NASCAR stars Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards along with rock group Smash Mouth and Univ. of Louisville Basketball Coach Rick Pitino will create an all-star atmosphere at Kentucky Speedway June 14 when the NASCAR Nationwide Series visits for the "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo."

"We're certainly excited to welcome the Nationwide Series back to our venue for one of our region's largest sporting events. Our field is shaping up to be one of the strongest ever with the top drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. We'll also see top developmental drivers such as Joe Gibbs Racing young gun Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s, JR Motorsports team and Steve Wallace of Rusty Wallace, Inc.

"While the Sprint Cup stars have to be considered favorites to visit Victory Lane, keep in mind that then developmental drivers Stephen Leicht and David Gilliland won our previous two events and we haven't witnessed a repeat winner in seven years.

"Add a prerace concert with Smash Mouth, Coach Pitino as our honorary starter and our Flag Day salute to the mix and we're in for quite an entertaining day at the track," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said.

The summertime spectacular will feature the current top 10 drivers in Nationwide Series standings. Bowyer competes with Richard Childress Racing and will enter Saturday's race with a 166-point lead over Busch, the Joe Gibbs Racing star who has earned four wins in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series this season. Busch, a 2004 "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" winner and 2003 ARCA RE/MAX Series race winner at Kentucky Speedway, holds a 21-point lead over Jeff Burton in the Sprint Cup Series standings after finishing 43rd at Pocono Raceway.

The 43-car "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" grid will contain all the drivers currently in the top 10 in the series standings. That group includes Roush Fenway racers and Sprint Cup Series competitors Edwards and David Ragan. Edwards won the 2005 "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" and earned his first NASCAR-sanctioned win in Kentucky in the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers." Ragan took an eighth-place finish in his Nationwide Series Kentucky debut last season and posted a second-place finish in a 150-mile ARCA RE/MAX Series race at the track in 2004.

Other talents scheduled to compete include 2002 "Built Ford Tough Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" winner Mike Bliss, 2003 "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" champ Bobby Hamilton, Jr., former "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" pole award winner Jason Leffler along with fan favorites Mike and Kenny Wallace, Michael Waltrip Racing competitor David Reutimann, Australian Marcos Ambrose as well as veterans Jason Keller and David Stremme.

Race tickets can be reserved online through the "Tickets" pages of this Web site, at speedway ticket offices located at 400 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 100, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., near Montgomery Inn and the Sparta, Ky., Fan Center located off of I-71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N, by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223) and through Meijer stores.

Story by Mike Schmaltz

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