Charter Pipeline 250 News & Notes

Discussion in 'Racing News (2010 & Earlier)' started by jdearing, May 7, 2003.

  1. jdearing

    jdearing Administrator Staff Member

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    MADISON, Ill. (May 6) – The Charter Pipeline 250 is one of those “stand-alone” weekends where the NASCAR Busch Series regulars can sort out their points race in relative peace, without the Winston Cup regulars – not-so-fondly called “Buschwhackers” -- in the background to meddle.

    There’s plenty of talented drivers and teams sort out. The Busch Series comes to Gateway International Raceway Friday and Saturday in the midst of a dandy points struggle one-third into its 34-race campaign.

    Todd Bodine, one of two Busch regulars to win events so far this season – Darlington, S.C. in March – holds a 40-point lead over fellow veteran David Green, who scored a win at Gateway’s sister track, Nashville Superspeedway, in April.

    It stays jumbled through the next 12 spots on the list. No fewer than 14 drivers are separated by 241 points headed into the Charter Pipeline 250. Swings of 10 points can mean moves of three or four spots up, or down, in the standings as they head into an off week before their next race at Charlotte, N.C., Memorial Day weekend.

    Ron Hornaday was second in the standings before Richmond. And an accident four laps from the finish of Friday night’s race dropped him to 15th place in the event – and to fourth in the standings, 57 points back of the lead.

    “We had a great chance to really pick up a lot of points at Richmond, but we got wrecked with four laps to go. That cost us about 30 points and two spots. I'm not real happy about what happened, but we were very lucky that the car was able to start up and finish the race under caution,” Hornaday said. “

    “We punctured the radiator, so my water temps were 260 (degrees). But we finished and gained some ground, but it was one of the ‘what could have been’ races.”


    Gateway/Busch field bunched for Charter Pipeline 250/Page 2

    Hornaday is looking to make it up here at Gateway, where he dominated last year’s race running for Carroll Racing, only to finish second to Greg Biffle after a late round of pit stops gave Biffle the lead.

    This time around, Hornaday comes to town in the Richard Childress Racing AC Delco Chevrolet that won four straight Charter Pipeline 250 titles between 1998-2001 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick behind the wheel. They also won three Busch Series titles – Junior in 1998-99 and Harvick in 2001.

    “This is really a championship team,” Hornaday said. “That’s what Richard hired me to do and that’s where my focus is. We are going to win a bunch of races, and I can’t think of a better time to start than this weekend at Gateway.

    The group at the time includes veterans like Bodine, Green, Hornaday, Scott Riggs and Mike Bliss. There are young lions like Shane Hmiel, running in third place, just 44 points from the lead, Johnny Sauter, Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers.

    The Charter Pipeline 250 also has the hometown connection with Winston Cup stars Kenny and Mike Wallace looking to score the family’s first win on its hometown oval. Kenny will do so in a special St. Louis Cardinals car, the deal put together between Bill Davis Racing and Major League Baseball.

    A great race between equally matched racers is just the start of a full day of excitement at Gateway.

    Before the race, there will be a huge salute to God, Family and Country. We will honor the men and women of the Armed Forces both here at Scott Air Force Base and overseas. There will be a flyover, a performance by the Air Force Band of Mid-America and a recruiting ceremony. The first 30,000 fans on the grounds will receive free American flags, and the crowd will be led in the Pledge of Allegiance by Col. Darren McDew, commander of the 375th Airlift Wing at Scott.

    Former St. Louis Blues favorite Tony Twist will wave the green flag at approximately 2 p.m., and afterwards fans will be treated to a free post-race concert by Academy of Country Music Vocal Group of the Year Lonestar.

    Fans can also enjoy a full day of practice and Bud Pole qualifying on Friday for just $10 for adults, with children 12-under free with a paid adult.

    Tickets for this spectacular day of racing, entertainment and Americana are still available by calling (866) 35-SPEED.


    Fact Sheet

    What: The Charter Pipeline 250 is the 11th of 34 races on the 2003 NASCAR Busch
    Series Grand National Division schedule

    When: May 9-10 (Friday-Saturday)

    Where: The 1.25-mile oval at Gateway International Raceway, Madison, Ill.

    Who: NASCAR Busch Series: Second largest series, in terms of size and influence,
    under the NASCAR umbrella, eclipsed only by Winston Cup. Started in 1982 as
    an outgrowth of the old NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Division, the series has
    become a true national tour and proving ground for the next generation of
    Winston Cup stars, including former Gateway and series champions Dale
    Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle. The current crop of young talent,
    including Johnny Sauter, Kasey Kahne and Chad Blount, will test themselves
    against veterans like former series champs Randy LaJoie and David Green, Ron
    Hornaday, Mike Bliss, Jason Keller, Scott Riggs and Stacy Compton. St.
    Louisans Kenny and Mike Wallace have entered this event, and are looking for
    their first victory on their home track.

    Race Length:___The Charter Pipeline 250 will run 200 laps, taking the green flag at
    approximately 2 p.m. (CDT) A FREE concert by Academy of Country Music
    Vocal Group of the Year Lonestar follows the race.

    TV-Radio: The race will be telecast nationally on FX cable network. It will also be broadcast
    on the Motor Racing Network (locally on KFNS-AM 590 and 1190 the Sports

    Internet: and

    Body: National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing

    Contact: NASCAR President: Mike Helton
    1801 W. Int’l Speedway Blvd. Series Dir: Brian DeHart
    Daytona Beach, FL 32120 PR Contact: Herb Branham
    (386) 253-0611 ____________________Tracey Judd
    (386) 252-8804 (Fax)

    Tickets: Friday (Practice-Qualifying)Adults $10 Children 12-under FREE
    Saturday (Race Day) Adults $60 and $45 Children $30 and $25

    To order call (866) 35-SPEED


    Friday, May 9

    9:00 a.m. Credentials Open
    10:00 a.m. Will Call Opens
    11:00 a.m. Parking Lots Open
    12 noon Spectator Gates Open
    12:50-2:50 p.m. Practice
    4:35 p.m. Bud Pole Qualifying (Two Laps, All Positions)
    Final Practice (One Hour, Time Permitting)
    8:00 p.m. Garage, Will Call and Credentials Close

    Saturday, May 10

    8:00 a.m. Credentials Open
    9:00 a.m. Will Call Opens
    9:00 a.m. Parking Lots Open
    11:00 a.m. Spectator Gates Open
    1:15 p.m. Opening Ceremonies begin
    1:30 p.m. Driver Introductions
    2:00 p.m. (approx.) Charter Pipeline 250 (200 laps, 250 miles)
    3:00 p.m. Will Call and Credentials Close
    5:00 p.m. (approx) Lonestar concert begins (Drag Strip)

    2003 BUSCH SERIES STANDINGS (through May 2)

    1. Todd Bodine 1351 11. Jamie McMurray 1107
    2. David Green 1311 12. Mike Wallace 1105
    3. Shane Hmiel 1307 13. Bobby Hamilton Jr.__1101
    4. Ron Hornaday 1294 14. Scott Wimmer 1100
    5. Scott Riggs 1233 15. Michael Waltrip 1066
    6. Jason Keller 1222 16. Stacy Compton 1060
    7. Mike Bliss 1209 17. Kevin Grubb 1046
    8. Johnny Sauter 1201 18. Coy Gibbs 1045
    9. Kasey Kahne 1163 19. Ashton Lewis 1032
    10. Brian Vickers 1131 20. Kevin Harvick 1024

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