Carfax 250 News and Notes
Carfax 250 News and Notes
Carfax 250 - Entry List
0 Eric McClure
01 Kevin Lepage
1 J.J. Yeley
2 Clint Bowyer
3 Todd Bodine
05 Brett Rowe
5 Mark Martin
6 David Ragan
7 Mike Wallace
9 Kasey Kahne
10 Dave Blaney
11 Jason Keller
12 Sam Hornish Jr
14 Kyle Krisiloff
15 Paul Menard
16 Greg Biffle
17 Matt Kenseth
18 Brad Coleman
20 Denny Hamlin
21 Kevin Harvick
22 Mike Bliss
24 Casey Mears
25 David Gilliland
26 Jamie McMurray
27 Ward Burton
28 Robert Richardson
29 Scott Wimmer
33 Tony Stewart
35 Bobby Hamilton Jr
36 Brent Sherman
37 Bobby East
38 Jason Leffler
41 Reed Sorenson
42 Kevin Hamlin
44 Carlos Contreras
47 Kelly Bires
49 Brian Keselowski
59 Marcos Ambrose
60 Carl Edwards
66 Steve Wallace
70 Mark Green
71 Ron Young
77 Bobby Labonte
88 Brad Keselowski
89 Morgan Shepherd
90 Stephen Leicht
99 David Reutimann
Re: Carfax 250 News and Notes
Vickers to replace Blaney in next four Busch races
Brian Vickers will replace Dave Blaney in Braun Racing's No. 10 Busch Series Toyota for the next four races, a team spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.
Blaney's status with Braun Racing is unknown.
Blaney started the season with the intention of running the full Busch schedule but has missed four races, including the last two road-course events. Blaney remains 11th in the Busch point standings, with three top-five and six top-10 finishes.
Blaney is also in the thick of the battle for the final spot in the top 35 in Nextel Cup owner points that guarantees starting spots in each race. His Bill Davis Racing team dropped out of the 35 after the Centurion Boats at the Glen last weekend and is fighting with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing for the 35th position in owner points.
The No. 22 Cup team is 37 points behind the Wood Brothers' No. 21 team.
Vickers has driven one race for Braun this year, finishing 13th at Daytona in the team's No. 32 Toyota.
Re: Carfax 250 News and Notes
Wallace Steps Down at Furniture Row
Furniture Row Racing, a Denver-based NEXTEL Cup Series racing team, announced today that Kenny Wallace is stepping down as the driver of car No. 78.
Officials for the team have stated that Wallace will remain with the team as a consultant and will be called upon to run races as needed, but that he will also be available to drive for another team.
"Kenny has been the perfect driver for us as we have looked to his veteran experience during our first year-and-half in the Cup Series," said Joe Garone, Team Manager for Furniture Row Racing. "His personality has brought much positive exposure to the team and to Furniture Row Companies, the team's owner and sponsor. This has included winning the fan vote to participate in this year's All-Star Challenge events."
Looking at the remainder of this season, officials for Furniture Row Racing have said that they will be intensifying efforts to fine tune their performance in preparation for next season's run.
"I've enjoyed my run as the primary driver for Furniture Row despite all the challenges of a new team," Wallace said. "I look forward to helping them as they move forward in building a program that will be competitive for many years to come."
Re: Carfax 250 News and Notes
Driver to win the Carfax 300
Matt Kenseth +500
Carl Edwards +600
Jeff Burton +650
Kevin Harvick +650
Mark Martin +700
Denny Hamlin +900
Tony Stewart +900
Clint Bowyer +1100
Casey Mears +1400
Kasey Kahne +1400
Greg Biffle +2000
Jamie McMurray +2500
Reed Sorrenson +3500
Paul Menard +4000
David Reutimann +4000
Jason Leffler +4000
Bobby Labonte +5000
David Stremme +5000
Re: Carfax 250 News and Notes
NASCAR BCS SERIES NOTES
Harvick Hinges On History; RCR Charges Toward Owner Standings Lead
Reigning and two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Kevin Harvick (No. 21 AutoZone Chevrolet) isn’t running a full-time schedule, but he’s still pushing towards the top of the list of all-time greats in this final year with series sponsor Busch Beer.
