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AT&T 250 News and Notes

AT&T 250 News and Notes

44 cars on Busch Series entry list

Forty-four cars are on the entry list for Saturday's AT&T 250 Busch Series race at the Milwaukee Mile, though two teams do not have drivers listed. Seven Nextel Cup drivers are listed, but J.J. Yeley isn't slated to run at Milwaukee.

Also, Cup regulars David Reutimann and Mike Bliss are not scheduled to run Sunday's Cup race at Infineon Raceway but are entered at Milwaukee. David Ragan, Dave Blaney, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin are the only drivers who will travel back and forth from Sonoma, Calif. to Milwaukee for both races.

Ron Hornaday was supposed to drive for Yeley in the Phoenix Racing No. 1 Chevrolet, but a Bill Davis Racing spokesman confirmed Johnny Benson will take Hornaday's place. Hornaday will instead drive Kevin Harvick Inc.'s No. 77 Chevrolet in place of Kertus Davis.

The No. 00 owned by Lori Morgan and the No. 49 owned by Jay Robinson do not have drivers listed.

Jon Wood is listed as driver of Wood Brothers/JTG Racing's No. 47 after missing the last two races to deal with problems associated with a misdiagnosis of attention-deficit disorder.

There are several part-time teams entered at Milwaukee: DDL Motorsports' No. 01 for Danny Efland, CJM Racing's No. 11 for Marc Mitchell, Richardson-Netzloff Racing for Mike Harmon, Mac Hill Motorsports' No. 56 for Frank Kreyer, Horn Auto Racing's No. 58 for Chris Horn, ML Motorsports' No. 70 for Justin Diercks, MacDonald Motorsports' No. 71 for Randy MacDonald and No. 72 for D.J. Kennington, Team Johnson Motorsports' No. 76 for Jerick Johnson and Faith Motorsports' No. 89 for Morgan Shepherd.

Drivers with full-time teams running split schedules are Chase Miller in Evernham Motorsports' No. 9, Todd Kluever in Roush Fenway Racing's No. 16, Brad Coleman in Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18, Hamlin in JGR's No. 20, Tim McCreadie in Richard Childress Racing's No. 21, Richard Johns in Team Rensi Motorsports' No. 25, Jason Keller in Brewco Motorsports' No. 27, Robert Richardson in Jay Robinson Racing's No. 28, Scott Wimmer in RCR's No. 29, Cale Gale in KHI's No. 33, Bobby East in Brewco's No. 37, Scott Lagasse Jr. in Chip Ganassi Racing's No. 41, Kevin Hamlin in Ganassi's No. 42 and Hornaday in KHI's No. 77.

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AT&T 250 - Entry List

00  TBA 
0  Eric McClure 
01  Danny Efland 
1   Johnny Benson
6  David Ragan 
7  Mike Wallace 
9  Chase Miller 
10  Dave Blaney 
11  Marc Mitchell 
14  Kyle Krisiloff 
16  Todd Kluever 
18  Brad Coleman 
20  Denny Hamlin 
21  Tim McCreadie 
22  Mike Bliss 
25  Richard Johns 
27  Jason Keller 
28  Robert Richardson 
29  Scott Wimmer 
33  Cale Gale
35  Bobby Hamilton Jr 
36  Brent Sherman 
37  Bobby East 
38  Jason Leffler 
41  Scott Lagasse Jr 
42  Kevin Hamlin 
44  Mike Harmon 
47  Jon Wood
49  TBA  TBA 
52  Brad Teague 
56  Frank Kreyer 
58  Chris Horn 
59  Marcos Ambrose 
60  Carl Edwards 
66  Steve Wallace 
70  Justin Diercks 
71  Randy MacDonald 
72  D.J. Kennington 
76  Jerick Johnson 
77  Ron Hornaday
88  Shane Huffman   
89  Morgan Shepherd 
90  Stephen Leicht 
99  David Reutimann

