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Nascar Nation Wide Series

Nascar Nation Wide Series News
It’s A Wrap: 2007 Season; 26 Years Of Busch Sponsorship End At Homestead-Miami
Nov 17, 2007 - updated Nov 17th, 2007 4:37pm
Web posted by

Homestead, Miami --

NASCAR Busch Series News And Notes - Homestead-Miami


• RCR Readies For Fourth Series Owner Championship
• Fight To The Finish: Final Spot In Top 10 Still In Question
• In The Loop: Series “Who’s Who” Impressive At Homestead
• 2007 Series Champion’s Week Activities Dec. 5-7 In Orlando

A Final Bow: Series Sponsor Busch Departs After 26 Exciting Seasons

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2007) – The list of accomplishments for the nation’s No. 2 motorsports series over the last 26 seasons is stellar:
• 803 races;
• 19 driver champions;
• 15 owner champions;
• Over $18 million in point fund contributions.

Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the list will be complete with the running of the NASCAR Busch Series’ final race under the Busch Beer sponsorship banner.

Nationwide Insurance will take over as title sponsor for the series beginning next season.

The NASCAR Busch Series will be synonymous with exciting, close-quarters racing, intriguing personalities and as a proving ground for both drivers who chose it as a career destination series, and those who used it as a steppingstone to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

For every recollection of Dale Earnhardt winning the first event in series history in 1982 to Juan Pablo Montoya capturing the victory in front of a thrilled throng of fans in Mexico City last March, to a history-matching driver-owner championship title split this year, there will be a multitude of NASCAR Busch Series memories.

Perhaps Chuck Bown, the 1990 series champion, summed up the legacy of the series best.

“I loved the Busch Series,” he said. “It was a heck of a lot of fun. Those were the best years of my career, really. You knew it was serious hard racing because so many of those Cup guys raced with us on a regular basis.

“When you won races or won a championship there, you did something. You made your mark in motorsports.”

On The Verge: Owner Title To RCR; Who’s The Odd Man Out Of 10th?

The second split driver-owner championship in NASCAR national series history will be officially recognized Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway even though both will have been claimed before the start of the race.

Carl Edwards (No. 60 Scotts Ford) will officially raise his driver championship trophy while the No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet of Richard Childress Racing will claim the owner title once the car settles into its starting spot. Both officially receive their respective awards after the Ford 300.

Even though he re-claimed the 10th spot from Mike Wallace (No. 7 GEICO Chevrolet) after a second-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway, Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Dish Network Ford) dropped back to 11th following a 25-point penalty due to a post-race height infraction. Wallace jumped back into 10th, but is only 14 points ahead of Kenseth.

Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) remains in a nerve-racking position. He’s in eighth place, but has just a 44-point cushion separating him from a fall out of the top 10. Additionally, Jason Leffler (No. 38 Great Clips Toyota) is hanging on to a seven-point lead over reigning series champion Kevin Harvick (No. 21 AutoZone Chevrolet) for third place in the final standings.

In The Loop: Series, Season Finale Ripe With Familiar Names And Stout Credentials

Not only is Saturday’s NASCAR Bush Series field exploding with name recognition, the statistics at Homestead-Miami Speedway behind those names are equally impressive.

The entry list features the all-time series wins leader Mark Martin (No. 5 Sta-Green/Lowe’s Chevrolet) and four series champions Bobby Labonte (No. 77 Dollar General Chevrolet); Kevin Harvick (No. 21 AutoZone Chevrolet); Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford) and Carl Edwards (No. 60 Scotts Ford).

And all have had past success at Homestead.

Martin, the series wins leader with 47, has finished in the top five in six of his seven Homestead races. In the 2005 event, a third-place finish, Martin scored a Driver Rating of 120.5, an Average Running Position of 3.7, had 22 Fastest Laps Run and spent all but three of the Laps in the Top 15.

Harvick, Biffle and Edwards have all raced in each of the last two Homestead events and all have tremendous Loop Data stats.

The breakdown of the three champions:

• Harvick has a Driver Rating of 113.5, an Average Running Position of 6.1, 30 Fastest Laps Run and 383 Laps in the Top 15 (out of a total of 400).
• Biffle has a Driver Rating of 105.4, an Average Running Position of 17.3, a series-high 71 Fastest Laps Run and 219 Laps in the Top 15.
• Edwards has a Driver Rating of 106.6, an Average Running Position of 6.4, 21 Fastest Laps Run and 383 Laps in the Top 15.
• Labonte has two career series starts at Homestead, finishing second in 1996 and 29th last season.

