O'Reilly 300 News and Notes
O'Reilly 300 News and Notes
Entry List O'Reilly 300
0 Eric McClure
01 Morgan Shepherd
1 J.J. Yeley
4 Regan Smith
05 Brett Rowe
5 Kyle Busch
06 Mark Martin
6 David Ragan
7 Mike Wallace
9 Kasey Kahne
10 Dave Blaney
12 Kurt Busch
14 Kyle Krisiloff
15 Paul Menard
16 Greg Biffle
17 Matt Kenseth
18 Brad Coleman
20 Denny Hamlin
21 Timothy Peters
22 David Stremme
23 Brad Keselowski
24 Casey Mears
25 David Gilliland
27 Ward Burton
28 Johnny Sauter
29 Jeff Burton
30 Stanton Barrett
33 Kevin Harvick
34 Jay Sauter
35 Bobby Hamilton Jr
36 Brent Sherman
37 Jamie McMurray
38 Jason Leffler
41 Reed Sorenson
42 Juan Pablo Montoya
47 Jon Wood
52 Kevin Lepage
59 Marcos Ambrose
60 Carl Edwards
66 Steve Wallace
70 Justin Diercks
77 Bobby Labonte
80 Robert Richardson
88 Shane Huffman
90 Stephen Leicht
99 David Reutimann
Re: O'Reilly 300 News and Notes
Driver to win the OReilly 300
601 Jeff Burton +450
602 Matt Kenseth +525
603 Mark Martin +625
604 Kevin Harvick +650
605 Kurt Busch +715
606 Kasey Kahne +785
607 Carl Edwards +825
608 Kyle Busch +825
609 Greg Biffle +1100
610 Casey Mears +1450
611 Denny Hamlin +1850
612 Reed Sorrenson +2150
613 Juan Montoya +3000
614 Jamie McMurrray +3800
615 Bobby Labonte +4500
616 Paul Menard +4500
617 Dave Blaney +4500
618 Jason Leffler +5000
619 David Reutimann +5000
Re: O'Reilly 300 News and Notes
Busch Series News & Notes - Texas
Coleman Has High Hopes For Big Outcome In Home State Of Texas
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 9, 2007) – If everything is indeed bigger in Texas, then Brad Coleman (No. 18 Carino’s Chevrolet) faces one of the biggest weeks of his young career.
The 19-year-old native of Houston – a developmental driver with Joe Gibbs Racing – has quite a bit in store even before he makes his NASCAR Busch Series track debut at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Tuesday morning, he’s scheduled to appear on the front lawn of the State Capitol Building as Texas Governor Rick Perry proclaims “Brad Coleman Day” in the state. He will also receive the flag that flies over the capitol that day.
That evening, Coleman’s big adventure continues as he throws out the first pitch for the Round Rock Express – the AAA affiliate of the Houston Astros owned by Major League Baseball legend and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and his son Reid.
Coleman began his NASCAR Busch Series affiliation with Brewco Motorsports as a developmental driver and made his debut last June at Nashville Superspeedway, just one week after graduating from high school.
He joined JGR in the off-season and has made three starts for the team, which also boasts another talented developmental driver in 24-year-old Aric Almirola, who captured the Busch Pole at Daytona International Speedway to open the season.
Coleman and Almirola have the added benefit of learning from teammates Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet), who share seat time with both in the NASCAR Busch Series this season.
And Coleman comes home on a high note. He’ll be competing in his first back-to-back series races after having posted his career-best finish – 15th – last Saturday at Nashville.
Two Aim For Three: Edwards, Burton Go For Three Straight At Texas
Do the math – two plus three equals ... one? Indeed, two drivers going for three straight wins this weekend can only come down to one victor.
Series points leader Carl Edwards (No. 60 Scott’s Bonus S-Max Ford) has won the last two races – two weeks ago at Bristol Motor Speedway and last week at Nashville. Jeff Burton (No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet) also has won his last two races, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Burton did not race at Bristol or Nashville, so his quest isn’t consecutive, as is Edwards’, but the chase is just as impressive.
A NASCAR Busch Series driver hasn’t won three races in succession since Ryan Newman did so in 2005. Newman also won in five straight starts that year, but not in consecutive races.
Reigning series champion Kevin Harvick (No. 33 RoadLoans.com Chevrolet) and all-time sereis wins (47) and poles (30) leader Mark Martin (No. 06 Dish Network Ford) are already members of the trifecta club, having won three races each at Texas to lead the series in that category. Both are entered Saturday, as is defending race winner Kurt Busch (No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dodge).
Busch became the fifth driver in series history to win in his first start when he captured the victory in this event last April.