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Driver to win the AT&T 250

901     Carl Edwards    +185     
902     Denny Hamlin    +365     
903     Scott Wimmer    +515     
904     Ron Hornaday Jr +700     
905     Dave Blaney         +1200     
906     Mike Bliss             +1400     
907     David Reutimann +1400     
908     Jason Leffler       +1400     
909     Johnny Benson    +1800     
910     Stephen Leicht     +2000     
911     Brad Coleman      +2000     
912     Jason Keller         +2500     
913     David Ragan           +3000     


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Almirola wins second straight AT&T pole
June 23rd, 2007

West Allis, WI (Sports Network) - For the second consecutive year Aric Almirola has won the pole at the Milwaukee Mile. Unfortunately, for the second straight year, Almirola will watch as Denny Hamlin races in the pole winning No.20 Chevrolet.

With Hamlin practicing for the "Cup" race in California, Almirola tested and qualified his Chevrolet on the pole for tonight's AT&T 250. The No.20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet circled the flat one-mile oval in 29.608 seconds (121.589 m.p.h.).

"Man, I would love to race that car, but I knew my role was to qualify the car," said Almirola. "We have a really good race car and I think Denny will be happy with what he has tonight.

"I'll sit on the pit box and watch...I've got a lot to learn about racing these Busch cars and Denny's really, really good."

The pole victory was Almirola's second of the season and third of his Busch career. He also won the pole in the season opener at Daytona.

Starting alongside Hamlin will be Jason Leffler who posted a second-best time of 29.613 seconds.

Scott Wimmer (29.642) and Brad Coleman (29.675) in the Carino's Italian Grill Chevrolet will make up the second row.

Carl Edwards, driver of the No.60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, will bring an absurd 701-point lead over second place Dave Blaney to this week's race. To put it in perspective, Edwards could completely skip the next three races, concentrate on his Cup team, and still be the points leader.

But Edwards won't do that, he loves to race. He flew in from Sonoma, CA., site of Cup practice this afternoon and had to sprint from the helicopter to his No.60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in time for qualifying. He qualified ninth. After the race he will fly back to California where he will start 15th in Sunday's race. Edwards finished a distant 21st at Milwaukee in 2006.

Yesterday, Johnny Benson won the truck event. Some pretty big names have won races at Milwaukee including: Barney Oldfield, Parnelli Jones, A.J. Foyt, Jimmy Clark, Bobby Unser, Al Unser Sr. and Jr., Michael and Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Motorized racing events date back to 1903 in Milwaukee, eight years before the first Indianapolis 500, making The Milwaukee Mile the oldest, continually operating motor speedway in the world.

The race is set to drop the green flag at 8:30 p.m. (et).

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I took Ron Hornaday Jr +1250 at TheGreek and look for another strong run like last nights race. 8)

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Busch Breakdown: AT&T 250

In a Nutshell: Aric Almirola put the No. 20 car on the pole and started the race because Denny Hamlin could not get his helicopter landed at the track to take over the car. Hamlin ended up losing a lap while getting into the car, battled back to get on the lead lap, and went on to win the race with an incredible three wide pass of Jason Leffler and Scott Wimmer who were able to get ahead of him with pit strategy near the end of the race. Carl Edwards had the race won when a botched pit stop relegated him back into the pack and ultimately gets a flat tire that costs him a lap. He was able to get back on the lead lap, but used up his tires getting to the lucky dog and was not able to do much when he got his shot to catch the leaders.

Who Should Have Won: Aric Almirola...oh no, wait, he did. Carl Edwards was the only other driver who had any claim to having the car to beat, but a pit road miscue and some worn out tires resulted in him not being able to get back to the front of the pack late in the race. Edwards was running pretty well and looking like he was going to run away with another concrete track race, but his rear tire changer fell down on his last pit stop for tires, and putting Edwards back in the pack. Forced to fight his way through traffic, Edwards almost immediately cut down a right rear tire and lost a lap under green to fix the problem. By the time he got the Lucky Dog, his tires were pretty worn and with less than 30 laps in the race, he had simply ran out of time.

Three questions you should be asking after the race this weekend.

1) How in the Wide World of Sports do cars drive into the landing zone for a helicopter?

