Three Straight From The Cheese State? Wimmer, Kluever Hope So

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 18, 2007) ? Scott Wimmer (No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet) has been oh-so-close to his first win of the season over his last three races.

He?s posted finishes of third, fourth and third, respectively, over that span and led 41 laps at Nashville Superspeedway two weeks ago.

He certainly would have preferred to visit Victory Lane before this weekend?s race at The Milwaukee Mile, but a win for the Wausau, Wis., native at his home-state track would ease that frustration.

And recent history is on his side.

The last two races at Milwaukee have been won by Wisconsin natives. Johnny Sauter (Necedah) won in 2005 while Paul Menard (Eau Claire) won last year.

Wimmer has raced four times in NASCAR Busch Series competition at Milwaukee, with a best finish of third in 2002. He?s a five-time winner in the series, but seeks his first victory since 2003.

Wimmer?s fellow Cheese-state native, Todd Kluever (No. 16 3M Ford ? Sun Prairie) can also keep the home-state winning streak alive. Kluever started eighth in his series debut at The Mile last year and finished 23rd.

Only one driver ? Greg Biffle ? has won more than one race at the track; Biffle won consecutive races in 2001-02. Three previous Milwaukee winners are entered including Mike Wallace (No. 7 GEICO Chevrolet ? 1994), Jason Keller (No. 27 Kleenex Ford ? 2003) and Ron Hornaday Jr. (2004) who steps in for J.J. Yeley in the No. 1 Miccosukee Resort Chevrolet for this event.

Kelly Bires (Mauston) finished 15th and seventh in his first two series starts at Nashville and Kentucky Speedway subbing for Jon Wood (No. 47 Clorox/American Red Cross Ford). He?s scheduled to do so again at Milwaukee while also competing in his regular NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ride.

Can ?Leicht?-ning Strike Again At Milwaukee?

Last year at this time, David Gilliland was basking in the glory of his upset win at Kentucky. The following week, Paul Menard backed up Gilliland?s win with his first NASCAR Busch Series victory in his home state at The Milwaukee Mile.

One year later, the same scenario presents itself only with different players. Young Stephen Leicht (No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford) stunned the 70,000-plus in attendance at Kentucky last Saturday night with a solid win over his best friend, the equally-surprising Brad Coleman (No. 18 Carino?s Chevrolet), who led 36 laps before surrendering the lead and eventual win.

Now the series shifts to Milwaukee, where a second straight win by a NASCAR Busch Series regular could be in the offing.

Series points leader Carl Edwards (No. 60 Dish Network Ford) tops a short list of five double-duty drivers who are scheduled to compete at Milwaukee, leaving the door open for another opportunity for ?Leicht-ning? to stike again this week.

In The Loop: Leffler Has Good Timing With Strong Recent Results, Stats At Milwaukee

Things are looking up for Jason Leffler (No. 38 Great Clips Toyota).

After a 31st-place finish at Lowe?s Motor Speedway, Leffler has registered three top-15 finishes ? including an impressive third-place finish at Nashville ? in his last three races.

Now he returns to a track at which he has experienced success in the past. Leffler finished fourth at Milwaukee last season and notched two 15th-place finishes in 2000 and ?04. With last year?s performance, Leffler placed himself at the top of a number of Loop Data categories.

He?s first in pre-race Driver Rating at 129.9, first in Average Running Position (3.810) and fourth in Fastest Laps Run with 34 (though first among drivers who have competed in only one Milwaukee race in the past two years).

Additionally, Leffler spent 255 of the 258 laps ran last year at Milwaukee in the top 15.

Leffler might not be the only optimistic driver going into the weekend. The entire field should feel positive, as this might be a good chance to gain some ground on standings leader Carl Edwards. Edwards has struggled in the past, with uncharacteristic finishes of 14th and 21st over the last two years. As a result, his stats also have taken a hit.

Edwards has a pre-race Driver Rating of 87.3 (17th-best) and an Average Running Position of 13.631 (20th-best).

As for last Saturday?s race at Kentucky, first-time winner Stephen Leicht impressed with his brilliant performance. In the Kentucky race, Leicht racked up stats that included a top Driver Rating of 126.3, a second-best Average Running Position of 5,395 and a fourth-best total of 16 Fastest Laps Run.

Another star in the making is Brad Coleman, who finished second last Saturday. Coleman notched the second-best Driver Rating at 124.8 and the top Average Running Position at 4.340. The 19-year-old also ran each of the 200 laps in the top 15, making him only one of two drivers to accomplish the feat ? Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) was the other.


