FROM ANDY HALL, NASCAR PUBLIC RELATIONS (904) 253-0611 March 11, 1996 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES NOTES OF INTEREST ** The NASCAR Busch Series moves to Nashville (Tenn.) Speedway USA this weekend for the running of the Opryland USA 320, the first...
FROM ANDY HALL, NASCAR PUBLIC RELATIONS (904) 253-0611
March 11, 1996 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES NOTES OF INTEREST
** The NASCAR Busch Series moves to Nashville (Tenn.) Speedway USA this weekend for the running of the Opryland USA 320, the first series race to be held this year that will not be in conjunction with a NASCAR Winston Cup race.
More than 50 teams will be greeted by a new asphalt racing surface at the historic track and will be joined by the NASCAR Slim Jim A11 Pro series which will race on Saturday in a 200-lap event.
Busch Pole Award time trials at the .596-mile track will be on Friday, with the 40-car starting field to be filled in a second round of time trials on Saturday. Because of the new pavement, Larry's Pearson's track qualifying record of 107.846 mph, set in 1988 is expected to fall quickly.
Sunday's 320-lap race starts at 2 p.m.(CST) and will be televised live by The Nashville Network. MRN Radio will also have live coverage. TNN will also televise Saturday's NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series race live beginning at 3 p.m. (CST).
** Nashville returned to the NASCAR Busch Series schedule last year after having been off since 1989. In its l5-year history, the series has visited Nashville only four times, in 1984, 1988, 1989 and 1995.
Of the drivers entered in the Opryland USA 320, only seven competed in any of the NASCAR Busch Series races held at the track prior to 1995. The list includes Tommy Houston, the only driver to compete in all four races, along with Chuck Bown, Bobby Dotter, Sterling Marlin, Larry Pearson, Elton Sawyer and Kenny Wallace.
** Even though the Opryland USA 320 at Nashville will not be held in conjunction with a NASCAR Winston Cup race, several drivers from the NASCAR Winston fop Series are entered in the event, including Bobby and Terry Labonte, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, Elton Sawyer, Dick Trickle, Kenny and Mike Wallace and Michael Waltrip.
Also entered is Sterling Marlin, who rarely competes outside of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Marlin, who lives in nearby Columbia, Tenet., grew up racing at the Nashville track and won several track titles in the early years of his career. He will drive a car owned by Fred Turner, for whom he won the 1990 October race at Charlotte, his only career win on the NASCAR Busch Series.
** Nashville Speedway USA is considered the "home" track for many drivers entered in the Opryland USA 32O, including the contingent from Owensboro, Ky., of David, Mark and Jeff Green, Jeremy Mayfield and Michael Waltrip. Also, the Clarksville, Tenn., home of Jeff Purvis is close to Nashville.
** Brothers David and Jeff Green will film a segment with actor/entertainer Tom Wopat Thursday at Nashville Speedway USA. Wopat, who played Luke Duke on the old network television series "The Dukes of Hazzard," which now airs on The Nashville Network, is the host of TNN's "Prime Time Country," a nightly talk/music program. Wopat and the Greens will drive a replica of the orange Dodge Charger used in the "Dukes" program in a segment that will appear on Friday night's "Prime Time Country." The Greens will also the guests on the show, which airs at 9 p.m.(EST).
** NASCAR Busch Series drivers Jason Keller and David Green, and 1995 series champion Johnny Benson, are among the 30 NASCAR drivers who have been extended invitations to participate in the Nov. 24 "NASCAR Thunder 100" demonstration race at the Suzuka Circuitland road course in Suzuka City, Japan. The list includes 20 NASCAR Winston Cup drivers, along with drivers from the NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Winston West Series. "I'm honored to be included," said Green, the 1994 NASCAR Busch Series champion and the current point leader. "It's an opportunity to be a part of something really exciting and special."
** QUICK NOTES: Driver Jerry Nadeau of Danbury, Conn., has joined the list of drivers seeking the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award on the NASCAR Busch Series. The entry of Nadeau, a former standout in road racing, brings to 13 the number of drivers seeking the award in 1996 .... Chuck Bown, the 1990 NASCAR Busch Series champion, has been named to drive the UAW/Healthsource Ford owned by Bobby Jones for the rest of the Season. Bowel Replaces rookie jimmy Kitchens in the car. Kitchens has withdrawn from the Raybestos Rookie of the Year competition .... Chad Little, the most winning driver on the NASCAR Busch Series last year with six victories, has gone 10 straight races without a top 10 finish, including six events last year and four this year. His 15th-place finish last week at Atlanta was his best of 1996 .... -30-
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