BNS: Nazareth preview

Busch North Series Returns To Nazareth Speedway On August 26 After One-Year Absence; Greg Schaefer Ready To Build On Experience At His Home Track NAZARETH, Pa. - The Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring appears at Nazareth Speedway's one-mile ...

Busch North Series Returns To Nazareth Speedway On August 26 After One-Year Absence; Greg Schaefer Ready To Build On Experience At His Home Track

NAZARETH, Pa. - The Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring appears at Nazareth Speedway's one-mile superspeedway on Sunday, August 26, as part of a doubleheader with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. It marks the return of NASCAR's premier full-bodied series in the Northeast to the demanding Nazareth track after a one-year absence.

The Nazareth 100 also kicks off the stretch drive to the Busch North Series title. The teams have enjoyed a weekend off after 12 straight weeks on the road, but now they face six straight races, including three superspeedways, starting with Nazareth.

A lot has changed since 1999 when the Busch North Series last raced at Nazareth, including the development Philadelphia-area driver Greg Schaefer from a struggling rookie to a budding contender. Schaefer will hope to take the next step in his career at the BNS track located nearest his Hatboro, Pa., home and shop. Without a top-ten finish in his first two seasons, Schaefer has recorded four top-tens in nine 2001 starts, including a personal best fifth place at Holland, N.Y., this June. Before joining the Busch North Series, Schaefer was a standout in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series late model class at the now-closed Flemington Speedway across the Delaware River in New Jersey. That track, with its four right-angle corners, gave him an insight into handling Nazareth's very different, but equally unique layout.

"It's three different tracks," Schaefer said of Nazareth's generally triangular configuration which begins with the dogleg turn one. "The dogleg is like Flemington in the way you enter it. It's a high-speed turn. You don't use a lot of brake. You just get off the throttle and try to get back on it as quickly as possible," he explained.

"The second turn is like a road course," Schaefer continued. "It's real flat, it's off-camber, and it gets tight. The back straight is like Loudon (N.H.), and the last turn is like Michigan with its banking," he described in completing a hypothetical Nazareth lap, which in a Busch North Series car is completed at an average speed of over 120 miles per hour.

While the weekend will be hectic with both Craftsman Truck Series and Busch North Series in action, the schedule does provide for a final practice session on Saturday afternoon, at about the same time of day as Sunday's 4 p.m. race. "The track will change a lot with the trucks being there, but our saving grace will be that we get a happy hour after the trucks practice on Saturday. That should give us an indication of how our race will go," Schaefer noted.

Schaefer and his Rite-Way Electric Chevrolet team definitely expect to improve on their rookie performance at Nazareth two years ago, when he qualified 28th and finished 27th. Analyzing his improvement in 2001, Greg sounded a note familiar to rising stars throughout NASCAR racing. "It's been an accumulation of a lot of things," he said. "Experience, definitely, it helps to have notes to go to on what to do and what not to do. The crew has come together this year. For the first time in a long time I've got what everybody else has," he added.

Nazareth Speedway is located in the heart of the Lehigh Valley market, encompassing Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, Pa., and Phillipsburg, N.J., with Philadelphia less than 60 miles away and New York City less than 80 miles distant.

The Busch North Series is one of nine NASCAR Touring series which blanket the USA, bringing major events to NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks as well as superspeedways like Nazareth Speedway. The NASCAR Touring program is recognized as the premier training ground for NASCAR's national series, the Winston Cup Series, Busch Series, Grand National Division, and Craftsman Truck Series, while also providing career opportunities for professional racers at the regional level. Corporation making major contributions to NASCAR Touring series point funds include Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Featherlite Trailers, Goody's Headache Powders, Gatorade, RE/MAX International, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Raybestos Brakes and R.J. Reynolds' Winston brand.

-nascar/bns-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Greg Schaefer