Strong Showing At Nashville Bolsters Toyota’s Total
Ford won last week’s race at Nashville but Toyota also gained momentum in the Bill France Performance Cup standings.
Carl Edwards’ second consecutive win – also the 350th overall for Roush Fenway Racing – moved Ford to within four points of first-place Chevrolet heading to Texas where it leads all manufacturers with four victories.
Toyota captured positions two thorugh four at Nashville last week and is four points behind third-place Dodge, the closest it’s been to third since a two-point deficit after the Mexico City event. Toyota was in second place after Daytona but has been mired in fourth since the series’ second race at California Speedway.
In The Loop: Despite Last Year’s Stumble, Edwards Still Tops
Carl Edwards’ early NASCAR Busch Series points lead is impressive and so are his season-to-date Loop Data stats. Not only does Edwards lead in just about every category, he dominates.
For instance, his season-to-date Average Running Position is 6.483. Sitting in second is Dave Blaney (No. 10 ABF U-Pack Moving Toyota) at 14.748 – over eight spots behind Edwards.
In terms of Driver Rating, Edwards is by far the class of the field at 118.1. Blaney – second in the point standings – is second in Driver Rating with 89.1. That’s almost a 30-point difference.
One category that highlights consistency is Laps in the Top 15. Edwards leads that one, too. With 1,193 Laps in the top 15 (which translates to 93.8% of the laps he’s run), Edwards leads second-place Kyle Busch (No. 5 Spectracide/Lowe’s Chevrolet) by 281.
Edwards also stands atop the Quality Passes category; his 267 Quality Passes lead Blaney by 16.Edwards has built his lead over the last two races – both of which he’s won – at Bristol and Nashville. His Driver Rating was a near-perfect and race-best 144.5 (the maximum is 150.0) at Nashville and 144.0 at Bristol.
His Average Running Position at Nashville was 3.382 and at Bristol, it was 1.703, both race-best numbers.
Can he keep it up? If his past numbers at Texas are any indication, probably. But he’ll have to overcome a last-place finish in this race one year ago to once again pad his numbers.
He has an Average Running Position at Texas of 17.175, which is 25th-best in the four previous races and a Driver Rating of 87.1, which is 19th-best. With impressive finishes of fourth, third and seventh in three of his last four races at the 1.5-mile track, it’s clear that his finish last year hurt his statistics at Texas.
Dale Jarrett, one of the charter members of the NASCAR Busch Series with 329 starts and 11 wins, makes his debut in the booth for ESPN2 at Texas serving as an analyst along with Andy Petree. Marty Reid will handle the race call. ... There have been seven different Busch Pole winners this season. ... Former series champoin Bobby Labonte (No. 77 Dollar General Chevrolet – Corpus Christi) and rookie Robert Richardson Jr. (No. 80 Cloverleaf Custom Backyards Chevrolet – McKinney) join Brad Coleman as Texas natives in the field. ... Jason Leffler (No. 38 Great Clips Toyota) captured his first Busch Pole in his first series start at Texas in 2000. Leffler (fourth) had his season-best finish at Nashville. ... Former series champion Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford) has three runner-up finishes at Texas and is seeking his first series win at the track. He has won in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (2005) and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (2000) competition there. ... Shane Huffman (No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet) is a career-best eighth in the standings, a ranking which can be attributed to his improvement on 1.5-mile tracks. Huffman has finished ninth (Las Vegas) and 19th (Atlanta) at that distance thus far in 2007, an improvement over his average finish of 35th last year. ... Kevin Harvick seeks his 24th consecutive top-10 finish this weekend. ... David Reutimann (No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota – second), Regan Smith (No. 4 Ginn Resorts Chevrolet – fifth) and Stephen Leicht (No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford – eighth) had career-best finishes last Saturday at Nashville. ... Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) has re-claimed the Raybestos Rookie lead over Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) who returns to the series at Texas.
The Race: O’Reilly 300
The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
The Date: April 14, 20071
The Time: 3:00 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Race Purse: $1,504,601
2006 Winner: Kurt Busch
2006 Pole: Denny Hamlin
Schedule: Thurs. April 12 – 11:00 a.m. – 12:10 p.m., Practice; 12:20 – 12:50 p.m. Rookie Practice; 1 – 2 p.m., Final Practice; 6:05 p.m., Qualifying (Impound).
Re: O'Reilly 300 News and Notes
Ragan edges Edwards for Busch pole
April 12th, 2007
Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - David Ragan, who was fastest in Happy Hour, earned the pole for Saturday's O'Reilly 300 Busch Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway. The No.6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford circled the high-speed 1.5- mile speedway in 28.263 seconds (191.063 m.p.h.).
