Sunday, June 09, 2002

GROESCHEN: Cup drivers to highlight Busch race


Nemechek, Compton plan 'double,' starting in Sparta

        There will be a Winston Cup flavor at the NASCAR Busch race Saturday at Kentucky Speedway.

        Winston Cup regulars Joe Nemechek and Stacy Compton will drive in the race, officially “The Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo.” The two drivers also will participate the following day in the Winston Cup race at Michigan, as they attempt the weekend double.

        Kevin Harvick, who won last year's Busch race at Kentucky, will return to Sparta as grand marshal. Harvick, who did the weekend double at Kentucky Speedway and Pocono on the corresponding June weekend in 2001, now drives only in Winston Cup.

        Last year, Harvick and Kenny Wallace attempted double duty at Kentucky and Pocono, but Wallace did not qualify for the Cup race.

        Compton has driven several times at Kentucky, helping Dodge develop its engine plan for Winston Cup.

        “The track is as smooth as glass,” Compton said, noting Kentucky recently was repaved. “It'll be a busy weekend for us, but we're looking forward to it.”

        WHO'S COMING: Aside from Nemechek and Compton, most stars from Busch will be at Kentucky next weekend.

        Jack Sprague, Scott Riggs and Jason Keller have been atop the standings much of the year. Former Winston Cup regular Wallace, former Busch champion Randy LaJoie and several famous offspring are expected to drive, including Larry Foyt (son of A.J.) and Ricky Hendrick (son of Winston Cup owner Rick).

        Blue Ash native Jeff Fultz, a 1987 Sycamore graduate, also is planning to drive in the Busch race.

        Fultz, 33, is a regular on the NASCAR Hills Brothers All-Pro Series, which will stage a race Friday at Kentucky as part of Busch pole night. Fultz hopes to drive in both the All-Pro and Busch events. He is driving in six Busch races this season.

        BIG BRASS: NASCAR president Mike Helton and his director of operations, Kevin Triplett, are scheduled to attend the Busch race. Helton attended the 2001 Busch race.

        The speedway is bidding for a Winston Cup race in 2003, and speedway chairman Jerry Carroll hopes to spend some time with Helton.

        Helton will not publicly discuss future schedules, but NASCAR reportedly does not plan major changes for its 2003 Winston Cup tour. If that's true, Kentucky hopes to be considered for The Winston, the annual all-star race that could leave its longtime home in Charlotte, N.C.

        SELLOUT EXPECTED: At last glance, Kentucky Speedway said it was on track for a capacity crowd of 66,000 for the Busch race.

        Ticket sales were pushing 60,000 by midweek, but it is unclear whether the final crowd will approach last year's 70,338. Mark Cassis, speedway general manager, said the track's operations/security staffs were overworked last year, with more than 4,000 people having standing-room-only tickets.

        NHRA IN OHIO: The 38th annual Pontiac Excitement NHRA Nationals are scheduled for this weekend at National Trail Raceway near Columbus.

        All the top NHRA stars are expected, including Top Fuel legend Kenny Bernstein and Funny Car great John Force.

       



Sports Stories
Born to be rivals, they fought for keeps too late
Lewis knocks out Tyson
Marion Jones wins 100 easily into tough wind
Saturday's NCAA Super Regionals
Croatia stuns Italy
U.S. team to enter red cauldron against South Korea
World Cup TV schedule
Attendance, handle records smashed at Belmont Stakes
War Emblem falls short in Triple Crown bid
Defense making the difference for Lakers
Nets hope familiar surroundings help Martin, Van Horn
Nets shooting woes have to end
Da Matta gets first pole at Monterey
- GROESCHEN: Cup drivers to highlight Busch race
Marlin shows speed at drying Pocono
Montoya beats Schumacher in record qualifying
Ward wins Boomtown 500
Daniel on verge of major victory
Golf scores
Hiring Trottier a gutsy move
Lidstrom, Hedican win ironman awards
Red Wings 3, Hurricanes 2, 3 OT
Ferrero, Costa meet in all-Spanish final
Serena 'one-hit wonder' no more
At home on the high seas
Coming up this week
Enquirer Page Two power rankings

Reds 4, Angels 3
Reds box, runs
Reds Q & A
Encarnacion fitting right in with Reds
Encarnacion hit by ball in practice
Griffey's hamstring injury not too serious
Reds chatter
Cinergy Moment No. 24. - July 22, 1986
Down on the farm
Louisville 9, Pawtucket 0
Ramirez closer to returning to Red Sox
Saturday roundup
John Fay's MLB rankings
Notes from Saturday's games
Milford makes statement
Time for football in June
7 athletes strong, Middies win title
Area runners come close, fall short
CovCath exploits LexCath errors
Richards finishes run to the top
Sycamore stopped 1 step from title
Norwood star signs with UC
Prep schedules
McDuffie sues Dolphins doctors