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Kinser will run the No. 19 machine that current Busch rookie Tyler Walker won three races in last season, while Crocker will drive the No. 79, with support from Kahne's Cup owner, Ray Evernham. Kinser and Crocker spent most of their 2004 seasons in the World of Outlaws. The "Copper World Classic" will be Kraig Kinser's first career race on pavement. He tested at Phoenix two weeks ago in addition to a track in North Carolina. In fact, his first race without a wing came three weeks ago in the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Okla. Willie Kahne, Kasey's cousin and the team manager, actually approached Kraig at the Knoxville Nationals about driving the car in 2005.
"I got talking to my dad, and we both thought it was a good opportunity," Kinser said. "We want to help them out as much as we can, and hopefully I won't disappoint them." Steve drove Silver Crown cars in the early 1980s, winning three times in 11 starts. Kraig said Steve hasn't given him much advice as the cars have evolved steadily over the last 20 years, nor has he put demands on his oldest son. "He doesn't put any extra pressure on me, and let me develop a lot by myself," Kraig said. "But he's also pushed me. He's not added pressure, but has been the guy behind me, giving me a shove."
Crocker made four attempts to qualify for a Silver Crown race in 2003 but came up short in her efforts. With Kahne and Evernham's backing, Crocker is confident she can qualify for several events.
"Going into the 'Copper World,' considering I haven't run much pavement, I just want to make the show and finish," said the 23-year-old, deemed 'The First Lady.' "That's my individual goal. Then I'm going to try and improve. Hopefully we'll be able to improve a lot and eventually win a show. "I'm definitely looking forward to it," she continued. "I understand that it'll be a big challenge, and I know I might be nervous, but I want to be on the pavement and race. I know Ray and Kasey are there to guide me and help in any way possible. They're not just there to give me the car and race. That's going to be a big help."
Neither driver said they had any expectations of the season other than to make the events. Willie Kahne said he's just looking for them to get seat time and do their best, in addition to establishing a foundation for the future.
"Kraig was picked because that he's a young driver who wants to go Silver Crown racing," Willie Kahne said. "We like his background, what he does, so there's where we got him. Then Ray hired Erin to do some ARCA and Busch stuff, and since he loves Silver Crown racing, he asked Kasey if we could run Erin just on the pavement. "We had an old car and were building another one anyhow, so we'll just put her in that one," he continued. "It's cool because it just keeps our team growing. We can help Ray to do what he needs, and in turn he gives us a lot of his resources to make our deal better and to win races."