BUSCH: Talladega: News of Note, schedule

Nemechek always stout at Talladega Chevrolet leads manufacturer standings NEWS & NOTES *Nemechek one to watch at Talladega ... Joe Nemechek (No. 87 Cellular One Chevrolet), with wins in 1998 and 2000, is the only driver with more than one ...

Nemechek always stout at Talladega
Chevrolet leads manufacturer standings

NEWS & NOTES

*Nemechek one to watch at Talladega ... Joe Nemechek (No. 87 Cellular One Chevrolet), with wins in 1998 and 2000, is the only driver with more than one NASCAR Busch Series victory at Talladega.

He has finished first or second in five of the last eight races at the track, having fallen out of the three other events due to accidents. The worst finish that Nemechek has had when he was running at the finish was 13th in 1992. Nemechek is the track record holder in qualifying, with a speed of 193.517 mph, and number of poles, with five.

Nemechek also leads all drivers in top fives, with six; top tens, with six; races led, with eight; laps led, with 191 and most starts in the top five, with eight. Nemechek won from the 35th starting spot in April 2000, the third lowest position of a winner in series history.

"We've had a pretty good run at Talladega as far as poles and winning races," Nemechek said. "Our speedway program has been really good over the past few years. But we've spent an awful lot of time there. As a team overall, we'd spend at least two, maybe three, of our tests at Talladega, and that's shown in our results. It's gotten tougher, though.

"You have to have a lot of luck. It's like a short-track race going 190 mph. It's kind of crazy. We still qualify well. We've only tested our speedway stuff one time this year, and thought we had a shot at the pole in Daytona. So there's a lot of potential there. I think we'll have a shot at winning the race. It's all about getting to the front at the right time."

*Chevrolet builds on lead in manufacturers standings ... Chevrolet has already built a fairly comfortable lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings for manufacturers in the NASCAR Busch Series. Chevrolet has four wins and 52 points, to 38 points and two wins for Ford. Dodge is in third place with 32 points and one win, with Pontiac in fourth, also with 32 points, but no wins so far this year. The standings are determined by a scoring system in which the highest-finishing manufacturer receives nine points, the second-highest gets six, third-highest receives four and fourth-highest receives three.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 81 Taco Bell Chevrolet) has won the last five NASCAR Busch Series restrictor-plate races that he's entered, including last year's race at Talladega. The streak goes back to the 2002 season opener at Daytona. He did not compete in 2002 at Talladega. Earnhardt then swept all three of last year's plate races, before again winning at Daytona this February. After winning the NASCAR Busch Series race at Talladega last year, Earnhardt Jr. also won the next day's NASCAR Cup event, giving him the first weekend sweep of his career. He also accomplished the feat this year at Daytona, by winning the NASCAR Busch Series race and the Daytona 500 ... Johnny Sauter (No. 27 Kleenex/Scott Brand Products Pontiac) scored the first Busch Pole of his career at Talladega, in April 2002.

QUOTEBOOK

*"[You're] trying to think of passes and how they're going to work out, and if you make the pass, what it's going to do to you in five laps or so. It's a chess game, and every move you make, you wonder how other guys are going to react to that move. Obviously, Dale Jr. is the man as far as trying to figure out how to get 'Checkmate.' He's the master at it." - Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet), on restrictor-plate racing.

*"I love going to Talladega. I have had some great finishes there, and I think it is one of my best tracks. We are taking the same car that we ran in the top 10 with all day at Daytona. [Crew chief] Chris Rice and [the] team learned some valuable information in Daytona and have made the car better for this race. - Kenny Wallace (No. 23 Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevrolet).

*"I feel like we can qualify better with the Monte Carlo and ultimately become a bigger threat to win. It's never been on the track, but it has been to the wind tunnel twice, and man does it look slick. Jason (crew chief Ratcliff) and the guys have always given me competitive cars and now, having a better restrictor plate program, will allow us to continue our chase for the championship ... no matter what track we run on." - David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Chevrolet) on the switch to Chevrolet.

*"Everyone remembers the 'Alabama Gang' with the Allisons and Neil Bonnett. They put Hueytown on the map, and made Alabama a hotbed for racing superstars. They never had more support than when they raced at Talladega. Those days have now passed and the fans have looked for other Alabama drivers to support. I feel pretty honored to be one of them racing this weekend. I know that my home state fans are some of the best in the country. They have always supported me, through all the ups and downs. I am privileged to have some of the most passionate fans in all of racing. It makes a difference knowing that I've got thousands of people in my corner this weekend. - Steve Grissom (No. 36 DCT Motorsports Chevrolet).

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Terry Labonte's 1999 NASCAR Busch Series victory at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24 by just .002 second over Joe Nemechek is the closest finish in the history of the NASCAR Busch Series.

Fast Facts

What: Aaron's 312 (Race No. 8 of 34 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Ala.
When: 2 p.m. (ET), Saturday, April 24, 2004.

Track layout: 2.66-mile high-banked paved oval.
Race length: 311.22 miles/113 laps.

TV: FOX, 2 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.

Top 10 in points: 1. Michael Waltrip 1,033. 2. David Green 1,025. 3. Kyle Busch 972. 4. Martin Truex Jr. 968. 5. Robby Gordon 962. 6. Jason Keller 924. 7. Johnny Sauter 913. 8. Bobby Hamilton Jr. 870. 9. Tim Fedewa 862. 10. Johnny Benson 829.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday -- Practice, 8:30-10:30 a.m.; Qualifying, 2:10 p.m. Friday -- Practice, 8:30-9:15 a.m.; Final Practice, 10:05-10:50 a.m.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Terry Labonte , Michael Waltrip , Jason Keller , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Robby Gordon , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Johnny Benson , David Green , Johnny Sauter , Steve Grissom , Martin Truex Jr.