The series’ hottest driver, Harvick comes to Michigan International Speedway having won two consecutive races (Montreal, Watkins Glen) and can become the seventh driver in series history to produce three consecutive victories. Ryan Newman (2005) was the last to do so. Harvick boasts four wins in his last five races; the exception was a second-place finish at Daytona International Speedway last month.
He’s now tied with Jack Ingram for second on the all-time win list with 31.
A win at Michigan also would give him four wins in the last four races he’s entered, although not consecutive events. He won at Chicagoland Speedway and skipped O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis before embarking on his current two-race streak. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2001-03) and Newman (‘05) hold the mark with wins in five straight starts, though not in consecutive races.
Harvick’s Richard Childress Racing teammates, Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer, are on a hot streak as well. They have the No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet only 41 points behind the driver and owner-leading No. 60 Sharp Ford of Carl Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing. The No. 29 RCR team has made up 227 points on the No. 60 over the last five races to pull within its closest margin of the season. Those two teams have been 1-2 in the owner standings since the first race at Nashville Superspeedway in April. The No. 29 was a season-high 302 points out of first following the second Nashville race in June.
The series driver and owner championships have been split once before, also involving RCR. In 2003, Brian Vickers (No. 10 Fan1st.com Toyota) won the driver’s title, but the duo of Harvick and Johnny Sauter won the owner championship for Childress in the No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet.
Living The Dream: Michigan Native Keselowski Back Home In No. 88
It’s quite a homecoming for Brad Keselowski (No. 88 NAVY Chevrolet) as the Rochester Hills, Mich., native prepares to make his fourth start for owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports.
Keselowski has been impressive since taking over the No. 88 Chevy at Chicago, registering two top-15 finishes, including his first career top 10.
Road specialist Andy Pilgrim handled the past two events for JR Motorsports at Montreal and Watkins Glen, but now the seat goes back to Keselowski in front of the hometown crowd.
“Coming back with JR Motorsports, I’m looking to seal the deal this year and I think we have a really good shot at it,” he said of his prospects for a full-time ride with the organization.
He hopes to race against his brother, Brian, who will attempt to qualify his No. 49 Dodge for their father Bob. The Keselowski racing tradition runs three generations deep in Michigan, starting with the siblings’ grandfather, John. The family has competed in all levels of racing from late models to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
“We live about an hour-and-a-half from the track and racing has always been a part of our lives, so competing in front of our hometown crowd will be a lot of fun,” Brian said.
In the Loop: Owner Championship Heating Up; Martin Set For Spoiler Role
Trust that Jack Roush and John Henry – co-owners of Roush Fenway Racing – will have a close eye on the No. 60 Ford of Carl Edwards during Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Though their driver has a robust lead in the driver standings, there’s still a neck-and-neck race in the owner standings.
The No. 60 Ford, driven exclusively by Edwards this season, holds a 41-point cushion over the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet driven by both Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer. Burton will drive the No. 29 this weekend at Michigan, and will attempt to curtail the Roush success at the 2-mile track.
Over the last two years, Edwards has performed well at Michigan. Though an accident ended his day in 2006, he did lead 31 laps in that race. In 2005, his first visit to Michigan, Edwards notched a third-place finish.
In his Michigan career, Edwards has a Driver Rating of 118.3 (second-best among those competing Saturday), an Average Running Position of 4.5 (best of any driver), 38 Fastest Laps Run (most of any driver) and has spent 247 of 253 Laps in the Top 15 (most of any driver).
Jeff Burton ran at the Michigan NASCAR Busch Series race last season for the first time since 2003 and finished 10th. In that race, Burton earned a Driver Rating of 92.2, an Average Running Position of 14.6 and spent 83 Laps in the Top 15. He has had past success at this race, with a win in 1998 and a runner-up finish in 2002.
Mark Martin (No. 5 Hendrick Autoguard Chevrolet) – the series’ all-time leader in wins (47) and Busch Poles (30) – will make his fourth start of the season this weekend at Michigan.
