NEWS OF NOTE * Team Bristol names Renshaw for 2003... Team Bristol Motorsports owner Rick Goodwin announced last weekend that Deborah Renshaw will be the team's NASCAR Busch Series driver of the No. 54 entry, beginning next season. Renshaw, a ...
NEWS OF NOTE
* Team Bristol names Renshaw for 2003... Team Bristol Motorsports owner Rick Goodwin announced last weekend that Deborah Renshaw will be the team's NASCAR Busch Series driver of the No. 54 entry, beginning next season. Renshaw, a 25-year-old from Bowling Green, Ky., will become the eighth female to compete in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series and the third as a full-time competitor. Patty Moise (133 career starts) and Shawna Robinson (55) were the previous full-time female competitors in the series. Renshaw currently is excelling in the late-model division at The Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn., and also has competed in three ARCA races this season, finishing among the top 11 in each."I am very humbled to be selected to drive for Rick Goodwin," Renshaw said."I am very appreciative of him taking a chance on me and helping me fulfill my career goals. I look forward to testing with (crew chief) Tony Lambert and the No. 54 crew this off-season. Tony's experience will be a great help as I become accustomed to the Busch Series cars." Team Bristol plans to move current NASCAR Busch Series driver Kevin Grubb to NASCAR Winston Cup next season with Toys' R' Us serving as the primary sponsor.
* More Junior... Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 08 Warner Brothers Chevrolet), the 1998-99 NASCAR Busch Series champion, is scheduled to compete in the Funai 250, his third NASCAR Busch Series start of the season. Earnhardt Jr., who won this event during his two NASCAR Busch Series championship seasons, will be joined by several NASCAR Winston Cup regulars including Jeff Burton (No. 9 Gain/Febreze/Swiffer Ford), Michael Waltrip (No. 99 Aaron's Sales & Lease Chevrolet), Jimmy Spencer (No. 1 Yellow Chevrolet), Jeff Green (No. 21 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet), Mike Wallace (No. 4 Geico Direct Chevrolet), Kenny Wallace (No. 48 Stacker 2/Goulds Pumps Chevrolet) and Todd Bodine (No. 92 Excedrin QuickTabs Chevrolet). There are 57 entries for the 43-car field of the Funai 250.
* TV timeout... In the final ratings by Nielsen Media Research for the weekend of Aug. 23-25, the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway televised Friday night, Aug. 23 by TNT drew 1,620,000 households, an increase of 43 percent from last year's event. The NASCAR Busch Series event nearly doubled the combined households for the IRL (646,000, ESPN) and CART (273,000, Speed Channel) races that weekend.
* Etc... There have been 15 different race winners and 12 different Bud Pole winners through 25 NASCAR Busch Series races. Greg Biffle (No. 60 Grainger Ford) and Jason Keller (No. 57 Albertsons Ford) lead the series with four wins each. Biffle also shares the series lead for poles (3) with Jeff Green (No. 21 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet)... Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Johnny Sauter (No. 2 AC Delco Chevrolet) had his first career NASCAR Busch Series start in this event last season. He finished fifth.... Tim Sauter (No. 19 AP Performance Chevrolet) also will be looking to earn his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series start this weekend, attempting to qualify the No. 71 Dave Marcis Racing Chevrolet.... Green will celebrate his 40th birthday on race night.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
* Last season, Jimmy Spencer (No. 1 Yellow Chevrolet) became only the third NASCAR Busch Series driver to sweep the season's races at Richmond, winning both from the third starting position. Harry Gant (1991) and Mark Martin (1993) accomplished the feat previously.
* Kevin Grubb (No. 54 Toys' R' Us Chevrolet) has three consecutive top-five finishes in the Funai 250. He was fifth in 1999 and 2000, and third last season. He also finished fifth in the spring race at RIR.
* Michael Waltrip (No. 99 Aaron's Sales & Lease Chevrolet) ranks second all-time in career NASCAR Busch Series poles at Richmond with four. He swept the pole positions in 1990, and added race poles from the late-summer race in 1996-97. His one career win at Richmond also came from the pole (spring, 1990).
* Jeff Burton (No. 9 Gain/Febreze/Swiffer Ford) has five top-three finishes, including a pair of wins, in NASCAR Busch Series races at Richmond since 1997. In the late-summer event, he won in 2000, finished second in' 98 and third in' 97. He added a win (1998) and runner-up finish ('99) in the spring race.
WHAT'S THE WORD?
*"Richmond is a pretty tricky race track. There's a lot of give and take when it comes to setting up the car.... It's a race track where you need to use a lot of brake, but there is a fine line of using too much." - Randy LaJoie (No. 7 Kleenex/Nortel Networks Chevrolet).
*"I don't think there's much added pressure this weekend, we just expect to do well. Unfortunately, we have to take a different car there. It's a good car - it's the car we ran at Michigan so we've run it before. We will just have to take what we learned in the spring race and apply it to this car." - Ashton Lewis Jr. (No. 46 Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet), who finished a career-best second in the spring race at Richmond.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
* In 1989, Bobby Hamilton won the September RIR race from the 29th starting position. Hamilton holds the track mark with Harry Gant (1991) for the lowest starting position of a NASCAR Busch Series winner at Richmond. It also was Hamilton's only NASCAR Busch Series win.
Top five in points: 1. Greg Biffle, 3586; 2. Jason Keller, 3508; 3. Jack Sprague, 3279; 4. Scott Wimmer, 3264; 5. Scott Riggs, 3207.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday - Practice, noon-1:55 p.m.; 6:15-7:15 p.m.; Qualifying, 3 p.m.