Time Off For Drivers

After a busy start to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season teams will get to enjoy their first weekend off away from the race track starting on Friday.

While most drivers will travel or stay home to relax, some will opt to continue racing.

Robby Gordon and David Ragan are among the few that will still be behind the wheel of a race car this weekend.

Gordon will be off in Mexico racing his Chevy CK1500 in the SCORE Desert Series San Felipe 250, and Ragan will make his Modified debut on Sunday at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.

Ragan will be racing Darrel Krentz's No. 15 in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season opener.

"The opportunity to race this weekend at Caraway came up and with a rare off-weekend for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series, I decided it would be a lot of fun," Ragan said. "I've never driven a Modified, so I figured it would certainly be something interesting and fun to go do."

David Reutimann will also still be around race cars this weekend as he plans to help get his dad's dirt car ready for the season.

"I need this 'weekend off' so I can finish his car so he can come get it and quit calling me every two days wanting to know where his car is," Reutimann said.

If things go his way, Kurt Busch could also be headed to the races, but this time as a spectator.

"Here I am looking at the schedule and I found out that NHRA is racing down in Florida for the Gatornationals," Busch said. "I might call Don Prudhomme and see how those boys are doing. I would love to see a night session of qualifying, but I do have to check in with the wife and she's probably got plans to go somewhere and will see how that goes.

"She loves racing and she loves our free time. We split the off weekends. I get to plan two off weekends a year and she gets to plan the other two. I don't know whose this one is."

Even if Busch doesn't go to the Gatornationals, Scott Speed will represent the Sprint Cup drivers there. Speed will be attending the event with fiancé Amanda Mathis, to watch her brother, and 2007 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcyle champion Matt Smith and father Rickie Smith race.

Michael Waltrip used part of his off week to tape an appearance on 'My Name is Earl'.

"I am proud to be a part of this show as it always tells a great story about Earl's need to do good things for people," Waltrip said. "How he gets to the resolution is absolutely hilarious. This experience is going to be a lot of fun for me. I play myself and I help Earl and his brother Randy get out of a big jam."

Greg Biffle is looking forward to having the weekend off after two weeks in Daytona and back-to-back races on the west coast.

"I think this weekend off is going to be much appreciated by all the teams," Biffle said. "It will give us a chance to catch up and get our lineup ready for all the spring races and it will give the guys a day or two off to kind of recharge their batteries."

Biffle is also trying to put together a team outing on Saturday.

"I'm looking forward to having the guys up to my mountain property for a little R&R," Biffle said. "I know all the team guys enjoy getting together and doing stuff."

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