Stater Bros. 300 News and Notes

Stater Bros. 300 News and Notes

Stater Bros. 300 - Entry List

0     Eric McClure    
1   J.J. Yeley        
4     Regan Smith    
5     Kyle Busch    
6     David Ragan        
7     Mike Wallace    
9     Scott Riggs    
10     Dave Blaney    
12     Sam Hornish, Jr.    
14     Kyle Krisiloff    
15     Paul Menard    
16     Greg Biffle    
17     Matt Kenseth    
18     Tony Stewart    
20     Denny Hamlin    
21     Timothy Peters        
22     David Stremme        
23     Brad Keselowski    
24      Casey Mears
25     David Gilliland    
27     Ward Burton    
28     Jeff Green    
29     Jeff Burton    
32     Chad Blount        
33     Kevin Harvick    
34     Steve Grissom    
35     Bobby Hamilton, Jr.    
36     Brent Sherman    
37     Jamie Mcmurray    
38     Jason Leffler    
41     Reed Sorenson    
42     Juan Pablo Montoya    
47     Jon Wood    
59     Marcos Ambrose    
60     Carl Edwards    
66     Steve Wallace    
77     Kertus Davis        
87     Joe Nemechek    
88     Shane Huffman    
90     Stephen Leicht    
99     David Reutimann    

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Busch Series News & Notes - California

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2007) – Talk about a personal whirlwind.

Eight months ago, David Gilliland (No. 25 freecreditreport.com Ford) was a part-time driver in the NASCAR Busch Series competing for a team that consisted of equally part-time love-of-the-sport guys.

But his career path was forever altered when he won his first NASCAR national series race at Kentucky Speedway last June.

Since that victory – arguably the most memorable in series history – the Riverside, Calif., native secured a shared full-time ride with Team Rensi Motorsports in the NASCAR Busch Series, a full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series ticket with Robert Yates Racing, won his first premier series pole and just last week, won the pole and led the first 18 laps of the Daytona 500 before finishing eighth.

Gilliland’s hometown is a 20 minute drive from California Speedway and although he started his first national series race there last fall in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition, he’ll look to make his initial NASCAR Busch Series start at the 2-mile track.

Gilliland’s success has come with only 16 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and 12 NASCAR Busch Series starts. But the Rensi/Yates partnership offers him plenty of experience with which to learn.

Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 McDonald’s Ford) is a young veteran who can mentor Gilliland on the NASCAR Busch Series side while the legendary Ricky Rudd holds the same position in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garage. Hamilton Jr. was a Busch Pole winner at California in 2001.

“So much has taken place over the last eight months,” Gilliland said. “There’s not an up-and-coming driver out there that doesn’t dream about racing in NASCAR’s top divisions one day.

“It seems like it wasn’t that long ago and I was doing the same thing; now I’m living the dream.”

Long Beach’s Leffler Likes Sleeper Label Heading Home
David Gilliland will have plenty of attention this weekend at California Speedway, which is just fine with his fellow Golden State native, Jason Leffler (No. 38 Great Clips Toyota). Leffler – who is from Long Beach – started on the outside pole at Daytona last Saturday ushering in the Toyota era in the NASCAR Busch Series. His Braun Racing teammates – Dave Blaney (No. 32 Fan1st.com Toyota) was second in the race while John Andretti (No. 10 Camping World Toyota) started fifth – helped cap off a strong 2007 debut for the team. Blaney is scheduled to drive the No. 10 ABF U-Pack Moving Toyota this weekend while Chad Blount is penciled in for the No. 32 Camry at California.

Leffler finished 22nd last Saturday but could carry sleeper status to his home-state track this weekend.

In 2004, he captured the pole for the first race at California and registered a top-10 finish in the second event that season.

Leffler posted his track-best of seventh place in the first race at California in 2005 and is anxious to better his average finish of 23rd in both of last season’s events there.

Big Shoes Dept.: Peters Steps Into Champion’s Ride At California
Timothy Peters (No. 21 AutoZone Chevrolet) will be in quite a position this weekend in California.

He’ll try to make his second career start in the NASCAR Busch Series which in itself is an exciting prospect for the 27-year-old from Providence, N.C.

Throw in that he’s sharing the No. 21 Chevrolet with the driver who won the 2006 series championship and completed a historic sweep at Daytona last weekend – Kevin Harvick – and that Harvick will be racing his own No. 33 RoadLoans.com Chevrolet from the Kevin Harvick Inc. stable in Harvick’s home state of California, and it becomes understandable that the excitement could be exchanged for a bit of pressure.

