BUSCH: Richmond: News of note, schedule

* Wolfe back in No. 6 Hungry Drivers Dodge * Four Rookies in top 10 NEWS & NOTES Wolfe back in No. 6 ... Unilever Food and Evernham Motorsports announced this week that Paul Wolfe will be back in the driver's seat of the No. 6 Hungry Drivers...

* Wolfe back in No. 6 Hungry Drivers Dodge
* Four Rookies in top 10


Wolfe back in No. 6 ... Unilever Food and Evernham Motorsports announced this week that Paul Wolfe will be back in the driver's seat of the No. 6 Hungry Drivers Dodge Friday night in the FUNAI 250. Wolfe, who will also drive at Dover and Nashville, was behind the wheel at Daytona, California and Las Vegas. "Sitting on the sidelines the last few weeks has been tough, so I'm thrilled to be back in the seat this weekend," Wolfe said. "Ray has been working hard to get this new team moving in the right direction and I understand that he needed his veteran drivers to help him do that. They have made significant gains over the last few weeks with improvements in just about every area. I have all the confidence that when we hit the track in Richmond that we will have a fast race car capable of running up front. Jeremy Mayfield gave Unilever Foods their first top-10 finish last weekend at Darlington and my goal is to match that or beat it with a top five or a win."

Four rookies in top 10 ... With the influx of young talent in the NASCAR Busch Series, it should be no surprise that four Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates are in the top 10 in the points standings. Carl Edwards (No. 60 Charter Ford) has led the NASCAR Busch Series standings for the last seven weeks, and won at Atlanta. Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge) is currently third in points and won at Nashville. Hamlin (eighth) and Wood (10th) are the other two rookie candidates in the top 10.


Johnny Sauter (No. 1 Yellow Dodge) made his first career NASCAR Busch Series start at Richmond International Raceway in 2001 and finished fifth. Sauter won at RIR in the fall of 2003. ... Jason Keller (No. 35 McDonalds/McGriddles Ford) has 22 starts at Richmond and has started on the front row four times. He won the spring race at Richmond in 2002. ... Greg Biffle (No. 66 Duraflame Ford) has an average RIR start of 11.1. ... Mark Martin (No. 9 Pennzoil Ford) will attempt to make his 23rd NASCAR Busch Series start at Richmond.


Ford leads the Bill France Performance Cup standings with 77 points and five wins. Chevrolet is second with 72 points and four wins; Dodge has 60 points and two wins. ... Eight former Richmond winners are entered in Friday's race, including the last three winners of the spring race (Jason Keller, Kevin Harvick -- No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet and Kyle Busch -- No. 57 Spectracide Triple Strike Grass-Weed-Root Killer Chevrolet). ... Busch's win from the pole at Richmond last year was his first career win. ... All three Green brothers (Mark, Jeff and David) will attempt to race against each other again this weekend. At Darlington, David Green (No. 27 Kleenex Ford) was the highest finishing brother with a 15th-place finish. ... In 1989, the spring race at Richmond (which was the second race of the season that year) was canceled because of snow. The race was moved after the 1991 race.


"If we could finish first through fourth this week, it would be great -- as long as I was the one in first." -- Ashton Lewis Jr. on four Virginia drivers returning to their "home" track.

"I'm looking forward to racing under the lights at another short track next weekend in Richmond; hopefully we can get back to finishing in the top five again." -- Shane Hmiel (No. 32 Winfuel Chevrolet).

"There is a lot to prove going into this race at Richmond. We're not taking preparation for this event lightly, even though this is obviously a track we've had success at." -- Johnny Sauter.

"I know going back to Richmond they are all going to want to do well at their home track as much as I do." -- Denny Hamlin on racing at Richmond against other drivers from Virginia.

"I would love to win another race in Richmond. We know the field will be full of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers along with all of the talented NASCAR Busch Series drivers, so a win here would be extra special." -- Jason Keller.

"I can't say I've ever had anything bad happen on a Friday the 13th when I was growing up, so I'm not too worried about that. I am a little superstitious, though. I don't know many drivers that aren't." -- Kyle Busch.


Richmond International Raceway opened in October 1946 as a half-mile dirt track. It was paved in 1968 and became a three-quarters mile speedway in 1988. The last NASCAR Busch Series race to be held on the old half-mile track took place on Sept. 12, 1987.

The 1987 Freedlander 200 was won by Mark Martin and was the first of his record-setting five NASCAR Busch Series wins at Richmond. Driving a Ford owned by B.A. Lawmaster, Martin sat in 16th position as pole sitter Larry Pearson led the 32-car field to the green flag.

Tommy Houston dominated the first half of the race, leading 106 laps. Pre-race favorite Dale Earnhardt, dropped out after 28 laps due to handling problems and never led a lap. Taking the lead at Lap 142, Martin led for two laps before L.D. Ottinger took over. Harry Gant went to the front for 17 laps before Martin took the lead for good on lap 167 (of 180 laps). Martin took home $8,000 for his third career NASCAR Busch Series victory.


After a weekend off, the NASCAR Busch Series returns to action at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 -- race No. 13. The series has visited the track twice a year since the series inception in 1982. ... The first spring race winner was Harry Gant, who also sat on the pole.


What: FUNAI 250 (Race No. 12 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).

Where: Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Va.
When: 8:05 p.m. ET, Friday, May 13.

Track Layout: Three-quarter mile oval.
Race Length: 250 laps/187.5 miles.

Posted Awards: $1,023,776.

TV: FX, 7:30 p.m., ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.

2004 Winner: Kyle Busch.
2004 Polesitter: Kyle Busch.

NASCAR Busch Series Top 10: 1. Carl Edwards 1,612. 2. Clint Bowyer 1,469. 3. Reed Sorenson 1,456. 4. Martin Truex Jr. 1,430. 5. Ashton Lewis Jr. 1,328. 6. Kenny Wallace 1,321. 7. David Stremme 1,304. 8. Denny Hamlin 1,295. 9. Greg Biffle 1,224. 10. Jon Wood 1,205.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Fri., May 13: Practice -- 9:30 -- 11:50 a.m.; p.m. Qualifying -- 4:35 p.m. Cars impounded after qualifying.


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Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeremy Mayfield , Jason Keller , Kenny Wallace , Greg Biffle , Jon Wood , David Green , Shane Hmiel , Johnny Sauter , Martin Truex Jr. , Paul Wolfe , Carl Edwards , David Stremme , Clint Bowyer , Ashton Lewis , Denny Hamlin , Reed Sorenson , Harry Gant , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin