2006 99 Schedule

Rookie Lamar no stranger to California

From Press Release
February 22, 2006
03:24 PM EST (20:24 GMT)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Heading to your home track is special for any driver, but combine that with a second-place finish at Daytona International Speedway and you've got the first two weeks of Sacramento native Burney Lamar's Busch Series season.

Burney Lamar

Burney Lamar

"There couldn't be a better way to start the year off than with some momentum," Lamar said.

For Lamar, a rookie candidate, these are arguably the two biggest weeks of his young career -- considering the 24-year-old was at home three years ago "watching this kind of stuff from the couch, begging to get any kind of experience in a heavy car."

Being surrounded with people who have experience in the sport also has been a huge advantage for a driver with only three career series starts to his credit.

"With Kevin [Harvick], Rick Carelli and my crew chief Gene Nead, I have a lot of experience to draw from," said Lamar, who, like Harvick and Carelli, was a Southwest Tour rookie of the year. "I talk to all of them about the upcoming race and they offer great advice and talk me through situations, so I will be ready for anything on the track.

"I think Daytona was a great example of how utilizing experience can be to your advantage."

Lamar is no stranger to California Speedway. In 2005, he won a West Series race at the track.

"My best friend will be there, along with a couple of other people from home," he said of Saturday's Stater Bros. 300. "My family isn't going to make this trip, but they will be in Las Vegas. I'm pretty excited to be coming home.

"I'm not nervous, but I am looking more to capitalize on the momentum from Daytona."

For Lamar's team owner, DeLana Harvick, expectations haven't changed for her young driver.

"If anything, they were confirmed," she said. "Everyone expects a lot from him because he is very talented and I'm no exception. We all want to win every weekend, that's why we do what we do. The competition is very tough in the Busch Series this year, but I feel like we have a solid group of guys."

So for a rookie that started his season with a top-five finish in one of the series' biggest events, have his goals changed for the remainder of the season?

"The goals still haven't changed," said Lamar. "I think our early success can be directly attributed to the hard work in the shop this off-season. We want to be competitive each week. If we can do that, hopefully we will always be in contention for the championship.

"This is a team sport. We set goals together and we try to accomplish them together."

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