EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Goulds Pumps 250; Time and Date: 3:30 p.m. EDT, Saturday, July 31; Site: Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, Colo. Live Coverage: TNT (television) at 3:30 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio) at 3:15 p.m.
EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Goulds Pumps 250; Time and Date: 3:30 p.m. EDT, Saturday, July 31; Site: Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, Colo. Live Coverage: TNT (television) at 3:30 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio) at 3:15 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 6:05 p.m. EDT, Friday, July 30, on SPEED (television).
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS - For the first time in NASCAR Busch Series history, the Owners' Championship and the Drivers' Championship were split. The No. 21 PAYDAY Chevrolet team won the Owners' Championship in commanding fashion, clinching the title at Rockingham with one race remaining in the season. The team finished 261 points ahead of the No. 5 team of Brian Vickers, who claimed the Drivers' Championship. In 2004, the No. 21 Chevrolet carries the REESE'S peanut butter cups colors as the team attempts to defend its title. Harvick will compete in 20 of the 34 Busch Series events this season, and rookie driver Clint Bowyer will drive the No. 21 REESE'S Chevy in the 14 other events on the schedule.
FLAT TRACKIN' - Pikes Peak International Raceway is another one-mile, flat track on the Busch Series schedule. REESE'S Racing crew chief Ricky Viers describes it as a big Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, only in mile-high altitude. For driver Clint Bowyer, it is another track on which he has competed in his previous racing experiences. Bowyer competed at Pikes Peak in a touring series and found success, just as he did at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. The Busch Series has been to several flat tracks already this season, including Gateway International Raceway, Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway and The Milwaukee Mile.
READY TO RETURN- Bowyer has been out of the seat of the No. 21 REESE'S Chevrolet for four weeks, dating back to Milwaukee in late June. Bowyer will be ready for action and a return to a track on which he has already seen success. Bowyer will spend the next two weeks in the REESE'S Chevy before taking a lengthy two-month hiatus from the ride.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT - Bowyer already competed in a NASCAR Touring Series event last year at Pikes Peak. Of the 14 tracks on which Bowyer will compete this year, he will have either raced in a Touring Series event or tested a Nextel Cup or Busch Series car at all but three tracks.
GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED FINISHES - This weekend at the Pikes Peak International Raceway, NASCAR will be in week two of green-white-checkered finishes for the Busch Series and Nextel Cup Series. The inaugural weekend was incident-free, and rule was not applied. However, it is only a matter of time before the Busch Series will see an exciting green-white-checkered finish. The green-white-checkered finish is required when a caution flag prevents the race from finishing under green flag conditions. At that point, a two-lap restart will take place. The competitors will take a green flag, then a white flag before seeing the checkered flag wave.
DID YOU KNOW? - Bowyer's spotter for the 2004 season is RCR General Manager Mike Dillon. Dillon, a former driver and son-in-law of Richard Childress, has provided Bowyer with guidance and knowledge of the cars and tracks to help reduce Bowyer's learning curve. Dillon and Bowyer are developing chemistry over the radio during the race.
THE CAR - This week, crew chief Ricky Viers will load chassis No. 040 onto the REESE'S transporter. Viers consider this car the best in the No. 21 fleet. Harvick has primarily driven the car this season, and he drove it to victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bowyer drove the car in June at Kentucky Speedway.
QUICK QUOTES AND NOTES: Crew chief Ricky Viers on Bowyer at this point in the season- "In no way does Clint drive like a rookie. He's got a good head on his shoulders and responds well to changes and the difficult situations he gets in during the race. He's been in contention in a number of the races that he's competed in, and has really done a tremendous job for us."
Clint Bowyer on Pikes Peak - "I raced there in my touring late model, so I'm actually excited to get there. So many of the tracks I go to, I've never seen before, and it takes some of my practice time to get used to the track. It'll be nice to get here where I've been before, concentrate on the car and not worry about getting acclimated to the track."
With more than half the season completed, what have you learned?-"I couldn't even begin to describe what I've learned. There's been so much. All I know is I'm having a blast and living out a dream. I learn a ton each and every week, and that's exciting for me. Everyone's been great. I couldn't ask for better situation than what I'm in right now. I just want to race as much as I can and just continue to get better and gain points."
* Bowyer's next Busch Series event will be Aug. 7 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
* Harvick will drive the REESE'S Chevrolet through the rest of August and all of September.