BUSCH: Offweek News of note 2007-10-01

*Owners' Points Getting Tighter As Lead Keeps Changing *Reutimann Moving On Up *Loop Data: Late Season Q & A *Keller Has One Start Until The Mark / Chevrolet Still Atop Manufacturers' Standings *Etc.: Edwards Aims For Record Books/ JR Motorsports...

*Owners' Points Getting Tighter As Lead Keeps Changing
*Reutimann Moving On Up
*Loop Data: Late Season Q & A
*Keller Has One Start Until The Mark / Chevrolet Still Atop Manufacturers' Standings
*Etc.: Edwards Aims For Record Books/ JR Motorsports And O.C. Choppers

The Clash Of The Titans

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Oct. 2, 2007) -- With five races left this season in the NASCAR Busch Series Carl Edwards (No. 60 Scotts Ford) has a commanding lead in the driver's championship standings, which has opened the door for what looks to be a very close owners' championship race that will come down to the last event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

For the fourth time in the last five races, the leader of the owners' standings has changed hands. Richard Childress Racing and the No. 29 Chevrolet driven by Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer have re-taken the lead after Burton drove to an eighth-place finish at Kansas. Edwards finished 38th after a late-race accident on Lap 152 put him 54 points back.

Jack Roush has led the owners' standings for 21 weeks this season with the No. 60 Ford. It wasn't until the CarFax 250 at Michigan that Richard Childress took the lead and since then, it has been either one's championship. Richard Childress has two owners' championships both with driver Kevin Harvick in 2001, '06. Jack Roush has one owners' championship with driver Greg Biffle in 2002.

"I focus on one thing during the Busch weekends right now and that is how that 29 car is running," said Edwards. "We want to win that owners' championship because there is a lot of pride that goes with that. I know it will not feel the same if we don't win it. The drivers' championship is great, that is one thing I have a lot of pride in, but the owners' championship is just as big."

After the open week, Edwards is looking forward to the Dollar General 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway where he has posted four top 10s in five starts.

David Reutimann Taking Toyota To The Top With Consistency

David Reutimann (No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota) heads into the open week second in the standings, 654 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Reutimann is having one of the best seasons of his racing career, and he hasn't been doing it the flashy way, but with the tried-and- true method of being consistent. For a new team coming into this year with no guarantees of making the events, consistency is what has taken the No. 99 team towards the top.

Toytota came into the NASCAR Busch Series this season fielding four cars -- one from Michael Waltrip Racing and three from Braun Racing.

Reutimann is running his first full-time season in the NASCAR Busch Series, and the No. 99 team is running with Toyota as a manufacturer in its first year in NASCAR Busch Series competition. Reutimann and his team answered the skepticism with four top fives, and 11 top 10s in the first 29 races this season. Reutimann has a season-to-date Driver Rating of 81.0 -- third in the series -- and an Average Running Position of 16.790 -- third in the series.

As the series returns next week, they head to Lowe's Motor Speedway where Reutimann is looking to improve on his previous finish of 43rd due to an engine failure there earlier this season. He recorded a sixth-place finish there last year in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Raybestos Rookie Of The Year

In the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings, mistakes are becoming much more costly. Only the best 16 races a rookie driver runs will be counted towards his total at the end of the year, making it more difficult to make up ground.

David Ragan (No. 6 AAA Ford) still leads Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) by 24 points. Brad Keselowski (No. 88 NAVY Chevrolet) was the only driver to advance a position this week, moving into fifth place ahead of Brad Coleman (No. 18 Carino's Italian Grill Chevrolet) by 5 points.

Chevrolet Still On Top Of Manufacturers' Championship

Chevrolet leads the standings in pursuit of history -- building on a record 13 Bill France Performance Cup titles.

Kyle Busch added another victory at Kansas to Chevrolet's total of 18 wins, opening up their lead to 52 points ahead of Ford.

After a top-10 finish by Brian Vickers (No. 10 Fan1st.com Toyota) at Kansas, Toyota has closed the gap to 14 points behind third-place Dodge.

With 30 Races Complete, NASCAR's Loop Data Answers Some Important Questions

Q: What would happen if Kyle Busch ran the full NASCAR Busch Series schedule?

A: The question became valid after Busch won his second consecutive race last Saturday at Kansas and notched his sixth consecutive top-five finish. Busch, who has raced in 16 series races this season, has now scored a Driver Rating of at least 100.0 in six consecutive races (including a perfect 150.0 at Richmond). Considering leader Carl Edwards' struggles of late, who knows where Busch would be with 14 more races to his credit.

Q: How competitive was Saturday's Kansas race?

A: Very. This was the most hotly-contested Kansas race in the three events since Loop Data's inception in 2005 -- by far. Saturday set a record for Green Flag Passes for the lead with 27. The previous high at Kansas was 13 in 2005.

Q: Stephen Leicht (Kentucky) and Jason Leffler (O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis) are the two series regulars with victories this season. Who's next?

A: Marcos Ambrose. Ambrose has a Driver Rating of 67.4 and an Average Running Position of 21.8 (both are third-best among full-time series drivers behind Leicht and Leffler). With top-15 finishes at California, Kentucky and Las Vegas this season, he is becoming a threat on the intermediate tracks. There are three such tracks left on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule: Charlotte, Texas and Homestead.

NASCAR Busch Series, Etc.

Two Ways to The Record Books: Next week, Carl Edwards will be on his way to putting his name in the record books -- twice. First, by becoming the 13th driver to clinch the NASCAR Busch Series driver's championship before season's end.

With five races left in the NASCAR Busch Series season, Edwards cannot clinch the drivers' championship at Lowe's Motor Speedway; though if Edwards finishes 35th or better in the four remaining races, he will win the drivers' championship regardless of what any other driver does.

Secondly, Edwards has recognized that he can become the first driver to win both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the NASCAR Busch Series titles in a single season.

"There is probably not a five-minute window that goes by in the day that I don't think about winning both championships in one year," Edwards said. "That would be the ultimate achievement in American motorsports."

JR Motorsports and O. C. CHOPPERS: Since Sept. 21 -- and for a total of 88 days -- fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports can bid online at NASCAR.com or celebritysportsauction.com on a custom-built Orange County Chopper donated by Sunoco for the eighth annual Dale Jr. Celebrity Sports Auction presented by Bass Pro Shops. All the proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"I've done a lot of work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation over the years, and I'm proud that we can do our part to help all the kids who benefit from the program," said Earnhardt Jr. The auction to announce the winner will be held Oct. 23.

Next Week: Following an open week, the NASCAR Busch Series gets back to work at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Oct. 12 Dollar General 300. The race will be televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Dave Blaney came from a 23rd-place starting position to win last season's fall event at Charlotte -- his only win of the season.


Next Race: Dollar General 300

The Place: Lowe's Motor Speedway
The Date: Oct. 121

The Time: 8:00 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

Track Layout: 1.5-mile banked oval Race Purse: $1,268,191

2006 Winner: Dave Blaney
2006 Pole: Carl Edwards

Schedule: Thursday--Practice, 1-2.p.m. Rookie Practice, 2:20-2:50 p.m. Final Practice, 6-7 p.m.
Friday--Qualifying, 4:05 p.m.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Michael Waltrip , Jason Leffler , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Marcos Ambrose , Scott Wimmer , David Reutimann , Brian Vickers , Carl Edwards , Brad Coleman , Jack Roush , Brad Keselowski , David Ragan , Dave Blaney , Stephen Leicht , Kyle Busch
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing , JR Motorsports