth Speedway near the top of his list of tracks he visits each season, especially since he conquered the one-mile oval last year.

"I was really, really excited about coming up there last year and was really fired up, went out there and had a head-to-head battle with [current Winston Cup driver Greg] Biffle, then went on to win the race.

"So I'm extremely excited about coming back. There are some racetracks you get really fired up for and there are some you just think you may finish in the top 10 or top five. But Nazareth is one place I really get fired up to come to."

The race season begins at Nazareth Speedway on May 17-18, 2003 with the return of the NASCAR Busch Series to the Lehigh Valley. Jason Keller will return to defend his title at "The World's Fastest Mile" against some of the most talented drivers on the circuit, including Randy LaJoie, Scott Riggs, Scott Wimmer, Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and Kerry Earnhardt. And don't miss all the action of the Service Electric 100, as Nevin George, Tony Hirschman and Ted Christopher renew their battle for NASCAR Featherlite Modified title. For more information, please visit www.nazarethspeedway.com or call 1-888-629-RACE (7223).

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Jason Keller , Scott Riggs , Kerry Earnhardt , Scott Wimmer , Nevin George , Ted Christopher