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Nascar Nation 4.19.2006

By Rick Racela

Harvick Plucks the Field
To Victory in Nashville
 
BY BRUCE KNOLL, JR.
 
The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series was off this past weekend, the Easter weekend. So most drivers stayed home for a weekend of rest and relaxation with the family.
The Busch Series, on the other hand, thought it had a reason to rejoice, and not for religious reasons. Since the Nextel Cup had off, most of the “Buschwackers” would not be around to spoil the show.
They were correct, with the exception of the top five finishers, all running both the full Busch and Nextel Cup schedules. Since they run both series full-time, they aren’t always considered Buschwackers.
Buschwacker or not, Kevin Harvick dominated the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on his way to his first Busch Series win of 2006.  Harvick leads the points standings with 1,284 points, 152 points ahead of fellow double-duty driver Denny Hamlin and 322 points ahead of the first highest full-time Busch driver, sixth place Paul Menard, who runs for the Nextel Cup affiliated Dale Earnhardt Inc.  Harvick leads the first non-Cup affiliated driver, seventh place Johnny Sauter, by 370 points.
Harvick, whose Kevin Harvick Inc. team fields two full-time Busch teams as well as a third partial team, ran a Richard Childress Racing car and beat his teammate Clint Bowyer by a half of a second, for his 17th career Busch victory. With Clint Bowyer finishing second, Denny Hamlin third, J.J. Yeley fourth, and Carl Edwards, the top five finishers all have full-time Nextel Cup Series rides for 2006.
Other News: The Busch family has helped make the off weekend interesting for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Kyle Busch, the youngest of the two Busch brothers, was stopped in a Richmond suburb and cited for reckless driving.  The charges carry a $2,500 fine, and the possibility of jail time and suspension of his driver’s license, which would make him ineligible to participate in any NASCAR sanctioned series. Details are still sketchy, but Busch will appear in Henrico County, Va. Court on May 23.
The elder Busch, Kurt, has made headlines by being involved in an on-track incident that lead to an off-track altercation. Busch bumped Greg Biffle on track and caused both vehicles to crash. But this wasn’t just any off-track altercation. Biffle’s girlfriend, Nicole Lunders, stormed over to the Busch pit box, where she had some “words” with Busch’s fiancŽ, Eva Brown.
NASCAR has reprimanded both Brown and Lunders, and will take further action if future incidents between the two occur.
Coming Up: As the Craftsman Truck Series continues it’s break, the NASCAR Busch and Nextel Cup Series will be in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ll be bringing you live coverage from the deserts of the Southwest. Don’t miss an excellent weekend of NASCAR action.
Bruce Knoll, 14, of Eldora, can be contacted by email at bknoll jr4cmcherald@yahoo.com

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