Federated Auto Parts 300 News and Notes
Federated Auto Parts 300 News and Notes
Federated Auto Parts 300 - Entry List
0 Eric McClure
1 J.J. Yeley
01 James Hylton
2 Clint Bowyer
4 Regan Smith
05 Justin Ashburn
6 David Ragan
7 Mike Wallace
9 Chase Miller
10 Dave Blaney
11 Jason Keller
14 Kyle Krisiloff
16 Todd Kluever
18 Kevin Conway
20 Aric Almirola
21 Timothy Peters
22 Mike Bliss
23 Brad Keselowski
25 Richard Johns
27 Bobby East
28 Robert Richardson
29 Scott Wimmer
30 Stanton Barrett
33 Cale Gale
35 Bobby Hamilton Jr
36 Brent Sherman
37 Greg Biffle
38 Jason Leffler
41 David Stremme
42 Kevin Hamlin
44 Carlos Contreras
47 Kelly Bires
52 Brad Teague
56 Danny O'Quinn Jr
59 Marcos Ambrose
60 Carl Edwards
66 Steve Wallace
70 Justin Diercks
73 Brett Rowe
77 Kertus Davis
88 Shane Huffman
89 Morgan Shepherd
90 Stephen Leicht
91 David Green
92 Bobby Santos
99 David Reutimann
Re: Federated Auto Parts 300 News and Notes
Driver to win the Federated Auto Parts 350
701 Carl Edwards +175
702 Clint Bowyer +300
703 Greg Biffle +550
704 David Stremme +1000
705 Dave Blaney +1500
706 Scott Wimmer +1500
707 Jason Leffler +1800
708 David Reutimann +1800
709 Mike Bliss +2500
710 JJ Yeley +2500
711 Jason Keller +2500
Re: Federated Auto Parts 300 News and Notes
Guitar Man: Edwards Goes For Third Straight Win At Nashville
Is he going for a two-fer? A sweep? A three-peat? What about four on the floor?
Whatever the term, Carl Edwards (No. 60 Dish Network Ford) aims to continue his hot streak – in the season and at Nashville Superspeedway, site of Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 300.
Let’s review the definitions:
• “Two-fer” – Edwards looks to win his second race in a row. He won at Dover International Speedway last Saturday. He won back-to-back races earlier this year at Bristol Motor Speedway and the first race at Nashville.
• “Sweep” – Edwards won at Nashville in April and seeks to become the first driver to capture both races in the same season at the track.
• “Three-peat” – In addition to his victory last April, Edwards also carries the distinction of defending race winner, having won this event one year ago. In the process, he became just the second driver to win more than one race at the 1.33-mile concrete oval. Scott Riggs won in 2002 and again in ’03.
• “Four on the floor” – The series points leader is also the season leader in victories with three. A fourth win would not only pad that lead but put him in pretty exclusive company.
Since the series’ inception in 1982, only seven drivers have won four or more races through the first 15 events of the season.
Two-time series champion Sam Ard had six wins in the first 15 races in 1984 to lead the group. Another two-time champion, Martin Truex Jr., is the last driver to register four wins after 15 races when he did so in 2004. Truex went on to win six races that year. The series record for wins in a season is held by Ard with 10 in 1983.
Back To Basics: Saturday Night At Nashville Returns Series To Roots
The entry list for Nashville is a combination of series veterans and new faces – a mix that give this race the true feel of a NASCAR Busch Series event.
Bobby Hamilton Jr., Jason Keller (No. 11 CJM Racing Chevrolet) and David Green (No. 91 YRT2 Toyota) – the 1994 series champion who won at Nashville in 2003 – are veterans who call the series home. The trio will be on a series track together for the first time since the Michigan race in 2004.
The race will also help introduce fans to new faces, including Green’s teammate Bobby Santos (No. 92 Riley-D’Hondt Motorsports Toyota); Kevin Harvick Inc. teammates Cale Gale (No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet) and Kertus Davis (No. 77 Dollar General Chevrolet), Timothy Peters (No. 21 AutoZone Chevrolet) and 20-year-old Chase Miller (No. 9 Lipton Dodge) who will make his series debut for Evernham Motorsports.
