NASCAR Hits The Road

It’s the ultimate NASCAR road trip.

An off week in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule is an opportunity for some drivers to compete in Sunday’s NASCAR Busch Series race, the Telcel-Motorola 200 presented by Banamex, at the 2.518-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course in Mexico City.

Nine full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers are headed south, including Kyle Busch (No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevrolet), Kevin Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet), Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford), Jamie McMurray (No. 26 Crown Royal Ford) and Michael Waltrip (No. 55 NAPA Auto Parts Dodge). Raybestos Rookie of the Year contenders Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniels Chevrolet), J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet), Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Target Dodge) and Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet) are also making the trip.

“I think racing in Mexico will prove to be a great move for our sport in the future,” said Harvick. “The reaction we received from the fans last year was outstanding. The fans were unbelievable, and I expect the same reaction this year.”

Waltrip, a 22-year NASCAR veteran, already has plenty of road course experience, including 11 top-10 finishes in 42 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup road course events. Harvick has competed in 10 road course events over the past five seasons, with four top-10 and two top-five finishes.

Other drivers have more limited road racing experience in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car. Bowyer, Busch, Yeley, Hamlin, Sorenson, Edwards and McMurray have a combined eight road course starts on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series but their Mexico City experience will pay dividends in June, when the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series visits the road course at California’s Infineon Raceway.

“It is definitely a unique place,” said Harvick, who finished second in the 2005 Telcel-Motorola 200. “It is really flat and the corners are really sharp. It doesn’t have all the elevation changes that Infineon has. It never hurts to get more experience on a road course since we only get to drive them twice a year in the [NASCAR NEXTEL] Cup Series.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2006

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