Most of Peters’ NASCAR national series experience has come in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series where he competed in 33 races over the last two seasons. He made his NASCAR Busch Series debut last October at Memphis where he finished 13th after starting 10th.

A little pressure hasn’t seemed to bother Peters, though. Faced with a similar situration during last year at Memphis, he competed solidly with plenty of hoopla surrounding the race. His teammate clinched the 2006 series owner title for Richard Childress while Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) made his NASCAR debut.

Chevrolet Seeks 14th Manufacturers Title
Chevrolet is off and running in the pursuit to build on its record 13 Bill France Performance Cup titles thanks to Kevin Harvick’s win last Saturday at Daytona.Chevy won the title last year but will now face the challenge of three other manufacturers with the addition of Toyota to the NASCAR Busch Series. Dodge is also seeking its first title while Ford hopes to add its third manufacturer championship this year.

Can Leffler Fend Off Roush-Fenway Racing Contingent At California?
Most people would rather not brave the long trip from Daytona to California – especially after the whirlwind of Speedweeks.

Not Jason Leffler. He’s returning home, and that’s always a welcome voyage. A resident of Moorseville, N.C., Leffler is from Long Beach, Calif., about 60 miles from California Speedway.

In addition to heading home, there’s more good news for Leffler: he’s accumulated some impressive Loop Data numbers, which could mean a solid finish at the Stater Bros. 300.

Over the past four years at California Speedway (three races for Leffler), the 31-year-old has 187 passes, the 10th-highest number among any NASCAR Busch Series driver during that span. With an impressive average finish of 17.7 at California, Leffler could be a threat on Saturday.

But he’ll have some tough competition to negotiate, especially from the Roush-Fenway Racing contingent led by Carl Edwards (No. 60 World Financial Group Ford), whose name is peppered throughout the Loop Data statistics.

Edwards finished third in this event last year and has a fifth-best Average Running Position of 6.853, a Driver Rating of 118.1 – tied for third-best – and is fourth among all drivers in Green Flag Speed.

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford), the defending race winner, could also find himself in Victory Lane, so says the Loop Data. Biffle has a fifth-best Driver Rating of 108.8 and third-fastest Speed on the Frontstretch, which is a pivotal stat when mapping out a California Speedway plan of attack. Biffle also has top-five speeds in each of the turns at California over the past four races held there.

Additionally, Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Dish Network Ford) is tied with Biffle for most series wins at California (three) while team owner Jack Roush leads in that category with five wins in NASCAR Busch Series competition at California.

ETC

Kertus Davis will make his debut for KHI in the No. 77 Dollar General Chevrolet at California Speedway. … The next stop for the NASCAR Busch Series will be at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on March 4. A solid contingent of drivers who hail from Mexico City are scheduled to participate including Adrian Fernandez for Hendrick Motorsports, Michel Jourdain Jr. for Roush-Fenway Racing, Carlos Contreras for Fitz Motorsports and Jorge Goeters for Brewco Motorsports. … Last year’s Mexico City winner Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet) has plenty of early-season optimism, especially when it comes to tracks like California Speedway. “If the Las Vegas test (was) any indication of the cars we have built for intermediate tracks this season, I look forward to competing for wins each week I am in the car,” he said. … Jerry Baxter, crew chief for the No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota of David Reutimann, grew up in Turlock, Calif., an hour-and-a-half away from the track. … Shane Huffman (No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet) is scheduled to fly with the Blue Angels flight demonstration team on Feb. 26 at Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif. The team flies between 120-700 mph at heights of 15-15,000 feet.

FAST FACTS
The Race: Stater Bros. 300
The Place: California Speedway The Date: Feb. 24, 20071
The Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 2-mile oval
Race Purse: $1,626,139
2005 Winner: Greg Biffle
2006 Pole: Carl Edwards

No. Driver Pts
1 Harvick 190
2 Blaney 170
3 Edwards 170
4 Bowyer 165
5 Martin 155
6 Truex Jr. 155
7 Earnhardt Jr. 151
8 Stewart 142
9 Hamlin 138
10 Biffle 134

Schedule:
Fri.-- Practice, 8-9:15 a.m., Rooke Practice, 9:30-10 a.m.
Sat.— Qualifying, 12:10 p.m. (Impound).