The infusion of fresh names adds to some talented up-and-coming young series regulars who are poised to take advantage of their opportunity at Nashville – like Steve Wallace (No. 66 HomeLife Communities Dodge), Stephen Leicht (No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford), Aric Almirola (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet), Danny O’Quinn Jr. (No. 56 Power Equipment Co. Ford), last year’s Raybestos Rookie of the Year.
In The Loop: Edwards Strong At Nashville, But Series Regulars Have High Marks, Too
If this weekend’s NASCAR Busch Series race at Nashville Superspeedway is anything like the event this past April, expect lots of competitive balance in the equation.
The April race, won by Carl Edwards, had nine different leaders – six of which led at least 20 laps.
In the end, Edwards proved to be the class of the field, but he had stiff competition from the likes of David Reutimann (No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota), Jason Leffler (No. 38 Great Clips Toyota) and Shane Huffman (No. 88 U. S. NAVY Chevrolet).
Reutimann, who led 35 laps in a second-place finish, had a second-best Driver Rating of 123.9, a second-best Average Running Position of 4.347, 10 Fastest Laps Run (third-most) and the third-fastest Green Flag Speed at 160.060 mph. His first national series win in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition came at the track.
Leffler also challenged for the win. He led 38 laps that race, had a Driver Rating of 118.8 (third-best), an Average Running Position of 4.444 and had 24 Fastest Laps Run which was second-most.
Huffman, another of the series’ key regulars, had an Average Running Position of 5.080 and a Driver Rating of 114.2 in the April Nashville race.
But it was Edwards who placed himself at the top of most of the Loop Data categories. He had race-best figures in Average Running Position (3.382), Driver Rating (144.5), Fastest Laps Run (65) and Green Flag Speed (160.449 mph).
Another driver to watch Saturday is Nashville’s favorite son, Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 35 McDonald’s Ford). He finished ninth in April and scored an impressive Average Running Position of 7.756 and a Driver Rating of 101.1. He also ranked second in Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green) with 32.
Clint Bowyer is another driver who has had past success at Nashville. Though he did not race there in April, he will pull double duty this weekend and race in Nashville and at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Pocono. He won at Nashville in 2005 and finished second in both races there in 2006. At Nashville, he has a series-best Driver Rating of 128.4 and an Average Running Position of 4.434.
* Double-Duty Drivers: The second Nashville race kicks off the portion of the stand-alone season where double-duty drivers will have subs for practice and qualifying. Nine drivers are scheduled for double duty in Nashville and at Pocono Raceway this weekend. Matt McCall will sub for points leader Carl Edwards while Auggie Vidovich does the same for Edwards’ teammate David Ragan. Brandon Miller stands in for Clint Bowyer; Chad Blount for Dave Blaney (No. 10 Camping World Toyota); Scott Lagasse Jr. for David Stremme; Jay Sauter for J.J. Yeley (No. 1 Miccosukee Resort Chevrolet) and Mark Green for David Reutimann. Subs for Greg Biffle and Mike Bliss (No. 22 Family Dollar Dodge) are to be announced.
* Hamilton Jr. Seeks His “Indy”: Indiana native Tony Stewart craved to win the Brickyard 400, which he finally did in his seventh try. Denny Hamlin, a Virginia native, has echoed those same sentiments, saying a win at Richmond would be the biggest of his career. Bobby Hamilton Jr. has those same feelings about a victory at Nashville. That city’s favorite son has three top fives and five top 10s in eight races at the track – including a runner-up finish in 2002.
