Bristol's Beating and Banging Brings Back Memories for Baker Curb Racing

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IMarch 17, 2010

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 22: (EDITORS NOTE: AN INFRARED CAMERA WAS USED TO CREATE THIS IMAGE) A general view of cars racing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2009 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Smith/Getty Images


This weekend, NASCAR’s Nationwide Series heads to Bristol, a short track that guarantees beating, banging, and temper tantrums.  But for Nationwide team Baker Curb Racing, the return to Bristol will be all about remembering, particularly one great day in Victory Lane.

Baker Curb Racing co-owner Gary Baker actually owned Bristol Motor Speedway from 1978 to 1983.  In 1979, he had the honor of presenting Dale Earnhardt the trophy in Victory Lane for his first career Sprint Cup Win.

There is nothing that would please Baker more than to make his own memories with his team in Victory Lane.  Baker Curb Racing is fielding two teams this weekend at Bristol, with veteran Greg Biffle and newcomer Scott Lagasse Jr. behind the wheel.

“It always brings back great memories going back to Bristol,” Baker said.  “It would be extra special for Baker Curb Racing to get our first win as a team there.”

“We have two competitive teams with two great drivers that are capable of winning each week,” Baker continued.  “We were so close to our first win in California and I think it’s only a matter of time before you see us in Victory Lane.”

Baker and his team may just go to Victory Lane if driver Greg Biffle has anything to say about it.  “Biff” ranks third in average running position in Nationwide Series races over the last four seasons at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“I look forward to my first short track race in the Red Man Moist Snuff Ford Fusion,” Biffle said.  “We’ve been successful on the bigger tracks so far this season and I’m excited to see how our short track cars are going to be.”

“Bristol is one of my favorite tracks to race at and I’ve always had very good runs there,” Biffle continued.  “I’ve been very successful in the Nationwide cars there.  I can’t wait!”

Biffle’s crew chief Rick Viers shares the optimism of his driver and team owner.  “After two weeks off, we’re ready to get back to racing,” Viers said.  “Bristol is an exciting track and Greg has ran well there in the past.

“We are taking car 82, which is the car that Jason Keller finished sixth with at Iowa last season, so it’s a very good car,” Viers continued.  “To be successful at Bristol, you have to run well during long green flag runs.”

Baker Curb Racing's younger driver Scott Lagasse Jr. is also looking forward to making his own memories at Bristol.  He has fared well at short tracks, and finished 13th in the 2009 Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

"I’m looking forward to going to Bristol, the place is a blast!” Lagasse Jr. said.  “Last year was the first time I had raced there, I learned a lot and had a decent run.

“The guys have been working hard the last few weeks on the Dr. Gadget®/ Ford and I think we’ll have a good car this week,” Lagasse Jr. continued.  “If you look at the Nationwide races so far this season, I think there has been some pretty aggressive driving. I expect that you’ll see more of the same at Bristol."

Jeff White, Lagasse Jr.’s crew chief is looking forward to sharing memories of home, hailing from the state of Tennessee. 

“Being born and raised in Tennessee, Bristol is at the top of my list of tracks that I haven’t been part of a win at,” White said.  “I’ve been a part of some teams that have had good runs there, but never made it to Victory Lane.

“We’re bringing car 81, which is one of our best cars,” White continued.  “At the end of the day, you just need to avoid trouble and be there at the end.”

Both Baker Curb Racing crew chiefs, as well as their drivers, would love nothing more than to take the checkered flag in the Scotts Turf Builder 300.  But there is just one person, Gary Baker, who would give anything to emulate Dale Earnhardt and be the one to accept the trophy at Bristol for his team’on Saturday, March 20th at Bristol Motor Speedway.  ABC will begin the television bros first career victory.

The Nationwide race will run at 2:30 PM ET adcast at 2:00 PM ET and PRN will broadcast on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.