www.race2win.net

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2007 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES
CALIFORNIA TRACK FACTS
1
2007 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES
RACE #2 of 35 – Stater Bros. 300
CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY – FONTANA, CA
Event #: 14th Busch Series Race at California Speedway
Date: February 24, 2007 Race Time: 7:30 ET
Television: ESPN2 Radio: MRN
Track Size: 2.0 miles Race Distance: 300 miles, 150 laps
• No California race has been won from the Pole. Best start of a race winner -
second -1998 and 1999.
• Worst Starting Position of a Race Winner: 28th, Todd Bodine, 1997
• Most Wins at California: Matt Kenseth - three
• Most Poles at California: Clint Bowyer – 2 (no time trials in 1999 and 2002)

Qualifying at California:
Driver Year Speed Time
Track Record: Tony Stewart (C) 2/05 185.941 mph 38.722 sec.
First 2006 Race: Carl Edwards (F) 182.588 mph 39.433 sec.
Sept. 2006 Race: Clint Bowyer (C) 179.399 mph 40.134 sec.

California Race Speeds:
Driver Year Speed Time
Track Record: Hank Parker Jr. (C) 2001 155.957 mph 1:55:25
First 2006 Race: Greg Biffle (F) 147.501 mph 2:02:02
Sept. 2006 Race: Kasey Kahne (D) 135.917 mph 2:12:26
2007 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES
CALIFORNIA TRACK FACTS
2

Top Ten Finishers in the Feb. 2006 California Race: Five started in the top 10.
POS DRIVER START MAKE LAPS LED
1st Greg Biffle 3 F 52
2nd Ryan Newman 2 D 15
3rd Carl Edwards 1 F 49
4th Jeff Burton 21 C 20
5th Jamie McMurray 5 D -
6th Matt Kenseth 4 F 8
7th J.J. Yeley 18 C -
8th Kevin Harvick 28 C 2
9th Brian Vickers 20 C -
10th Denny Hamlin 17 C -
DNFs: 4 (accident - 1, rear end - 1, handling – 1, electrical -1)
Pole Winner Carl Edwards finished 3rd.
Leader of the Most Laps: Greg Biffle, 52
Last Place: Mark Green three laps, accident
Last Driver on Lead Lap: John Andretti, 19th
Most Positions Improved: +24, Reed Sorenson, 35th to 11th
Most Positions Lost: -33, Jay Sauter, 6th to 41st
Most laps run in the Top-15: 149 of 150 - Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman

Top Ten Finishers in the Sept. 2006 California Race: Three started in the top 10.
POS DRIVER START MAKE LAPS LED
1st Kasey Kahne 4 D 14
2nd Kevin Harvick 3 C 20
3rd Mark Martin 11 F 88
4th Paul Menard 19 C 7
5th Ashton Lewis Jr. 26 F -
6th Tony Stewart 6 D 2
7th Matt Kenseth 18 F -
8th Jon Wood 28 F -
9th Robby Gordon 21 C -
10th Jay Sauter 33 C -
DNFs: 4 (engine - 1, accident - 3)
Pole Winner Clint Bowyer finished 13th.
Leader of the Most Laps: Mark Martin - 88
Last Place: Auggie Vidovich, six laps (engine)
Last Driver on Lead Lap: P.J. Jones, 22nd
Most Positions Improved: Jay Sauter, +23, 33rd to 10th
Most Positions Lost: David Ragan, -32, 9th to 41st
Most laps run in the Top 15: 150 of 150 – Tony Stewart

# RACES POLES
1. Jason Keller – 12     1. Clint Bowyer -2
2. David Green – 11     2. nine drivers @ one each*
3. Matt Kenseth - 11
4. Michael Waltrip - 10    *No time trials in ’99 and ’02.
Randy LaJoie – 10
6. Joe Nemechek – 9
Ashton Lewis Jr. - 9

WINS TOP FIVES
1. Matt Kenseth - 3      1. Matt Kenseth - 6
Greg Biffle - 3              2. Kevin Harvick - 5
3. Todd Bodine - 1 Kasey Kahne – 5
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 1    4. Greg Biffle - 4
Carl Edwards – 1           5. Todd Bodine - 3
Hank Parker Jr. - 1 Jeff Green - 3
Scott Riggs - 1 Michael Waltrip - 3
Mart Martin - 1
Kasey Kahne - 1

Starting Position of California Race Winners: Last year’s spring California
winner started third.
Start Races
Pole - 0
2nd - 2
Front Row - 2
3rd - 5th - 4
Top Five 6 - 46%
6th - 10th - 2
Top Ten - 8 - 62%
11th - 20th - 3
21st + - 2
Total 13