* Bires Replaces Wood At Nashville: Wood Brothers/JTG Racing announced Tuesday that developmental driver Kelly Bires, driver of the team’s No. 21 Ford in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition, will stand in for Jon Wood in the No. 47 Clorox/American Red Cross Ford this weekend at Nashville. Travis Kvapil drove for Wood at Dover last Saturday. Bires (prounounced BY–ers) is a 22-year old native of Mauston, Wis., who has started six races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season, five for Wood Bros./JTG Racing. He posted his career-best finish (10th) at Atlanta earlier this year. Prior to Dover, Wood had started 83 consecutive races in the NASCAR Busch Series dating back to 2004, his first full season in the series. He was 22nd in the point standings with one top-10 finsih this season – 10th at Mexico City in March – prior to Dover.
The Director’s Take: Nashville
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT NASHVILLE: THOUGHTS FROM JOE BALASH, NASCAR BUSCH SERIES DIRECTOR
“Nashville is a big, wide track so there’s not a tendency for drivers to get into each other. Fuel economy is going to be a big factor because the track lends itself to a lot of long green flag runs.
“From the team perspective, those who nail the shock and spring set-up are going to be the ones to beat. Getting those dialed in so the car carries its corner speed is going to be the key to this race. It’s all about getting the car to turn through the corners without pushing.”
“Even though we’re headed to our second concrete track in two weeks, tire wear isn’t as critical an issue at Nashville as it was at Dover.
“The surface at Nashville isn’t as abraisive as it is at Dover. And the banking at Dover is more severe, even in the straightatways. Nashville’s long back straight away gives the tires a chance to cool down.”
Rookie Spotlight: Ambrose Catches Ragan At Top Of Leader Board
• Gotcha, Mate – Ambrose Pulls Even With Ragan: For the first time in six races, Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) finds himself back on top of the Raybestos Rookie standings, tied in points (139) with David Ragan (No. 6 Discount Tire Ford) – who was in first place during Ambrose’s absence. The native of Launceston, Tasmania, finished a career-best sixth at Dover and was within laps of registering his first top-five finish. His previous best result was eighth at the Mexico City race in March.
• Ragan’s Woes: Ragan, meanwhile, is searching for answers following his second sub-par finish in succession. He was 25th two weeks ago in Charlotte and followed up with a DNF due to an accident, relegating him to a 32nd-place finish at Dover. His outing at Nashville last April wasn’t kind, either, as an accident left him with a season-worst 36th-place finish.
• Rookie Reunion At Nashville: Seven of the 11 drivers in the Raybestos Rookie program this season are entered at Nashville, the most since nine ran at Richmond International Raceway last month. Justin Diercks (No. 70 Foretravel Chevrolet) and Bobby Santos are both entered in their first events since Richmond.
Edwards, Ford Have The Upper Hand At Nashville, But Toyota Was Strong In April Debut
Carl Edwards’ series-leading third win of the season has helped Ford cut into Chevrolet’s lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings as the series makes its second and final appearance of the season at Nashville.
Ford registered its first win since Edwards’ Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth won at Texas two months ago and comes to the Music City 12 points behind first-place Chevy.
Ford holds favored status this weekend in Nashville as Edwards goes for the season sweep of the two events and his third victory in a row at the 1.33-mile concrete track. Edwards’ recent success gives the manufacturer five wins at Nashville, tied with Chevrolet – Chevy had won four of the previous five races before the current streak by Edwards and Ford. Third-place Dodge intervened in Chevrolet’s recent run with a 2005 win by Reed Sorenson.
But fourth-place Toyota could surprise. It had a strong series debut at Nashville last April by placing three cars in the top five in positions 2, 3 and 4.
Up Next: Meijer 300 Presented By Oreo At Kentucky Speedway
The NASCAR Busch Series travels to the site of one of the most memorable wins in its 26-year history next week. Kentucky Speedway is the place for the Meijer 300 on June 16.
Last year, virtual unknown David Gilliland – a part-time driver with a part-time team – swept past J.J. Yeley in the closing laps to secure his first NASCAR national series win and a place in series lore.
Gilliland’s win continued what has become a Kentucky Speedway norm – a new face in Victory Lane. No driver has registered a repeat win at Kentucky and the same goes for the winners of the Busch Pole – there have been six different polesitters as well.
