Circuit City 250 News and Notes

Circuit City 250 News and Notes

Circuit City 250 Entry List

0 Eric McClure
1 J.J. Yeley
01 Morgan Shepherd
2 Clint Bowyer
4 Regan Smith
5 Kyle Busch
6 David Ragan
7 Mike Wallace
9 Elliott Sadler
10 Dave Blaney
12 Sam Hornish Jr
14 Kyle Krisiloff
16 Greg Biffle
17 Matt Kenseth
18 Brad Coleman
20 Denny Hamlin
21 Timothy Peters
22 Mike Bliss
23 Brad Keselowski
24 Casey Mears
25 David Gilliland
27 Ward Burton
28 Jeff Green
33 Tony Raines
35 Bobby Hamilton Jr
36 Brent Sherman
37 Jamie McMurray
38 Jason Leffler
41 Reed Sorenson
42 Juan Pablo Montoya
47 Jon Wood
52 Brad Teague
56 Daniel Hanniford
59 Marcos Ambrose
60 Carl Edwards
66 Steve Wallace
70 Justin Diercks
72 D.J. Kennington
73 Brett Rowe
77 Kevin Harvick
88 Shane Huffman
90 Stephen Leicht
91 Bobby Santos
99 David Reutimann

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Re: Circuit City 250 News and Notes

Harvick Reigns At Richmond But Leffler Could Be Lurking

While the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race this weekend will be called the Jim Stewart 400, the NASCAR Busch Series event at Richmond International Raceway could just as easily be called the “Kevin Harvick 250” instead of the Circuit City 250.

The reigning NASCAR Busch Series champion has won three consecutive races at the Virginia track, and knocking him off the Richmond pedestal will not be easy.

Harvick has by far the best pre-race Driver Rating at 126.8, and in one of his victories earned a near-perfect Driver Rating of 149.2 (a maximum rating is 150.0). Also, in the past four races at Richmond, he has an Average Running Position of 6.806, which is third-best.

He has turned the fastest lap 153 times over the past two years at Richmond, by far the most of any driver (Virginia native Jeff Burton [#29 Holiday Inn Chevy] is second with 61 Fastest Laps Run). And his 882 Laps in the Top 15 is second only to Matt Kenseth (#17 Dish Network Ford – 885).

So who can brave the challenge of dethroning Harvick? One driver to watch is Jason Leffler (#38 Great Clips Toyota). Leffler’s finishes do not mirror his performances at Richmond.

Though last year he finished 20th and 24th, respectively, Leffler did notch top fives in 2005 and ‘04. And last year at this race, he won the Busch Pole and led 66 laps before getting caught up in an accident.

Leffler also has impressive stats at Richmond. He has a sixth-best Average Running Position of 8.069 and an eighth-best pre-race Driver Rating of 104.0. He also is the top “Closer,” as over the last 10 percent of his three races there over the past two years, Leffler has improved 17 positions. That’s nearly twice the number of any other driver – Mike Wallace (#7 GEICO Chevy) is second with nine positions improved.

Leffler has turned the fastest lap 32 times, which is seventh-most at Richmond and his 648 Laps in the Top 15 are eighth-best. He also averages 28.0 Quality Passes at Richmond, which is the second-highest average.

ESPN2 will have live primetime coverage of the 250-lap Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI from Richmond beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The race will start at 8 p.m.

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Driver to win the Circuit City 250

601     Matt Kenseth    +385     
602     Kevin Harvick   +405     
603     Jeff Burton          +515     
604     Kyle Busch         +700     
605     Carl Edwards    +700     
606     Greg Biffle           +925     
607     Clint Bowyer   +1015     
608     Denny Hamlin  +1115     
609     Casey Mears   +1425     
610     Elliot Sadler    +1850     
611     Reed Sorrenson +2850     
612     Juan Montoya    +3225     
613     Jamie McMurray +3225     
614     David Reutimann+4000     
615     Dave Blaney         +4000     
616     Jason Leffler    +4250     
617     Tony Raines        +5000     
618     JJ Yeley         +5000     

@TheGreek

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Harvick seeks history-making win in Richmond
May 3rd, 2007

Richmond, VA (Sports Network) - It's been more than two years since anyone other than Kevin Harvick has won a NASCAR Busch Series event at Richmond. The 2006 Busch Series champion and current Daytona 500 champion could make track history with another Busch win at Richmond this weekend.

