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Nationwide Preseason Thunder Heads to Las Vegas for Testing

Seven Former Series Driver And Owner Champions Prepared For Two-Day Test

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2008) – NASCAR’s version of ‘follow the leader’ featuring NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing continues at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Jan. 30-31.

Drivers and teams from the NASCAR Nationwide Series will descend on the track in the Nevada desert one day after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series completes its two-day test session there.

As NASCAR’s premier series moves to California Speedway for its final round of NASCAR Preseason Thunder, Wednesday’s travel day affords double-duty drivers the opportunity to test their NASCAR Nationwide Series cars at Las Vegas.

More than 40 drivers representing more than 30 NASCAR Nationwide Series teams are expected to participate. Double-duty drivers who continue to California will share their rides with teammates or substitute drivers so the preparation process can keep going for the seven 1.5-mile tracks on the 2008 series schedule.

“The agenda for the teams will be different than at Daytona,” said NASCAR Nationwide Series director Joe Balash. “It’s the first time they’ll be out on the race track with the tapered spacer in the engine versus the restrictor plate that we used at Daytona during testing over the last week.

“The teams also worked hard in the offseason to get as much downforce in these cars and make them turn better.”

The Las Vegas test will feature seven former series driver and owner champions and some drivers who did not take part in the NASCAR Preseason Thunder sessions at Daytona, including regulars Mike Bliss (No. 22 Supercuts/Family Dollar Dodge) and Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 Smithfield Foods Ford).

Clint Bowyer (No. 2 BB&T/Camping World Chevrolet), one of the favorites to challenge for the title that will be defended by Carl Edwards (No. 60 Scotts Ford), is scheduled to make his series testing debut as is Jeff Burton (No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet) who, along with Scott Wimmer, claimed the 2008 series owner championship for Richard Childress Racing.

Bobby Labonte (No. 21 RCR Chevrolet), the 1991 series champion, will share seat time at the test with Stephen Leicht, who signed with RCR last week. Leicht finished seventh in the final standings last year.

Others who will make their 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Preseason Thunder debuts include Landon Cassill (No. 5 National Guard Chevrolet) and Colin Braun (No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford).

NASCAR Preseason Thunder – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
(Subject to change / all times local)
Dates: Wednesday, Jan. 30 through Thursday, Jan. 31
Garage Opens: 7 a.m.
Practice: 9 a.m-Noon
Break: Noon-1 p.m.
Practice: 1-5 p.m.
Garage Closes: 5:30 p.m.

Fast Facts
What: NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Track Layout: 1.5-mile tri-oval.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 30 through Thursday, Jan. 31.
Times: 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (MST)
Who: Johnny Sauter, Brandon Miller/Clint Bowyer, Landon Cassill, David Ragan/Auggie Vidovich, Mike Wallace, Chase Miller, Sam Hornish Jr., Greg Biffle/Colin Braun, Jamie McMurray/Erik Darnell, Kyle Busch/Casey Atwood, Johnny Benson, Bobby Labonte/ Stephen Leicht, Mike Bliss, Bobby Hamilton Jr., Brad Coleman, Jeff Burton/Scott Wimmer, Brian Vickers, Kevin Harvick/Cale Gale, Brad Baker, Jason Leffler, Kevin Hamlin, Bryan Clauson, Kelly Bires, Marcos Ambrose, Carl Edwards /Burney Lamar, David Stremme, Steve Wallace, Brad Keselowski, David Reutimann, Todd Bodine, Jason Keller, John Borneman III.

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