Schedule: Fri.5-6 p.m. – Practice; 6:15-6:45 p.m. – Rookie Practice; 7–8 p.m. – Final Practice. Sat. 2:05 p.m. – Qualifying (Impound).
Re: Federated Auto Parts 300 News and Notes
Nine fill-in drivers standing by at Nashville
With the Nextel Cup and Busch Series races at different tracks this weekend, nine Busch teams have picked substitutes in case their Cup drivers can't make it in time for practice and qualifying.
The Busch Series races at Nashville Superspeedway in Tennessee, while Nextel Cup is at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. Qualifying and practice for both series don't overlap, so drivers will try to make those sessions at Nashville.
Matt McCall will fill in for Busch points leader Carl Edwards, with Chad Blount standing by for third-place Dave Blaney and Mark Green subbing for fifth-place David Reutimann.
Other substitute drivers are Auggie Vidovich for David Ragan, Brandon Miller for Clint Bowyer, Scott Lagasse Jr. for David Stremme, Jay Sauter for J.J. Yeley, Burney Lamar for Greg Biffle and Carlos Contreras for Mike Bliss.
Nextel Cup qualifying at Pocono begins at 3:40 p.m. EDT on Friday, with Busch practice at 6 and 8 p.m. Cup practice Saturday ends at 12:20 p.m. EDT, with Busch qualifying at 3:05.
Re: Federated Auto Parts 300 News and Notes
By the Numbers: Nashville
June 7, 2007
Bowyer's track statistics tough to beat in six career races
It was 2004 when Clint Bowyer was breaking into the Busch Series with Richard Childress Racing. His first race was at Texas, where he qualified sixth but blew an engine 93 laps in and finished 36th.
His next race was at Nashville the following week. He finished fourth.
Two months later, after some mediocre runs, Bowyer returned to Nashville and finished third. That pretty much sealed the deal for the dirt-track racer from Kansas: The concrete in Tennessee ain't so bad.
"I don't know what it is ... we've just always run well at Nashville," Bowyer said.
In 2005, Bowyer finished fifth in April and came back to win the June race for his first career NASCAR victory. Since then, he's finished second twice and sat out the April race earlier this year.
"We gave away a few -- don't let me kid you -- so this time I'm going to redeem myself for the five races I lost," he said in preparation for Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 300 (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). "I think we could have had two or maybe three more of those guitars so I'm going over there to get another one."
Re: Federated Auto Parts 300 News and Notes
Wallace on pole in Nashville
June 9th, 2007
Lebanon, TN (Sports Network) - Steve Wallace, son of Rusty Wallace, won the pole for Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 300 Busch race at the Nashville Superspeedway. The No.66 Dodge circled the 1.333-mile cement oval in 29.753 seconds (161.288 m.p.h.).
The pole victory was Wallace's second of the season and of his Busch career. Wallace's other win was at Bristol in March.
Starting alongside Wallace will be Nextel Cup driver Clint Bowyer who posted a time of 29.767 seconds.
Aric Almirola (29.828) in the No.20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet normally driven by Denny Hamlin and Timothy Peters (29.833) in Kevin Harvick's No.21 Chevy will make up row two.
Carl Edwards' third win of the season last Saturday at Dover gave him an unreal 472-point lead over 2006 series champion Kevin Harvick in the Busch Series standings.
In truth, his lead is even larger than that since Harvick is not a full-time Busch Series driver this season. Harvick has already missed two events and will not compete this weekend in Nashville.
Edwards, however, will make the trip back and forth between Tennessee and Pennsylvania and therefore he will likely leave the Nashville Superspeedway with around a 600-point margin over either Harvick or third-place Dave Blaney. Edwards will start sixth tonight.
The race is scheduled to drop the green flag at 7 p.m. (et).