California Race Winners:
Year Driver (Make) Avg. Speed Time Start
1997 Todd Bodine (P) 145.083 mph 2:04:04 28
1998 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (C) 146.576 mph 2:02:48 2
1999 Matt Kenseth (C) 119.960 mph 2:30:03 2
2000 Matt Kenseth (C) 126.375 mph 2:22:25 8
2001 Hank Parker Jr.(C) 155.957 mph* 1:55:25 26
2002 Scott Riggs (F) 131.403 mph 2:16:59 6
2003 Matt Kenseth (F) 129.419 mph 2:19:05 19
2004 (1) Greg Biffle (F) 138.978 mph 2:09:31 15
2004 (2) Greg Biffle (F) 147.819 mph 2:01:46 14
2005 (1) Mark Martin (F) 117.251 mph 2:33:31 3
2005 (2) Carl Edwards (F) 139.104 mph 2:09:24 4
2006 (1) Greg Biffle (F) 147.501 mph 2:02:02 3
2006 (2) Kasey Kahne (D) 135.917 mph 2:12:26 4
*Track Record

California Fast Facts:
Ford has won seven of the last eight California races, five by Roush Racing.
The driver who has led the most laps has won four of the last five races at
California. Greg Biffle led the most laps in three of them.
Clint Bowyer is the only repeat pole winner in 13 California races.
No California NASCAR Busch Series race has been won from the pole.
The last four NASCAR Busch Series races at California have been won from a
top four starting position.

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Busch Series Stater Brothers 300 -To Win


Matt Kenseth 9 to 2
Tony Stewart 6 to 1
Kevin Harvick 6 to 1 
Carl Edwards 7 to 1
Greg Biffle 9 to 1
Jeff Burton 10 to 1
Kyle Busch 10 to 1
Denny Hamlin 14 to 1 
Casey Mears 16 to 1
Scott Riggs 16 to 1
Jamie McMurray 25 to 1
Juan Pablo Montoya 28 to 1
Reed Sorenson 33 to 1
Paul Menard 33 to 1
David Gilliland 33 to 1
Joe Nemechek 40 to 1
David Reutimann 40 to 1 
JJ Yeley 50 to 1
Ward Burton 50 to 1
Dave Blaney 50 to 1
Jon Wood 50 to 1 
Sam Hornish Jr 50 to 1
Regan Smith 50 to 1
David Stremme 50 to 1
Mike Wallace 66 to 1
Jason Leffler 80 to 1
Bobby Hamilton 80 to 1
Brent Sherman 100 to 1
Kertus Davis 100 to 1
Field (all others) 16 to 1

[img]http://www.thespread.com/images/banners … x90002.gif[/img]

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The House of Roush
Jorge A. Mondaca
Assistant Editor


While the focus following Speedweeks has deservedly centered on Kevin Harvick, winner of both the Daytona 500 and Orbitz 300, the cross country journey from Daytona International Speedway to California Speedway has shifted the spotlight towards another personality in the sport.

That person is none other than Jack Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing.

With 11 victories at California Speedway, including five in the last six Busch Series events, much of the talk leading into this weekend's Busch Series Stater Bros. 300 is concentrated on Roush and his four drivers: David Ragan, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards.

"I can't wait to run the Busch race at California this weekend," said Biffle, the defending race winner and driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion. "Roush Fenway cars have a really strong record at California and I've won three Busch races there myself."

However, the team's success is not the only reason that makes a visit to California so enjoyable for Biffle.

"That track is a lot of fun for a driver because it is so wide and smooth. It's easy to pass and there are several grooves to choose from to make your car work," said Biffle, a three time Busch Series winner at the two-mile venue. "If one line doesn't work you can always move up or down the track to find one that suits the car's handling. It's a fun place to race."

Edwards, who is coming off a third-place finish at Daytona, has a lot of momentum heading into the weekend. The driver of the No. 60 World Financial Group Ford Fusion also knows about winning at California Speedway, having captured the Busch Series victory there in the fall of 2005.

"We had our sights on a top-10 and finished better than that with a third place finish. It's a great start for this season and right where we need to be," said Edwards' crew chief Pierre Kuettel after the Orbitz 300. "We are going to keep the momentum going from here. It's going to be fun this year."