Thus far in 2007, he’s had success; he finished second at Darlington in his last series race and has an overall average finish of 6.3. Martin finished fifth last season at Michigan, earning a Driver Rating of 121.6 and an Average Running Position of 5.7.
• Keller Countdown: Jason Keller (No. 11 CARFAX Ford) returns to the series after a two-week break to resume his march toward the all-time NASCAR Busch Series starts mark of 417 held by Tommy Houston. Keller must qualify on time but has put the No. 11 car in the field the previous five races he’s run for owner Bryan Mullett. Keller comes to Michigan with 411 starts and is the only driver other than Houston to have 400 or more starts in series history. The next closest active driver is David Green, the 1994 series champion who is in fourth place with 386. Green is running the remainder of the season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In addition to chasing the starts mark, the 37-year-old Keller will add to his all-time earnings record, now standing at $11,040,796 – the only driver in series history to top the $11 million mark. • Hornish Jr. Returns to NASCAR: Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 12 Mobil 1 Dodge) will make his first appearance in the NASCAR Busch Series since participating at Richmond International Raceway in May. Hornish, the 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner who is fifth in the IRL point standings, seeks to qualify for his sixth NASCAR Busch Series race this year and the eighth of his career. Hornish earned his first stock-car pole this past June in the ARCA event at Michigan and finished second. He has competed in seven races in different series at Michigan, leading six of those events and posting four top-five finishes. His hometown of Defiance, Ohio, is an hour from the speedway and he considers the track his home venue.
• McClure Set To Visit Cincinnati Reds: Eric McClure (No. 0 Hefty Brand Chevrolet) will travel to Cincinnati on Monday, August 20 to celebrate “NASCAR Night” with the Cincinnati Reds. McClure will participate in first-pitch ceremonies and drive Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory around in his No. 0 Hefty Chevy before the game. Former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champions Rusty Wallace and Terry Labonte along with Kyle Busch also are scheduled to join the festivities.
“I’m a huge baseball and sports guy,” McClure said. “I played through college and coached youth ball for seven years. There are a lot of drivers out there and the fact that I was invited is pretty special.” The Reds will face the Atlanta Braves at the Great American Ball Park at 7:10 p.m. ET.
COUNTDOWN TO 417
Jason Keller has 411 career starts; the series record is 417. He must qualify on time for all but one of his remaining races (Calif. – Brewco).
Schedule (Team) Projected Start 8/18 – Michigan (CJM) 412 8/25 – Bristol (CJM) 413 9/1 – California (Brewco) 414 9/8 – Richmond (CJM) 415 9/22 – Dover (CJM) 416 9/29 – Kansas (CJM) 417 – TIE 10/13 – LMS (CJM) 418 – BREAK
The Director’s Take: Michigan
INSIGHT FROM JOE BALASH, NASCAR BUSCH SERIES DIRECTOR
“Aerodynamics is the key word to racing at Michigan International Speedway. How the teams have their body placed on their chassis to run the 2-mile speedway will pay big dividends over the course of the race.
“Having the body at the right attitude, sealing the nose of the car to the track … all those attributes combine to build speed.
“The long straight-aways coupled with wide, sweeping turns make Michigan a fast race track. Teams will work to reduce the drag on their cars while drivers will look to gain a faster straight speed without scrubbing off any speed in the turn to pull away from their competition.”
Rookie Spotlight: Coleman Starting To Surge In “Battle Of The Brads”
• Coleman Shows He Belongs: After two impressive top-10 runs on tracks he had never seen before, 19-year-old Brad Coleman (No. 18 Carino’s Italian Grill Chevrolet) is finally headed to familiar territory at Michigan International Speedway. Now in fifth place in the Raybestos Rookie standings after passing Brad Keselowski, Coleman returns to the site where he registered top-five finishes in both of his ARCA races at MIS for Brewco Motorsports last year.