If he's victorious in Friday night's Circuit City 250, Harvick will become the first driver to win four consecutive Busch Series events at Richmond in the series 26-year history.

He also won three of Richmond's four NASCAR events last season - both Busch Series events and the fall Nextel Cup event.

Carl Edwards finished 10th in last week's Busch race at the Phoenix International Raceway...ho hum. It was Edwards' 10th top-10 this season in 10 starts. It was also his worst finish of the season. Previously, Edwards' worst finish was a sixth place at Las Vegas.

With two wins among his 10 top-10s, Edwards has built a commanding 443-point lead over Harvick (1,664 - 1,231). Of course Harvick is not racing a full schedule in 2007 and in fact is second despite already missing two events (Mexico City, Nashville). He is also scheduled to miss more events so he will not have a shot at repeating his 2006 championship.

The closest full-time competitor is Dave Blaney, who is a distant 496 points behind Edwards.

And leading the "Busch Series only" drivers is rookie Marcos Ambrose who is 655 points behind the points leader.

But this series title should be wrapped up some time around Independence Day as Edwards continues to march inexorably towards a championship.

"I'm really proud to be a part of such a winning organization," said Edwards after winning in Nashville in early April. "I just can't say enough about Jack (Roush) and everyone that works at Roush Fenway Racing."

The win for Edwards and Roush, on April 7th, was the 350th for the organization (Nextel Cup - 101; Busch Series - 90; Craftsman Truck Series - 43, various road racing - 116).

Since then, Roush Fenway Racing has already added to the list winning a another Busch race behind Matt Kenseth and a Craftsman Truck Series race with Erik Darnell.

Can Edwards or Kenseth derail Harvick at Richmond? Stay tuned.

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Busch Series News & Notes - Richmond

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 30, 2007) – After watching his Kevin Harvick Inc. team finish 1-2 last Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway – and capturing a sixth-place finish himself – it could be tough for Kevin Harvick (No. 77 Dollar General Chevrolet) to top those experiences.

But the two-time and reigning NASCAR Busch Series champion can go one better Friday night at Richmond International Raceway.

A win at the .75-mile track would be his fourth in a row there dating back to the the fall of 2005. He won this event last May and followed with another win in September. And for good measure, he swept that weekend with his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win solidifying his spot in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. He’s currently tied with Harry Gant, who won three straight at Richmond in 1991-92.

Harvick would join elite company at Richmond with another victory. He would tie Mark Martin – the all-time leader in series wins (47) and Busch Poles (30) for the most wins at Richmond with five.

“Sparks, night racing and Victory Lane,” Harvick answered when asked what first comes to mind when racing at Richmond.

“Any time I get in a race car I get in to win. I’m not really superstitious, so breaking records and things like that don’t get to me. If we were able to win four in a row, it would be really special because it would come in a KHI car. I’ve never won in one of my own Busch cars and that would definitely be special to me.”

Virginia Native McClure Honors Virginia Tech With Special Helmet

The shootings at Virginia Tech three weeks ago have led to many tributes to the victims, their families and the college community located in Blacksburg.

NASCAR has displayed the school’s logo on the “B- post” of its cars and trucks to honor the victims over the last two weeks, culminating this weekend in Richmond.
Many drivers and teams have also paid tribute in various ways and Abingdon, Va., native Eric McClure (No. 0 Hefty Chevrolet) will do so this weekend with a specially-painted helmet by Canadian artist David Arrigo.

Arrigo will personally drive the helmet from Canada to Richmond and deliver it to McClure, who will don the headgear for the remainder of the 2007 season.
McClure, an avid Virginia Cavaliers fan, wanted to show his continued support as many heal from the tragic experience.