The pole victory was the first of Ragan's Busch career.
Starting alongside Ragan will be series points leader Carl Edwards who posted a second-best time of 28.518 seconds after being the fastest in the first Busch Series practice session.
After winning his second consecutive Busch Series race, Edwards has built a huge lead in the championship. Through seven starts, Edwards' lead is 321 points over Dave Blaney. He has won twice and already has six top-fives. He is not a stranger to winning in the series. In 2005 Edwards won five times and collected 21 top-10s en route to a third place in the series championship. Last year Edwards treated his fans to four "Victory Backflips" and his 25 top-10s was good enough for second place overall behind Kevin Harvick.
Kyle Busch (28.614) and Casey Mears (28.743) will make up row two.
Other drivers of note and their starting positions: Kasey Kahne (5th), Denny Hamlin (6th), Mark Martin (8th), Jeff Burton (9th), Matt Kenseth (10th) and Juan Montoya (14th).
Dave Blaney, second in the standings, failed to complete a qualifying lap and will start 42nd in the field of 43 cars.
The race is set to drop the green flag on Saturday at 3 p.m. (et).
Re: O'Reilly 300 News and Notes
Kenseth holds off Hamlin for Busch win
April 14th, 2007
Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Nextel Cup veteran Matt Kenseth won Saturday's O'Reilly 300 Busch Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway. The No.17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford crossed the finish line just 0.127 seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin.
The victory was Kenseth's second of the season and 22nd of his Busch career.
David Ragan led an all-Ford front row to the green flag for 200 laps of high- speed racing. Two laps later Kyle Busch charged past both Carl Edwards and Ragan for the lead. Hamlin joined the group about 20 laps into the race.
Slowly Busch began to extend his lead and only Hamlin could keep up with the No.5 Chevrolet's pace. After 30 laps Busch held half-a-second on Hamlin and five seconds on Edwards. Hamlin caught Busch for one lap before making his first pit stop of the afternoon.
In the middle of green-flag pit stops, a flat tire on Kenseth's Ford brought out a caution flag. It caught a couple of the leaders on pit lane and left Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Casey Mears among those one lap down.
After the remainder of the field stopped under yellow. Busch and Mark Martin returned to the track in first and second. Hamlin, Mears and Kahne all got back on the lead lap before we got to lap 80, but were still near the back of the field.
As the field crossed the mid-point of the race, Busch still had the dominant car. His lead was 2.637 seconds over Martin and he had led 95 laps. Edwards, the current points leader was third while Kevin Harvick, the runaway 2006 Busch Series champion, was lurking in eighth place.
Another round of green-flag pit stops, but this time it was Kyle Busch and Edwards who got caught on pit road when Kurt Busch sent Regan Smith spinning to bring out another caution flag.
Kyle Busch and Edwards would restart 11th and 12th, respectively with Hamlin in the lead.
With 50 laps to go the race was between Mears and Hamlin. They were more than five seconds ahead of third-place Ragan. Edwards and Kyle Busch were as good as dead, down 20 seconds, unless a caution flag came out to get them back in contention.
Mears began to stretch out his lead over Hamlin to almost one second with 40 laps remaining. Then on lap 161 a debris caution flag erased Mears' lead and set up a wild shootout to the finish.
All the leaders made their final stops and Hamlin beat Mears off pit road. Actually Juan Montoya won the race out of the pits, but a missing lug nut sent him to the back of the longest line (15th). Montoya compounded the problem by hitting the wall to bring out another caution flag.
Behind the two youngsters Hamlin and Mears was quite a scary group. Kenseth, Edwards and pole winner Ragan were third through fifth with Kyle Busch up to seventh.
They restarted the race with 14 laps to go. Hamlin controlled the start, but this time he couldn't get away from Mears, or for that matter Kenseth and Edwards. Kenseth and Edwards were up on the wheel and both passed Mears for second and third.
But could they run down Hamlin?
All of a sudden Hamlin slowed and Kenseth charged past him for the lead with eight laps to go. Hamlin just as quickly got back up to speed and sat on the No.17 Ford's rear bumper as they clicked off lap 195. They were still one-two as they saw the white flag signifying one lap to go.
Hamlin got to the bottom of the track and as they entered the final turn inched up to Kenseth's door, but Kenseth was quicker out of the turn and he held off Hamlin for the win
Edwards, Mears and Ragan completed the top-five.
Edwards' third-place finish gives him a 403-point lead in the standings.
The next race in the series is set for Saturday at the Phoenix International Raceway.