Re: Federated Auto Parts 300 News and Notes
Edwards wins third straight at Nashville
June 9, 2007
GLADEVILLE, Tenn. -- Carl Edwards raced to his fourth NASCAR Busch Series victory of the season Saturday night, easily beating Clint Bowyer in the Federated Auto Parts 300 for the Nextel Cup driver's third straight win at Nashville Superspeedway.
Following the race, Edwards -- the runaway leader in the season standings -- executed his signature backflip off of his car, this time landing on all fours.
Edwards took the lead with 33 laps to go and beat Bowyer by 1.656 seconds. Jason Leffler was third, followed by Scott Wimmer and Regan Smith.
Saturday's win followed a similar script to his victory at the track in April when Edwards fell behind in the early going.
"We fell back at the beginning, made some adjustments, had great pit stops and then at the end we had that long green flag run," Edwards said.
It was during that race ending 68-lap run that Edwards began to reel in Bowyer.
"It was killing me and the anxiety was building," Edwards said. "Finally we caught him and it's a great feeling to come to this track and run so well three times in a row."
Team owner Jack Roush called Edwards, "as good a closer as there has been."
The victory was the second of the week for Edwards and third in eight days. He won the Busch Series race last Saturday at Dover, and took the Nextel Prelude to the Dream dirt race Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway in Ohio.
"I feel like I've won the lottery three times in the last week," Edwards said.
But hitting the jackpot was the furthest thing from his mind as he scrambled to make his qualifying run.
Edwards, who had been practicing earlier Saturday at Pocono in Pennsylvania for Sunday's Nextel Cup race, started seventh, but nearly missed his qualifying attempt. He arrived at the track by helicopter, jumped out in his race uniform, signed in and sprinted to his car with about 60 seconds to spare.
"I got out of the Cup car, ran to my motor home and put on my Dish Network suit," Edwards said. "We went as fast as we could to a helicopter. Flew over to Wilkes-Barre airport. Got on a jet, flew here. Jumped out of the jet, got on another helicopter, landed here and ran to the car."
Edwards says he wouldn't have made it had it not been for Roush's new plane.
"The new jet is a little faster than his old one because we wouldn't have made it in that," he said. "And we'd still be flying in my plane. So it was nice of Jack to spend the money for the extra speed. If we didn't make it we were going to start in the back and make the best of it."
Edwards certainly has made the best of his races on concrete this season as all of his victories have come in the series four races on concrete tracks.
"I don't know why I race well on concrete," he said. "A lot has to do with my cars. I believe the concrete tracks are more finicky and the car has to be better. If the car is good, it makes you look good."
Although the season has yet to reach the halfway mark, Edwards entered the race with a seemingly insurmountable 472-point lead over Kevin Harvick, who did not race.
Drivers who finished in the top five Saturday tried to find consolation in their respectable showings.
"It was pretty good finishing second but I knew we were in trouble before he passed us," said Bowyer, also a Nextel Cup regular.
Said Leffler: "If you're pretty close to him at the end of the race and you have him in your sight, you know you're having a good day.
But as one would expect, Edwards is not conceding a thing.
"All we can do is go be the best team we can be," he said. "We did the same thing the two years prior to this and we didn't have this kind of lead. So I'm definitely enjoying it. But the worst thing we can do is relax. I'm not counting on anything."
Edwards led twice for 49 laps while Bowyer led a race-high 118 circuits.
In addition to Edwards and Bowyer, six other Nextel Cup drivers are pulling double-duty this weekend by racing at both Nashville and Pocono. Among them, David Ragan finished seventh, followed by David Reutimann (ninth), David Stremme (14th), Blaney (17th), J.J. Yeley (18th), and Greg Biffle (28th).
Steve Wallace won his second Busch Pole of the season and finished 12th.
Re: Federated Auto Parts 300 News and Notes
Busch Breakdown : Federated Auto Parts 300
In A Nutshell: A self-admitted music fanatic, Carl Edwards claims he wants to learn how to play the guitar someday.
Well, if he ever wants to practice, he’s got plenty of options to choose from.