Also worth watching: Matt Kenseth. He is the defending champion of this event and earned a near-perfect Driver Rating of 144.8 in that race (a perfect Driver Rating is 150.0). Over the last two years at Homestead, Kenseth has a Driver Rating of 108.8, an Average Running Position of 9.7, 37 Fastest Laps Run and 299 Laps in the Top 15.

NBS, Etc.

• Keller Closes Out Series: Jason Keller (No. 11 CJM Racing Chevrolet) will help close out the NASCAR Busch Series era by attempting to register start No. 422 at Homestead on Saturday. Keller, who set the series all-time start mark at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 12, again must qualify on time for the event. He has started 52% of the 802 races contested in the NASCAR Busch Series and will continue to build on that mark next season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. His CJM Racing team announced it will compete in 2008.

• DJ the Common Thread: Think of the name Dale Jarrett and his stellar NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series career – complete with the 1999 series championship and 32 wins – comes to mind. What may be forgotten is Jarrett’s standing as one of the charter members of the NASCAR Busch Series. The first of Jarrett’s 330 starts was on Feb. 13, 1982, the date of the first NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway. He’s the only driver entered in this week’s national series races at Homestead that participated in that first NASCAR Busch series event. The 26-year-old Jarrett, driving for Horace Isenhower, finished 10th and earned $3,500.

• One in a Million?: If Bobby Labonte wins the Ford 300, he’ll make a fan a millionaire. Mary McNair of Fairhope, Ala., was the grand prize winner of Dollar General’s “Win a Fast Million” sweepstakes. In addition to a $10,000 prize and an all-expense paid trip to attend the Ford 300, McNair will collect $1 million if Labonte is declared the winner of the race.

• The JR Motorsports No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet team returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend, two years after the team made its NASCAR Busch Series debut at the 1.5-mile track. The team made its first start at the Speedway in 2005 as a precursor to its first full season of series competition in 2006. The track is also special for driver Brad Keselowski. In 2003, he turned his first-ever laps on a speedway at Homestead during a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series test session.

• Of Note – Homestead: Despite three consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series wins to go along with three top fives, four top 10s and one Busch Pole in seven NASCAR Busch Series races, Greg Biffle has yet to win in NASCAR Busch Series competition at Homestead. … Germain Racing will attempt to make its fifth NASCAR Busch Series start this season. The team will field the No. 03 Toyota for 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Todd Bodine. He has 320 starts and 15 wins in NASCAR Busch Series competition, plus two top-10 finishes this year. … Jennifer Jo Cobb (No. 44 www.visitmyrtlebeach.com Chevrolet) will attempt to qualify for Saturday’s race and will rely upon past success. In 2004, she qualified 28th – the highest a female driver had qualified in series competition that year – for the season finale at Homestead in what was also her first career series start.

NASCAR Busch Series By The Numbers

15 – Different winners in 2007. The record is 18; Kevin Harvick leads this season with six victories.
20 – Different Busch Pole winners this year. Denny Hamlin with five is the season leader. The record is 24.
12 – Owner wins by Richard Childress Racing this season. That ties the mark set by RCR last year.
39 – Drivers who made their first start in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2007.
803 – The number of races that will have been run in the 26-year history of the NASCAR Busch Series following the Ford 300 at Homestead.

2007 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES
RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

Driver Points
1. David Ragan 234
2. Marcos Ambrose 204
3. Kyle Krisiloff 181
4. Brad Keselowski 181
5. Brad Coleman 169
6. Juan Pablo Montoya 165
7. Robert Richardson Jr. 114
8. Justin Diercks 51

2007 NASCAR Busch Series Champion’s Week

The 2007 NASCAR Busch Series Champion’s Week media activities with Carl Edwards, the series driver champion, representatives from Richard Childress Racing, the series owner champion, top 10 drivers in the final standings and the Raybestos Rookie of the Year, will be held Dec. 6-7 in Orlando, Fla.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, media are invited to attend a luncheon featuring the champion and top 10 drivers at the ESPN Club on Disney’s BoardWalk beginning at 10:30 a.m.

From 1 – 3 p.m. Edwards and the top 10 drivers will drive hot laps for the media at the 1.5-mile Walt Disney World Speedway.

The NASCAR Busch Series Awards Banquet will take place at the Portofino Bay Hotel on Friday, Dec. 7.