“I love Michigan and am ready to navigate that great track again,” said Coleman. “It will be quite an experience coming off the tight and technical turns of Montreal and Watkins Glen to the wide open, high speed banks of MIS. Our team is looking forward to being back on the ovals and we could not pick a better one to start on than Michigan.”
Besides being the youngest driver on the track in both road races, he was one of only three drivers to finish in the top 10 in both events. The others were Kevin Harvick – who won both races – and his RCR teammate Jeff Burton.
In 12 races for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2007, the native of Houston, Texas, has posted three top fives, five top 10s and seven top-20 finishes along with winning the pole at Talladega Superspeedway last April.
ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Busch Series with live Saturday coverage of the CARFAX 250 at Michigan International Speedway. The telecast begins at 3 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown.
The two-mile Brooklyn, Mich., oval has a history of producing competitive racing and close finishes, including last year’s event that featured 20 lead changes among 13 drivers and was won by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dr. Jerry Punch will anchor ESPN2’s coverage from MIS, with analysis by 1989 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Pit reporters will be Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro, while Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN DISH Tech Center.
A Spanish-language version of the race will be televised on ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s domestic Spanish-language network.
2007 At-A-Glance: NASCAR Busch Series Leaders After 24 Of 35 Races:
Traditional Statistics: Driver points – Edwards (3534) Victories – Harvick (5) Races led – Edwards (17) Laps led – Edwards (682) Top-five finishes – Edwards (13) Top-10 finishes – Edwards (17) Owner points – Roush (No. 60) - (3534) Money Won – Edwards ($923,335) Miles led – Ky. Busch (1015.53) Busch Poles – Hamlin (4) Closing in on Top 10 – Biffle 10th (2309 pts) Blaney (-57) Consecutive Weeks in Top 10 – Edwards, Harvick (24)
Loop Data Statistics: Driver Rating – Edwards (111.1) Average Running Position – Edwards (8.342) Fastest Laps Run – Edwards (451 fastest laps) Quality Passes – Edwards (850) Laps In Top 15 – Edwards (3,793 of a possible 4,323)
Chevrolet Answers With Another Win To Extend Manufacturer Lead
For the 13th-time this season, Chevrolet crossed the finish line first to extend its lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings.
Kevin Harvick’s win at Watkins Glen gives him a series-leading five wins on the season and is a good omen for Chevy, which has the most series wins at Michigan International Speedway with 10.
Ford remains second, 39 points ahead of third-place Dodge. Toyota is fourth.
David Gilliand (No. 25 FreeCreditReport.com Ford) understands what a victory at Michigan means from a manufacturer perspective.
“All of the major car manufacturers’ headquarters are right down the road from where we’ll be racing,” he said. “A lot of their VIPs will be at our race, so [drivers] want to make sure we give a strong showing. That’s going to add a little bit of excitement to the race because no one wants to let down their manufacturer.”
Manufacturers' Championship 2007 Point Standings Chevy 179 Ford 145 Dodge 106 Toyota 98
Up Next: Food City 250 At Bristol Motor Speedway
A newly-resurfaced Bristol Motor Speedway awaits the traditional excitement of the August race and 100,000-plus spectators next Friday night. ESPN2 will air the Food City 250 at 8 p.m ET.
Last year’s winner, Matt Kenseth, crossed the finish line just ahead of Kevin Harvick by .968 seconds to claim his third series win at Bristol. Don’t count Harvick out though, because he’s tied with Morgan Shepherd with the most wins at Bristol with four. Shepherd also is tied with Jason Keller for the most poles at the track with three.
Ryan Newman posted the fastest time last season with a lap of 124.436 mph to put the Roger Penske Dodge on the pole. It will be interesting to see if the new surface will raise the speeds during qualifying, scheduled to be held just hours before the start of the race.
Pre-Race Schedule: Friday – Practice, 1:10-2:15 p.m., 2:30-3 p.m. (Rookies) and 4:45 p.m. (Final – one hour, time permitting) Saturday – Qualifying, 11:10 a.m.
