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NASCAR on FOX 2006 preview: Busch champion

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Jeff Hammond: Kevin Harvick. If they don't mess up, and he's able to do what I think he can do, I think you're going to be looking at Kevin Harvick coming back into the Busch Series and winning the championship again.


Larry McReynolds: Richard Childress Racing. We've got so many unknowns there. Just look at the number of drivers that are going to be doing full-blown double duty in the Nextel Cup and Busch Series. Both of Childress' drivers — Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer — Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Reed Sorenson. Even though both drivers are going to run both series, I would be willing to bet that Richard Childress will win the championship because he knows how to make it happen. The title will be settled between the Childress drivers because Harvick has won it, and he won it running both schedules like he plans to do next year.

2006 Busch champ
Bowyer and his team had an awesome season, and they figured out what they should have done different this year. There's a variable for both teams because crew chief Todd Berrier had been looking after Harvick and the No. 21 Busch car since Rick Viers, and that probably won't happen next year. And crew chief Gil Martin is moving up to the No. 07 Cup car with Bowyer. Another variable in Cup and Busch is two of the three makes are getting new cars — the Ford Fusion and the new Chevrolet Monte Carlo. We won't know the difference until the season starts because we didn't really know about the Dodge Charger until the green flag dropped at Fontana last year. The Charger problems didn't show up in testing like you would have anticipated, but those problems never do.


Steve Byrnes: Kyle Busch... ... if he runs the full season. He had a great battle with Martin Truex Jr. in 2004. He's a really exceptional young talent. He has additional experience, and he's a smart driver with a championship-winning framework at Hendrick Motorsports. By winning twice at the Cup level, he proved what he's capable of doing. I give a slight nod to Busch over Kevin Harvick.


Krista Voda: David Green. A lot of guys are leaving, but plenty of big names will be racing each week. Yep, the Buschwhackers will be busier than ever. With testing limited next year, a handful of the younger Nextel Cup drivers plan to use the Busch Series as a means for extra seat time... some say they'll attempt the full Busch schedule. Does that mean we could see an unprecedented Cup regular win the Busch Series title? Perhaps. But picking a Cup regular just doesn't seem fair. So my vote goes to the veteran of the field, David Green. It would be a great coup for the Busch solos if he could back up his first series title, 12 years later.


Ryan McGee: Clint Bowyer. Truthfully, he shouldn't be pulling double duty in Cup and Busch next year... even he admits that. But he'll still win the NBS title.

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