“I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to continue the tribute of the Virginia Tech community,” he said. “It’s an event that has touched all of our lives.

Virginia Tech is a fine institution and their community will only grow stronger during the healing process. I am glad that I can do a small part to pay my respects.”

In The Loop: Harvick Reigns At Richmond But Leffler Could Be Lurking

While the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race this weekend will be called the Jim Stewart 400, the NASCAR Busch Series event at Richmond International Raceway could just as easily be called the “Kevin Harvick 250” instead of the Circuit City 250.

The reigning NASCAR Busch Series champion has won three consecutive races at the Virginia track, and knocking him off the Richmond pedestal will not be easy.

Harvick has by far the best pre-race Driver Rating at 126.8, and in one of his victories earned a near-perfect Driver Rating of 149.2 (a maximum rating is 150.0). Also, in the past four races at Richmond, he has an Average Running Position of 6.806, which is third-best.

He has turned the fastest lap 153 times over the past two years at Richmond, by far the most of any driver (Virginia native Jeff Burton [No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet] is second with 61 Fastest Laps Run). And his 882 Laps in the Top 15 is second only to Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Dish Network Ford – 885).

So who can brave the challenge of dethroning Harvick? One driver to watch is Jason Leffler (No. 38 Great Clips Toyota). Leffler’s finishes do not mirror his performances at Richmond.

Though last year he finished 20th and 24th, respectively, Leffler did notch top fives in 2005 and ‘04. And last year at this race, he won the Busch Pole and led 66 laps before getting caught up in an accident.

Leffler also has impressive stats at Richmond. He has a sixth-best Average Running Position of 8.069 and an eighth-best pre-race Driver Rating of 104.0. He also is the top “Closer,” as over the last 10 percent of his three races there over the past two years, Leffler has improved 17 positions. That’s nearly twice the number of any other driver – Mike Wallace (No. 7 GEICO Chevrolet) is second with nine positions improved.

Leffler has turned the fastest lap 32 times, which is seventh-most at Richmond and his 648 Laps in the Top 15 are eighth-best. He also averages 28.0 Quality Passes at Richmond, which is the second-highest average.

NBS ETC.

Brad Coleman (No. 18 Carino’s Chevrolet) topped off his first career Busch Pole with his best series finish to date (ninth) at Talladega Superspeedway last week. And although a native of Texas, Coleman has a homecoming of sorts in Virginia. He attended a private high school in Martinsville, moving there to further his racing career while living with his coach, sports car legend Price Cobb. This will be a happy second homecoming for Coleman – his best friend will be in attendance at the race; he was in the dorm where the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech initially took place three weeks ago.

Bill Davis Racing and Riley-D’Hondt Motorsports are forming a joint venture at Richmond featuring BDR developmental driver Bobby Santos (No. 91 Riley Technologies Toyota) who will attempt to make his debut in the NASCAR Busch Series. The 21-year-old native of Franklin, Mass., has recent experience in USAC Midgets and in ARCA – he won the pole at Lakeland earlier this year in his second start – and ran the first two races in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour this season.

Santos and the team were a surprise at testing in Richmond in May, posting the second-fastest time in the Day 2 morning session then leading the evening session at 21.741 seconds (124.189 mph). The Richmond race is the first of a yet-to-be-announced group of races for Santos; the team also has plans to bring 1994 NASCAR Busch Series champion David Green into the fold.

Bill Elliott, the 1988 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion, will drive the No. 32 SEYMOUR Paint Toyota for Braun Racing at the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 May 26. Elliott has 43 NASCAR Busch Series starts, the last of which was at Memphis Motorsports Park in October, 2005. He has one win (Watkins Glen, 1993) and two Busch Poles.

Adrian Fernandez, Mexico’s most popular driver who has made nine starts in the NASCAR Busch Series, became a father for the first time over the weekend. His wife Catalina gave birth to daughter Valentina on Sunday. Fernandez drives for Hendrick Motorsports in series competition.

The Director’s Take: Richmond

What to watch for at Richmond International Raceway from NASCAR Busch Series
Richmond International Raceway is at the root of short track racing.

