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Wimmer’s Surge Moves Him into Thick of NASCAR Busch Series Title Race; Also Set to Make NASCAR Winston Cup Debut at Chicagoland Speedway


NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division driver Scott Wimmer will realize a career goal this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, but is hopeful it will not interfere with another.

Wimmer will attempt to qualify for his first career NASCAR Winston Cup Series race in addition to running the NASCAR Busch Series’ Tropicana Twister 300 Presented by SAM’S CLUB and continue his pursuit of the series championship.

It will mark the first of seven NASCAR Winston Cup events Wimmer will run for Bill Davis Racing this season, but the move may have an affect on his aspirations of capturing the NASCAR Busch Series championship.

Wimmer (No. 23 Siemen’s Pontiac), a 26-year-old Wisconsin native competing in his second NASCAR Busch Series season, has rebounded from a poor start and finds himself situated fifth in the NASCAR Busch Series championship – 279 points behind leader Greg Biffle (No. 60 Grainger Ford) – heading into Saturday’s Tropicana Twister 300 Presented by SAM’S CLUB.

The allure of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, however, is just to tantalizing to forget. Siemen’s, the primary sponsor through the majority of the first half of the season, will conclude the NASCAR Busch Series deal following the July 27 event at Pikes Peak as Siemen’s will sponsor the team’s NASCAR Winston Cup entry.

Drivers, teams and sponsors continually strive to reach the ultimate level – the NASCAR Winston Cup Series – but it leaves Gail Davis’ NASCAR Busch Series team in search of a new sponsor to join the  series and reap the benefits of the No. 2 motorsports series in the United States.

Wimmer, who finished 11th in the NASCAR Busch Series championship as a rookie last season, will continue pursuing an opportunity for a series championship.

“Our team has been concentrating on the Busch Series since the start and focusing on winning races and the championship,” Wimmer said. “We’re up there in the points now and it would be tough to give it up and really start over where we would be focusing on just making races in (Winston) Cup and trying to run well. Running in (Winston) Cup would be great, but I don’t want to have to leave the Busch Series to do it since we have been running so well.“

So what would Wimmer’s sales pitch be for a potential NASCAR Busch Series sponsor?

“The Busch Series is very appealing for sponsors and a real marketable series,” he said. “We have young drivers, great team owners and hard racing every week. The series is competitive and exciting, and has a lot of energy surrounding it. We have a lot of race weekends in conjunction with (Winston) Cup weekends and the (Winston) Cup drivers come in and race and make it even more competitive. And the TV package (FOX, FX, NBC, TNT) is getting us more and more exposure – it‘s just a great series overall to run in.

“And we have a real young team that is running real well right now. We have all the right tools and can do a lot for a company that would come in. We would like for a sponsor to come in and grow with us.”

Wimmer’s stock has grown of late as the recent surge has moved him from 11th to fifth in the NASCAR Busch Series title race in a span of five races. He was 11th following the May 25 race at Charlotte, but then posted four consecutive top-seven finishes to move to sixth heading into Daytona last week. He qualified a career-best second, but got caught up in an accident and finished 26th. Despite the finish, he was able to move to fifth in the championship.

“I think one of the differences from last year is that I am communicating much better with the team,” said Wimmer, who has seven top-10 finishes, including five among the top five, in 18 starts. “I can tell them what the car is doing and we can make the changes to the car. We are more aggressive in making major changes this year because I am able to give them the feedback they need. I also have my confidence built up and I’m not tearing up cars. We also have been having very good pit stops and it’s been showing (in the results).”

The weekend will be extremely busy for Wimmer as he juggles his usual NASCAR Busch Series schedule with a NASCAR Winston Cup one. Running two events in the same weekend, however, is not a cause for concern.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It will be interesting,” said Wimmer, who has matched his NASCAR Busch Series career-best finish of third twice already this season. “Some guys say sometimes it hurts you (to run two series in the same weekend), but I don’t think it will be a problem for me. When I was racing late models, I’d usually race four or five times a week and probably 80 to 90 races a year. It shouldn’t be a problem. It should be fun.”