The NASCAR notebook …
FLORENCE, S.C. ó Kevin Harvick is tuning up for his next Sprint Cup race at Talladega in a different sort of vehicle.
Harvick jumped out the passenger side of a Budweiser delivery truck and rolled a dolly full of beer into a Wal-Mart here Wednesday as customers and store workers gawked at the Sprint Cup star.
It was part of an orchestrated promotion for Harvick and his new sponsor. He toured facilities of an area wholeseller, had a lunchtime question-and-answer session with fans and ended by stocking shelves.
ěI had a great time today,î Harvick said.
It is the first year that Harvickís Richard Childress Racing team has carried the brand of Anheuser-Buschís signature brew. And so far, itís been a winning association that Harvick hopes to continue at Talladega Superspeedway in Sundayís Aaronís 499.
BURTONíS BAD LUCK
CHARLOTTE ó Jeff Burton went into the season-opening Daytona 500 with a solid shot at winning NASCARís biggest race of the year.
Then his engine failed 92 laps into the race, setting in motion a string of bad luck thatís plagued Burton through the first two months of the season. He goes into Talladega Superspeedway ranked 25th in the Sprint Cup standings, and nothing close to the title contender team owner Richard Childress thought Burton would be this season.
Burton remains undaunted.
ěIím extremely confident that we can dig ourselves out of the hole and get ourselves in the position we need to be in,î Burton said.
Talladega is a good place to get things moving in the right direction.
Burton expects to be in the mix Sunday ó if heís not in an accident.
ěI feel like we have really fast restrictor-plate cars. We have had plenty of speed,î Burton said. ěUnfortunately, I think we have, maybe in almost every restrictor-plate race last year, we ended up in a wreck. But going into Talladega, what we are thinking about is getting to the end of the race. We have had the speed, we have led the laps.
ěWe have done the things we needed to do, but we just hadnít finished races. I think itís about putting ourselves in the right position and getting to the end of the race and seeing if we can make it happen on the last lap.î
It could be the turn he needs.
BAYNE GETS SPONSOR
CHARLOTTE ó Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne landed the sponsorship he needed to enter the Sprint All-Star Race next month at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 20-year-old Bayne became the youngest Daytona 500 winner in race history when he won the season-opener. It earned him an automatic berth in the All-Star race, but Wood Brothers Racing didn’t have sponsorship to put Bayne in the $1 million race.
Good Sam Club, a sister company of Camping World, signed on Tuesday to sponsor Bayne in both the May 21 All-Star race and this Sunday’s event at Talladega Superspeedway.
“You never give up in this business until it’s time to load the car and you can’t go,” said team co-owner Eddie Wood.