Leffler?s Long Climb: It?s taken a while ? since last September following the race at his home track, California Speedway ? since Jason Leffler has been in the top 10 in points. But after his fourth top-15 finish in his last five races, Leffler enters this weekend?s race at Milwaukee in 10th in the standings. His entry into the top 10 gives Toyota ?in its first season of NASCAR Busch Series competition ? the distinction of having all three full-time drivers from its two teams ranked in the top 10. Dave Blaney (No. 10 Camping World Toyota) is second while David Reutimann (No. 99 Aaron?s Dream Machine Toyota) is fourth.

Double-Duty Drivers: The distance between The Milwaukee Mile and Infineon Raceway will keep J.J. Yeley from maintaining his full-time status in the NASCAR Busch Series. Instead, Ron Hornaday Jr. will drive the No. 1 Miccosukee Resorts Chevrolet at Milwaukee. Additionally, David Reutimann and Mike Bliss will pull duty at Milwaukee only. P.J. Jones will drive Reutimann?s No. 00 Toyota and Klaus Graf is scheduled to drive Bliss? No. 49 Chevrolet at Infineon this weekend. Carl Edwards will have Janesville, Wis., native Travis Kvapil on hand to practice his No. 60 Ford while Erik Darnell will do the same for David Ragan (No. 6 Discount Tire Ford.) Last year?s Busch Pole winner, Aric Almirola, will shake down the No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet for Denny Hamlin. The sub for Dave Blaney will be announced later this week.

Series Regulars, Alums Shine: The last two weeks have been highlight moments for the NASCAR Busch Series. Current series regular Stephen Leicht?s first career win at Kentucky was joined by Carl Edwards? first win of the season in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. J.J. Yeley won his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series pole there while two-time series champion Martin Truex Jr. finished second to Edwards, following up his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup win at Dover International Speedway June 3. Truex is 10th in the premier series? standings, which currently list three former NASCAR Busch Series champions (Truex, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.) along with drivers who are 145 wins and over 1,400 combined series among its top 12.

?I feel like it’s back in 2004-05 when I was running the Busch car,? Truex said. ?We’re having a lot of fun. We’re working well together. Our chemistry is perfect. Everything’s just clicking for us right now and hopefully it will last a long time because I sure am enjoying it.”

Kluever?s Cause: On Sunday, June 24, Todd Kluever will host the first annual ?Todd Kluever Ride To Cure Diabetes? motorcycle fundraiser in Madison, Wis. Proceeds from the ride and auction will benefit the American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. While also at home in Wisconsin, Kluever will take time to throw out the first pitch at the Madison Mallards baseball game on Wednesday night. Kluever will sign autographs for fans from 5:30 ? 6:30 p.m. (CT) and his first pitch is scheduled just before the game?s start at 7:05 p.m.

Wimmer Also ?Pitches In?: Scott Wimmer is scheduled to toss out a first pitch this week as well. Wimmer throws out the opening pitch Friday night before the Milwaukee Brewers take on the Kansas City Royals at Miller Park. A former baseball player, Wimmer used to go to games in old County Stadium and has yet to visit the newer ballpark. Wimmer?s first pitch is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. (CT) with the game scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.

The Director?s Take: Milwaukee
?The Milwaukee Mile will test a driver’s patience. They can?t overdrive the track?s wide, flat turns.

?Teams will use the phrase ?back up the corner? at Milwaukee, meaning if drivers get off the gas earlier, they?ll allow the car to roll through the turn.

?Those who have patience in the turns will pull away from others who stay on the gas too long.

?Teams will also be working on their spring shock package to prepare the car to handle the transition between the new and old pavement. Slight bumps in this area will upset the car so holding the nose down will gain valuable time and carry the exit speed of the car.?

Rookie Spotlight: Krisiloff Catches Montoya In Points And Looks To Pass At Milwaukee

Krisiloff Catches Montoya: Kyle Krisiloff (No. 14 Clabber Girl Ford) has made steady progress up the rookie points ladder and has caught Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) in points. Montoya is still listed in third with higher finishes overall than Krisiloff and has run three fewer races than Krisiloff. But the 20-year-old from Carmel, Ind., has been solid in his first full-time season in the series.

Ragan Improves Lead: David Ragan increased his lead from six to 11 points over Marcos Ambrose following last Saturday?s race at Kentucky. The difference ? Ragan posted his first consecutive top 10s of the season at Nashville (seventh) and Kentucky (eighth) while Ambrose had an 11th-place finish at Kentucky after a career-worst 36th at Nashville.

New Faces At Milwaukee: At least three drivers hope to make their first start in the NASCAR Busch Series at Milwaukee while two have a few starts to their credit. Frank Kreyer (No. 56 Culver?s Chevrolet), a native of Lyndon Station, Wis., Danny Efland (No. 01 Davis Motorsports Chevrolet) and Tim McCreadie (No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) look to debut. Marc Mitchell (No 11 Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions Chevrolet) who has two series starts and Scott Lagasse Jr. (No. 41 Wrigley?s Juicy Fruit Dodge), with five starts, both return for the first time since 2005.