It’s a track where the driver who’s willing to drive in deep into the corner and out-brake his peers will gain valuable track position.

There’s a trade-off, though. Drivers have to be careful not to use up all of their brakes in the early stages of the race so they have some left at the end of the night.
ESPN, ABC

ESPN2 will have live primetime coverage of the 250-lap Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI from Richmond beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The race will start at 8 p.m.

Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion and one of the charter members of the NASCAR Busch Series with 329 starts and 11 wins, will join two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree in the ESPN booth for analysis during the telecast. Jarrett is filling in for ESPN’s lead auto racing analyst, Rusty Wallace, who will rejoin NASCAR coverage in June. ESPN’s Marty Reid will handle play-by-play duties, filling in for regular anchor Jerry Punch. Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro will serve as pit reporters.

In addition to the telecast on ESPN2, ESPN’s signature broadband service, ESPN360.com, will deliver a live online simulcast of the race, and a Spanish-language version will be televised on ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s domestic Spanish-language network.

Chevrolet Can Build On Lead At Richmond

With its second consecutive win – its first multiple-victory streak since Jeff Burton captured back-to-back wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway – Chevrolet has moved from a one-point lead over Ford in the Bill France Performance Cup standings to a seven-point advantage heading to Richmond.

That’s a perfect scenario for the manufacturer as Chevy has won three straight at the .75-mile facility and boasts 10 wins in the previous 12 races there.

Ford has the other two wins at Richmond and series points leader Carl Edwards (No. 60 Scotts Ford) is the last driver to have taken Ford to Victory Lane.

Dodge is still in a tight battle with Toyota for third place in the rankings. Dodge is up by three points heading to Richmond where Toyota will make its series debut.

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Bowyer wins Richmond Busch Series race
Sat, May 5, 2007
By Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. -- Clint Bowyer won the race off pit road with about 28 laps to go Friday night and easily went on to his fifth career NASCAR Busch Series victory.

Matt Kenseth dominated much of the latter part of the race, but pitted along with the other leaders after the final caution flew on lap 223. Carl Edwards and David Ragan assumed the top two spots by staying out, but their stay in front didn't last long.

Kenseth came out fifth, behind Bowyer and Jeff Burton, after a mishap with the jack on Kenseth's right front tire. Edwards and Ragan faded, but Bowyer remained strong, taking the lead with 19 laps to go and winning by 1.483 seconds.

''Good pit stop there at the end,'' Bowyer said. ''The guys got the care where it needed to be. The guys have been digging deep, and I'm going to keep digging for them.''

It was his second win this season, and also was the fourth Busch Series victory in a row at Richmond for Richard Childress Racing. Kevin Harvick, who finished fourth, won the last three in a row.

''I wouldn't have dreamed I would have won until that last pit stop,'' Bowyer said. After he took the lead, ''I was thinking, 'It's mine to screw up this time.'''

Burton was third, followed by Harvick and Kyle Busch.

Kenseth appeared to have the race in hand until J.J. Yeley spun on lap 222, bringing out the seventh and final caution and erasing a lead of more than 2 seconds.

It also sent the leaders to the pits, where Bowyer's crew made a tire pressure adjustment that made him stronger at the finish - too strong for Kenseth.

''That last long run we got a little better and they got a little bit worse and we were able to make some hay,'' Kenseth said.

Then came the mistake that cost him.

''It was a typical Richmond race, I think, for us,'' Kenseth said. ''We ran pretty good most of the night, but not good enough to win.''

Burton, who relinquished the lead to Kenseth on the 167th lap, also would have liked to have had a car as strong at the end as he had earlier in the race.

''We just got dialed out there at the end,'' he said. ''It's great to be disappointed with third.''

The race at Richmond International Raceway was a short one for two of the highest profile competitors, Denny Hamlin and Indy Racing League star Sam Hornisch Jr.

Hornisch completed just 16 laps before an accident and finished last. Hamlin, the polesitter racing about 10 miles from his hometown, ran 80 laps and was 41st.

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