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Hendrick Cements Busch Schedule, Realigns Personnel

CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2005) – Marshall Carlson, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports, today outlined the organization’s future NASCAR Busch Series plans, including its remaining 2005 schedule and a realignment of key personnel.

Chad Walter, who rejoined Hendrick Motorsports earlier this year as lead engineer for the Nos. 5 and 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, has been named crew chief of the No. 5 Busch Series Chevrolets.  The Albion, N.Y., native will call the Sept. 9 race at Richmond, Va., marking his first in the new role.

Walter, 34, began his NASCAR career as a mechanic with NEMCO Motorsports in 1993 after earning an engineering degree from Cornell University.  He won a Busch Series championship with Bobby Labonte Racing and driver David Green in 1994 before a return to NEMCO in 1995.

One year later, Walter moved to Hendrick Motorsports, where he spent four seasons prior to joining Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2000.  There, he worked as head engineer with the Nos. 8 and 15 NEXTEL Cup teams until returning to Hendrick for the 2005 season.

Following this weekend’s event at Fontana, Calif., Jim Long will transition from crew chief of the No. 5 Chevys into a new position focusing on Hendrick Motorsports’ growing chassis and research operations.  The 48-year-old Long, who brings two decades of NASCAR experience to his expanded role, helped establish both departments in the early 1990s.

A Toledo, Ohio, native and Brickyard 400-winning crew chief, Long will also lead the part-time Busch Series efforts of Hendrick Motorsports—the Nos. 48 and 57—for the remainder of 2005.

Michael Landis, a 12-year veteran of Hendrick Motorsports, continues as Busch Series team manager.  Landis helped the team to a Busch Series championship in 2003 and recently engineered the group’s relocation to a freshly renovated 15,000-square-foot facility, which opened in July.

“Jim’s experience is going to be vital to our chassis and research operations,” Carlson said.  “He will be a key contributor as the blueprint of that area continues to grow in both scope and importance.

“Chad is a rising star in our sport and Michael is proven as a title winner.  With our new facility and a championship-caliber team already in place, we have a combination that will build upon our last few years in the Busch Series.”

Hendrick Motorsports has fielded a full-time Busch Series operation since 2002, earning one championship, 10 victories and 11 pole positions during that span.  The organization, which has a win and two poles this season, finished fifth in points with driver Jack Sprague in 2002, first with Brian Vickers in 2003 and second with rookie Kyle Busch last year.

After running a flexible schedule for much of the season, Hendrick Motorsports today solidified its remaining 2005 Busch Series events.  The slate will feature drivers Vickers, Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Adrian Fernandez and Kyle Krisiloff.

Remaining 2005 Schedule – No. 5 Busch Series Chevrolets:
Sept. 3, California Speedway, Adrian Fernandez
Sept. 9, Richmond International Raceway, Kyle Busch
Sept. 24, Dover International Speedway, Kyle Busch
Oct. 8, Kansas Speedway, Kyle Busch
Oct. 14, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Adrian Fernandez
Oct. 22, Memphis Motorsports Park, Kyle Krisiloff
Nov. 5, Texas Motor Speedway, Adrian Fernandez
Nov. 12, Phoenix International Raceway, Adrian Fernandez
Nov. 19, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Adrian Fernandez

Remaining 2005 Schedule – No. 48 Busch Series Chevrolets:
Sept. 3, California Speedway, Jimmie Johnson
Oct. 14, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson

Remaining 2005 Schedule – No. 57 Busch Series Chevrolets:
Sept. 24, Dover International Speedway, Brian Vickers
Oct. 14, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch
Nov. 5, Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch
Nov. 19, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Brian Vickers

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