Jason Keller has been competing full-time in the NASCAR Busch Series since 1994.  The Greenville, S.C., native has finished in the top 10 in final points six times, and nearly won the championship twice.  After teammate Jeff Green beat him to the champion's table in 2000 and Greg Biffle did likewise in 2002, Keller is poised to claim the throne in 2003.

            Although his season got off to a rocky start in Daytona (a crash on lap 118 relegated him to a 27th-place finish), he believes he can conquer the March 1 Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and then the series' title.

            ¿I have never been with a team that is better prepared for a season than the one I am with now,¿ said Keller, driver of the No. 57 Albertsons Ford.  ¿It will be extremely disappointing if we are not a strong contender for the championship all season.  We had a great season last year, and our program is much stronger this year.

¿I¿ve been told you learn more by losing a championship than you do by winning one,¿ said Keller.  ¿I am more mentally prepared now to face a serious championship battle. You discover things during a title chase that you don¿t learn until you experience it.

¿The championship will still go to the team that wins races and makes the least amount of mistakes on and off the track.  There are several things you can¿t control and can¿t worry about.  But if (crew chief) Steve (Addington), the team and I do the things I know we are capable of, I truly believe we will be difficult to beat.¿

            Like most drivers, Jason enjoys coming to Las Vegas and the entertainment it offers after business at the track is completed.

            ¿I really enjoy racing at Las Vegas,¿ he said.  ¿It is so fan friendly.  You have an abundance of hotels to stay at, the races are usually exciting and the city has a little something for everyone.  I admit I enjoy gambling on occasion, so I get excited about the entire Las Vegas weekend."

¿I also like the layout of the track.  I typically like flat tracks and have run very well at them over the past few years.  When you go into turns one and two, there are two grooves so you are able to pass slower cars.  It is the type of track where the fastest cars can work their way to the front.  We were running really well there last year before we had a mix up on pit road (which resulted in a 22nd-place finish) that cost us so I am definitely looking forward to heading back out west and finishing well.¿

The Sam's Town 300 is scheduled for Saturday, March 1 at 1 p.m. PST.  The race, which will be televised on FX, is expected to surpass last year's record-setting attendance figure of 82,500.

Race fans may purchase tickets for the Sam¿s Town 300 by calling the LVMS ticket office at 1-800-644-4444.

            Las Vegas Motor Speedway is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE:TRK), a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. In addition to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, SMI owns and operates the following premiere facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte, Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., and Texas Motor Speedway. SMI also provides event souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiary, and manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars through its 600 Racing subsidiary.