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That didn't seem to bother track president Gillian Zucker. She was pleased with the turnout, particularly in the lower seats, which she said were sold out.
"We deserve a race in the Chase and we deserve two races at this race track," Zucker said. "The fans have responded but there are other factors that play into this."
"I've worked really hard and it's taken a long time, but I'm very glad to be where I am," said Buescher. "Roush is one of the top teams out there and to be associated with them is an honor. This year was a big step. I've learned a lot this year and am really looking forward to next year.
Zucker said the track is considering shortening one of the two annual races from 500 miles to 400 miles and did little to hide the fact she'd like to swap race dates with Phoenix. The first California race is run in February, right after the Daytona 500 while Phoenix runs in April.
"Everybody knows that we've had some challenges with weather during (February)," she said.
SEEING STARS: Actor Kelsey Grammar isn't sure what Dr. Frasier Crane would think of NASCAR racing, but the sitcom veteran is quickly becoming a fan.
Grammar served as Grand Marshal for Sunday's race during his first NASCAR event, something he'd done previously at the Indianapolis 500. While not exactly bitten by the racing bug, he's not a stranger to racing. He competed in the Long Beach Grand Prix once.
"I have an affinity for it, if no skill," Grammar said. "I would love to race the fastest cars in the world ... it's a very heady trip being there."
Grammar's day went a little better than pop star Jesse McCartney, who forgot a verse while singing the national anthem.
ROUSH ADDS BUESCHER: Roush Fenway Racing has signed Chris Buescher to a driver development contract.
The 16-year-old Buescher has spent the 2009 season competing part-time in the ARCA RE/MAX Series for Roulo Brothers Racing. He had three top-fives and five top-10 finishes in seven starts and set a series record when he became the youngest pole winner in ARCA history at Salem Speedway. Buescher wrapped up the season with a sixth-place finish on Saturday night at Rockingham.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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