BUSCH: News of Note on off weekend

Compton, Pressley looking forward to improvement Ratings soar for Nashville's NASCAR Busch Series race Chevy leads Bill France Performance Cup standings DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 14, 2004) - It's not exactly where they want to be,...

Compton, Pressley looking forward to improvement
Ratings soar for Nashville's NASCAR Busch Series race
Chevy leads Bill France Performance Cup standings

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 14, 2004) - It's not exactly where they want to be, but it's better than where they've been, so ST Motorsports drivers Stacy Compton (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) and Robert Pressley (No. 47 Clorox Ford) are encouraged by the progress they made in the April 10 Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Pressley finished 11th in the Music City, while Compton took 14th after qualifying a season-best seventh. And with an off-week between the Nashville event and the upcoming April 24 Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway, Compton knows the organization still has a lot of work to do to catch up to the points leaders.

Michael Waltrip (No. 99 Aaron's Sales & Lease Chevrolet) won in a wild finish at Nashville, and took a slim lead in the NASCAR Busch Series driver standings. Waltrip is eight points ahead of David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Chevrolet), with Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet) 56 points behind in third place.

Pressley is 19th in the NASCAR Busch Series standings, 321 points behind Waltrip. Compton, who is 20th in the rankings, trails his teammate by just three points.

Team owner Tad Geschickter took steps in the offseason to improve the team's overall performance. The moves included a switch from longtime manufacturer Chevrolet to Ford, and the hiring of Ron Pegram as general manager of ST Motorsports. Stacy Johnson, who had previously worked for Richard Childress Racing, was brought on board as competition director.

Compton can see the recent improvement, but feels the coming off-week can be both a blessing and curse.

"On one hand, you hate skipping a week when you're finding your stride," Compton said. "On the other hand, it gives us another week to keep improving. Getting both of us in the top 15 at Nashville was a good start. But racers, by nature, are impatient people. Robert and I want better than that. Top 15 is good. Top 10 is better. Top five is best. Winning is what it's all about."


"We've come a long way in a very short period of time," Pressley said. "It takes most teams a year to accomplish what we've done in seven races. We've gone through all the necessary stages, from building new cars and hiring people, to learning what it takes to making these Fords run, to creating the kind of chemistry it takes to put it all together.

"Stacy and I have made considerable improvement on a week-by-week basis. I think the way we ran at Nashville is an indication we've arrived at a level that will allow us to contend for victories and top-10 finishes."


TV numbers get a boost after thrilling Nashville race . It was the wildest of finishes on April 10 at Nashville Superspeedway, and evidently, the television audience appreciated it. Four drivers - Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer (No. 21 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Chevrolet), Robby Gordon (No. 55 Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet) and Johnny Benson (No. 1 Miccosukee Resorts Dodge) - spun while racing for the lead on the backstretch of the next-to-last lap. That allowed Michael Waltrip to squeeze past the melee for his first win of the year. Households tuning in for the event, which was broadcast live on FX, were up 30% over 2003. A total of 1,007,000 households were tuned in, while 1,416,000 viewers were watching, up 29% over one year ago. The race was aired directly against The Master's golf tournament, Major League Soccer, the NHL Stanley Cup quarterfinals, women's tennis and Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby.

Chevrolet builds on lead in manufacturers standings . With his win in at Nashville last Saturday, Michael Waltrip built on Chevrolet's lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has four wins and 52 points, to 38 points and two wins for Ford. Dodge is in third place with 32 points and one win, with Pontiac in third, also with 32 points, but no wins so far this year. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third- highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three.


"I'm looking forward to going to Talladega. I always look forward to the superspeedway races. We're taking the same car that turned so many heads at Daytona and we're very, very excited about going to Talladega because our cars run so well there." - Mike Wallace (No. 4 GEICO Ford).

"It's awesome. I just wanted to have it for the guys. I feel like I really let them down last week. It was unfortunate to be out of the race that early but I've got a lot of momentum here and we'll be at 'em at Talladega." - Clint Bowyer on his fourth-place finish at Nashville following a disappointing 36th-place finish the week before at Texas.

"I switched from Beethoven to Earnhardt." - NASCAR Busch Series flagman Kevin Moss, who spent five years playing violin in the Nashville Junior Symphony.



Tennessee has the most active NASCAR Busch Series tracks, with three on the circuit: Bristol Motor Speedway, Memphis Motorsports Park and Nashville Superspeedway. North Carolina has the most all-time tracks on which the NASCAR Busch Series has competed, with seven - Lowe's Motor Speedway, North Carolina Speedway, Asheville Speedway, Caraway Speedway, Hickory Motor Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway and Orange County Speedway. All but Lowe's and North Carolina Speedway no longer hold NASCAR Busch Series races. Races are currently held at 26 tracks in 21 states, from Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida, to New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, and from California Speedway in Fontana to Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona and Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado.


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Drivers Michael Waltrip , Robby Gordon , Mike Wallace , Stacy Compton , Johnny Benson , Kyle Busch
Teams Richard Childress Racing