The NASCAR Busch Series Awards Banquet on Dec. 7 is an invitation-only event and is a separate activity from Champion’s Week media events. If you do not receive an invitation but are interested in attending the banquet, please contact Sue Redstone (information below).

For further information or to RSVP for Thursday’s activities, please contact Sue Redstone (sredstone@nascar.com, 386-947-6870). Deadline for RSVPs is Monday, Dec. 3.

Be sure to log on to www.NASCARMedia.com for schedule updates.

ESPN2

ESPN2 culminates its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Busch Series with the season finale from Homestead-Miami Speedway. The telecast of the Ford 300 begins at 4 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race show.

Dr. Jerry Punch will anchor ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 1989 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree.

Pit reporters are scheduled to be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake.

2007 At-A-Glance: NASCAR Busch Series Leaders After 34 Of 35 Races:

Season Traditional Statistics:
Driver points – Edwards (4,640#)
Victories – Harvick (6)
Races led – Edwards (20)
Laps led – Ky. Busch (1100)
Top-five finishes – Edwards (14)
Top-10 finishes – Edwards, Harvick (20)
Owner points – Richard Childress Racing (No. 29) - (4,918)
Money Won – Edwards ($1,191,260)
Miles led – Ky. Busch (1,433.08)
Busch Poles – Hamlin (5)
Closest to 10th – Kenseth 10th (3,111 pts); 11th – M. Wallace (- 11)
Consecutive Weeks in Top 10 – Edwards, Harvick (34)
# - clinched driver championship

Season Loop Data Statistics:
Driver Rating – Edwards (105.5)
Average Running Position – Edwards (10.1)
Fastest Laps Run – Edwards (532 fastest laps)
Quality Passes – Edwards (976)
Laps In Top 15 – Edwards (5,180 of a possible 6,356)

Ford Seeking Consecutive Victories In Namesake Season Finale

Ford has one championship in hand this season thanks to Carl Edwards’ NASCAR Busch Series driver title. But the manufacturer hopes to close out the year on an even higher note with a victory at its namesake race in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Chevrolet, the 2007 Bill France Performance Cup winner, owns the most series wins in this event (six) and also will claim the 2007 series owner championship on Ford’s turf.

Chevrolet has dominated the 1.5-mile tracks this year with seven wins to one for both Ford and Dodge. But Ford is the defending winner of this race – Matt Kenseth won last year – and can become the first back-to-back race winner at the track since Chevy won consecutive races from 1999-2001.

Toyota will make its series debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway and also has one final opportunity to bypass Dodge for third place in the manufacturers’ championship standings. Toyota – with six entries in the race – trails Dodge by nine points.

Manufacturers' Championship 2007 Point Standings
Chevrolet 229
Ford 192
Dodge 147
Toyota 138

Up Next: Preseason Thunder Testing At Daytona International Speedway

A new era for the nation’s No. 2 motorsports series starts on Jan. 18, 2008 at Daytona International Speedway as the NASCAR Nationwide Series begins testing in preparation for the season-opening Camping World 300.

There will be two test sessions for the NASCAR Nationwide Series from Jan. 18-22. Those cars ranked in odd-numbered positions in the owner points following the 2007 race at Chicagoland Speedway will test from Jan. 18-20, with Jan. 20 serving as an overlap day for the odd and even-numbered cars. The even-numbered cars – also ranked via owner points following the 2007 race at Chicagoland – will test Jan. 20- 22. There is no rain date for either group.

The remainder of the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series test schedule will be announced at a later date.

FAST FACTS

The Race: Ford 300
The Place: Homestead-Miami Speedway
The Date: Nov. 17, 20071
The Time: 4:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Race Purse: $1,533,505
2006 Winner: Matt Kenseth
2006 Pole: Kevin Harvick

2007 Point Standings
Pos. Driver Points
1 Edwards 4,640#
2 Reutimann 4,069
3 Leffler 3,875
4 Harvick 3,868
5 Ragan 3,670
6 Hamilton Jr. 3,525
7 Leicht 3,443
8 Ambrose 3,343
9 Biffle 3,316
10 Kenseth 3,311
# Cliched Title

Pre-Race Schedule:
Friday–Practice, 1:10-2:20 p.m.; Rookie Practice, 2:30-3:00 p.m.; Final Practice, 6:35-7:25 Saturday–Qualifying, 12:05 a.m. (impound).


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