Busch Series' focus on present

MARTINSVILLE, Va. - While the Nextel Cup Series made its switch to the Car of Tomorrow, including Sunday's Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway, the Busch Series continued to race with traditional stock cars.

Busch Series cars will continue to have rear spoilers and front air dams, not wings and a scoop-like splitter. And while the cars now are dramatically different, it didn't stop some from wondering if it's still possible to learn anything during a Busch Series race that could help in the Nextel Cup Series.

"I wish we could (transfer information), but they're different enough that the front springs and stuff like that we can't really transfer," said Carl Edwards, who drives full time in both circuits.

NASCAR plans to carry some of the safety issues with the Car of Tomorrow - side crush panels and a more-centered seat location - to Busch Series cars, but it doesn't have any plans to switch to rear wings and the front splitter.

"There's a little separation between the two series and we like that," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "Right now, we're not talking about taking the Car of Tomorrow, other than the safety things, to the Busch Series."

Now that NASCAR is moving quickly to remove any advantage for teams to use the Busch Series as a testing ground for Nextel Cup, car owner Jack Roush said that won't keep him from scaling back his Busch Series program.

"First of all, being involved in the Busch Series and, for that matter, the Craftsman Truck Series, gives us a chance to develop sponsors that have got a growing appetite and growing means to do things with," Roush said. "As interesting and as much fun as it is to develop young drivers like David Ragan and Todd Kluever and, of course, Danny O'Quinn and the other folks we've had in our program lately, it's been great to bring sponsors that have got growing needs as well."

ROUSH FACING DEADLINE: Roush Fenway Racing must cut one of its full-time Nextel Cup Series teams by 2010, team president Geoff Smith said. NASCAR set a limit of four full-time teams two years ago but allowed Roush Fenway to drop one of its five teams through attrition.

Ameriquest, a mortgage company that sponsors Greg Biffle's car, just announced layoffs. The company has asked Roush Fenway to sell off the final two years of its sponsorship with the race team. It also pulled out of a deal with the Texas Rangers for the naming rights to the Ballpark at Arlington.

Reach Don Coble at don.coble@morris.com.

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