BUSCH: Phoenix: News of note, schedule

* Montreal Names It's NASCAR Busch Series Event: NAPA AUTO PARTS 200 * In The Loop: Huffman Mimics Dale Earnhardt Jr. * ESPN Booth Reunites Old Friends What's In A Name: Montreal Event Gets Title Sponsor The NAPA AUTO PARTS 200 will be...

* Montreal Names It's NASCAR Busch Series Event: NAPA AUTO PARTS 200

* In The Loop: Huffman Mimics Dale Earnhardt Jr.

* ESPN Booth Reunites Old Friends

What's In A Name: Montreal Event Gets Title Sponsor

The NAPA AUTO PARTS 200 will be the official name of the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race on August 4 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, it was announced Monday. Also, David Reutimann (No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota) announced that he will be driving the No. 99 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in correlation with NAPA being the title sponsor of the event.

The inaugural event at Circuit Gilles Villenueve will be 200 miles (74 laps) on the road course style track. NAPA and UAP Inc., a Canadian leader in the sale and distribution of auto parts under the NAPA brand, are very pleased to be a part of the NASCAR Busch Series in Canada.

"We will do everything possible with our UAP NAPA stores and our customers across Canada to make this NASCAR racing weekend an exceptional annual event," said Robert Hampton, President and Chief Operating Officer, UAP Inc.

David Reutimann is currently fifth in the NASCAR Busch Series standings driving for (car-owner) Michael Waltrip.

"I am pleased to represent NAPA AUTO PARTS for the Montreal race," Reutimann said. "And also to be part of this new event on a road course that has a reputation for being very demanding," said Reutimann. "It will be an honor to compete on a track named after a great motorsport star. I and many of my fellow NASCAR Busch Series competitors are eager to participate in this event."

In The Loop: Huffman Mimics Boss' Phoenix Mastery

Success runs in the family. The business family.

It looks like Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has won twice at Phoenix International Raceway in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, taught his protege Shane Huffman a few things about negotiating the one-mile track.

Huffman, who drives the No. 88 U.S. Navy Chevrolet for Earnhardt-owned JR Motorsports, made his boss proud by grabbing an eighth-place finish at Phoenix last year and amassed impressive stats in the process. Huffman has a pre-race Driver Rating of 107.0, which is seventh-best among all drivers, including the double-duty drivers. Also impressive is his Average Running Position at Phoenix -- 7.478. That number is sixth-best in the NASCAR Busch Series at Phoenix. Not only is Huffman consistent there, he's fast.

Huffman earned a ninth-best Green Flag Speed at Phoenix and has top-10 grades in Speed on the Frontstretch and the Backstretch. Huffman also led 17 laps of last season's November race at Phoenix.

Another driver to watch this weekend is Phoenix son J.J. Yeley. Yeley, a Phoenix native, has an Average Running Position of 9.154 in four races at his home track -- eighth-best. He also cracks the 100-point barrier in Driver Rating with a 100.9, which is tied for 11th-best. His 113 Green Flag Passes are seventh-best and 732 Laps in the Top 15 are second-best at Phoenix. Yeley also has 72 Quality Passes -- passes of cars in the top 15 while under green flag conditions -- which is second-most at Phoenix.

Then there's Jason Leffler. In three Phoenix races over the last two years, Leffler has a 101.9 Driver Rating, which is 10th-best, and his 51 Fastest Laps Run is fifth-best. He also ranks in the top 15 in Speed on the Frontstretch and in Turn 4.

Bill France Performance Cup Standings Tighten

Ford won last week's race at Texas and gained momentum in the Bill France Performance Cup standings.

Matt Kenseth captured his second win -- also the 351st overall for Roush Fenway Racing -- moving Ford to within one point of first-place Chevrolet heading to Phoenix where it leads all manufacturers with six victories.

Toyota brought the race for third-place in the manufacturer's standings even closer this week with David Reutimann finishing sixth at Texas making Toyota three points behind Dodge.

NBS ETC.

JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., opened up their brand new 66,000 square foot facility which includes the first-ever retail store exclusively for Earnhardt. The team also signed seven-time Supercross Champion Jeremy McGrath to drive a Late Model and possibly move up to the NASCAR Busch Series next season. "This is something I've always wanted to try, and I'm really grateful that Dale Jr. is giving me this opportunity to drive one of his race cars," McGrath said. ...Tony Raines will be driving the No. 33 Roadloans.com Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick Inc. this week at Phoenix. Kevin Harvick will drive the No. 77 Dollar General Stores Chevrolet. ... David Gilliland (No. 25 FreeCreditReport.com Ford) will be returning to Phoenix International Raceway for his second NASCAR Busch Series start of the season. Phoenix is where Gilliland made his debut in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2005. ...

In the booth this weekend for ESPN2 will be three old friends Andy Petree, Jerry Punch, and Dale Jarrett. All three are originally from Newton, North Carolina and all graduated from Newton-Conover High School 25 years ago. All three went on to pursue different professions, Jerry Punch went on to be a emergency room physician before returning to motorsports as an announcer, Dale Jarrett followed in his fathers foot steps to become a successful NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion, and Andy Petree went on to become a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup crew chief winning two championships. Now after all this time, all three are back together this weekend to share their knowledge of the sport. ESPN2 will have a live, primetime telecast of Friday night's race starting at 9 p.m. ET.

***

The Race: Bashas' Supermarkets 200

The Place: Phoenix International Raceway
The Date: April 20, 20071

The Time: 9:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 9:00 p.m. (ET)

Track Layout: 1-mile oval

Race Purse: $1,259,255

2006 Winner: Kevin Harvick
2006 Pole: Jason Leffler

Schedule: Fri., April 19 -- Practice, 11:15 a.m.-12:35 p.m., Rookie Practice, 4:25-4:55 p.m., Final Practice, 6:45-7:45 p.m. Sat., April 20 -- Qualifying, 2:35 p.m.

-credit: nascar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Michael Waltrip , Jason Leffler , Kevin Harvick , Tony Raines , Gilles Villeneuve , Jeremy McGrath , Andy Petree , J.J. Yeley , David Reutimann , Shane Huffman
Teams JR Motorsports