Even though the odds favor the Roush Fenway drivers, as only 40 cars are currently entered for the 150-lap event Saturday night, it will not be easy.

Among the remaining 36 drivers are 19 full-time NEXTEL Cup drivers, four drivers attempting a partial NEXTEL Cup Series schedule (Regan Smith, Mike Wallace, Timothy Peters and Jon Wood), two Daytona 500 winners (Ward Burton and Harvick), a NEXTEL Cup Series champion (Tony Stewart) and four Busch Series champions (Joe Nemechek, Jeff Green, Steve Grissom and Harvick).

With so many high-level drivers racing this weekend, another Roush success will be hard to come by.

"There is a lot less pressure then you have on Sunday. You can just go out and race as hard as you can and go for the win," said Harvick, who will be driving his own No. 33 RoadLoans.com Chevrolet.

The Busch Series action gets underway on Friday at 11 a.m. (ET) with the first of two practice sessions. On Saturday, qualifying begins at 3:10 p.m. (ET) with the green flag scheduled shortly after 7:30 p.m. (ET).

Coverage of Saturday's Stater Bros. 300 is available on ESPN2, MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, in addition to complete reports throughout the weekend on RacingOne.com.

Idle Notes

Although this weekend's Stater Bros. 300 marks the second race of the season, it will mark the debut for several drivers in 2007 Busch Series competition. The list includes Scott Riggs, Timothy Peters, Jeff Green, Jeff Burton and Kertus Davis. Another list of drivers - Casey Mears, Brad Keselowski, David Stremme and J.J. Yeley – will also be making their first start of the season, after failing to qualify at Daytona.

Looking for somebody who's due? Look no further than Reed Sorenson, driver of the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge. He has completed all of the 600 Busch Series laps he's run at California Speedway. When it comes to Busch Series racing, he also has never finished outside of the top 20, totaling one top-five, one top-10, three top-15 and four top-20 finishes.

Another candidate is Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 5 Autoguard Chevrolet. Of the three West Coast ovals on the NASCAR circuit (California, Las Vegas and Phoenix), Busch has earned two Cup Series victories, two Cup Series poles, one Busch Series pole, 11 top-10 finishes (Cup and Busch Series combined), and 341 laps led (Cup Series and Busch Series combined).

Juan Pablo Montoya may have a rookie stripe this weekend – but this is not his first visit to Fontana. During his CART FedEx Series career, he ran twice at California Speedway, 1999 and 2000. The Colombian native totaled one top-five finish and two top-10 results.

Home Sweet Home: Four drivers will be competing in their home state this weekend; Jason Leffler, Kevin Harvick, David Gilliland and Casey Mears.

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I am going to stay on the Rousch bandwagon today since they do so well here.

G Biffle 9/1

C Edwards 8/1

Some real value I think on two drivers who have a very good record here.

I like one matchup today Jason Leffler -110/David Gililand   

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mvbski wrote:


I am going to stay on the Rousch bandwagon today since they do so well here.

G Biffle 9/1

C Edwards 8/1

Some real value I think on two drivers who have a very good record here.

I like one matchup today Jason Leffler -110/David Gililand   


Kenny Wallace To Sub for David Gilliland: Kenny Wallace will replace David Gilliland in the #25 Team Rensi Motorsports Ford for the Busch Series race today at California. The team was in preparations to put Wallace in the car for Gilliland, who is sick.(SceneDaily.com)

No action,I was hoping that Gilliland would run a lap so he could get the points and the get out of the car.  wink

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Kenseth gets fourth Busch win at California
Sat, Feb 24, 2007
By Associated Press

FONTANA, Calif. -- Matt Kenseth took control in the closing laps Saturday night at California Speedway, driving off with his fourth NASCAR Busch Series victory in 12 tries on the 2-mile oval.

Casey Mears gave a big effort to try to catch Kenseth at the end, but the Roush Fenway Racing driver wouldn't let Mears get close enough for a serious challenge, driving across the finish line about five lengths ahead.

''It was really a lot of fun,'' said Kenseth, who earned his 22nd Busch victory in his 200th series start. ''I owe a lot of this to my former teammates Mark Martin and Jeff Burton. I learned a lot about these tracks from them.''

Kenseth, giving Jack Roush his first win since he sold half his team to Fenway Sports Group earlier this month, took the lead with a pass of Burton, now driving for Richard Childress Racing, on lap 129 of the 150-lap event.

The 2003 NASCAR Cup champion and winner of last February's Cup race here led the rest of the way.

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