Denny Hamlin was over the speedway in Milwaukee 15 minutes prior to the time that he was told the cut off would be for him to land at the race track. But when the helicopter attempted to land, there were cars in the landing zone, causing high drama to ensue. Hamlin’s helicopter was forced to hover until the cars could be moved, but when permission was finally granted to Hamlin’s pilot, more cars pulled into the landing zone, delaying his arrival even further. If Milwaukee is using Andy Frains to park cars in the infield, they might want to reconsider that contract.

2) Did Aric Almirola get yanked out of the seat by Rockwell Automation?

While Hamlin was fluttering around the Speedway, Aric Almirola was sitting in the No. 20 car, waiting for the race to go green. Almirola had both practiced and qualified the car, putting it on the pole for the event. When Hamlin was redirected to the local airport, Almirola was given the green light to start the race, a move that supposedly meant he would do the full 250 laps regardless of when Hamlin got here. Indeed, once Hamlin made it to the race track, there were comments from the No. 20 crew and from Hamlin himself verifying that they were not going to take Almirola out of the car. Then, on lap 59, with little warning Almirola was called down pit road and yanked out of the car in favor of Hamlin. The curious have to be wondering if it was Rockwell Automation who made the call…and with Hamlin claiming in Victory Lane it wasn’t his choice to replace Almirola, it very much seems like they had a say in the driver change.

3) Is this a Buschwhacker win?

Almirola started the race in the car, so he is given credit, in the record books, for winning the race. He is also given credit for the points, so according to the record book, Hamlin was not in the race. So, although it seems like one, this is definitely not a Buschwhacker win.

Worth Noting / Points Shuffle:

Almirola gets credit for the win and the points associated with it. Behind the dominance of both Almirola and Edwards, solid runs were clocked in by Wisconsin native Scott Wimmer (2nd) and Toyota’s Jason Leffler (3rd). Both gave Hamlin all he could handle in the closing laps after running in the Top 5 all night long; taking two tires on their final stops, they hoped to outrun the No. 20 by getting ahead under yellow but in the end, they fell just short. Meanwhile, in the battle of the “young guns” Brad Coleman came through with shining colors, finishing an outstanding fourth on the evening in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Chevrolet.

As far as points are concerned, Edwards continues to dominate the landscape of the Busch Series, now up by 776 over new second place man David Reutimann. David Ragan moves to third, a whopping 846 behind, while idle Dave Blaney falls to fourth. Kevin Harvick rounds out the Top 5 of full-time Nextel Cup regulars.

Ironically, even though Hamlin visited Victory Lane, he lost three spots in the point standings while Almirola gained a spot; however, neither of them are anywhere near the Top 10 in points. Some other Nextel Cup regulars are threatening to fall into that category, too; Regan Smith and Greg Biffle joined Blaney in losing several spots in the standings by not making the trek from California to Wisconsin.

Buschwhacker watch:

Buschwhackers in the race: 3*
Starting spots taken by Buschwhackers YTD: 3010 of 684*
Buschwhackers finishing in the top 10: 2*
Buschwhackers finishing in the top 10 YTD: 123 of 170*
Races won by Buschwhackers YTD: 15 of 17*
Buschwhackers ranked in the top 10 in Busch Series points standings: 5

*-These numbers do not include Denny Hamlin because he did not take the green flag in the car that he drove to the win.


“I don’t need to see a replay. When you’re heading down the frontstretch and your rear tires are off of the ground spinning, its obvious what happened. I was just riding around, my spotter told me he was coming, I moved up a lane, and there’s just no explanation for it.” Scott Lagasse Jr. on being dumped out of the race by Todd Bodine

“It was a group decision, it was a tough decision, but this is Rockwell’s global headquarters, and they had a lot of people in the stands who came to watch Denny win, so we had to make the switch” Dave Rogers, crew chief for the No. 20

Next Up:

The Busch series joins back together with Nextel Cup after three weeks apart as both series head to New Hampshire next week. The Camping World 200 presented by will take place next Saturday, June 30th at 2:30 and will be available on ABC and MRN.

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