Re: Carfax 250 News and Notes
Martin Trying Again with Hendrick
He's back. For the fourth time this season, Mark Martin is getting behind the wheel of a NASCAR Busch Series car, when he takes over the driving duties for the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
Martin previously raced for Hendrick once in the series this season, finishing a season-best second at Darlington Raceway in May. His other two starts came with Jack Roush in the No. 06 Ford and resulted in a fifth-place finish at Daytona and 12th-place finish at Texas.
"I am really excited to get behind the wheel of that 5 car again," Martin said. "I had a blast driving it in Darlington back in May. That's a really good team they have over there and I'm really looking forward to getting back in their stuff."
The semi-retired NASCAR NEXTEL Cup star is no stranger to the Busch Series and is very familiar with what it takes to get around the 2-mile oval in Brooklyn, Mich.
In nine Busch Series starts at Michigan, Martin has posted two wins, seven top-five finishes and eight top-10s.
Martin's success at Michigan International Speedway has been with him from the beginning, as his first victory at the track came in his first Busch Series start there in August 1993. He won again at MIS in 1995 and finished fifth after starting from the pole position in his most recent start at the track last season.
"Michigan is a great race track and it really suits my style. It's big and wide and there is a lot of room to pass. If you can get your car to really work in the corners, you can do a lot of passing and that can be a lot of fun for a race car driver," Martin added.
Finding his way to victory lane shouldn't be hard for the winningest driver in Busch Series history. In 223 career starts since 1987, Martin has 47 victories, 106 top fives and 143 top 10s. He has won 21 percent of all the Busch Series races he's entered, with his last victory coming at Las Vegas in 2005 with Roush.
For Saturday's Carfax 250, the No. 5 team's crew chief, Mike Bumgarner, is bringing chassis No. 403 for Martin's effort. The car was a dominant force during March's Busch Series event at Las Vegas, being held up front for 81 laps by Kyle Busch, before spinning at the checkered flag for a runner-up finish.
Martin will not only have the chance to redeem the car's honor but also his own as he tries to bounce back from May's runner-up finish at Darlington and take Hendrick's No. 5 team to victory lane.
"Winning for Hendrick Motorsports would sure be awesome. Rick (Hendrick) has great cars and a great team, so hopefully if we can put it all together we can take that car to victory lane," Martin said. "It took me way too long to get acclimated with the car at Darlington and I really messed up in qualifying and had to basically come from the back, or we might have been able to win that one. I hate that it got away from us, but we've got two more chances this year to get it done. I've known Rick for a long time and he's meant a lot to NASCAR. To be able to get a win in one of his cars would be really special for me."
Martin will have two chances to once again claim victory at MIS when he turns around from Saturday's Busch race and takes the wheel of the No. 01 DEI/Ginn Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in Sunday's 3M Performance 400.
Saturday's Carfax 250 is scheduled to take the green flag at 3:30 p.m. (ET), with qualifying the same day at 11:10 a.m. (ET). The series has two practices on Friday beginning at 1:10 p.m. (ET).