Edwards took control late in the going to cruise to his third straight win at Nashville Saturday night. Taking hold of the winning guitar in Victory Lane, Edwards put together a musical masterpiece of a race, one that saw the fat lady sing to the rest of the field once he passed Clint Bowyer with 34 laps left. From there, Edwards never looked back, cruising to a 1.656 second margin of victory in his No. 60 Dish Network Ford. Bowyer held onto second, with Jason Leffler coming home third, the best finish of the season for a Busch Series only full-timer. Scott Wimmer and Regan Smith rounded out the Top 5 finishers.
Who Should Have Won: Edwards. There’s no question Edwards earned this victory, although perhaps an assist should be given to the Roush Racing jet and helicopter pilots. Edwards flew straight from Pocono to Nashville and then was helicoptered to the speedway; the whole process took less than two hours, giving him a chance to qualify his car. Running 4th in the qualifying order, he ran like the wind from the helipad to the sign-in truck at the Busch Series hauler, adding the 800-meter dash to his list of athletic accomplishments while he dashed to the No. 60 just in time. Although the team had to pull his car out of line, Edwards was going to make it back just as the 5-minute clock was running out; then, without a lap of practice in the car, Edwards clocked in with the 7th-fastest lap.
That track position was the key, giving Cousin Carl the leg up he needed to never get caught in traffic. While the No. 60 team didn’t have the fastest car at the beginning of the race, as the laps wound down it was Edwards who improved more than anyone else with each segment. By the final stop, he was clearly the best car on the track even though Bowyer led 116 of the first 191 laps of the race.
Three Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race Weekend
1) Do the Busch regulars have any realistic shot at winning these standalone events?
At first glance, the answer is simply not with drivers like Edwards and Bowyer still in the field. The two combined to lead 165 of a possible 225 laps, leaving the rest of the Busch-only regulars in the dust to battle for the scraps left behind. However, all the Buschwhackers benefited from being able to fly in from Pocono and qualify their own cars, as explained by Carl Edwards’ story above; that kept them from starting at the back of the field. Once we get to Milwaukee in two weeks, these drivers definitively won’t have that luxury, as Infineon is too far for each wheelman to travel back and forth; that will leave each driver with another obstacle they need to overcome. In my opinion, circle that date on the calendar as the best chance the Busch regulars have to finally put one in the win column.
2) Can Jason Keller’s team give us hope for the future of this series?
Absolutely. Driving the No. 11 CJM Racing Chevrolet, Keller has made the racing world take notice with three consecutive Top 15 finishes after debuting this car last month, peaking with a season-best sixth place run on Saturday night. Leading one lap on the day, Keller ran in the Top 10 throughout the race, making a strong statement that he’s back in the series to stay with a team that’s committed to running for a championship in 2008. What’s important to note here is that this is a team that began the year attempting the full Nextel Cup schedule and went through a successful Busch Series transition. Will other single car teams struggling in Nextel Cup look at this team and do the same thing? Only time will tell…but when you’re failing to qualify at the track each week, it’s certainly tempting to step down a notch and wind up with a chance to contend each and every race you enter.
3) Is Kertus Davis blowing his big break?
Running for years with an independent family-owned team in the Busch Series, Davis worked hard to simply finish each race, gaining the respect of his peers by bringing home underfunded cars with Top 25 runs. However, since hooking up with Kevin Harvick, Inc. to run a limited schedule in top-notch equipment, he’s actually done worse than when he was racing his own No. 0 car. In four starts, Davis has yet to finish better than 30th, and his third-lap wreck at Nashville ripped his car to shreds and sent him scurrying to the garage.
Worth Noting/Points Shuffle:
Edwards’ fourth victory of the season also keeps him at a perfect 100% when it comes to concrete tracks this season. Every race the Busch Series has run on that surface – Bristol, Dover, and both Nashville events – has ended with the No. 60 coasting into Victory Lane.