Driver Points
1. David Ragan 167
2. Marcos Ambrose 156
3. Juan Pablo Montoya 137
4. Kyle Krisiloff 1 37
5. Brad Keselowski 87
6. Brad Coleman 70
7. Justin Diercks 51
8. Robert Richardson Jr. 44
9. Sam Hornish Jr. 35
10. Alex Garcia 13
11. Bobby Santos 7

ESPN2 will televise Saturday night?s race from The Milwaukee Mile. The broadcast begins with NASCAR Countdown at 8 p.m. ET Saturday; the 250-mile race starts at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Allen Bestwick will be in the ESPN booth for the first time to handle play-by-play for the Milwaukee event. He will be joined by Rusty Wallace, the 1989 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion who serves as ESPN?s lead auto racing analyst. Andy Petree, a two-time NASCAR champion crew chief, will round out the booth trio. Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake.

In addition to the NASCR Busch Series race telecast on ESPN2 from Milwaukee, ESPN?s signature broadband service,, will deliver a live online simulcast of NASCAR Busch Series events during the month of June ? most explosive month of coverage yet ? with up to 102 live events.

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 16 Of 35 Races:
Traditional Statistics:
Driver points ? Edwards (2534)
Victories ?Edwards (4)
Races led — Edwards (12)
Laps led ? Ky. Busch (536)
Top-five finishes ? Edwards (11)
Top-10 finishes ? Edwards (13)
Owner points ? Roush (No. 60) – (2534)
Money Won ? Edwards ($679,380)
Miles led ? Ky. Busch (766.03)
Busch Poles ? Hamlin (3)
Closing in on Top 10 ? Leffler 10th (1603 pts) Kenseth (-12), Leicht (-28)
Consecutive Weeks in Top 10 ? Blaney, Edwards, Harvick (16)

Loop Data Statistics:
Driver Rating ? Edwards (116.7)
Average Running Position ? Edwards (7.012)
Fastest Laps Run ? Edwards (296 fastest laps)
Quality Passes ? Edwards (653)
Laps In Top 15 ? Edwards (2,745 of a possible 3,014)

Ford Matches Chevrolet With 7 Wins; Only Six Points Out Of Manufacturer Lead
Here comes Ford. After winning its third consecutive race thanks to Stephen Leicht?s upstart victory at Kentucky last Saturday night, Ford has seven wins on the season and is tied with Chevrolet in the W column in the Bill France Performance Cup standings.

The win leaves second-place Ford just six points behind Chevy heading to Milwaukee this weekend.

The two manufacturers were last tied in wins following last April?s race at Phoenix where they each had four, but Chevy ran off three straight before Ford?s recent three-race winning streak.

Chevrolet has the upper hand at Milwaukee, having won a series-leading eight races there including last year?s win by Paul Menard. Ford has five wins at the one-mile track.

Dodge, in third place in the standings, won at Milwaukee two years ago. Fourth-place Toyota will be making its series debut at the track this week.

Manufacturers’ Championship
2007 Point Standings
Chevy 115
Ford 109
Dodge 69
Toyota 59

Up Next: Camping World 200 presented by at New Hampshire International Speedway
The New England region is next up for the NASCAR Busch Series as New Hampshire International Speedway hosts the Camping World 200 presented by on Saturday, June 30. ESPN2 will carry the race live starting at 2:30 p.m. Race coverage will begin at 3 pm.

Carl Edwards won this event last year while Kyle Busch claimed the Busch Pole. There has yet to be a repeat winner at New Hampshire as 20 different drivers have captured series victories at the track since Tommy Ellis won the first race in 1990.

Edwards and his Roush Fenway Racing teammates will be racing in Boston Red Sox country for the first time since Roush Racing?s partnership with the Fenway Sports Group was announced last February.

The Race: AT&T 250
The Place: The Milwaukee Mile
The Date: June 23, 20071
The Time: 8:00 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 1-mile oval
Race Purse: $1,149,252
2006 Winner: Paul Menard
2006 Pole: Aric Almirola

2007 Point Standings
No. Driver Points
1 Edwards 2534
2 Blaney 1833
3 Harvick 1798
4 Reutimann 1764
5 Smith 1744
6 Ragan 1713
7 Biffle 1647
8 Ambrose 1638
9 Hamilton Jr. 1629
10 Leffler 1603

Sat.: 9-10 a.m. ? Practice; 10:15-10:45 a.m. ? Rookie Practice; 11 a.m. – Noon ? Final Practice; 4:35 p.m. ? Qualifying (Impound).

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