Re: Carfax 250 News and Notes
Starting Line Up CARFAX 250
Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 38.596 186.548
2 10 Brian Vickers Fan1st.com Toyota 38.773 185.696
3 6 David Ragan # Discount Tire Ford 38.903 185.076
4 41 Reed Sorenson Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge 38.943 184.886
5 20 Denny Hamlin Rockwell Automation Chevy 38.956 184.824
6 59 Marcos Ambrose # Kingsford Ford 38.989 184.667
7 15 Paul Menard Menards/Akona Chevy 39.016 184.540
8 21 Kevin Harvick AutoZone Chevy 39.028 184.483
9 77 Bobby Labonte Dollar General Chevy 39.049 184.384
10 27 Ward Burton Kleenex Ford 39.080 184.237
11 25 David Gilliland freecreditreport.com Ford 39.116 184.068
12 17 Matt Kenseth Arby's Ford 39.143 183.941
13 24 Casey Mears National Guard 76th Infantry Brigade 39.145 183.932
14 99 David Reutimann Dominos.com Toyota 39.192 183.711
15 60 Carl Edwards Sharp Aquos Ford 39.204 183.655
16 29 Jeff Burton Holiday Inn Chevy 39.218 183.589
17 18 Brad Coleman # Carino's Italian Grill Chevy 39.275 183.323
18 42 Kevin Hamlin Texaco/Havoline Dodge 39.288 183.262
19 2 Clint Bowyer BB&T Chevy 39.329 183.071
20 03 Todd Bodine Germain Toyota Toyota 39.333 183.052
21 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Mobil 1 Dodge 39.341 183.015
22 5 Mark Martin Hendrickcars.com Chevy 39.408 182.704
23 7 Mike Wallace GEICO Chevy 39.466 182.436
24 33 Tony Stewart Old Spice Chevy 39.475 182.394
25 22 David Stremme Supercuts Dodge 39.481 182.366
26 47 Kelly Bires Clorox ToiletWand Ford 39.489 182.329
27 66 Steve Wallace Jimmy John's Dodge 39.566 181.974
28 88 Brad Keselowski # U.S. NAVY Chevy 39.621 181.722
29 26 Jamie McMurray Dish Network Ford 39.627 181.694
30 11 Jason Keller CARFAX Chevy 39.644 181.616
31 36 Brent Sherman BIG LOTS Chevy 39.683 181.438
32 01 Kertus Davis Chevy 39.758 181.096
33 38 Jason Leffler Great Clips Toyota 39.787 180.964
34 28 Jeff Green U.S. Border Patrol Chevy 39.847 180.691
35 9 Kasey Kahne Lawry's Dodge 39.860 180.632
36 49 Brian Keselowski DNR/Michigan State Parks Dodge 39.890 180.496
37 90 Stephen Leicht citifinancial Ford 39.986 180.063
38 89 Morgan Shepherd Victory In Jesus Dodge 39.999 180.005
39 1 J.J. Yeley Miccosukee Resorts Chevy 40.046 179.793
40 37 Bobby East Cub Cadet/Kleenex Ford 40.148 179.336
41 14 Kyle Krisiloff # Lilly/Walgreens Ford Owner Points
42 35 Bobby Hamilton Jr. McDonald's Ford Owner Points
43 70 Mark Green BIOMET/ForeTravel Chevy 40.032 179.856
Did Not Qualify: #-71 Ron Young; #0-Eric McClure.
Re: Carfax 250 News and Notes
Biffle wins Busch pole at MIS
August 18th, 2007
Brooklyn, MI (Sports Network) - Nextel Cup veteran Greg Biffle won the pole for Saturday afternoon's Carfax 250 Busch Series race at the Michigan International Speedway. The No.16 Roush Fenway Racing driver circled the two- mile oval in 38.596 seconds (186.548 m.p.h.).
The pole victory was Biffle's first of the season and 12th of his Busch career. It is his first Busch pole since 2004. He is having a pretty good weekend, so far, qualifying second in yesterday's Nextel Cup session as well.
"I held my breath the whole lap and it's been a long time since I've not come off the gas around here," said Biffle. "The thing ran really well and sucked down on the race track really good."
Starting on the front row with Biffle will be Brian Vickers, who posted a time of 38.773 seconds.
David Ragan (38.903) and Reed Sorenson (38.943) will make up row two.
Kevin Harvick, starting eighth, is back to his 2006 Busch Series championship form these days, winning the last two Busch events (Montreal, Watkins Glen) and four of his last five starts.
In just 17 starts this year, Harvick has collected a series-high five wins and 15 top-10s. He is third in points despite missing seven races (29% of the season), in itself an amazing statistic.
While Harvick's win in Montreal was a matter of being in the right place at the right time to take advantage of other driver mistakes, at Watkins Glen he was dominant from start to finish leading a total of 49 of 82 laps.
This week Harvick and 21 other "Buschwhackers" will race in the "Saturday warmup."
Among them is Mark Martin, the all-time Busch Series leader at MIS with two wins, seven top-fives, eight top-10s, 304 laps led and an average finish of 4.2. He is the only driver to sweep a Michigan weekend, accomplishing the feat in August 1993.
The green flag is set to drop at 3:30 p.m. (et).