Meanwhile, in the gritty performance category, Regan Smith put together one of the best runs of his young career at Nashville. Getting caught a lap down on an early caution, he got it back the hard way – by passing the leader – and then charged up through the field to a 5th-place finish.
Kudos also to David Green, the 1994 Busch Series champion who finished 11th in just his second start with Riley-D’Hondt Motorsports. Unfortunately, his teammate Bobby Santos did not have the same type of impressive performance as his Richmond debut produced; the No. 92 Toyota spun out on lap 66 and ended up parked for the rest of the day with a faulty transmission.
Finally, while David Ragan was the highest finishing rookie in 7th, Kelly Bires should get kudos for the best performance by someone with a yellow stripe. Bires crashed the primary No. 47 car usually driven by Jon Wood but came back with no laps on the backup machine to drive from the rear of the field to 15th place. Bires is also scheduled to drive the next week at Kentucky, with mystery and speculation continuing to surround Wood’s continued absence from the No. 47. A source close to the team tells Frontstretch.com Wood will attempt to make a return to Milwaukee, and while drugs have been ruled out, the reason for his disappearance is a well-kept secret to the point most members of the team don’t even know what’s going on.
In the points department, Carl Edwards has established a section all his own – and there’s no one else even remotely close to finding it. Holding a gargantuan 662-point lead over last year’s champion Kevin Harvick, Edwards is almost virtually guaranteed to increase that margin in the coming weeks as Harvick will not be running either of the next two events. Dave Blaney maintains third place, already 745 behind Edwards, while David Reutimann and Regan Smith round out the Top 5.
Behind them, Matt Kenseth drops two spots to sixth after skipping Nashville, while Bobby Hamilton, Jr. moves up to seventh on the heels of a 13th-place performance Saturday night. David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, and Greg Biffle round out the Top 10. As the Buschwhackers continue to make a mockery of the standings, it should be duly noted that four of the drivers listed above haven’t even run all the events, a sure sign that the Nextel Cup veterans are running roughshod over the other drivers and teams that show up just to run on Saturdays each week.
Buschwhackers in this race: 9
Starting spots taken by Buschwhackers YTD: 286 of 598
Buschwhackers finishing in Top 10: 4
Buschwhackers finishing in Top 10 YTD: 110 of 140
Races won by Buschwhackers YTD: 14 of 14
Buschwhackers ranked in Top 10 in Busch Series points standings: 8
“We fell back at the beginning, made some adjustments, had great pit stops and then at the end we had that long green flag run. It’s a great feeling to come to this track and run so well three times in a row…I feel like I’ve won the lottery three times in the last week.” Carl Edwards
“I’m real happy with everybody at Braun Racing — we’ve really turned it around. We’ve had a really up and down season, mainly down. The guys did a great job tonight. It was fun racing (Scott) Wimmer at the end and we caught him on the last lap and were able to pass him. I have to thank everyone at Great Clips and of course Toyota for all their help, you know Fans1st and of course all the guys back at the shop did a good job. If we keep doing this, we’ll be happy.” Jason Leffler
“There’s something about 10th over 11th. From where we came in Charlotte, this feels like a win. People will see that and say, ‘well that’s 11th, it’s not a win.’ But, we basically have one or two guys on this team with any NASCAR experience; most of them are from the Riley sports car team. We are a brand new team. The Bill Davis Racing truck guys pitted our car. Once we get out of the new team blues, we’ll be fine. The engine package, the body and everything involved with the information that Toyota shares, I think it should be a testimony for a team like ours that is totally brand new. In the second race, for us to do what we did even with the issues that we had — to me that’s very exciting and very encouraging.” David Green
Next Up: The June stretch of Busch standalone races now prepares to enter its second week, as the series heads from Tennessee to neighboring Kentucky for another intermediate track showdown under the lights. The 1.5-mile oval in Sparta will host the Meijer 300 by Oreo, with TV coverage beginning at 8:00 PM EST on Saturday, June 16th on ESPN2. The race will also be broadcast on your local MRN radio network.